A barndominium home has been used for decades by resourceful landowners, but the house barn has stepped into the spotlight recently as an attractive alternative to a traditional home. Aside from a simplified building process, these steel structures can save big money too, allowing the landowner or real estate investor to spend their extra capital elsewhere. Read on to find out how people are turning a metal building into a comfortable home for half the price.
What is a barndominium?
A barndominium is most often a steel building that looks like an ordinary barn or large storage shed on the outside but has been finished on the interior to have all the traditional amenities of a home. But don't be fooled into thinking it's essentially a partially finished garage. The barn is usually a comfortable, polished, and functional home.
A steel barndominium interior will usually have a nice spacious open floor plan, an airy vaulted ceiling, and plenty of square footage for an extra great room or office. They will have finished bathrooms, lots of windows, and nice kitchens with all the normal appliances. And as they have grown in popularity, so too have the floor plan layouts and finishes.
People traditionally look into barndominium construction when they are looking for an affordable option to build a house. It may be for land they plan to retire on, but they aren't ready to invest in the big dream home because the move in date is still so far off. It could be for a temporary home as they are building the other permanent residence or picking away at a fixer upper. Or it could be used as a getaway spot or for visitors who are staying for short periods of time.
But tides are turning: Over 40% are now permanent residents. If you're concerned about curb appeal, a barndominium builder can lay stonework on the outside to give it a more traditional feel or use wood siding for a "never would've known it's a metal structure" look. They tend to resell well; plus, you're not working in a niche market like you are with something like a tiny home.
How much does it cost to build a barndominium?
The price to build a modular home is between $180,000 and $360,000. The cost to build a traditional home is between $165,000 and $480,000. The cost to build a barndominium is between $74,000 and $230,000. At less than half the price of traditional building options, it becomes abundantly clear why so many people are drawn to this concept.
Some might compare it to a tiny home for concept and utility. While a tiny home may only cost between $30,000 and $60,000, the house will be less than 600 square feet. Not exactly apples to apples when you consider that a typical barndominium is between 1,000 and 4,000 square feet.
At an average cost of $150,000 for the metal building kit, the installation, and finishing the interior, a barndominium really shines when compared to many other building approaches. As with any build, the costs will vary depending on the size, features, and quality. Adding a carport, granite countertops, or extra family room will add costs just like they would in any other case.
Why invest in a barndominium?
A barndominium is not only trendy, it's also durable. The steel framing makes exterior maintenance a breeze, meaning less work for you as the investor. There are no concerns about termites, wood rot, or exterior painting for the metal siding, and no need to set aside funds for new shingle roofs, since it is a metal roof with twice the lifespan.
A metal barndominium is well suited to any climate and is great for fire-prone areas because it will not burn. You will also have long-term savings in insurance, as the durability will be reflected in your premiums. Plus they can be built to be incredibly energy efficient if you're planning on doing something like a vacation rental or Airbnb where you will be footing the utility bill.
The Millionacres bottom line
Barndominiums are trending, and it's easy to see why. While being significantly cheaper than their traditional counterparts per square foot, they also come with additional benefits. Just make sure to research zoning regulations before ordering your kit.
Also keep in mind that only select mortgage brokers will write a mortgage for a barndominium. So plan on shopping around a bit or have the cash on hand to cover the build. Regardless of whether you are contemplating this for a flip or a hold, a barndominium holds great potential for investing.