Barndominium definition

I’m thinking at this point, the term Barndominium is thrown around a lot with not much to differentiate it from a conventional home. I have seen a vast majority of “barndominiums” that are just standard stick built homes with metal siding instead of vinyl or brick. I’ve also seen a lot of pole barns that people turned into a home. I have no idea how they pulled that off. I’m in Alabama, and I couldn’t possibly get a permit, much less a bank to help with that, but I am in a wind zone. I don’t want a house that will fall over in a 70mph wind, and wood posts in the ground don’t hold up around here without a lot of termite treatment, and some way to prevent rot. So what I’m building may not even be a Barndominium based on the conventional definition. My bank didn’t want to talk about barndominiums, but was very helpful on my steel framed home with garage. The metal fabricator had no issue meeting the 157 mph wind load requirements including 2400 sqft of porches. They even had a PE on staff for the stamps to get a permit. I did the architectural, electrical, and plumbing drawings. I worked with the PE to ensure everything would fit within his design. He informed me of standard dimensions that wouldn’t require a lot of engineering to stamp, and I made our floor plan and architectural design fit in that. It’s basically two rectangles with max spans of 50 ft. So I guess I don’t know what this thing is other than an idea combined with many years of building manufacturing facilities, then converted to a place to call home. Oh! And a wife who thought it would be really interesting. The bank calls it a steel framed house and garage, so that’s what I’m going with.

I think that more than counts as a barndominium but I agree that the name gets thrown around a lot. I’ve seen quite a few stick-built barn-shaped houses out there when doing my research. Then again, there are also a whole lot with metal frames. I don’t think we’re alone.

I found it interesting that my county will not permit a barn with more than one plumbing fixture. More than that is a house and has to meet the building code and wind load rating. Even if you figure out how to permit the barn, they will not issue an occupancy permit, so the banks won’t touch it. The metal building meets the code requirements, but they permitted mine on two permits. One is residential, and the other is accessory building. They are connected by a covered breezeway, but permitted as two buildings. My architectural drawing shows the house inside the steel structure so the bank calls it a steel framed home with detached garage, and the permit office accepts it since the steel structure meets the wind load requirements. The shop has a Rv hookup but only counts as one fixture, so “barn, or accessory building”. I feel like I’m a professional acrobat after jumping through all these hoops. I just hope the barndominium term doesn’t cause me anymore issues. The banks, permit departments, and builders all seem very confused by that term and what it means. That’s why I’m sticking with fortified steel frame residence with garage.

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And after 11 months of acrobatics, this is what I have.

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I’d definitely avoid any barndo terminology when speaking to bureaucrats.
That frame is looking good so far.

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It’s a start! It must be nice to finally have something on the land.

It’s hitting me hard in the pocket book, but it is amazing seeing something I designed coming up. I’ve done it many times for my employer, but it’s something special when it’s mine. This is our dream home, and retirement plan all together.

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what metal company are you using, that looks like something i was planning on doing, so if you can share the metal company i would appreciate it.

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The building is from JSmith contractors in Mobile AL.

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