How much does a barndominium cost to build?
How much does a barndominium cost to build?
$65 – $160 average cost per square foot
$130,000 – $320,000 average total cost to build (2,000 SF)
Average cost to build a barndominium
The cost to build a barndominium is $65 to $160 per square foot or $130,000 to $320,000 on average for a 2,000 SF home. Barndominium prices depend on the size, materials, and interior finishes chosen. Barndominium kit prices are $20 to $35 per square foot for materials only.
|Square feet||Average cost to build*|
|1,000||$65,000 – $160,000|
|1,200||$78,000 – $192,000|
|1,500||$97,500 – $240,000|
|1,800||$117,000 – $288,000|
|2,000||$130,000 – $320,000|
|2,500||$162,500 – $400,000|
|3,000||$195,000 – $480,000|
|3,500||$227,500 – $560,000|
|4,000||$260,000 – $640,000|
|5,000||$325,000 – $800,000|
*Prices do not include the land.
A barndominium—also called a "barndo"—is a barn-style metal building with a flexible living space that doesn't require load-bearing interior walls.
Barndominium plans with cost
Stock plans for a barndominium house cost $1,300 to $2,000. A custom-designed barndominium plan costs $4,500 to $6,000 or more. A good compromise is to pay an architect or home designer a fee to modify a stock plan to suit your specific needs.
|Plan type||Average cost|
|Stock barndominium plans||$1,300 – $2,000|
|Custom-designed barndominium plans||$4,500 – $6,000+|
Stock plans come with fully specified blueprints including sheets for:
Construction details including framing, wall sections, stair sections, etc.
Custom-designed barndominium plans may also include site plans, mechanical drawings, plumbing drawings, truss packages, and materials lists.
Barndominium kit prices
Barndominium kit prices are $30 to $50 per square foot, including the shell and on-site assembly but not site prep, a foundation, utilities, or interior finishes:
The prefab kit costs $20 to $35 per square foot and includes plans and materials for the exterior walls, roof trusses, metal siding, roofing, and trim.
Labor to assemble the kit on-site costs $10 to $15 per square foot.
|Dimensions||Square footage||Unfinished kit costs*|
|30x40||1,200||$36,000 – $60,000|
|40x40||1,600||$48,000 – $80,000|
|40x60||2,400||$72,000 – $120,000|
|40x70||2,800||$84,000 – $140,000|
|40x80||3,200||$96,000 – $160,000|
|50x50||2,500||$75,000 – $125,000|
|50x80||4,000||$120,000 – $200,000|
|50x100||5,000||$150,000 – $250,000|
|60x60||3,600||$108,000 – $180,000|
|60x80||4,800||$144,000 – $240,000|
*Costs include kit and assembly but not site prep, utilities, or interior finish work.
Every element of a prefab barndominium kit is labeled for easy assembly on site, with some companies including a 3D model for a trouble-free installation.
A dry-in barndominium looks like a finished home from the outside, but the inside is empty and ready for finish work.
Barndominium cost calculator
Additional costs when building a barndominium include the land, site prep, a foundation, utilities, and interior and exterior finishing.
|Factor||Percentage of total cost|
|Building shell / kit||20%|
|Site prep||5% – 10%|
|Concrete slab foundation||5% – 10%|
|Interior & exterior finishing||40%|
Buying land and creating access
Land costs greatly impact the final cost of a barndominium. A rural lot costs less than suburban acreage, but developing the rural lot costs up to $75,000 to bring in major utility services, clear the land, and improve the road access.
A land survey costs $380 to $540, depending on the terrain and the difficulty of tracking down official property documents.
Clearing land to build a house costs $1,200 to $3,700, depending on how many trees and obstacles need removal.
Paving a private asphalt road costs $3 to $7 per square foot.
A gravel road costs $1 to $3 per square foot.
Barndo zoning and permits prices
Building a barndominium in a rural location avoids some of the zoning restrictions found in more suburban settings. Owners should confirm if the land is zoned for commercial, residential, or both.
Some common costs when planning a barndominium build include:
Building permits cost $500 to $2,000.
An architect charges $100 to $250 per hour or $15,000 to $80,000 for full-house design services.
A structural engineer charges $100 to $220 per hour.
A draftsperson charges $30 to $120 per hour or $700 to $10,000 to draw up complete house plans for a 2,000 SF home.
Barndominium foundation or basement cost
A barndominium is typically built on a concrete slab foundation costing $5 to $14 per square foot. Building a basement foundation increases costs to $33 per square foot, not including finishing the basement interior.
Barndominium construction labor costs
Barndominium construction involves added labor costs for the following services:
A general contractor costs $50 to $150 per hour.
An interior designer costs $50 to $200 per hour.
Electrician services cost $50 to $130 per hour.
Plumber services cost $45 to $150 per hour.
Barndominium materials and fittings prices
A barndominium kit includes all of the materials and fasteners to build the exterior shell structure. Building out the interior surfaces may include the following materials and fittings:
Drywall installation costs $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot.
Spray foam insulation costs $1.00 to $4.50 per square foot of surface area.
Flooring installation costs $6 to $10 per square foot, depending on the material chosen.
Interior painting costs $1 to $6 per square foot.
HVAC installation costs $7,000 to $16,000 for a new system with ductwork.
Furnace installation costs $3,400 to $11,000 for a new furnace with ductwork.
Interior door installation costs $155 to $688 each for bedroom, bathroom, or closet doors.
Exterior door installation costs $300 to $1,900 each for a garage, side, back, or front door.
Kitchen appliances cost $2,500 to $6,800 to install a complete set.
Kitchen cabinets cost $4,500 to $15,000.
Utility services vs. septic system for a barndo
Depending on where you build your barndo, you will either tie into the existing utility services or need to build those services on-site. Adding utilities to a vacant lot costs $9,000 to $34,500+, depending on the local services available.
Well water – Drilling a well costs $25 to $65 per foot.
Sewer – Adding a new sewer line costs $1,000 to $4,300 for up to 40 feet, including excavation and backfill.
Septic – Installing a new septic system costs $3,280 to $5,040.
Running power from the road to the house costs $5 to $15 per square foot for overhead power lines or $10 to $25 per square foot for underground power.
The average cost to wire a new house interior is $6,000 to $22,500.
Plumbing – Rough-in plumbing for new construction costs 4 to $6 per square foot.
Exterior finishing includes siding, landscaping, decks and patios, and a driveway:
Siding – Siding installation costs $3 to $13 per square foot, on average, depending on the material.
Driveway – A new driveway costs $3 to $12 per square foot, depending on the material.
Landscape designers charge $50 to $150 per hour.
Landscaping costs $50 to $100 per hour.
A concrete patio costs $4 to $12 per square foot installed.
Building a deck costs $15 to $30 per square foot, including labor and materials.
Fencing costs $13 to $25 per linear foot installed.
Barndominium shop house cost by state
The cost to build a barndominium varies by state due to the differences in material and labor costs in each location. For example, building a barndominium in Texas costs $68 to $168 per square foot while in Oklahoma it costs $62 to $152 per square foot.
|State||Cost per square foot|
|Alabama||$62 – $154|
|Alaska||$80 – $197|
|Arizona||$62 – $154|
|Arkansas||$60 – $149|
|California||$71 – $174|
|Colorado||$66 – $162|
|Connecticut||$70 – $173|
|Delaware||$66 – $163|
|Florida||$62 – $152|
|Georgia||$62 – $154|
|Hawaii||$78 – $192|
|Idaho||$59 – $146|
|Illinois||$68 – $166|
|Indiana||$63 – $155|
|Iowa||$63 – $155|
|Kansas||$65 – $160|
|Kentucky||$62 – $154|
|Louisiana||$66 – $163|
|Maine||$62 – $152|
|Maryland||$66 – $163|
|Massachusetts||$73 – $179|
|Michigan||$66 – $162|
|Minnesota||$64 – $158|
|Mississippi||$61 – $150|
|Missouri||$63 – $155|
|Montana||$63 – $155|
|Nebraska||$60 – $147|
|Nevada||$66 – $162|
|New Hampshire||$64 – $158|
|New Jersey||$71 – $174|
|New Mexico||$60 – $147|
|New York||$69 – $170|
|North Carolina||$62 – $154|
|North Dakota||$68 – $166|
|Ohio||$65 – $160|
|Oklahoma||$62 – $152|
|Oregon||$63 – $155|
|Pennsylvania||$64 – $158|
|Rhode Island||$68 – $168|
|South Carolina||$64 – $158|
|South Dakota||$61 – $150|
|Tennessee||$64 – $157|
|Texas||$68 – $168|
|Utah||$63 – $155|
|Vermont||$62 – $152|
|Virginia||$62 – $154|
|Washington||$65 – $160|
|West Virginia||$62 – $152|
|Wisconsin||$65 – $160|
|Wyoming||$64 – $158|
|D.C.||$73 – $179|
Cost of barndominium vs. house
A simple barndominium with basic finishes is cheaper to build than a traditional home costing $100 to $200 per square foot. A barndominium with an elaborate design and high-end finishes can cost as much or more than a traditional home since the interior finishing makes up the bulk of the price.
$130,000 – $320,000
More affordable, especially when using a stock plan
$155,000 – $416,000
More expensive, especially for custom designs
|Time to build||
|70 – 100+ years|
|Strength and safety||
Withstand winds up to 150 mph
|Withstand winds up to 150 mph|
|Durability||Metal construction is mold, pest, and fire resistant.||Wood construction is prone to moisture, mold, pest, and fire damage.|
|Maintenance||Low maintenance aluminum siding||Repainting every 7 to 10 years|
|Energy-efficiency||Well-insulated for better energy efficiency||Energy-efficient building practices are more costly.|
|Insurance costs||Secondary usage of a workshop or agricultural workspace is riskier, making insurance more costly and difficult to obtain.||Easy to insure, but costlier in areas with hazardous weather like hurricanes and tornadoes|
|Environmental impact||Sustainable stainless steel has a reduced impact on the environment.||Green building practices are more costly.|
|Building codes||May be restricted in cities and towns||Some suburban neighborhoods have size restrictions.|
|Financing||Difficult to finance with a conventional mortgage||Easier to get a conventional mortgage or construction loan|
|Selling||Limited resale market||Appeals to most buyers|
How long does it take to build a barndominium?
Building a barndominium takes around 6 months or longer for larger homes with more customizations.
How long do barndominiums last?
Barndominiums built with durable, heavy steel should last 50 years or longer with routine maintenance including regular cleaning, tightening the fasteners, and repairing scratches to prevent rust.
Do barndominiums appreciate or hold their value?
Barndominiums hold their value and appreciate over time. A barndominium is a great investment, but a custom barn home built to your unique specifications may not appeal to the mass market when you decide to sell.
Where can I build a barndominium?
You can more easily build a barndominium in rural areas with lenient building codes. Cities and suburban towns often have stricter zoning regulations.
Can you finance a barndominium?
You can finance a barndominium, but appraising the property’s value is difficult, which limits conventional financing options. Farm credit lenders with experience financing barn buildings are more likely to offer a loan, especially when you provide detailed plans with a supply list, timeline, and 3D model.
How to build a barndominium
Building a barndominium involves these steps:
Locate and purchase land.
Plan the layout and buy stock plans or hire an architect to design custom plans.
Contact a barndominium builder or order a kit.
Prep the site by clearing, leveling, and grading the land.
Pour a concrete foundation.
Build the exterior kit or shell.
Install major utilities like plumbing, electric, sewer, and HVAC.
Build-out the interior space with walls, ceilings, doors, and trim.
Install exterior features like decks, landscaping, and driveway.
Getting estimates from barndominium builders
Keep these things in mind when getting estimates from barndominium builders near you:
Search for licensed, insured, and bonded builders with experience building barndominiums.
Get three to four estimates with similar materials to compare.
Read their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
Ask to visit an active job site to see if their work meets your expectations.
Pick a contractor that fits your budget and timeline.
Request a contract in writing that includes the timeline, payment schedule, and warranty information.
Avoid paying in full or making large upfront deposits. Instead, follow a payment schedule and make the final payment when the job is complete.
Questions to ask
Ask these question to help you find the best barndominium builder for your project:
Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
How many barndominiums have you built this year?
Can I see examples of your work nearby?
Do you use stock building plans or create custom designs?
Does your estimate include site prep and cleanup?
Will you obtain the necessary building permits?
How long will it take to build the barndominium?
How much of a deposit do you require? What are your payment terms?
Do you have a list of preferred lenders I can contact for financing?