Barndominium Cost vs House

Barndominium Cost – Are you ready to put up a structure on the piece of land you just purchased? So which type of structure do you want?

Are you going to build a barndominium structure you have always dreamt about or just a house?

What is the difference in between a barndominium and a conventional house? Well, a house is normally built using bricks or wood with a limit in the height to the ceiling which is only 8 to 9 feet.

When it comes to a barndominium they are metallic with more than 14 feet ceiling height making the two quite differently outwardly but inside they are quite similar and you can raise the ceiling to the height you wish.

When it comes to cost you can save a lot during construction if managed with a lot of care. Also with right installations you can save energy. To build barndominium you must choose a good barndominium plans.

Here are the the details.

Background Information

Barn Style Metal Home

Building a custom home has been on the descending trend in the last 10 years due to the instability of the economy in different parts in the country, as a result there has been a tremendous increase in different options when it comes to home building which include small homes and barndominiums.

This is partly as a result of the costs of constructing new homes which includes, land, labor and lumber.

Many seasoned and first-time home owners are opting for traditional houses in the countryside where they originated to move away from crowded cities, this is why people are more attracted to owning barndominiums.

What is a Barndominium?

What is a Barndominium

This is a building made of steel, which can be large a times consisting rooms like living places, a garage and a shop some even make horse rooms.

These structures have proved to be affordable and efficient in energy due to their low maintenance

Just like custom homes, barndominium have also turned out to be lavish with the best and finer features.

This means you can still have the best professional-grade kitchen and the best countertops.

All this finer features just depends on the budget you have, you can even make your living quarters be four-bedroom.

Comparison in terms of cost

Barndominium Cost

Currently, the cost of constructing a home is estimated to be $290,574 excluding the cost of land considering that it is $145 per square foot for the standard 2000 square foot, this figure can differ depending on your design.

It can even come down to $115 per square foot for a home of 1500 square foot which results into a range of slightly higher than $ 172,000 to $ 400,000 for a bigger house with more features.

This amount will cover the walls, doors and windows, the bricks, vinyl and stucco siding,, not forgetting the roof.

In barndominium, the cost of erecting the outer walls is and the roof is less.

A barndominium builder can even offer his DIY client a whole set including the engineered foundation, the windows, the doors and the shell erection starting from $ 38,000

If you are personally building the inside, or you have a subcontract and you are acting like the owner, this method can really help you to save.

Many people have tried this, by starting with the shell-only kit. With this, the cost will settle within a range of $70 to $ 90 per square foot and that will be $ 70 per square foot for a barndominium of 5,000 square foot.

What do you get when you buy a shell or a “kit?”

barndominium kits

This will depend for some companies, you will just be given a skeleton of a shell for its price which can be really low like $10,000 for a kit with 900 square foot.

This is commonly done commonly by bigger national companies. They will bring down your big frame kit which you will use the dimension to make the slab that suits the frame.

The barndominium companies leading in the market today provide these features as their package:

  • An engineered concrete slab
  • Concrete floors
  • Outside doors
  • Windows
  • Spray foam insulation
  • A roof

Various builders are including “value-add” enhancements to the kit for competition purposes in the market.

Adding premium windows makes it cheaper than because you will not incur in the finishing expenses.

These are the top barndominium builders; you can click on these imagers to get to their websites to get more information and a list which includes regional builders found in Texas.

A Word on Wooden Barndominiums

Wooden Barndominiums

There are quite a number of companies in the country which will ship a kit made of wood to you so that you can build by yourself.

If you have the necessary skills you can just construct it yourself, but if you lack the skills, you can hire a subcontractor or a construction manager in to help you in assembling

Ban pros is one of the best companies in Pacific Northwest, this company pre-cuts timber that will be used which is heavy according to your measurements of your kit.

The timber is then is shipped to you in a flatbed trailer which you can join to make a barn.

Their two kits has a price range of $68,995 for 24 ft by 36 ft Huntington ban, the lowest and $72,995 Equestrian, the highest, mainly for office.

This is one of very few companies which make such structures that are durable.

These structures are however not cheap to build, the cheap ones don’t include an engineered foundation and labor plus nails.

However, the reviews on Barn Pros are outstanding, and we can recommend them and a very similar company, also out of the Pacific Northwest, called DC Structures.

However the company has a good review hence we give them recommendation along with another Pacific Northwest company called DC structures.

What’s the forecast?

forecast barn home

There is a rise in new home constructions in urban centers, for this reason, those buying homes for the first time and those who are financially limited will be left out which makes barndominiums the best choice for them.

They are cheap to construct especially if you are acting as the owner-builder, they are unique too, and one can still have their dream home in a steel structure.

The spokesperson for one company that builds steel shell states that they are witnessing more customers get into big DIY barndominiums from $ 60 per square ft to $90 per square ft. he says further that it is a revolution for a new home in this century and that these kits give a very reasonable otherwise to the custom homes and the trend will go on for more than 20 years.

More Advantages of Barndominiums

Advantages of Barndominiums

What are electricity bills like in barndominiums? The real experiences are shared in barndominium living Facebook group by 13 owners.

They mention that they have spent around $150 to cool a 2000 square feet during Texas summer; they also stated that they preferred, an open cell spray foam costing between $0.44 and $0.65 per foot of the board and closed-cell spray foam costing between $1 and $1.5 per foot of the board for insulation, which are often used along with a high R-value insulation traditional fiberglass roll

Here is an explanation from the post on the difference between an open-cell form and closed-cell spray foam

The open-Cell Foam

open-Cell Foam

Commonly known as half-pound, the open-cell foam has an R-value of 3.5 to 3.6 per inch with a density of around 0.5 pounds per cubic foot.

Such foams with a low density are formed from biological raw material.
There is also the use of water or carbon dioxide in the makeup.

There are less materials used in open-cell compared to closed-cell,, though it has a lower R-value.

Also, for the open-cell, a vapor retarder is required which is risky when used in sheathing of the roof.

Open-cell is not recommended for use during cold climate unless there is an extra barrier.

Also make a comparison of the money spent with effectiveness of the open-cell insulation.

The closed-Cell Foam

closed-Cell Foam

Also known as the two-pound foam, the closed-cell has a higher density than with around 2 pounds per cubic foot.

It has an R-value ranging between 6 and 6.5 per inch. For that reason, closed-cell is more pricy than open-cell.

The closed-cell does not require the vapor retarder because it has a permeance of 0.8 perms which enables it to handle colder climate without adding the drywall.

It uses HFCs as makeup. The material is however known for high effect of global warming hence it is not suitable if you want to have green insulation solution; you can avoid this and use closed-cell along with fiberglass batts.

Another owner Tim Thomas says that;

They use between 30 to 50 percent less of power compared to conventional houses and that is a big save.

He says he left around two feet between the wall and the metal in the internal wall for added insulation.


You can pay a visit to the barndominiums if you still doubt the fact that they are better than conventional home.

There are many of them which have scattered in rural counties in Texas and many more are coming up across from North California through to Missouri.

If you pay this visit there are high chances that you will meet one owner who will invite you.

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