A Barndominium, otherwise known as a barndo, is a home that has been converted from a barn into a living space. You can use the rest of the land around you to grow crops and keep animals, or simply to grow your love of gardening.
Not everyone converts a barn into a Barndominium because they want to begin farming. A lot of people simply do it because they like the way that the barn looks and want to live somewhere different from urban houses.
To answer the question of how thick are Barndominium walls, we must first consider how you’re going to be creating your Barndominium. Some people use old barns to convert into a house, while others use a Barndominium kit purchased from a specialized company.
Converting an old barn into a Barndominium
Barns don’t often have as thick walls as houses because they’re not built for people to live within. The walls will often be made up of 2 x 6 studs as well as steel and maybe interior wall materials. However, not all barns use an interior wall material as they are only used for storage or keeping livestock. Without the interior wall material, a barn’s walls will be an average of 7.5 inches thick.
Converting a barn into a Barndominium will see you have to insulate the walls sufficiently, add anything you need within the walls such as plumbing, electrical wiring, and HVAC systems. Once all of this has been added to the walls, you will need an interior wall finish to give you the sleek appearance desirable.
The majority of this should fit within the studs so that the walls are not too thicker than 8 inches. However, there are a number of factors that could affect this. If the barn has been made poorly or is particularly old, the exterior timber could be thinner or weaker, allowing more moisture and cool air through into the barn.
If this is true for your old barn, you might find yourself making the walls thicker to reduce the amount of heat lost from the older walls. This is from more insulation being used to retain the heat more sufficiently so that your family can remain comfortable. You might also have to add more timber to the exterior walls to fix any gaps between the exterior walls.
Using a Barndo kit
You can choose from plenty of Barndominium kits on the market, all of which having slightly different thicknesses of walls. Some use metal walls while others use traditional timber. 2 x 4 studs are commonly found within Barndo kits which will create walls of eight inches thick, although you can find some kits with thinner or thicker walls than this.
The good thing about Barndominium kits is that they are newly built according to your customized measurements and desires. You won’t find yourself needing to repair any old walls or add more insulation to keep drafts out. When a barndo kit says the walls are going to be eight inches, it is all but guaranteed that they will in fact be of this thickness.
So, unlike the process of converting an old barn into a Barndominium, using a bardo kit is much more reliable when ensuring that the wall thickness is that which you imagined when first designing your new living space.
Why choose thinner walls?
When deciding whether you want thinner or thicker walls in your Barndominium, you might be lost between the benefits and drawbacks of these two features. The main advantage of thinner walls is that they are cheaper.
You’re creating an entirely new living space from almost nothing, and this is no cheap feat. You need to be ready to spend an impressive amount of money on your barndo, not to mention the contingency budget you need in case anything goes wrong.
So, when you’re already spending a lot of money on your Barndominium, you might want to cut costs wherever you can. The thickness of the walls is a good place to start. As long as the walls are thick enough to support the weight of the structure and include enough insulation to abide by your area’s regulations, you can make the walls thinner to save money.
Thinner walls also require less labor to create which can reduce the time taken for your Barndominium to be built as well as the amount you need to pay professionals to build the walls. Thinner walls can save you both time and money, which is appealing to many Barndominium builders.
Another reason why thinner walls are appealing to people is that you get to enjoy more space inside of your Barndominium. The thicker your walls are, the more they encroach on your living space.
Why choose thicker walls?
Now moving onto thicker walls. While thinner walls do have a lot of benefits, thicker walls also offer a few that the alternative simply cannot.
Thicker walls offer better insulation so that you can remain warmer in the winter and you won’t need to spend so much on heating costs. Building thicker walls also keeps more of the outside world out, including noises.
More insulation can keep out all sorts of noises, which is particularly beneficial when you’re keeping livestock or have built your Barndominium near a busy highway. Thinner walls will allow all of this noise pollution inside of your barndo which can disrupt both your days and nights. While this might not seem like a dealbreaker, we can be that it will get very tiresome, very quickly.
The answer to your original question is not as simple as a single figure. The majority of Barndominiums will have walls around eight inches thick, although this can be changed due to your personal preference.
There are benefits to both thinner and thicker walls, as well as drawbacks to these options. Thinner walls are cheaper, but thicker walls offer you better protection from the outside elements. The market average is eight inches, but the choice for your Barndominium ultimately comes down to you.