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Barndominium Cost Per Square Foot: A Complete Guide

Are you considering your dream barndominium? Whether it is for a guest home, an office, or even multi-generational living, the cost per square foot of constructing a barndominium could make or break its feasibility. Building your own barndominium can seem intimidating—but this guide offers practical information to help you understand the estimated costs so that you and your family can better plan ahead and budget appropriately.

What is a Barndominium

Barndominiums have officially arrived. These unique structures were once thought of as just a way to be near your livestock in the winter. Many people build barndominiums to serve both practical purposes (like storage or work-related activities) as well as have somewhere nice to live comfortably.

Barndominums advantages include energy efficiency, affordability, and customizability – not to mention that all this comes conveniently packaged in one unit! So if you prefer the countryside but still need comfortable housing, maybe it’s time for you to get your own barndominium.

In the very recent past, you were limited in finding barndominium plans and prices. But today, you have hundreds of designs to choose from — from the smallest one-bedroom at 700 square feet. To the largest, we’ve found — a five-bedroom creation with a full shop and indoor riding arena.

As you can imagine, the pricing on such a wide array of options can be elusive. “It depends” is the answer you’ll hear most often when asking how much a particular barndo design will be.

How Much Does a Barndominium Cost Per Square Foot?

Building a barndominium is an affordable way to have the home of your dreams, with the average cost ranging anywhere between $30 and $125 per square foot.

Costs will vary depending on the size and complexity of your project, as well as the quality of materials used and the labor costs for the build. Prices can be kept under control by opting for simple designs and using economical materials like metal siding and interior finishes.

If you’re handy with construction tools, you might even save money by doing some of the work yourself! Here is a great estimate of what you can expect when building a barndominium.

Exterior Costs Of A Barndominium

The exterior of your barndominium is where most of the money for initial construction will go. Because of the unique design of these homes, you should spare no expense on the exterior. This way, you can be sure that your home will be solid and structurally sound. Exterior costs to consider include: 

  • Slab 
  • Pole barn shell 
  • Roof 
  • Land clearing 
  • Plumbing

How Much Does a Concrete Slab Cost?

You may be looking for the cheapest way to build a concrete slab for your barndominium. These concrete slab articles can help you determine the cost of your slab.

Interior Costs 

Once your barndominium structure has been built, you will need to frame up the interior. This is where you will create the rooms and hallways that make up the layout of the home. The cost of doing this work will depend on how big the home is going to be and how many rooms there are. Interior costs include: 

Land Costs to Build a Barndominium 

One of the most important decisions you will make when building a barndominium is the land. The piece of land you choose will determine the cost of the rest of the construction. Things like utilities and the cost of clearing the land will add to the total cost of your barndominium. The more rural the land is, the more likely it will be to be affordable. Finding a solid piece of land will set the tone for the rest of your construction project. 

Choosing the Best Barndominium Floor Plan 

The floor plan is one of the most important steps when building your barndominium. You will need to hire a professional draftsman to get your floor plan finished.

Depending on where you live, a draftsman may be more or less expensive to hire. However, the most important thing is to make sure they have experience with home floor plans. Here are some popular floor plan options you may want to consider.

Barndominium Kits 

A barndominium kit is a great way to get your home built without having to source materials. Barndominium kits generally cost between $20,000 and $90,000 and come in all kinds of styles. Depending on the size and style of the kit, you may pay above or under this average. The more bedrooms and bathrooms you want to add, the more the kit will cost. 

Labor

Labor is another big part of the total cost of building your barndominium. Fortunately, barndominiums take about half the time to build compared to traditional homes. This means that the labor cost for a barndominium is much less than it usually would be. This makes a barndominium build much more accessible to all kinds of people. 

Other Costs

  • Permits
  • Foundation
  • Material
  • Septic
  • Siding
  • Labor

Factors that Affect the Cost Per Square Foot of a Barndominium

Barndominiums offer the experience of a traditional cozy house in an open space. The cost per square foot of one of these delightful homes, however, isn’t always as marketable. Factors such as the size, shape, and type of barndominium you are looking at, or zoning laws in your area can all affect how much you spend per square foot.

Other considerations could include whether you want to hire a professional to work on the build or if you plan to do the work yourself. Ultimately, it’s best to look into all of these factors before making a decision about budgeting for your barndominium!

Barndominium Floor Plans with Cost

One of the best ways to figure out the cost of your barndominium is to put together a floor plan and use our barndominium cost calculator to get a rough estimate of what it is going to cost you. There’s more on our cost calculator below, but for now, let’s take a look at this floor plan to give you an idea of what this kind of barndo might cost you.

Here is our floor plan for a 40×40 barndominium with a 10×20 porch, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms:

According to our cost calculator, this floor plan will cost $176,800 if you do all the work yourself and $203,319.99 if you hire a professional to do the construction. This is based on a rough 15% estimate of what it costs to hire a contractor and also takes other factors into consideration.

This particular cost includes “Grade 1” cabinetry and “Grade 1” countertops. If you want more premium furnishings, you will need to add more to your overall budget.

Here at Barndominium Life, we have put together a barndominium cost calculator so you can get an idea of what your particular barndominum will cost. This tool is designed to help you figure out what kind of barndominium you can afford and what kind of additions you can make.

The calculator starts at a base cost of $120 per square foot and allows you to move sliders around so you can decide how much space you need and what you want to add on. For example, it allows you to add on a shop and figure out how much shop space you can have in your barndominium as well as how big of a porch you can add on top your barndo.

The calculator also allows you to choose different furnishings and additions like cabinetry and countertops. There are several different levels of quality you can choose from so you can decide what kind of materials you can afford to include.

 

Barndominium Floor Plans And Cost Examples

Texas Barndominiums, is one of the leading turnkey builders of custom barndominiums in the state. They operate in dozens of counties across Texas.

Texas Barndominium No. 123

When you visit the Texas Barndominiums home page, you’re immediately drawn to their Instant Pricing tab. There you’ll find a way to easily obtain your own “ballpark” pricing information.

They offer you many turnkey barndominium options, including a 30 foot by 40 foot, two-bedroom, one-bath floor plan with a 3:12 pitched roof and a base price of $155,000.

Let’s explore that offering a bit further.

Since Texas Barndominiums is primarily a full service provider, you are paying for their considerable experience and skills to make sure your new barndo is all that it can be.

Here’s what they say on their website is included in that $155,000 price:

  • Engineered concrete slab
  • Stained floors
  • Spray foam insulation
  • PEX plumbing
  • Laminate countertops
  • Pre-manufactured cabinets, and
  • 9 ft ceilings

However, that doesn’t mean you will be expected to pay the remaining materials costs necessary to finish the barndominium out. You won’t.

They also do everything on our larger DIY list, providing all materials, labor, and project management, for the stated price on each barndo option — in this case, $155,000 base cost.

To find out the true cost (not cost per square foot, but total cost) of your new barndominium home, you would need to add back in the cost of the land, well, septic, and probably an access road to get across your property to your house. Plus, whatever other costs we haven’t thought of yet.

Next, we pay a visit to DC Structures in Damascus, Oregon to check out their seemingly transparent style of letting the buyer know what the cost of their kits are right up front — although you’ll find that in actuality the “kit” price has very little resemblance to the finished price. We’ll try to explain.

First of all, the prospective owner can find the stated price easily enough. It’s clearly visible on each page of their catalog.

But unlike other builders, you cannot extrapolate that number into anything approaching an accurate final cost. To get that you’ll need to contact someone on their sales team.

After a short interview about the kit in which you’re interested and a discussion of your needs, you’ll receive a square foot cost that may seem startling, until you realize the time and craftsmanship that goes into these premium structures — created from select grade heavy Northwest timbers.

These “kits” are not the kind of DIY project we discussed earlier, and your chances of lowering the per sq ft figure that the company quotes are slim. In fact, that figure will likely go still higher depending on your state of residence and the available kit upgrades you pick out. The type and grade of upscale fixtures this finely crafted dwelling would require will also have an impact.

We’ll take a closer look at just what you can expect from a partnership with DC Structures to build your very own “barn with living quarters,” as they call their kits.

But first, here’s a video on the company, showcasing their craftsmanship and their devotion to detail:

Barndominium With Living Quarters

We’re going to look at what they say is their most popular kit — “The Oakridge,” which, again, they characterize as “closer to a timber frame home designed in a classic barn style” than a  modern, low-cost barn frame with a residence built into it — which is what most folks expect from a barndominium. Indeed, these structures are difficult to compare with metal warehouse-style barndos.

These dwellings are truly crafted to last, using beautifully aged hardwood posts and beams to carry out tastefully executed architectural designs.

The Oakridge is the smallest of the barn-with-apartment kits they put together and ship all over the United States. Here’s how they describe it:

In addition, the Oakridge is expandable into four larger sizes, going all the way up to 5,184 square feet.

The Oakridge breaks down as follows:

  • 36′ x 36′
  • 2,592 Sq. Ft.
  • 2+ Bedrooms
  • Up to 5  Horse Stalls
  • Or, configure the downstairs space however you choose

When this package is delivered to your homesite, it will need assembling as well — but not by a couple of your buddies from college and a keg of beer.

This will require the involvement of a professional crew of workmen who know how to assemble this kind of dwelling, given as it is to super high vaulted ceilings and other intricacies of post and beam construction.

Well, the base price of this “kit” theoretically is $118,300, which, if we were comparing apples to apples, would make it a little over $45 a square foot right off the semi your package of timbers arrives on.

However, a spokesman for DC Structures says “the lowest estimate we would give for an all-in cost per square foot to order and build the Oakridge 36′ is about $127 a square foot.” That includes a concrete pad, interior framing, a full complement of high quality Andersen windows, this list of deliverables and the hiring of a general contractor with whom they interface for the time it takes to build your “barn with apartment.”

And that $127 sq ft figure, he adds, is “significantly more” in states like California.

In actual fact, then, there really is very little point, once again, in going through the online shopping list drill we are proposing you use with DIY barndominiums, because you’re locked into that $127 a square foot minimum no matter what. And $127 times 2,590 square feet means you’re going to be spending a minimum of $328,930 by the time your barn with living quarters is done.

This kit falls therefore — as it should — into a luxury structure category that is for those with the financial means to have the very best of everything.

If this includes you, we’re glad we could bring these fine craftsmen to your attention.

Cost of Building a Barndominium in Each State

Every state has its own cost for building a home and knowing which states are the most and least expensive can help you decide where you want to build and where would be best for your particular budget. The costs for each state in the U.S. are:

Financing Options for Your Barndominium

Financing a barndominium can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be!

There are multiple financing options available that can make the process easier and more manageable. For example, you could choose to apply for a traditional mortgage which might require a high down payment. With this method, you’ll have the benefit of paying off your house over a set time period while having the flexibility of making lower payments in the beginning.

Another option would be to look into government-backed loans or grants if you meet certain criteria such as veterans benefits or an agricultural loan. Whichever option you choose, always remember to thoroughly research and compare your financing options in order to find the best plan for you and your finances!

Barndominium FAQs

What barndominium can I get for my budget?

The size of the barndominium you want to build will depend on several different factors. One of the best ways to find out what you can afford is with our Bid and Budget Tracker. With this tool, you can get the help you need to narrow down costs.

Is it cheaper to build a house or a barndominium? 

Building a barndominium will almost always be cheaper than building a traditional home. Because of the shorter construction time and the simpler design, you can save a lot of money. If you have been turned off the idea of building a home due to the cost, a barndominium could be a great option. 

How much is a barndominium shell? 

The actual shell of a barndominium pole barn will cost between $1,000 and $50,000. It is important to remember that this is just the cost for the shell. You will need to do a lot of work to get it up in the air and turn it into a home. 

If you would like more guides like this one, check out the rest of BarndominiumLife.com. 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.