Step-by-Step Guide: How to Build a Barndominium (2024)

Are you toying with the idea of building a barndominium? Perhaps you’re exploring versatile and cost-effective residential building solutions?

Check out our comprehensive guide on how to build a barndominium from scratch, step-by-step. In addition to having the right plan, you want to make sure you identify a premier manufacturer of high-quality steel buildings for commercial, industrial, and residential purposes that’s committed to delivering unparalleled quality swiftly and efficiently.

This ensures you don’t have to prematurely rebuild/repair parts of it down the road. Read on for our in-depth guide that will give you everything you need to know before diving into the barndominium building process.

The History of the Barndominium & the Steps to Build a Superior Living Space

Before we delve into the nuts and bolts of building a barndominium, it’s crucial to understand its origins and why it has gained such popularity in recent years.

The term ‘barndominium’ or ‘barndo’ symbolizes an innovative blend of barns and condominiums.

These structures originated in the Northeast and quickly gained popularity for their cost-effectiveness, durability, and adaptability. The idea is simple yet revolutionary: Combine comfortable living spaces with versatile storage or workshop areas, all under one roof.

The first barndominiums were merely barns transformed into living spaces, but over time, they evolved into purpose-built structures, combining the simplicity of a barn with the comfort and elegance of a traditional home. Today, they’re an emerging trend in the housing industry, appreciated for their functional and aesthetic appeal.

We’re at the forefront of this innovation, crafting barndominiums that tick all the boxes: superior quality, versatility, affordability, and speed of construction. We ensure that each project we take on is tailor-made to meet your unique needs and specifications.

Now that you’re familiar with what a barndominium is and why it’s a fantastic residential option, let’s dig into the 10 steps to build your dream barndominium.

1. Planning and Budgeting

No successful construction project ever started without meticulous planning and budgeting. This phase forms the foundation of your project, setting the tone for everything that follows.

Start by outlining your needs and priorities and asking yourself these questions.

  • What do you envisage your barndominium to be?
  • What spaces are absolutely essential, and what are the ‘nice-to-haves’?
  • How many bedrooms do you need? Do you require a large workshop, or is a small garage sufficient?
  • Do you plan to expand in the future?

Once you have a clear idea of what you need, move on to the budgeting stage. Establishing a solid budget is much easier with a partner like Quicken Steel who can provide you with base costs tailored to your exact build area.

Allocate funds for each segment of the construction, ensuring you include every aspect from land acquisition, materials, labor, interior finishing, to contingencies for unexpected costs. You might even need a construction loan so don’t forget about that.

A well-planned budget will not only keep your project on track but will also prevent financial surprises down the line.

2. Land Acquisition

After planning and budgeting, the next critical step is land acquisition. Your barndominium needs a plot of land, and not just any piece will do. The perfect plot of land is vital to your project’s success and influences your barndo’s design, functionality, and even your lifestyle.

Consider aspects such as location, topography, and access to utilities.

  • Is the land easily accessible?
  • Does it have a view you’d like to capture with large windows or an outdoor deck?
  • Does the local climate have implications for your barndominium’s design?

Make sure you consult professionals for a comprehensive land assessment before making a purchase.

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3. Interior Design Elements & Exterior Too

Now comes the exciting part—designing your barndominium floor plan. This is where you have the chance to customize your living spaces as per your needs.

Start with a basic sketch of your barndo, indicating the placement of rooms, doors, windows, and utilities. Remember, the beauty of a barndominium lies in its adaptability. You’re not confined by traditional home layouts—design your barndo to suit your unique lifestyle and needs.

You might want to focus on creating open living spaces, or maybe you want a large garage for your vintage car collection. Some people prefer having a dedicated workspace or even a home gym. The choices are endless, and that’s the magic of building a barndominium—you can make it your own in every way.

If you haven’t reached out to involve us in your process up to this point, now is the time. Crafting your design alongside our experts who understand both the advantages and limitations of cold-formed steel is crucial in developing a barndo that you’ll love.

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4. Obtain Permits

With a detailed design in hand, it’s time to obtain necessary building permits. This step is crucial because it ensures your project complies with local codes and regulations. Quicken Steel makes this process near seamless by offering preliminary engineering that’s submittal-ready.

Bear in mind that the process of obtaining permits varies by location and can take time. Therefore, make sure you budget enough time for this step, even when working alongside us for your submittal documents.

5. Foundation and Framing

The success of your barndominium depends largely on the strength of its foundation. Our barndos are typically built using 4-inch slab foundations, without the need for pre-set bolts, sparking cost savings from the onset without sacrificing strength.

An added layer to this cost savings is in our engineered foundation plans that are included with your barndo at no additional cost. After the foundation, the framing is erected. This forms the skeleton of your barndo, providing structure to the building. At this point, you’ll have a bright, galvanized cold-formed frame that’s standing strong and ready to sheet.

With Quicken Steel, you can rest easy knowing that these steps are carefully sorted by experts with cost savings in mind. Our team understands the importance of quality workmanship in this phase of construction, ensuring your barndominium stands strong and durable for years to come.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Build a Barndominium (3)

Need a Barndo Kit to Save Time & Money? Chat with Quicken Steel

If you’re looking to save time and money, we offer customized barndo kits. Our fully-engineered kits provide all the components needed for your barndo,, eliminating the hassle of sourcing materials separately. You’ll have everything you need delivered straight to your construction site, enabling a smoother, faster building process.

Design A Barndo For Free

6. Building Installation

Now, it’s time to move to the next phase of building installation, which includes the installation of a metal roof and exterior walls, sheeting, trim, doors, and more. Using superior-quality steel materials, this phase lays out the basic structure of your barndo, turning your design into reality.

Quicken Steel’s pre-punched components at custom lengths paired with detailed installation manuals ensure that this phase is executed with precision and speed. Our quality materials and expert team ensure a faster and smoother construction process, allowing you to see your barndominium take shape sooner than you imagined.

7. Interior Finishing

This stage is where your barndo starts feeling like home. Interior finishing involves everything inside your barndo, including flooring, wall paint, fixtures, kitchen and bathroom installations, and much more. Whether you want a rustic charm or a sleek, modern look, your interior finishing will reflect your personal style and taste.

At this stage, it’s important to consider factors like energy efficiency, maintenance, and durability when choosing materials. You might want to consider energy-efficient windows, sustainable insulation options, or easy-to-clean flooring.

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8. Install Utilities

With the interior finishing complete, it’s time for professionals to install utilities. These include electrical installations, plumbing, and HVAC systems. This phase is crucial for your barndo’s functionality, so it’s important to hire reliable professionals for these tasks.

9. Landscaping

Landscaping is often an overlooked aspect of building a home, but it significantly enhances your barndominium’s appeal. Good landscaping improves the aesthetic charm of your property, provides outdoor living spaces, and also improves drainage around your building.

Whether you want a simple, low-maintenance landscape or an elaborate garden, proper planning and design are key. Consider factors like local climate, soil type, and maintenance requirements when designing your landscape.

10. Inspection

After all the hard work and investment, it’s time to conduct a thorough inspection of your barndominium. This step ensures everything is completed to the highest standard, and the building is ready for occupancy. Any issues or defects found during the inspection should be addressed immediately.

By using a Quicken Steel authorized installer, you can drastically reduce the likelihood of issues during and after the install of your cold-formed steel barndominium.

How to Build on a Budget & Make More Energy Efficient

Building a barndominium on a budget doesn’t mean compromising on quality or comfort. It’s all about smart planning, design, and material choices. Prioritize your needs and allocate your budget accordingly. Consider using a barndo kit from Quicken Steel, which can save time and costs by providing all components you need in one fully-engineered package with expert support to match.

For energy efficiency, opt for superior insulation, energy-efficient windows, and appliances. Incorporate natural light into your design to reduce electricity consumption. A well-designed barndominium not only saves on construction costs but also leads to long-term savings on energy bills.

So, are you ready to take the plunge and build your dream barndominium? With us, your dream is closer than you think. Reach out to us via the free 3-D Online Designer to kickstart your barndo journey.

It’s time to live the barndo dream!

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Build a Barndominium (2024)


Step-by-Step Guide: How to Build a Barndominium? ›

Single-story barndominiums are generally perceived as less expensive due to several factors: – **Foundation Costs**: The foundation of a single-story barndominium typically costs less than that of a two-story structure since it bears less weight. This can lead to savings in both materials and labor.

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

Is it cheaper to build a 1 or 2 story barndominium? ›

Single-story barndominiums are generally perceived as less expensive due to several factors: – **Foundation Costs**: The foundation of a single-story barndominium typically costs less than that of a two-story structure since it bears less weight. This can lead to savings in both materials and labor.

How to build a barndominium on a budget? ›

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Barndominium Build.
  1. Be strategic about where you put your framed openings: ...
  2. Use concrete floors. ...
  3. DIY finish work (Stairs, Barn Doors, Light Fixture Installation) ...
  4. Ask for “builder grade”/“build program” or scour the remnant yard for countertops.

Is it possible to build a barndominium for 100K? ›

It is not an impossibility that you can build a barndominium for 100K. However, it is not too common. If you seek to go that route, you need to cut down on expenses and do most of the work yourself. You will need to find the right piece of land to erect your barndominium.

What is the most expensive part of building a barndominium? ›

The biggest cost of building a barndominium comes from purchasing and building the metal shell, including the roof, doors, and windows. Other major exterior features that can affect the building cost include: Metal siding.

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

What is the most cost effective barndominium size? ›

Generally the most cost-effective barndominium size falls between 1,500-2,500 square feet. The Average size Barndominium in the US falls around 2500sqft as well.

Do barndominiums 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.

How much does it cost to build a 2000 square foot barndominium? ›

The cost to build a barndominium is $65 to $160 per square foot or $130,000 to $320,000 on average for a 2,000 SF home. Barndominium prices depend on the size, materials, and interior finishes chosen. Barndominium kit prices are $20 to $35 per square foot for materials only.

How big of a barndominium can I build for 200K? ›

How big of a barndominium can I build for $200K? On the high end, barndominiums have an average cost of $150 per square foot. At that price, you can estimate a building of around 1,333 square feet for $200,000.

How big of a barndominium can I build for 300k? ›

Written by HomeAdvisor. Barndominiums cost between $120,000 and $540,000, with an average 2,400-square-foot barndominium costing $300,000 to build. The total cost to build a barndominium can vary significantly depending on the size, how much of the work you do yourself, and the finishes you choose.

How fast can a barndominium be built? ›

Interior + Exterior Design

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 size barndominium can I get for 100k? ›

To answer the title right out of the gate, A small one, With a budget of only $100k assuming you have property cleared prepped and ready you would most likely be looking at a 1000sqft barndominium or depending on the material you use maybe a sub 1000sqft dwelling.

What is the lifespan of a barndominium? ›

Longevity: Although they may not last as long as traditional homes, a well-maintained barndominium can provide comfortable living for around 50 years. 5. Durability: Barndominiums are built to withstand the elements, ensuring they remain sturdy and reliable over the years.

Can I build a barndominium by myself? ›

Barndominiums can be built by a licensed contractor, a remodeler, or even a do-it-yourselfer. Since barndos are often erected by machinery, the process tends to be quick and efficient.

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 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

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