How To Build A Barndominium: Building a Barndominium Made Easy

Ready to build your dream barndominium but don’t know how? We take you step by step in this article on how to build a barndominium in no time!

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What is a barndominium?

Barndominiums are a custom-built home that is built from a post frame building or pole barn structure. These buildings are typically used for brands, stables, and warehouses. Recently, more and more families are choosing to use these structures to build their dream home.

They are super durable and have many advantages over traditional homes, one of those being a much cheaper price tag to build.

How Long Does it Take to Build a Barndominium?

Barndominiums begin as a barndominium kit or a metal building. These are built quicker than traditional homes and are fairly low maintenance but can be customized on the inside to your design style.

A 2000 square foot barndominium kit can help you build about 15-20% quicker than a traditional home. Often the barndominium exterior will appear complete sometimes before the interior of the barndominium has even begun because of how barndominiums are built.

With the exterior being completed fairly quickly, it allows a barndo to be move-in ready within a few months as you continue to work on interior design elements.

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How to Build a Barndominium: Step by Step Guide

Generally speaking, the barndominium building process can be divided into different steps, planning, foundation, framing, wiring/plumbing/ HVAC, Insulation, Drywall/Paint/ Floor

Planning and design

As with all other construction projects, it’s critical to research and plan before you begin building. Reading blog posts like this one and the resources listed below is a great start. Also, make sure to fully leverage floor plan designs for your barndominium build. It will help identify potential challenges early and allow you to redesign before moving forward into subsequent building stages.

There are dozens of high-level concept barndominium floor plans online that you can get ideas from and tweak to adapt to your specific wants and needs. Once you think you’ve got a floor plan concept you want to move forward with, we recommend you hire an architect to draw up a build-ready and code-compliant set of plans based on your concept. These usually cost about fifty cents per square foot and are well worth the investment.


Never underestimate the importance of a solid foundation, so don’t cut corners here on costs or overestimate your abilities. Barndominium foundations are usually built on concrete slabs. They should be strong and able to carry weight from vehicles and equipment you might have in your shop or garage and, of course, all the general day-to-day living items in your home.

You want top-notch materials, and you want to make sure you’re 100% confident you know what you’re doing or you sub the work out to an experienced, well-recommended crew.

For a 40×60 slab, expect to pay anywhere between $9,000 to $15,000, which includes the concrete mix, labor, and materials.

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Exterior Frame/Shell

The easiest way to build a barndominium is to purchase a barndominium kit with sturdy steel frames. Some kit-based barndominiums can even be built with only two people, costing between $10 to $30 per square foot. You won’t have as much design flexibility regarding your exterior frame/shell when using a barndominium kit as you would if you were building a fully custom barndo. However, because of the open space interior, you would still have the ability to customize the interior any way you’d like.

Wiring/ Plumbing / HVAC

Next, you will work on the waiting, plumbing, and HVAC. This will be similar to a traditionally built home. If you are acting as your own GC you will want to call the contractors to ensure the work is done correctly. Plumbers are first to come in and work on the project, then electrical, and then HVAC.

Be sure you talk with your electrician to ensure the right wire gauge for certain areas in your home. For instance, 15 amp circuits may be good in most places around the home unless you are using a high powdered appliance that may need more power or its own circuit.

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Be sure to insulate your barndominium. When barndominiums were first built, it was optional in the south, but building codes have changed and are now required. There are many options when it comes to insulation. Be sure to choose the right barndominium insulation for you.

Drywall, Paint, Flooring

Next is drywall, paint, and flooring. This occurs after inspections have been passed. You will want to add drywall to the walls; once this is done, you will paint. This can be subbed out, or you can do it yourself. A sprayer will make the work go very quickly.

Once the barndominium is painted, you will begin laying the floor. This is usually the very last part of the project.

How to Build a Barndominium on a Budget

Barndominiums are cheaper than traditional homes, but can still be expensive. Here are some tips to help you build a barndominium on a budget.

  • Plan to add on. Sometimes your budget does not allow for everything you want to do at first. Place in advance to add on and how that will happen to save you time and money in the future.
  • Save on Delivery Fees. Try to use the same vendor and make big orders at once rather than ordering a little at a time. This can save a lot of money on the delivery fees that are charged.
  • DIY your barndo. Are you a great painter? Then plan to paint your home yourself without hiring out. You can save quite a bit of money by doing some of the work yourself. Beware, this can often cost more money in the long run if you think you can do more than you can, so know your limitations and hire a professional when needed. Often times people end up having to buy materials twice if they are trying it for the first time on their own.
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Building your barndominium can be a rewarding experience for you and your family. Be sure to follow our how to build a barndominium guide and our step by step instructions to build the barndo of your dreams in no time.

If you are ready to start building the barndo of your dreams, check out our barndominium floor plans to help you create the barndominium of your dreams or use a barndominium design software program to help you plan out your space for your new home. When in the planning stages, be sure you also check out the barndominium financing and insurance options that are available. For more helpful tips, visit our FAQ barndominium section to get answers to all your barndo questions.