Modern barndominium

How Much Does a Barndominium Cost to Build? 5 Factors, 5 Types, & 5 Benefits to Consider 

Barndominiums are rapidly gaining popularity across the USA, presenting a unique blend of rustic charm and modern living. These versatile structures offer a cost-effective, customizable, and energy-efficient alternative to traditional homes. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into everything you need to know about barndominiums, from the essential cost factors and diverse building types to their extraordinary benefits.

What is a Barndominium?

Barndominiums, colloquially known as “barndos,” are an exciting and innovative entry in the architectural and home design arena. These structures cleverly blend the functionality of a barn with the comfort and elegance of a condominium. Originally arising from the rural landscapes of Texas, these hybrid houses have surged in popularity across the United States and beyond.

In essence, a barndominium is a steel or metal building that more closely resembles a barn and has been transformed into a livable space. Its name is a fusion of “barn” and “condominium.” The barn aspect reflects its origin as a storage facility for farm equipment and livestock, while the condominium aspect signifies the transformation of such structures into comfortable, modern living spaces.

Despite their name, modern barndominiums are far from your ordinary barn. They are fully insulated, equipped with heating and cooling systems, and may include luxury amenities like loft areas, high ceilings, grand entrances, open floor plans, large windows, and modern kitchens and bathrooms.

The beauty of barndominiums lies in their versatility. They can be tailored to meet the needs of almost anyone, from farmers and ranchers needing large storage spaces to city dwellers seeking a unique yet luxurious country retreat.

5 Barndominium Cost Factors to Breakdown

Beginning the process of building a barndominium starts with understanding the costs involved. In this section, we’ll break down the 5 key cost factors that play crucial roles in your barndominium project’s budget.

  • Land

One of the critical cost factors for building your barndominium is the land. The cost to purchase land varies greatly depending on its location, size, topography, and access to essential services like electricity, water, and sewer or septic systems.

In addition to the initial cost of the land, you’ll also need to consider the cost of preparing it for construction. This may include clearing vegetation, grading the land to ensure proper drainage, and bringing in necessary utilities. All of these preparations can add significantly to the cost of your project.

  • Building Size

The size of your barndominium is a significant factor affecting the overall cost. 

A larger structure will require more building materials, translating into higher costs. However, one of the advantages of barndominiums is that they often cost less per square foot than traditional homes, especially if you opt for an open floor plan that minimizes the need for internal walls. Our barndominiums make open floor plans easy with no load-bearing interior walls, providing you with not only flexibility but also cost savings.

When determining the size of your barndominium, it’s crucial to plan for your current and future needs. While a smaller, compact barndo may be ideal for a couple or a small family, you may need to consider additional space if you plan to grow your family, work from home, or need extra space for hobbies or storage

While it’s more budget-friendly to build ‘up’ versus ‘out,’ most barndominium manufacturers don’t offer multi-story options. We at Quicken Steel, however, can provide you with several multi-story options if additional space is necessary but your budget is limited. 

  • Interior Design (and Exterior)

The complexity of your barndominium design can significantly impact the cost. A simple, rectangular structure with a basic interior layout will cost less than a barndominium with multiple wings, high ceilings, large custom windows, high-end finishes, or other complex design elements.

When considering design costs, it’s important to strike a balance between aesthetics and budget. While it’s natural to want a barndominium that is aesthetically pleasing and reflects your style, it’s also important to keep costs in check. 

Working with an experienced designer or architect can help you optimize your design to meet both your aesthetic and budgetary requirements. To further your commitment to maximizing your budget, we suggest working with your manufacturer in the early stages of your planning before committing to a floor plan that may not be suited for a barndominium at all.

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  • Building Materials

The choice of materials for your barndominium can greatly impact your overall costs. High-quality materials such as premium steel for the structure, high-end appliances for the kitchen, or luxury finishes for the interiors will add to the cost.

While it’s tempting to cut costs by choosing cheaper materials, it’s important to consider the long-term implications. Lower-quality materials may need to be replaced more frequently and could lead to higher maintenance costs down the line, including higher utilities costs due to budget roofing finishes or rust due to non-galvanized structural materials. 

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  • Labor Costs

Labor is another significant cost factor. The cost of labor can vary greatly depending on your location, the complexity of your project, and the current demand for construction workers.

One way to save on labor costs is to take a DIY approach. However, this is only recommended if you have the necessary skills, time, and tools. Without these, a DIY project can quickly become overwhelming and potentially more costly if mistakes need to be fixed.


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

Building a barndominium from scratch requires time, planning, and coordination. One way to streamline this process is to invest in a barndo kit. Our kits are fully-engineered, slab to structure, and include all the documentation and materials you need to construct your barndominium, taking the guesswork out of the process.

Quicken Steel offers a 3-D Online Designer letting you fully customize options to suit your specific needs and tastes. This means you can still have a barndominium that reflects your style and meets your needs, without the stress of coordinating every aspect of the design and construction process.

Design Your Barndo Online

Quicken’s barndominium kits not only save you money as you’ll receive your barndo kit from our one-stop shop, but they’ll also save you time. With a clear set of instructions and all materials at hand, you may be able to reduce labor costs by either undertaking construction work yourself or by providing an erector with a ready-to-assemble barndo kit that doesn’t require custom fabrication on site. 

If you’re interested in designing your barndo kit, Quicken is here to help. We can discuss your needs, show you options, and give you a free quote. Just reach out to start the conversation.

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5 Barndominium Build Types to Consider

Diversity of designs is one of the many charms of barndominiums. Let’s explore 5 distinct barndominium build types, each with unique attributes to suit varied preferences and requirements, and inspire your barndominium project.

  • Lofted

One popular barndominium design is the lofted type. With this design, you can have living space split across two floors, rather than one. This reduces the cost necessary to multiply your living space since you’re building ‘up’ and not ‘out’. This loft can be used as a master suite, guest rooms, or even an office or hobby space.

What sets lofted barndos apart is their ability to offer separate, private spaces while still maintaining an open feel. The vaulted ceiling creates a spacious, airy atmosphere, while the loft area provides a cozy retreat.

Furnished Barndominium Interior

  • Ranch Style

Ranch style barndos take inspiration from traditional ranch houses. They are characterized by a single-story layout, wide footprint, and an open floor plan. This style is perfect for families with young children or older adults who want to avoid stairs.

Ranch style barndos often have large, spacious kitchens and living areas, making them great for entertaining. Plus, their sprawling layout gives you plenty of room to customize and adapt the space to your needs.

Ranch style barndominium

  • Two-story

For those with smaller plots of land or who want more living space without increasing the footprint, a two-story barndo is an excellent choice. This design allows you to double your square footage by building up rather than out.

Two-story barndos often feature open-concept living areas on the ground floor, with bedrooms and bathrooms on the second floor. They provide a good separation between the public and private areas of the house, and they can accommodate larger families or multi-generational living.

Quicken Steel’s two-story barndominiums utilize a fully cold-formed mezzanine as a structural element in the overall design. What does this mean for you? Up to double the square footage of a comparable single-story design with only a slight increase in the overall price.

Two story barndominium

  • Garage-apartment

Garage-apartment barndos combine living space with substantial storage or workshop space. The design generally includes a large garage area on the first floor, with living quarters situated above.

This type of barndominium is perfect for those who need a place to store vehicles, tools, or equipment, or who want a large workspace for hobbies or home businesses. The living quarters can be as simple or as luxurious as you want, making this type of barndo both versatile and practical.

Garage apartment style barndominium

  • Modern

For fans of contemporary design, modern barndos are the way to go. These designs incorporate elements like sleek lines, large windows, minimalist aesthetics, and state-of-the-art technology. They are the perfect blend of rural charm and modern sophistication, offering the best of both worlds.

Modern Barndominium

5 Superb Benefits of a Barndominium Kit

A barndominium kit offers a cost-effective and efficient way to construct a unique and customizable living space, blending the rustic charm of a barn with modern residential conveniences. With pre-engineered designs and materials included, these kits enable quicker assembly and often provide more durability and energy efficiency compared to traditional homes. The combination of practicality and aesthetic appeal makes barndominium kits an increasingly popular choice among homeowners seeking both.

  • Durability

One of the standout benefits of barndominiums is their durability. 

Constructed primarily from steel, they are designed to withstand various weather conditions. They are also resistant to common issues like termites and rot, which can plague traditional wooden homes. Quicken Steel barndos feature galvanized cold-formed steel, which takes protection of your home to the next level, guarding against rust and paint erosion that may occur with other steel builds.

  • Cost-effectiveness

Barndominiums are generally less expensive to build than traditional houses. This is primarily due to their simple design and construction, and the use of cost-effective materials. They can also be more energy-efficient, leading to lower utility bills over time.

  • Energy Efficiency

Speaking of energy efficiency, barndominiums are known for their superior insulation. Steel, the primary material used in their construction, is an excellent insulator. 

Combine this with modern insulation materials and techniques, and you’ve got a home that’s energy-efficient, keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

  • Customizability

Barndominiums are incredibly customizable. 

Whether you’re starting with a blank slate or using a barndo kit as your base, you can tweak the design to suit your specific needs and tastes. From the layout of the rooms to the style of the fixtures, the possibilities are endless.

  • Low Maintenance

Given their robust construction and the use of hard-wearing materials, barndominiums typically require less maintenance than traditional homes. This saves you both time and money, leaving you free to enjoy your home rather than constantly working on it.

Need a Barndo Kit? Get a Free Quote

If you’re intrigued by the benefits of a barndominium and are considering building one, a barndo kit is a great option. Quicken Steel’s kits are designed by you with expert guidance and simplify the building process, saving time, money, and stress.

Design a Barndo

Each kit comes fully engineered, slab to structure, with all the materials you need to construct your barndominium. Plus, they’re customizable with our 3-D Online Designer, so you can add personal touches. If you’re interested in a barndo kit, just reach out to us. 

We’d be happy to discuss your needs, show you options, and give you a free, no-obligation quote.

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Barndominium DIY Kit vs. Hiring a Pro


While going the DIY route can save money upfront, it’s crucial to weigh this against the potential pitfalls. If you’re inexperienced, you could end up making costly mistakes that a professional would avoid.

Professionals bring their expertise, experience, and resources to the table. They can ensure that your project complies with local building codes and that the final result is safe and sturdy. 

Quicken Steel’s network of dealers and authorized installers know what it takes to erect your barndo on a short timeline without sacrificing quality.

If you’re on a tight budget, you might consider a combination of the two approaches. Hire a pro for the more complex tasks, like laying the concrete foundation and erecting the structure, and then take on the finishing work yourself.

Barndominium FAQs

If you’re considering a barndominium, you likely have many questions. In this section, we’ll tackle the most common ones, such as:

  • How long does it take to build a barndominium?
      • The time it takes to build a barndominium can vary significantly based on various factors such as the size of the structure, its design complexity, and whether you’re building it from scratch or using a barndo kit. On average, a barndominium can take anywhere from 4 to 9 months to build, from foundation to finishes. This timeline could be shorter if you’re using a kit or could extend longer if you’re opting for a complex, custom design or dealing with unexpected barndominium construction delays. The most crucial factor in determining your timeline is how early you connect with an experienced manufacturer and the timeline that manufacturer has. Quicken Steel is your go-to expert in this area, having shipped thousands of cold-formed structures with production timelines ranging from as little as 2-4 weeks. 
  • Can I finance a barndominium like a regular home?
      • Yes, you can finance a barndominium much like a regular home. However, it’s important to note that some lenders might be less familiar with barndominiums, leading to some challenges in securing financing. You might have to shop around to find a lender who understands and is willing to finance this type of property. One-time close construction loans are most common with agricultural loans sometimes applicable if the property qualifies.
  • What kind of foundation is required for a barndominium?
    • The type of foundation required for a barndominium largely depends on the land it’s being built on and local building codes. A common choice for many barndominiums is a concrete slab foundation due to its strength and simplicity. Quicken Steel barndos often require as little as a 4-inch slab, saving you significantly on concrete alone. However, other options such as pier foundations could be used, especially in areas with specific soil types or if the land is prone to flooding. It’s always a good idea to consult with a local contractor or building inspector to determine the most suitable foundation for your particular site. Whichever route you choose, Quicken Steel includes engineered foundation plans at no cost to you, unless a custom plan is required.
  • How energy-efficient are barndominiums?
    • Barndominiums can be very energy-efficient, especially when designed with energy conservation in mind. The metal structure and modern insulation techniques used in barndominiums provide excellent thermal regulation, keeping the interior comfortable in various weather conditions. Additionally, barndominiums’ design often includes large, double-pane windows that provide abundant natural light while minimizing heat loss. You can also incorporate energy-efficient systems like solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, and LED lighting to further improve the barndominium’s energy efficiency.
  • What is the lifespan of a barndominium?
    • Barndominiums are known for their durability and longevity. Given that they are primarily constructed from steel, like many of the long-standing iconic buildings we all recognize, they are resistant to many of the issues that can affect traditional wooden homes, such as termites and rot. Quicken Steel barndos offer an additional layer of benefits by using cold-formed steel, which is rust-resistant and doesn’t require paint that will eventually fade or chip. With proper maintenance, a barndominium can easily last several decades, often upwards of 60 to 70 years. Some elements of the home, such as the roof or appliances, may need to be replaced over time, but the primary structure can remain sound for a very long time.


How to Save Loads of Money + Time on Your Barndominium Plans

From choosing a barndo kit to making wise design and material choices, there are numerous ways to save on your barndominium project. 

Good planning and organization can also save you time, minimizing delays and costly last-minute changes.

Working with experienced professionals at Quicken can help ensure that your project stays on track and on budget. We can offer valuable advice and guidance, helping you avoid common pitfalls and make the most of your investment.

Remember, while it’s important to keep costs in check, it’s equally important to invest in quality materials and craftsmanship. This will ensure that your barndominium stands the test of time and continues to provide comfort and value for years to come.

Building a barndominium is an exciting and cost-effective option for anyone looking to construct a new home. By understanding the cost factors, exploring the various build types, and weighing the benefits, you can make an informed decision and embark on your barndo journey.


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