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Your Ultimate Barndominium Checklist [Free PDF]

For most people, the dream of building a house from scratch is something that has come up in the past. Perhaps you have even looked into what it takes to get a project like this off the ground. You may have even started but have been turned off by the major expense and amount of work it takes. That’s why building a barndominium is such a fantastic alternative for so many people. 

A barndominium is a home built using the shell of a post frame building or pole barn. While they are incredibly durable, they are also relatively inexpensive compared to a traditional home. However, if you are going to successfully build a barndominium, you will need a plan in place. To help get you started, we have put together this comprehensive barndominium checklist. 

barndominium checklist

Can You Build a Barndominium Yourself? 

You can absolutely build a barndominium yourself. However, it is important that you understand the implications of taking on a project like this. Not only is it extremely physically demanding, but it also requires a great amount of skill and knowledge. Knowing what you are capable of is essential if you are going to build your own barndominium. 

Before you decide to build a barndo yourself, you should know what it entails. Go through the below barndominium checklist and make sure the steps are things that you can handle. This will tell you whether or not you can make it happen yourself. Having a good understanding of the process is crucial. 

How Long Does it Take to Build a Barndominium?

Almost invariably, it will take less time to build a barndominium than it will to build a traditional home. Most of the time, a barndominium can be built in around 6 months. That is, however, after going through all of the preparation laid out in the barndominium checklist. The key to a successful build is going to be how well you prepare and what you put into the planning process. This will ensure that your build will go as quickly and smoothly as possible. 

18-Month Barndominium Checklist

18 Months Before Breaking Ground 

The early stages of the barndominium checklist are perhaps the most important. 18 months before you get started, start thinking about what your needs are and what you want your home to look like. Gather ideas and put together a portfolio of design inspiration that you can use to create your floor plan. This is when you should also start putting together sketches of the floor plan and finalizing all your wants and needs. 

1 Year Before Breaking Ground 

At this point in the barndominium checklist, you should be finding your plot of land. Make sure to find land where utilities can be brought out and where you can be in compliance with all the local building codes. You should also bring your ideas to a professional draftsman. They will be able to take all your ideas and turn them into a final set of blueprints that will be used by the builders for construction. 

10 Months Before Breaking Ground 

At the 10-month mark of the barndominium checklist, you should be getting all of your permits filed and ready to go. Work with your local assessor’s office to get all the proper permits and get your build okayed. This is where it will be important to have a piece of land that is ready and a solid blueprint made by a professional. Keep in mind that this will usually take several weeks, so be ready to hurry up and wait at this point. 

barndominium checklist

4 Months Before Breaking Ground 

By the time you hit the 4-month mark of the barndominium checklist, you should be picking out your materials and hiring a builder. Be sure to interview several builders at once and narrow down your search to builders who have experience with barndominiums. You should also remember that building a home is a very personal endeavor. Your builder should have a caring, understanding attitude and want the very best for you and your project. 

3 Months Before Breaking Ground 

The 3-month mark of the barndominium checklist is when you should start bringing utilities to your build site. Work with your local municipality to run electricity and water to the site. If you are going to dig a well and use a septic system, this is when this process should be started. This way, everything will be ready to go by the time you start to break ground. 

2 Months Before Breaking Ground 

By the time you reach two months until you break ground on your barndominium, you should be picking out all your subcontractors. These are the contractors who will be doing the specific, specialized work your barndominium needs. You should be scheduling times for jobs like: 

  • Excavation
  • Foundation work
  • Concrete and gravel supplier
  • Concrete finishers
  • Framers (interior only if you’re erecting a metal building)
  • Truss supplier (not needed for a metal building)
  • Lumber/materials supplier
  • Window and door supplier

1 Month Before Breaking Ground 

When you are one month out from breaking ground, you will need to schedule your finishing subcontractors. These include: 

  • Electrician
  • Plumber
  • HVAC contractor
  • Roofer (if not a metal barndo)

These subcontractors will not be needed until the actual barndominium is constructed and finished. This is why you can wait until you are relatively close to breaking ground before you have to start hiring them. However, if you want to get started on picking them out early, it won’t hurt. 

1 Week Before Breaking Ground 

A week before you break ground on your barndominium, go through the barndominium checklist and make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Make copies of all your plans and blueprints and have extras available for contractors as the build progresses. This is also when you should put out stakes on your lot to make sure your barndo is outlined and everyone is on the same page. 

barndominium checklist

1 Day Before Breaking Ground 

The day before you break ground on your barndominium, pack up all the things you will need when you are on the build site. This includes all your paperwork, pens, pencils, extra chargers, and batteries. Having this bag ready to go at all times will be incredibly helpful. You will be spending a lot of time at the build site and it is crucial that you have everything you need whenever you are there. 

Ground Breaking Day 

On the day you break ground on your barndominium, the main thing you have to do is enjoy it. You have put a lot of work into finishing out the barndominium checklist. Be sure to take as many pictures as you can and to know when it is best to simply get out of the way. Be available to answer any questions but be sure to let the professionals do what they do best. 


Building a barndominium is an extremely rewarding challenge. Having a barndominium checklist on your side will ensure that you can walk through the whole process as easily as possible. With a little bit of planning, you can build the perfect home and be living in it in no time. 

If you would like more guides like this one, check out the rest of There, you will find more helpful tips and tricks from the pros. You will also find featured barndominiums, barndominium floor plans, and information on financing and insurance. Knowing as much as you can will help you get the best results for your dream home.