Is A Barndominium For You? 8 Common Questions Answered (2024)

You may still have some questions. After all, building a home is a significant project, and you want to make an informed decision before getting started.

Here are eight of the most commonly asked questions about this type of home:

How long do barndos last?

How long a barndo lasts depends on its environment, quality of construction, materials, and quality of maintenance. Any slapped-together structure will not stand the test of time.

But a well-constructed barndo lasts for years, just like a traditional home, although you may need to replace doors, gutters, windows, or other elements. A well-built structure could stand firm for hundreds of years.

Are barndos hard to insure?

If you build this type of home, you should know that insuring your barndo may not be exactly like insuring a house. Not all insurance companies cover barndominiums, and some don’t cover buildings with metal siding. Others may not cover dual-purpose structures, a category most of these homes fall into.

However, depending on your situation, you can get barndominium insurance just as easily as regular home insurance.

If your home includes a workspace, the function of the workspace plays into how high your premiums are. For example, if you use potentially hazardous equipment in your workspace, your rates will be more expensive.

How long does it take to build a pole barn home?

How long it takes to build a pole barn home depends on various factors, such as size, whether you are going to DIY or hire a contractor, and how much customization you want.

A simple barndo could take 3-6 months, whereas a large custom one may take over a year. According to this article with Stacee Lynn, the Barndominium Lady, most can be completed in roughly half the time it takes to construct a regular home.

Do barndos hold their value?

Barndominiums normally retain their resale value and may even increase in value gradually, although more slowly than a standard home.

However, these homes are still rare in some parts of the country, and it may be challenging to get an accurate appraisal in an area where there are few.

Are barndos energy efficient?

Steel buildings such as these are typically sided with metal and insulated with spray foam insulation. A properly insulated metal building is highly energy efficient and doesn’t put a lot of stress on your heating and cooling system.

If you add other energy-efficient features such as awnings, high-performance doors, windows, and LED lighting, you can reduce your energy bills by 40%, according to

Is it cheaper to build a barndominium or a house?

The cost of a pole barn home depends on the size, materials, and method of building, but they are generally cheaper to build than a house.

One factor that plays in is that pole barn structures are easy to build, so some homeowners choose to DIY them. This saves you the money it would take to hire a contractor and allows you to shop around for second-hand appliances and fixtures.

Stacee Lynn, the Barndominium Lady, says, “Overall, I would say if you are acting as general contractor and you are a good shopper…I would say you would save around 12-15%...if you are hiring a general contractor, now you are really close to what it’s going to cost to build a traditional home.”

If you want more info from Stacee Lynn, here is an extremely helpful interview with the Barndominium Lady going over the pros, cons, and building process.

How are barndos so cheap?

These homes can save you money in several ways:

  • They are quick to build, and time is money. The quicker your construction timeline, the more money you save.
  • Their shells require fewer materials and layers. For example, a typical home exterior could consist of brick, a vapor barrier, plywood, a wood frame, insulation, and sheetrock. A typical barndo might consist of sheet metal, plywood, a metal frame, spray foam insulation, and sheetrock.
  • They lower your energy bills.
  • They don’t require a foundation like a normal house. This saves you time, materials, and labor.
  • It’s possible to assemble your own barndo kit, saving you the money it would take to hire a contractor.
  • Not hiring a contractor means you can shop around for secondhand fixtures and appliances.

Are barndos safe?

If you are worried about a pole barn home not being safe, you can put your worries to rest.

Barndos are just as safe as traditional homes and, in some ways, safer. Steel ones are tougher and safer than wood-framed ones, but both are completely safe to live in.

Steel ones are fire resistant and can stand up to wind, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes just as well, if not better than traditional homes. Also, steel has a lower electrical resistance than many materials, making it safer in lightning strikes.

These homes also tend to require less maintenance, being made almost entirely of steel.

Is A Barndominium For You? 8 Common Questions Answered (2024)


What are the negatives about a barndominium? ›

Pros of barndominiums include a cheaper cost, fully customizable space, and lower maintenance. They're also highly durable with lots of extra room and are a more eco-friendly housing option. Meanwhile, cons include higher upfront costs, difficulties finding financing, and not all cities allow them.

How reliable are barndominiums? ›

Are Barndominiums Safe? Absolutely! Barndominiums are automatically more resistant to fire because of the metal siding. Because of the materials and construction, barndominiums also stand stronger than traditional homes in harsh and severe weather.

How long does it take to finish a barndominium? ›

All the finishing touches – drywall, paint, built-in furniture, moulding, roofing, siding, and fascia – can take 1 or 2 months, depending on the level of extravagance and detail. Minimalists will save time in this stage! All in all, most barndominiums take about 6 months to build.

What do I wish I knew before building a barndominium? ›

Here are the most important things to know about building a barndominium.
  • Obtain a permit for your project. Photo by Bridger Steel, Inc. ...
  • Test the paint. Photo by Justin Doyle Homes. ...
  • Prepare for surprise costs. ...
  • Plan for electrical work. ...
  • Choose your windows and doors wisely. ...
  • Add insulation—it's important.
Mar 14, 2022

What is the truth about barndominiums? ›

Barndominiums skew more casual and farmhouse in style. Steel frame barndominium kits offer advantages like speed of construction, low maintenance, and precision engineering. However, stick built barns allow for more customization during framing.

How long does it take to build a barndominium from scratch? ›

Most barndominiums take approximately 3-6 months to construct. However, just like with a conventional home, a barndominium's construction time depends on various factors including the level of customization.

How thick should a barndominium floor be? ›

For barndominiums up to 1,500 sq. ft., most recommendations fall between a 4” and 6″ thick slab. This accommodates moderate traffic and furnishings adequately without excessive concrete use. The steel perimeter beams of barndominium kits require less internal slab support than wood framing.

What is the first step in building a barndominium? ›

How to Build a Barndominium in 10 Steps: the Ultimate Guide to a Metal Building
  1. Planning and Budgeting. ...
  2. Land Acquisition. ...
  3. Interior Design Elements & Exterior Too. ...
  4. Obtain Permits. ...
  5. Foundation and Framing. ...
  6. Building Installation. ...
  7. Interior Finishing. ...
  8. Install Utilities.
Aug 3, 2023

Are barndominiums hard to insure? ›

Insurance can be complicated for barndominium homes. According to, not all insurers cover barndos, especially if they're mixed-use instead of residential only, and those that do might have barndo-specific policies.

Why not buy a barndominium? ›

Limited resale value: Due to their unique design, it can be difficult to find buyers for a barndominium, leading to lower resale value. Zoning restrictions: In some areas, there may be zoning restrictions that limit or prohibit the building of a barndominium.

Do barndominiums get struck by lightning? ›

Lightning navigates complex atmospheric electrical pathways unlikely influenced by a slightly taller barn- Their height and flat, expansive roofs also make barndominiums prone to lightning strikes. They tend to be taller than regular homes and have a large surface area exposed at height.

Why are barndominiums hard to finance? ›

Getting a home loan for a barndominium can be tricky since many lenders are unfamiliar with these types of structures. However, it is far from impossible. You just need to be able to fulfill your lender's requirements as well as the stipulations set out by your particular loan program.

Are barndominiums hard to sell? ›

Families that build barndominiums tend to customize their layouts for their own needs. That's not a bad thing for them, but it could make it more difficult to sell in the long run. It also makes it extremely difficult to find comparable properties to determine if it's a good investment.

Are barndominiums good in cold weather? ›

In summary, steel-framed barndominiums offer a slew of benefits for those living in cold climates, from efficient heat transfer and increased snow load support to reduced shifting and settling.

Is it hard to insure a barndominium? ›

Insurance can be complicated for barndominium homes. According to, not all insurers cover barndos, especially if they're mixed-use instead of residential only, and those that do might have barndo-specific policies.

Are barndominiums bad investments? ›

As such, it is more difficult to assess the resale value of a Barndominium. Unlike modular homes and trailers, Barndominiums maintain their value and are likely to increase over time. If you are purely looking for a quick resale investment, a Barndominium may not be your best option.

Are barndominiums prone to mold? ›

By being made out of metal, barndominiums have similar durability to steel structures with resistance to: Mold. Mildew. Rot.

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