Barndominiums are becoming an increasingly popular choice among homeowners across a number of states for their practicality and affordability. Barndominiums, or barndos, are an alternative to traditional-build houses and offer a versatile and customizable space that will fit almost any budget. One of the most affordable ways to build a barndo is to purchase a barndominium kit and build it yourself. This article provides an easy-to-understand description of barndominium kits, reviews their benefits, trade-offs, and costs.
What is a Barndominium Kit?
A barndominium kit is basically a prefabricated barndo that requires assembly you or a contractor can do. These are customizable and come in a large variety of styles, whether you’re looking for a simple barndo or something modern or contemporary. These kits typically come with metal or steel framing. Common barndo sizes include 30x40, 40x60, 60x60, and 60x70.
Depending on the provider, some companies can offer a barndominium kit with gutters and downspouts, standard paint warranty, and bracing. Others can offer a multi-year structural warranty and have barndominium kits for sale that come with the main framing, secondary framing, exterior sheeting, and stamped building plans.
In Texas, where barndominiums have been steadily gaining popularity over the years, the trend has brought about an influx of builders with barndominium kits for sale. In fact, when you do a Google search for “Barndominium Kits Texas”, you’ll see a long list of companies and steel builders that offer barndos and barndos kits in the state. While this in itself is great, it can make the search for the right barndo builder for your needs a bit more challenging.
Bardominium Kits vs. Custom-Built Units
Barndominium kit prices vary, depending on the builder. Many builders, particularly those who specialize in steel buildings, offer a variety of kits. Sunward Steel Buildings, Inc. in Colorado, for example, offers customizable barndo kits.
Depending on your builder or contractor, a professionally-installed kit can cost you around $40,000. That’s $20 per square foot for a 2000 sq. ft. structure. Prices can go up or down, depending on factors such as the size, location, number of rooms, and how you decide to outfit the space. Other factors that may dictate pricing include the type of metal used for the barndominium’s structure, the insulation material you’re going with, and how you’re going to build the barndo: will you go the DIY route or will you hire a contractor?
For barndominium kits, prices can range from $20 to $100 per square foot. If you’re looking for a basic barndo shell, you may be able to find ones that go for $10,000. In general, they’re much cheaper than custom-built barndo units because you won’t be working from scratch. They’re also much quicker to assemble, giving you a shorter construction time and in turn, reduced construction costs.
Note that you also have to consider other price factors for barndominium kits. These include delivery fees, fees for building permits, contractor and labor fees, and necessary services such as the foundation, plumbing, A/C, and septic tank installation.
Meanwhile, a typical barndominium build can set you back around $80 to $90 per square foot. For a complete build-out, you can expect to pay around $150 per square foot. This, of course, depends on the company you’re working with. A complete build-out means that the company is responsible for building your unit, installing the finishes, and building kitchen components such as countertops or cabinets. Larger and high-end custom builds can go upwards of $250,000.
The Benefits of a Barndominium Kit
A barndominium kit comes with a whole host of benefits that contribute to the growth in their popularity. In general, barndos offer homeowners a versatile living space. Their open plan design gives owners more room to customize the design and how they’ll use the available space. They’re also more energy efficient compared to traditional stick-built houses.
Barndominium kits are also easier and quicker to build compared to custom-built barndos. Some units can even be assembled in as little as three weeks compared to their custom-built counterparts, which can take around six months to fully assemble. Best of all, given that the kits are customizable, you’re free to make additions or increase the available space.
Most barndominium kits are made from metal, giving you a durable and long-lasting structure that’s resistant to the elements and to pest attacks. They’re also more affordable compared to their wooden counterparts. Barndos are also generally easy to maintain.
While barndominium kits and barndos can come across as very appealing prospects for homeowners, there are some considerations that you should take into account before building your own barndo:
- Building permits and your location’s zoning regulations and restrictions
Building codes and zoning requirements vary from one state or location to the next. If you’re going the DIY route, you need to be well-versed with your area’s restrictions and building codes. For a more hassle-free experience, find a local contractor as they should be knowledgeable about these considerations.
- The main purpose of the barndo
Will it be used as your primary residence, a retirement home, a vacation home, or a storage-slash-workshop area? Knowing this ahead helps with planning and building your barndo.
- Land where you can build your barndo
If you don’t have a vacant lot for your barndo yet, we recommend that you take the following features into consideration:
- Lot size
- Proximity to amenities such as supermarkets, schools, hospitals, or clinics
- Zoning restrictions
- Utilities and road access
Experts recommend that you should also consider the value of homes in your selected area, as these can affect your property’s customizability and resale value.