What is a Barndominium?

A Barndominium is usually a structure with a residence combined with shop or barn space; in most Barndominiums (or Barndos) the living area is in the same building as the shop or barn. Most Barndos are constructed with a steel frame with metal siding. Some Barndos have steel frame with traditional siding. By using steel framing the interior structure of the residence is able to be protected by the steel and have non-load barring walls for single story residences. This allows for a potentially unlimited floor plan.

General Overall Planning

When starting your planning process there are a few thing to consider:

  • Location- A Barndominium is usually built in a rural setting (in the country)
  • Home Owners Association- Do to the location of most Barndominiums Home Owners Associations are usually non existent although some rural neighborhoods encourage Bardos and do have HOA's.
  • Insurance- You will want to get multiple quotes for home owners insurance and pay attention to deductible and coverage, not just premiums. A few things to consider: trees, pool, roof, construction materials, fencing, and more.
  • Financing- Have you been pre-qualified? Generally most lenders will not finance Barndominiums unless the have close comps.
  • Permits- only required when you are building in city limits in most cases.
  • Blue Prints / Floor Plans- Have you selected a floor plan? Do you need an architect or help with design? We work with a local architectural design group.

Space Planning

When it comes to planning a Barndominium you want to consider the square footage of the residence, number of bed and bathrooms, storage and size of the shop or barn. When planning the shop space determine what you will be utilizing the shop for and then increase the square footage. Most Barndos have the luxury of having plenty of storage space above the residence accessed from within the shop or barn area.

HVAC Planning

By using the storage space above the residence, the HVAC system can be placed in any area for maximum efficiency. In a traditional home, duct work and the A/C unit can take up a lot of space in the attic or a closet, but not with a barndo.  

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray Foam is the most efficient form of insulation on the market. Although spray foam is more costly upfront, the energy savings is remarkable. Spray foam once dried will strengthen and seal a building. It will allow you to decrease the size of the HVAC and with spray foam the HVAC system will run less and hold temperature for longer periods of time creating cost savings.  

Planning your Lighting, Plugs, and Switches

Lights and outlets should be plentiful, turning on a light switch should never leave a room still dark. Have you ever needed an outlet an there was not one close enough. Will you need outlets in the floor? Switch placement is key, you don't want to walk across a room in the dark to get to a switch. Windows and natural light should be considered and part of the planning process.  


Choosing the right flooring that will accent your wall color and cabinets will help create a welcoming feeling. Your floors will be one of the first things people see when they walk through your door. You want to consider price, look, feel, sound, durability, and placement. Flooring has come a long way in the last few years from snap together floors, laminated wood, carpet, and wood grained tile. Keeping it as simple as stained concrete is a great look as well.  

Septic System Planning

Many counties require Aerobic Septic System, depending on dig test a traditional system may be acceptable. Septic systems are generally placed fairly close to the residence and require minor maintenance throughout the year. Aerobic systems require a licensed service company to maintain the system throughout the year.  

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