You’ve got a nice big parcel of land in the countryside. Perhaps it was once part of a working farm. And while you don’t keep horses, cows or sheep and you aren’t looking to grow a field of corn, the idea of building a barn on your property to serve as both your home and your place of business seems an increasingly intriguing idea. But has it ever been done before?
Barndominiums – A Hot New Trend
Ever heard the expression, “Were you raised in a barn?” Maybe someday your kids can say they were! The term barndominium is self-explanatory: condominiums or living areas are built as part of a larger barn-like space that can be utilized in a wide variety of ways. The concept is similar to the live/work housing more often associated with artists’ spaces. While the idea has been around for a while, it gained greater national attention when Chip and Joanna Gaines of the popular HGTV Fixer Upper television show converted a Texas barn into a home with a large entertainment space.
How Barndominiums Compare to Standard Wood-frame Houses
Barndominiums, aka barndos, can be made of metal or wood construction and are also extremely versatile in design, but they do share one thing in common. They are built with a wide-open interior, much more like a warehouse than a typical single-family home.
Many aspects involved in the building of a home like clearing land, pouring a foundation, or installing a septic system will cost about the same whether one goes the traditional home route or with a barndominium. However, the time involved in building a barndo is typically three to six months. Compare that with up to a year with a traditional home. This is largely because metal construction barndos can be purchased as kits or as a pre-fab construction. As a result, work that might take weeks with a traditional wood frame home can be reduced to days.
The Benefits of Barndominiums
Barndos are exemplary from a construction standpoint, particularly those made with metal roofs and siding. These days, with the cost of lumber through the roof, steel buildings are much more cost-effective to build. Metal roofs are more durable and longer lasting, stand up better to the elements, and, if cared for properly, can last decades longer than their asphalt shingle counterparts. Metal doesn’t fall prey to mold, mildew, and termites like wood can. And because metal is more energy efficient, you should also enjoy lower utility bills.
And We Can’t Forget The Aesthetics
If a metal construction building has you screwing up your eyes, think again. Metal buildings have come a long way in recent years, and with so many sleek designs and colors to choose from, you’ll never have to settle for an “industrial” appearance.
And inside? Vaulted ceilings are beautiful and open up all kinds of opportunities for showcasing your favorite things. Are you an artist with large, beautiful pieces you’d like to hang? Have at it! Have you ever wondered how a 14-foot Christmas tree might look all lit up in your living room? You can do that when your home is in a barn.
But Do They Cost Less Than Traditional Wood Frame Homes?
That’s hard to answer. Much of it comes down to what part of the country you’re building in–the cost of labor and materials there–the size of your home, and whether you want just the basics or a turnkey construction.
Barndominiums are an exciting new trend offering a plethora of opportunities. But like with any great new idea, it always pays to do your homework first.