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Building a Barndominium in California | Your Ultimate Guide

Building a barndominium in California is a great way to capitalize on the tiny house and alternative housing movement. With housing being so expensive in California, you might be looking for a different way to build the home of your dreams.

If this is the case, a barndominium in California might be a fantastic option. There are a great deal of advantages and reasons to build a barndo, but it can be hard to know how to start and where to find the right information. 

Building a Barndominium in California

Luckily, we have put together a complete guide to building a barndominium in California. With this guide, you can find everything you need to know in order to get your project up and running. By knowing all the things you will need and should start planning for, you can start your project on the right path from the very beginning. Building a barndominium in California is a rewarding challenge, and it is always best to have everything in place before you get started on any large construction project. 

If, after you read this article, you would like some more inspiration and tips from a professional source, be sure to check out Build Your Dream Barndominium by Don Howe. It is full of information regarding floor plans, design ideas and so much more. 

What Is a California Barndominium and What Are Some of the Advantages? 

A barndominium is a custom house built from an existing or newly constructed barn or metal pole structure. Inside, they are wired and designed just like a traditional home, with all the personalized touches one would expect from a house they built themselves. The difference lies in the metal construction of the outer shell and the quick build period that keeps them less expensive as well as extremely durable. Because of this, they are a great option for people looking to build a home for the first time or save a little bit of money on the initial construction of their custom dream house. 

One of the biggest advantages of building a barndominium in California is that they are extremely tough, even in adverse weather conditions. This is perfect for the desert climates of California and even better for the milder areas. Because they are built with a metal outer shell, the dry environment of California is perfect. There is no rusting or degradation from ice or snow, and they can be cleaned off much easier than homes with wood slat siding or other materials such as brick or stucco. This cuts down on yearly maintenance costs and keeps a barndominium in California looking new for years to come. 

barndominium in California exterior

The other advantage is that building a barndominium in California is generally much cheaper than building a traditional home. Because they can be erected in such a short period of time, they are easy on the costs of labor as well as materials. This can be great for people who have been dreaming of building their own home but have found the costs to be prohibitive or intimidating. 

It is perfectly possible to build a barndominium in California on a budget that might otherwise be restrictive. This way, you can have some money left over for things like custom cabinetry, lighting and other touches that you might think of when you think about designing your own home. 

Cost of Building a Barndominium in California

As mentioned above, building a barndominium in California is much less expensive than building a home with traditional methods. The materials and labor take up a smaller portion of the budget since the construction itself is less complicated and takes less time in general. Because of this, it can be a much more accessible prospect than putting up the money for a wood frame and cement foundation home. 

barndominium in California exterior
Exterior, horizontal, overall front elevation at twilight, Soares residence, Billings, Montana; Kibler & Kirch; Homesite Designers

When building a house, the cost is usually figured out based on the square footage. By finding the cost per square foot, you can start planning out how many rooms and other amenities your barndominium in California can have. It will also play a major part in the floor plan you choose. By calculating the cost this way, you can have a good idea of how much to budget based on how many houses you think you and your family will need. 

To build a traditional home in California, the cost can vary based on factors like location and market price. However, on average, it is around $400 per square foot. This price does not include things like furniture, electronics, or other luxuries that go hand in hand with a custom dream home. Because of this, your budget for a traditional home can quickly escalate and become tougher to obtain and get started. 

However, building a barndominium in California is significantly less expensive. At just $260 to $300 per square foot, this can leave a lot of extra room in your budget for the features you want to add. While $50 less doesn’t seem like much, over the entire space of the barndo, this can add up and translate to all kinds of custom design touches. Things like porch additions and extra bathrooms can be a great way to customize your barndominium in California, and with the cheaper cost of initial construction, they can be built into the budget. 

Barndominium Builders in California

One of the most important considerations you are going to have to make to build your barndominium in California is the builder. By choosing a builder that will work with you to help realize your dreams, you can make sure the whole process goes smoothly. This can be one of the most crucial decisions you make, so it is important that you choose wisely. Luckily, we have put together a shortlist of the best barndominium builders in California

One of the things to look out for when choosing a builder for your barndominium in California is its reputation. By doing some research, you can usually find reviews and testimonials written by past clients. This should give you a good idea of what their customer satisfaction rate is and what they can do for you. If they have a history of helping their clients get the final product they’re looking for, they will be able to do the same for you as well. 

barndominium in California exterior

The other thing to look for in a builder for your barndominium in California is an experience in building steel structures and metal pole buildings. Many construction companies have a wide range of experience and may not specialize in a certain type of building. However, there is a great deal of them out there that have narrowed down their expertise to this type of building specifically. Because of that, they will be able to give you the benefit of their experience and make sure that you get a durable and well-built structure for your barndo. 

Neos Construction

Neos specializes in steel pole buildings or all kinds and has built them all over the state of California. Their niche experience has allowed them to focus on one kind of building and be the very best at it. If you are looking for a builder that knows all there is to know about barndominiums and other metal structures, they could be a fantastic option for you. 

Solid Structures

Solid Structures is dedicated to doing the job right and doing it as well as they possibly can. They rely on traditional methods to build metal structures and buildings of all types. Because of this, they are a great option for people who want the most experienced builders they can find to build their barndominium in California. 

Spane Buildings

Since 1945, Spane Buildings has been constructing metal structures for a huge range of clients. They have done everything from commercial construction to personal homes like your barndominium in California. If you want a company that can work quickly and get the job done right, they are a very good choice. 

Barndominium Kit Providers in California

If you are not into the idea of building a barn or metal pole structure from scratch, you also have other options. There are many barndominium kit providers around the country that can send you a prefabricated kit with everything you need to build your barndominium in California. With this kit, you can get started on your project right away and be sure that you have all your materials in one place. 

The nice thing about getting a barndominium kit is that you do not need to worry about sourcing materials. This can be one of the bigger challenges of the project and is something that people get tripped up on often. With a kit provider, you will receive everything in one package that is fabricated to your specific plan and design. With this, you can start the process much quicker and be on your way to your new home with all the materials on hand. 

Barndominium Financing in California

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AgLenders Society

The AgLenders Society is a non-profit that is focused on helping people get their agricultural dreams rolling. They work closely with people like you to get the money they need to finance land, construction and other projects. If you want to work with an organization that is focused on community and the land, they could be a great option.

Bank of the Sierra 

Bank of the Sierra works with farms and other agricultural projects to get the funding they need to build their dreams. They have all kinds of options for people who are interested in construction projects related to rural land and other applications. 

Where to Find Land for a Barndominium in California

When building your barndominium in California, you are going to have to find a piece of land to build it on. There are many sales aggregators and listings online where you can find plots for sale to build on. You can narrow your search down based on location and size as well, so it is best to find a plot that will be ideally suited to your floor plan and other needs. 

Be sure to find a piece of land that is zoned and regulated for residence. This will mean that it is accessible to utilities like electricity and plumbing. You will also have to secure separate funding for this plot of land, but that is the benefit of working with an agricultural bank. They will be happy to work with you to finance this important step. 

Barndominium Floor Plans in California

Barndominiums for Sale in California

Don’t want all the hassle of building a barndominium from the ground up? Then you may want to buy an existing barndominium in California! With our Barndominiums for Sale Marketplace, you can browse to your state and find a barndominium for sale near you.

The beauty of buying an existing barndominium is that it can be really easy to customize the floor plan to your liking. The previous owners’ setup is just a starting point! Also, by buying a barndominium in California, you bypass the potential troubles of the building process – delays, dealing with contractors and subcontractors, and city or county bureaucrats trying to make your build process a nightmare.

Don’t delay – find a barndominium for sale in California now!


Building a barndominium in California is an exciting and rewarding project. Hopefully, by reading this guide, you have a good idea of everything you need in order to get started. If you would like some more tips and tricks to help you start planning, be sure to get the Barndominium Life Program!