Standard Barndominium Foundation Requirements (2024)

Barndominium Foundations – Meeting Structural Needs

One of the most vital components underlying any lasting structure lies beneath the floors – the foundation. For barndominiums, using repurposed lumber from antique timber barns or built new, preparing proper base support proves pivotal. What key specs should owners expect for typical barndo foundation needs?

Standard Barndominium Foundation Requirements (1)

Most Prevalent Barndominium Foundations

Considering expansive clear spans and heavy load ratings required in pole barns and agriculture outbuildings, reinforced concrete slab foundations prove most prevalent for barndominiums. Benefits include:

• Supports heavier second floor load capacities if adding a future loft
• Simpler to build versus extensive excavation of perimeter footings
• More accessible construction for do-it-yourself builds
• Allows depression of slab for integrated radiant floor heating systems

Standard Barndominium Foundation Requirements (2)

Code Requirements and Typical Specifications

To meet residential occupancy regulations, most jurisdiction codes mandate:

• Minimum 5 inch thick slab thickness
• Reinforced with fiber additive or wire mesh for durability
• Anchored with j-bolts linked to integrated perimeter beam in slab
• Insulated underside sheet prior to pour to mitigate temperature transfer
• Moisture vapor barrier sheets beneath slab
• Gravel base fill for drainage below slab
• Thicker edges to prevent cracking from ground movement

Standard Barndominium Foundation Requirements (3)

Properly executed, an embedded perimeter beam concrete slab foundation formulated from high strength 5,000 PSI concrete mix designs provides ideal structural support for the tremendous clear spans and dynamic live loads generated over generations of family life within your barndo.

Standard Barndominium Foundation Requirements (4)

Consult local engineers or your floor plan designers to adapt critical specs suiting your region’s climate, soil types and codes for lasting foundations to hold your barndo for years to come.

Standard Barndominium Foundation Requirements (2024)


Standard Barndominium Foundation Requirements? ›

Slab Thickness

Does a barndominium have to be on a concrete slab? ›

Typical pole barns or steel sheds build upon dirt, gravel or very thin concrete pads just meant to keep the framing lifted off the ground. Converting these structures to barndominiums demands adding a reinforced slab to withstand occupant loading and anchor the walls.

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 kind of foundation is needed for a metal building? ›

SLAB FOUNDATION: A concrete slab foundation is the most popular choice for metal buildings. Basically, a concrete slab for metal buildings creates a floor for the structure while supporting the steel framing.

Are there load bearing walls in a barndominium? ›

A barndominium floor plan is very different from traditional homes, which must be designed with load bearing walls that limit creativity and possibilities. A barndo's steel framing eliminates the need for load bearing walls, making it easy to split a home into flexible living quarters and working spaces.

How much does it cost to pour a 40x60 concrete slab? ›

How much does a 40×60 concrete slab cost? It would be about $8,500 to $12,000 for a 40×60 foot concrete slab, 6 inches thick. That's based on national averages of around $5 per square foot for a fully engineered, finished concrete slab, including labor and materials.

Do barndominium floors crack? ›

Concrete floors in barndominiums, while susceptible to cracking, remain a durable and practical flooring option. Understanding the reasons behind concrete cracking and taking proactive steps in the design, construction, and maintenance phases can significantly mitigate this issue.

What are the negatives of barndominiums? ›

If you're considering building or buying a barndominium, consider this list of downsides before you sign your name on a dotted line:
  • Location Limitations. ...
  • Financing. ...
  • Corrosion. ...
  • Noise. ...
  • UV Exposure. ...
  • Wiring Challenges. ...
  • Reselling.
Oct 19, 2022

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.

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.

What are the footings for a Barndominium? ›

Footing Requirements

Perimeter footings should be 12″ wide, and 12″ deep. (Deeper in the event you are contending with a frost line) You can include the 4″ slab thickness in the 12″ total depth; in other words, the footing would extend 8″ below the slab.

What is the cheapest foundation for a metal building? ›

If you're working on a budget then a slab foundation is likely your best choice.

How thick should a slab be for a metal building? ›

Minimum of 4″ thick slab for normal residential use ( cars, light trucks, etc ). For commercial use, 5″ or 6″ thick slab is recommended (heavy machinery) Footing must be of 42″ in depth although some local codes allow for less depth.

What is the foundation of a barndominium? ›

Properly executed, an embedded perimeter beam concrete slab foundation formulated from high strength 5,000 PSI concrete mix designs provides ideal structural support for the tremendous clear spans and dynamic live loads generated over generations of family life within your barndo.

How thick is a barndominium wall? ›

Exterior walls for a barndominium can range from 5 inches to 20 inches depending on building style. If you have a 40×40 living area and 12-inch thick walls, your interior space is 38×38.

Can you put a basem*nt under a barndominium? ›

Absolutely. Even though it deviates from the conventional design, barndominiums can certainly be constructed with a basem*nt foundation. When planning the foundation for a barndominium, several choices are available. These include a basic concrete slab, a crawl space, or even a full basem*nt foundation.

Can you build a house without a slab? ›

Omitting the slab in a new house requires rethinking of subfloor details, but it replaces costly concrete with energy-saving insulation.

Can any floor plan be a barndominium? ›

Whether an existing floor plan or a custom design – virtually anything you can imagine, can be converted to a post frame barndominium kit, provided it is possible to do structurally at all!

Can a barndominium be built on a slope? ›

Answer: A hillside or slope will not be an issue for a post-frame building. While it may add some cost to the overall project, it is possible to construct a post-frame building on a hillside.

Should a barn have a concrete floor? ›

Concrete Floors Help Keep Your Building Clean and Dry

Dirt and gravel floors are fine for a budget build or some specific agricultural applications, but they make cleaning your barn's interior much more difficult.

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