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Building a Barndominium in Iowa | Your Ultimate Guide

The idea of building your own home is something that many people have dreamed about for their entire lives. There is nothing quite like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from completing a project of that size and moving into your own custom home. However, it can seem like a nearly impossible task due to the cost and effort it takes to undergo such a massive construction project. Luckily building a barndominium in Iowa is a reasonable alternative that is much more doable for a wider range of people. 

Building a barndominium in Iowa is something that almost anyone can do. With its simpler construction and open ended design, the barndominium is a great project for people who want to customize their living space. For those living in rural areas, it is a perfect dwelling that fits in perfectly against the backdrop of farms and other agricultural landscapes. If you have been dreaming about your custom country home, but don’t want the hassle of a traditional build, a barndominium in Iowa could be the answer. 

In this article, we have put together an in-depth guide to building a barndominium in Iowa. With this guide, you can get a good idea of what it takes to get this project working and move closer to your goal. If you read this article and would like even more expertise and design ideas, be sure to check out the book, Build Your Dream Barndominium by Don Howe. 

What Is an Iowa Barndominium and What Are Some of the Advantages? 

Barndominium is a combination of a metal shell barn or pole structure and a custom designed country home. On the outside, they look like any number of agricultural buildings, but with extra, custom touches like porches and other classic design elements. The interior is limited only by your imagination and can act as a blank canvas for any of the extra features you may have in mind for your home. Things like vaulted ceilings and staircases can be added and worked into the design to create something truly stunning. Because of this, they are a great option for people who are interested in alternative dwellings and interior design. 

Building a Barndominium in Iowa

Perhaps the biggest advantage of building a barndominium in Iowa is the lower price. Because they can be erected with fewer materials and in a shorter period of time, barndominiums have a significantly lower cost than a traditional home build. This leaves extra money in the budget for things like furniture and other amenities that make a custom home worth building. It also opens them up to a wider range of people. If you have been dreaming about building a home, but have been put off by the high cost, a barndominium in Iowa could be a fantastic choice for you. 

The other advantage of building a barndominium in Iowa is the fact that it is a faster process. Many of the metal pole structures that are used as the shell of a barndominium can be put up in less than a month. Because of this, you could be living in your new home in a matter of months as opposed to the years it can sometimes take to build a traditional house. If you are concerned about the amount of time it takes for this kind of project, a barndominium could be a great option for you. 

barndominium in iowa exterior

Overall, the main benefit of a barndominium is that it is accessible to all kinds of people. Whereas it might seem like a nearly impossible task to build your own home, with a barndominium, that dream could be available to you. The ease of construction combined with the lower cost means that it is something that many people could afford to undertake. It also opens up a lot more options for design and customization that you might not otherwise be able to afford or execute. 

Cost of Building a Barndominium in Iowa

When putting together a budget for a home build, it is often calculated by the amount per square foot. This allows you to fully understand how much house you are getting for your money and what you can afford to build. It will also help you figure out your floor plan and get a good idea of how many bedrooms and bathrooms you can afford, as well as how big your metal pole structure should be that you are using for your barndominium’s shell. 

To build a traditional home in Iowa, the cost is generally between $200 and $310 per square foot. This will include everything in the initial construction that gets the structure up off the ground and ready for customization. This does not include things like furniture, electronics or cabinetry. All of those things will have to be factored into your budget separately and will add up quickly if you do not take this initial construction cost into consideration. 

As mentioned above, the cost of building a barndominium in Iowa is quite a bit less. That cost comes out to around $200 to $210 per square foot. At that price, it can end up being 20% less than the cost of building a traditional home. This leaves a lot of room in your budget for all the things you have been wanting to include in your custom home. Granite countertops, porches and other extras can all be bought with the money you save on the initial construction. This lower cost is one of the biggest benefits of building a barndominium in Iowa and is one of the reasons it is such an accessible project. 

barndominium in iowa exterior

The fact that barndominiums take such a small amount of time to build is one of the deciding factors of this lower cost. Labor is a large expense on a project like this. The sooner you can get your metal barn shell constructed, the less it is going to contribute to the final price. There are also fewer materials required to build the shell, and this contributes not only to the lower price, but the quicker construction as well. 

Barndominium Builders in Iowa

One of the biggest decisions you will have to make while building a barndominium in Iowa is who will build it for you. There are many construction companies all over the country, but not all of them will be suited for this type of build. It can be difficult to find the builder that is going to give you the best possible finished product and make the process easy and rewarding. However, there are factors you can look for that can help you decide whether or not a builder will be up to the job. 

One of the most important things to look for in a builder for your barndominium in Iowa is their experience. Many construction companies have experience in all kinds of aspects of the industry. However, you are going to want to find a builder that has worked with steel buildings and metal pole structures before. Even better, you should find a company that specializes in this type of structure. By doing this, you can be sure that they know the ins and outs of this type of building, as well as what pitfalls to try and avoid. This knowledge is incredibly important and could end up saving you time and money. 

barndominium in iowa exterior

One of the other important things to look for in a builder is their reputation. There are many places online where you can find reviews of construction companies by former clients. There, you will be able to find out if they were able to deliver a quality product and if the client found them helpful. 

It can be difficult to sort through all the different construction companies in the state to find one for your barndominium. That’s why we have put together a list of the best barndominium builders in Iowa

Kalona Post & Frame

The builders at Kalona Post & Frame have been working with clients to build post frame buildings and other pole structures since 2004. They specialize in exactly the type of structure that you will need for your barndominium in Iowa. They could be a great choice if you are interested in working with one of the most experienced companies on the market.

Greiner Buildings

Greiner Buildings was founded in the 1980’s and has been a local family business ever since. They have a deep connection to the community and have strong values when it comes to customer satisfaction. Because of this, they have a great track record with their clients and can help make the whole process of building your barndominium in Iowa much easier. 

Eastern Iowa Building

Since 2003, Eastern Iowa Building has been developing a reputation for helping clients make their dreams a reality. They have a simple, straightforward process that is incredibly accessible to all kinds of people. Because of this, they are a great option for people who are taking on this kind of project for the first time.  

Barndominium Kit Providers in Iowa

Get Free Barndominium Kit Quotes NOW!

If building a metal pole structure from the ground up isn’t going to suit you, there are also many barndominium kit providers all over the country. A kit provider could be a great choice for building a barndominium in Iowa since they come pre fabricated and include everything you need. This makes them perfect for people who might be a little nervous about the construction process. 

Barndominium kits are a good option because they take out some of the guesswork that comes with this big of a project. They come with all the materials and can be designed to your exact specifications. If you are interested in keeping the barrier to entry low, they could be the best choice for you.

Barndominium Financing in Iowa

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Bank Iowa

Bank Iowa is a great choice for people looking for community-based financing for their barndominium in Iowa. Founded in 1921, they have been working with people on their rural construction projects for almost 100 years. This gives them a unique perspective on the needs of people in their area. 

Citizens Savings Bank

Citizens Savings Bank has been committed to agricultural projects for 110 years. With that kind of longevity, they understand what it takes to get you the financing you need for your barndominium in Iowa. This makes them a great choice if you want to work with a bank that knows the ins and outs of the area and the industry. 

Where to Find Land for a Barndominium in Iowa

One of the most exciting aspects of the barndominium build process is finding a piece of land. This piece of land will dictate the tone and feel of your barndominium in Iowa. By finding the right plot, you can make sure you will be happy in your new home for years to come. 

You will have to secure a loan for this plot of land. This can be done with any of the above agricultural banks. You will also have to make sure that this piece of land is accessible to utilities such as electricity and plumbing, as well as zoned for residential purposes. 

Barndominium Floor Plans in Iowa

Barndominiums for Sale in Iowa

Don’t want all the hassle of building a barndominium from the ground up? Then you may want to buy an existing barndominium in Iowa! 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 Iowa, 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 Iowa now!


By reading this definitive guide, you now have a good understanding of what it takes to build a barndominium in Iowa. If you would like more helpful tips and tricks, be sure to check out the book, Build Your Dream Barndominium by Don Howe.