Yes, you can absolutely build a Barndominium in California! California is notorious for its sky-rocketing house prices that can be unattainable, so why not build your own custom home for around the same price (or cheaper)?
Barndominiums are common in Texas due to their abundance of barn and metal pole structures, and have since become popular in other states in California, Washington, and Virginia.
The climate in Texas is not dissimilar to the climate in California, which is one of the main advantages to Barndominiums. Barndominiums are extremely hardy and very suitable for hot, desert climates like California.
This is because of its metal outer shell, which is resistant to rusting from snow and rain and keeps the house fresh and cool during the dry seasons.
Whether you’re an agricultural person or not, Barndominiums might help you to connect with the wild style of America. Traditionally, Barndominiums were built by people who owned horses in Texas who didn’t want to travel to their barn and back to their house several times a day.
If you have horses or other barn animals, a Barndominium can kill two birds with one stone by keeping your property all in one place! If you don’t have horses, at least the house looks pretty.
As we said, California is a very expensive state to live in - let alone buy a house in. You might find that it is actually cheaper to renovate a barn into a Barndominium than to buy a house.
This is often preferred by new homeowners as they won’t have to worry about renovating an expensive house into their dream home, as they can make a home from an existing structure for less money.
Barndominiums are so affordable because the main structure of the building has already been erected, so the rest of the construction time is usually affordable and takes less time than starting a house from scratch.
This also means you can spend your extra money (that would otherwise go to a regular Californian house) on extra amenities such as a pool, furniture, custom fittings, and more.
Due to their custom design, Barndominiums are generally much larger than regular Californian houses. You could be living your fantasy lifestyle in a mini-mansion with your kids, or just with your partner for the added sense of luxury.
The only thing to consider when looking to build a Barndominium in California is the builder you choose to hire.
Fortunately, there is an abundance of building companies available in California - but you still want to find the one who will turn your dreams into reality. You should research their reputation, and whether they specialize in working with metal and steel pole structures.
You must also find a suitable piece of land to build a Barndominium. Fortunately, California isn’t exactly small, so there are plenty of plots available.
You just need to focus on the area you’d like, the size of the plot, and how close it is to other residences. This is so your new home is accessible to electricity and plumbing like the surrounding homes.
How much does it cost to build a Barndominium in California?
It is generally much more affordable to build a Barndominium in California than it is to buy a Californian house.
Barndominiums can cost between $237,000 and £350,000 in California on average. This doesn’t include extra expenses, but even those are inexpensive. In comparison, the average Californian home costs around $500,000.
As the structure of a Barndominium is already built for you, the cost of the labor is somewhat cut in half than if you were to build a house from scratch. It all starts with purchasing a shell kit, which can cost anywhere between $25,000 and $60,000 depending on the square footage of the plot.
The square footage will also determine the cost of labor, which is usually around $250 per square foot. The delivery costs range between $5,000 and $15,000.
Your main concern is the size of the land. A lot of the costs are determined by the square footage. So, if you were to purchase a 1,000 square foot Barndominium, then it will cost around $237,000. Larger Barndominiums will inevitably cost a lot more.
You can either hire builders from a reputable company who have experience with building around metal or steel pole structures, or you can get your hands grubby and try some DIY.
For the structure of the Barndominium, it’s recommended that you hire professional builders. If you want to cut the costs, you have a lot of freedom to complete projects by yourself.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as finding a barn you want and converting it into a home. You will have to consider the cost of the land, which can be around $10,000.
You will also have to look into permits to build, which can amount to around 18% of the cost to build. The land will also have to be leveled to support the structure of the home, which can cost several thousand dollars as well.
The cost of furnishings and fittings must be considered also, including fireplaces, premium-quality floors, a fancy kitchen, extra bedrooms, high-end bathrooms, and more. However, this is still a lot cheaper than buying a Californian house for $500,000 and then spending extra money on renovations.
As you would expect, you can’t exactly get a typical mortgage for an unconventional house like a Barndominium.
You will have to apply for a construction loan that lasts a year (or until the Barndominium is built), which then turns into a mortgage if the loan hasn’t been paid off by this time. This is known as a construction-to-permit.
You will have to pay around 20% of the loan value to apply for a construction loan. You will also need proof of how you intend to pay the loan back, a credit score of at least 680+, and you can’t spend more than 45% of your income on debt.
In short, Barndominiums are an affordable way to create a forever home in California.