Barndominiums are an increasingly popular real estate trend, providing residents with distinctive lifestyle and customization options that stand out from traditional housing units. Unfortunately, their nonconventional design may discourage some from making the leap.

In recent years, barndominiums have become a popular choice for those seeking a blend of functionality, affordability, and unique design. Whether you’re looking for a spacious living area, a versatile workspace, or a low-maintenance home, a barndominium might just be the perfect solution for your needs.

What Is A Barndominium

If you’ve ever come across the term “barndominium” or “barndo” and wondered what it means, you’re not alone. Barndominiums have been gaining popularity in recent years, especially in rural areas. But what exactly is a barndominium?

Simply put, a barndominium is a type of residential building that combines the functionality of a barn with the comfort and design of a traditional home. The word itself is a blend of “barn” and “condominium,” highlighting the unique nature of these structures.

Barndominiums typically feature a large open space, similar to the interior of a barn, which serves as a multipurpose area for various activities. This open space can be used as a living room, dining area, or even a workshop, depending on the owner’s needs. The remaining portion of the building is dedicated to bedrooms, bathrooms, and other essential living spaces.

The rest of the article will outline potential pros of this design concept.


One of the hallmarks of barndo homes for many buyers is their expansive space. Boasting high ceilings and open layout, barndos can easily be tailored to meet individual homeowner’s individual needs and tastes, including kitchens, living areas and lofts, or simply anything that comes to mind!

Due to being constructed out of metal, barndos tend to be cheaper per square foot than traditional homes due to reduced decorating needs and maintenance costs. Furthermore, their steel exterior requires less upkeep compared with materials such as brick or roof shingles, saving even more on maintenance expenses! Other factors can influence costs as well, including location and gradient of land.  It is key that you choose an area compliant with local zoning laws and not susceptible to flooding when selecting your barndominium site.

Barndominiums may not offer adequate sound insulation from outside noises; highway traffic, weather and birds become amplified more than they would be in homes constructed of wood or other materials. If this is something that bothers you, a barndo may not be your best option.

If half of your barndo is used as both work/life space and living area, it’s crucial that it remains separate to ensure an effective work/life balance. Traffic noise or distractions from an office could impede work performance negatively.  To protect yourself from this impactful scenario, ensure your workspace is located apart from living area.


Many homeowners choose the rustic aesthetic of a barndominium by opting for designs that resemble classic barns with weathered wood siding and classic red or gray color palettes. Others may want their home customized specifically to meet their tastes by working with architects or designers on creating customized plans to reflect individual tastes and preferences.

Due to their sturdy steel construction, most barndominiums require less maintenance than traditional homes, saving both money and time by eliminating painting, staining, and repairing exterior surfaces, as well as cleaning the yard more regularly. Furthermore, they often come equipped with foam insulation which reduces energy costs and increases comfort levels.

However, a barndominium’s high ceilings can present problems for people living alone or with partners. Highway traffic noise will likely amplify more than in traditional homes.

To accommodate a barndominium, you may require a substantial plot of land. While this might not be an issue if you prefer living out in the country, working from home or commuting could potentially become limited options.


One reason barndos are becoming more and more popular is due to their lower construction costs per square foot compared to traditional houses. This is partly owing to steel being cheaper than many materials used in traditional housing construction, while their simple build can help keep initial costs at bay.

Simple barndominiums not only reduce construction costs but can also save homeowners money on upfront fees such as insurance premiums and property taxes, making more money available for bills, savings accounts, or entertainment expenses in the future.

Note that living in a barndominium could make noise from outside your home more noticeable than it would in a regular house due to limited soundproofing between it and the outside world, meaning you might hear highway traffic, weather patterns, birds singing outside your windows or neighbors more clearly than usual.

For those unable to pay their new barndominium all at once, personal loans and other forms of financing may provide the solution they need. This option is especially helpful for individuals with poor credit histories or limited income who want to avoid taking out mortgage payments that they might not be able to afford in full upfront.

Note that when purchasing land for your barndominium, utility services may not yet exist in that area. Connecting water and electricity may add up quickly and become costly.  Depending on the size and location of your property, you may have to opt for installing a septic tank.  This will take more time and several thousand dollars.


Barndominiums offer homeowners who require additional space an excellent solution. Boasting ample storage spaces, barndominiums can serve as workshop or garage as well as place to live all at the same time, even being converted into mother-in-law suites and hobby studios! When used creatively and imaginatively, their potential uses are limitless!

Many homeowners opt for the rustic charm of a barndominium, creating an authentic-looking space that recalls traditional barns with weathered wood siding and classic red or gray color palettes. Others prefer more personalized styles reflecting their individual styles and personalities.  Either way, its spaciousness provides ample opportunity for customization of floor plans, interior finishes and fixtures.

Barndo is also an excellent solution for individuals who strive to reduce their environmental footprint. Many barndominium kits are constructed from recyclable and renewable resources.  Additionally, many manufacturers provide green energy solutions which help lower energy costs while decreasing your carbon footprint.

Barndominiums offer another advantage by being habitable during construction. This enables homeowners to save money on insurance and tax costs until the home is completely finished, creating significant cost-savings over traditional housing.  This may act as an incentive to potential buyers who may otherwise hesitate to invest in an unfinished property.


Barndominiums are more environmentally-friendly than traditional homes. Constructed from steel instead of trees, barndominiums reduce tree cutting while modern barndominiums come equipped with insulation and energy efficient windows which further decrease their ecological impact.

These homes are constructed to last approximately one century with proper care and maintenance.  Therefore, they make an ideal option for people looking for an off-grid lifestyle or desiring an escape from big cities.

Home modifications are easier with barndominiums than with traditional structures, which makes them perfect for families needing additional space for children or guests. Another advantage of barndominiums is that they’re flexible. You can add rooms or change layout without too much difficulty, a huge benefit when considering purchasing one!

Home built on steel frames are more resilient to extreme weather conditions such as tornadoes and hurricanes than traditional structures, saving owners money in insurance premiums and repairs in the long run.

One disadvantage of barndominiums is their need for large pieces of land to build them on, which may not be an issue for those seeking rural living, but could make finding buyers difficult in today’s work-from-home world. Furthermore, being located in rural areas often means extra fees and charges associated with providing local water and power services.  You will need to check on the availability of internet service.

Although barndominiums have seen increased exposure since being featured on an episode of HGTV’s Fixer Upper featuring Chip and Joanna Gaines as home renovation duo, many still are unfamiliar with them as a real estate option. Though living in one may offer numerous advantages, it’s essential that all pros and cons be carefully considered before making your final decision.

Barndominium Floor Plans

People looking to design their own barndominiums can utilize free 3D floor planners as an aid in creating the ideal layout. While previously this task required hiring an architect or interior designer, modern technology has made it possible for anyone to develop floor plans quickly and accurately on their own using these easy-to-use floor planners that can be personalized perfectly to meet individual needs.

Your barndominium plans can have a dramatic impact on how your new structure looks, so it is vital that you take time to consider all your options carefully. There are plenty of online resources that offer examples of barndominium designs.  Many websites even feature forums where homeowners and builders can discuss ideas with one another and get valuable advice based on experience.  It can help ensure you make the best use out of your design as well as avoiding costly errors later.

Professional barndominium floor plans can also be designed. Many architects and interior designers specialize in barndominium construction and can adjust standard templates to meet your specific requirements if you prefer not doing the work yourself or are short on time. This may be ideal if you prefer doing your work yourself but lack the expertise.

Premade barndominium plans are available from several companies.  When possible, look for plans with pictures from previous builds, or an excellent virtual model.

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