Barndominiums are typically more durable and affordable compared to standard homes. However, as with any home, barndominiums can still suffer from problems due to weather, accidents, or poor workmanship during construction. You may also overlook certain details when designing your barndo.
If you want to ensure that your barndominium continues to offer comfort, pay close attention to the following nine potential barndominium problems.
1. Overlooking Local Building Codes
One of the potential barndominium problems that you can encounter is building a barndominium that does not comply with local building codes. The construction process typically requires you to receive approval before breaking ground on your new barndominium. However, after construction starts, it is possible to overlook certain building codes.
If your barndominium does not comply with all applicable building codes, your city or county may issue a fine. You are also going to need to fix the issue that led to the fine, which adds to the cost of the mistake.
Working with contractors that have experience building barndominiums in your region helps you avoid building code violations. If you plan on mostly building the structure yourself, take the time to review local codes.
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2. Not Adding Proper Insulation in the Walls
As with any home, barndominiums need insulation. Metal is not a good insulator. It accumulates heat during the summer and allows heat to escape during the winter. Insulation makes it easier to maintain your preferred temperature.
Batting is the most common type of insulation, as it is affordable and easy to install during construction. Foam boards and insulated panels offer greater resistance to heat flow but cost a little more.
Spray foam insulation, including closed cell and open cell insulation, provides a more effective solution for most barndominiums. Spray foam can fill the crevices inside the wall cavities to provide greater coverage. Filling more of the space inside the walls can also help control moisture and prevent corrosion. Quality spray foam is resistant to moisture, mold, and mildew.
3. Fabrication Errors May Result in Fractures
When homes are built with wood, stone, or brick, contractors can make corrections to defective materials. These materials can be cut or sanded to the desired size. However, fabrication errors in metal are not easy to correct on the work site and may be one of the serious potential barndominium problems.
Reputable builders return metal materials that do not meet the required specifications. Unfortunately, some builders may not want to wait for replacements. They may move forward with construction using ill-fitted materials, which increases the risk of fatigue and fracture.
While the impact may not be noticeable immediately, fabrication errors that are not corrected may gradually reduce the strength of the frame. You may notice buckling or cracks on the walls and becomes one of the potential barndominium problems. The best way to avoid this issue is to work with a trusted builder. Look at reviews from barndo owners to determine how well the builder’s properties hold up over time.
4. The Metal Frame May Corrode When Exposed to Water
Along with problems that may occur during construction, you may encounter potential issues after you move into your new barndominium. One of the biggest potential barndominium problems to look for is corrosion.
Barndominiums often have metal frames. While metal does not rot like wood, it can corrode. The metal joists and beams used to hold your barndominium together may gradually rust when exposed to moisture.
An efficient gutter system can help direct water away from the sides of the house. Ensuring that the siding material is correctly installed also protects against corrosion.
The lower portion of the barndominium, including the frame, can also leech water from overly saturated soil. Using a raised foundation or improving the soil grading around your property may offer additional protection.
5. Moisture or Condensation Around Windows
Barndominium owners occasionally notice moisture or condensation around the windows. If the problem is ignored, the moisture may eventually penetrate the wall cavities, increasing the risk of corrosion.
Moisture may also penetrate the drywall, leading to water damage and the threat of mold growth. Restoring water damage may involve tearing down and replacing drywall, insulation, and other materials.
Water is more likely to cause a problem around windows and doors when the barndominium does not have adequate overhangs. Awnings, covered porches, and other overhangs shield windows and doors from rain, decreasing the risk of moisture.
Moisture may become another one of the potential barndominium problems if the windows are not installed correctly. The seals around the window may allow moisture to reach the interior and gradually cause further deterioration.
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6. Rural Living and Longer Commutes
Barndominiums are typically constructed in rural areas, as the building codes in residential urban areas often prevent their construction. If you are used to living in a city, it may take a while to transition to rural living.
Moving from an urban area to a rural area may result in longer commutes to the places that you typically frequent. You may also have less access to shopping and entertainment in your immediate area. However, living away from heavily populated areas can also be one of the advantages of living in a barndominium.
7. Metal Roofs Can Be Noisy
Barndominiums are often built with metal roofing which is another one of the potential barndominium problems. The sound of rain or hail hitting the metal roof is often much noisier compared to a standard asphalt shingle roof. You tend to hear every little ping against the rooftop.
Luckily, you can minimize the noise of metal roofs. For example, thicker metal sheets can absorb more of the sound. Using textured metal sheets helps scatter raindrops to minimize the noise.
Using proper fasteners can keep the metal roofing from moving, which also reduces the noise of rain and severe weather. Other solutions include using an underlayment, extra insulation, or a raised profile.
8. Difficulty with Obtaining Financing or Refinancing
Obtaining a construction loan for a barndominium is often more challenging compared to applying for a loan for the construction of a traditional home. Part of the problem is the lack of comparable sales of barndominiums in the real estate market. Appraisers who are not familiar with barndominiums may also struggle to provide an accurate appraisal.
You may also find it more difficult to refinance your mortgage due to the same difficulties you face when applying for your initial loan.
9. Difficulty Selling Your Barndominium
You may not anticipate ever moving away from your barndominium. However, the average duration of homeownership in the US is about 13 years. You may find a new job, decide to downscale for retirement, or simply want a change of scenery.
If you decide to move, you may not get the best return on your barndominium. Despite the growing popularity of barndominiums, they are still not as mainstream as traditional wood stud frame homes.
You may find that it takes longer to sell your property or fail to receive offers that match your expectations. Keep in mind that the real estate landscape is likely to change over the next decade or so. If barndominiums continue to rise in popularity, selling your barndo may not be a potential problem.
In the end, deciding to build a barndominium comes with many of the same risks associated with any new home construction project. You also need to face the same challenges that other homeowners face.
However, barndominiums also come with unique risks, including corrosion and fabrication errors. The best way to avoid most of these problems is to work with a qualified builder. Look for barndominium builders with a track record of success and review their past projects.
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.
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Gail currently spends her free time geeking out about what’s new and trending in the world of barndominiums.
She is the former executive editor of BarndominiumLife.com and loves working with the team and members of the barndominium community. She now contributes to the blog on occasion, but only when she feels like it!