Can You Build a Barndominium in Rhode Island?

There are no laws that state that you cannot build a Barndominium in Rhode Island. You can build a Barndominium, otherwise known as a barndo, almost anywhere.

However, there are a few considerations to take into account before deciding where you’re going to build your Barndominium. We’ve listed these below for your convenience and to see if Rhode Island is the right place for you.

Climate and Weather

Rhode Island has a humid climate with cold winters and short summers. The average temperature of the year is 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which is rather cold for the United States. The temperature ranges between 28 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 73 degrees Fahrenheit in July.

Modern Barndominiums tend to be made from metal which can keep heat out during the summer and trap the heat in during the winter. This is ideal for Rhode Island’s cold spells so that you can spend less on heating your living space.

However, Rhode Island is also a humid state which is not the best weather for a metal structure to be subjected to. It can lead to premature rusting, reduction in strength, and loud disruptive noises.

Rhode Island also gets more rainfall and snowfall on average than the United States overall. Again, this is not ideal for metal structures.

Land Availability

You can find an impressive amount of land available to purchase on Rhode Island, most of which are ideal for building Barndominium. You only need around one-fifth of an acre to build an average Barndominium, depending on how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need.

However, many people choose to invest in more land so that they can use it for profitable activities, or simply because they want their own space. If this appeals to you, you might want to consider how much land you want beforehand.

Keep in mind that Rhode Island has one of the highest farm real estate values in the nation, meaning that you’ll need to pay more for a smaller plot of land than if you were to opt for another state.

How much does it cost to build a Barndominium in Rhode Island?

Before you even think about building a Barndominium in Rhode Island, you’ll first need to choose your plot of land. In 2017, the value of all land and buildings on farms in the United States averaged $3,080 per acre.

However, in Rhode Island, the farm real estate value was the highest in the USA at $13,800 per acre. This is an incredibly steep increase that not everyone will be able to afford, or want to pay for.

A Barndominium is an investment in itself, and this land price will increase the costs even more. It can reduce your budget for stylistic choices which is annoying to people who want to build their own barndos so that they can put their own touch on it.

To build your own Barndominium, you’ll need to budget between $5,000 and $70,000 for the kit alone. This price can vary depending on your style and square footage requirements. For example, a 2000 square foot barndo with a porch and large bay windows will cost more than a 1000 square foot alternative with none of these luxuries.

Aside from the kit, you’ll also need to consider a number of other factors for your Barndominium. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Foundation: $4,000 to $12,500
  • Plumbing: $400 to $1,900
  • Septic tank: $3,200 to $9,500
  • Air conditioning: $3,800 to $7,300
  • Furnace: $2,600 to $6,200
  • Siding: $6,000 to $16,000
  • Permits: $400 to $2,000
  • Labor costs: $3,500 to $45,000

You don’t necessarily have to spend money on all of these things. For example, air conditioning might be able to be removed from the list thanks to the colder climate of Rhode Island. However, this is an average list of what most Barndominium owners want.

So, along with the Barndominium kit, the average cost of your barndo could be between $28,900 and $170,400. It is very unlikely that you will reach the top end of this estimate, but equally as unlikely that you’ll manage to only spend the lower end of the estimate. Of course, you can’t forget the cost of your plot of land.

One of the great things about Barndominiums is that you can decide exactly how you want it to look. However, these choices will also affect the overall cost and you’ll often find that you need to plan your budget on what’s most important to you.

Below are some of the choices you’ll need to make.

Materials Used

Your contractor will often offer you a list of materials that you can use for the Barndominium and its roof. These will come in a variety of prices and it will be up to you whether you go for the cheapest or not.

Bear in mind that cheap materials might not last as long as more expensive ones, and they might not look as nice. You’ll often want to choose the materials that are in keeping with your initial vision of your dream house. However, if these are too expensive for your budget you might need to alter your expectations.

The roofing for a Barndominium can be flexible to whatever you want it to look like, from clay tiles to wooden shingles. You’ll want to opt for strong materials when it comes to your barndo in Rhode Island so that the bad weather doesn’t ruin the roof too much too quickly.

Your Contractor

To get the best deal, you should get quotes from as many contractors as you can before booking one of them. Opting for the first that you find might mean that you’re spending too much on the labor costs, meaning you can’t afford the stylistic finishes that you once wanted.

Make sure that you look for reviews of the contractors as well to ensure that no previous customers have been scammed or feel like they’ve paid too much for the work done.