Is it cheaper to build a house or a Barndominium?

Is it cheaper to build a house or a Barndominium?

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I think barndominium is cheaper to build than a “regular” house, especially with the high cost of construction materials these days.

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It’s inevitably cheaper to build a house. A Barndominium is not actually a house that is built out of wood. These houses are prefabricated and the ‘Barndominium’ refers to the different sections of these manufactured homes, with each section constructed in different factories and then trucked in one complete piece to be assembled on-site.

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On average, Barndominiums cost around $70 to $100 per square foot, so I think they are cheaper to build than regular houses.

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When we were calculating the cost per square foot, it came out to around $25 less per square foot for a barndominium. That was a huge deciding factor for us.

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That depends on how many extras you want! It can be easy to get carried away once you realize how many things a Barndo can really fit. The extra toys can really add on to the price.

HOWEVER, If you keep to (mostly) the basics of a traditional home in your Barndo design, the costs should come in lower than for the construction of a traditional home.

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The initial construction is absolutely cheaper just based on the labor hours alone. After that, saving money is up to you.

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If cost is a concern, I suggest skipping on extras and going with a basic design.

Leave the space for extras and you can always add them on in the future.

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When we started getting quotes to build we quoted both traditional and barndo builds. In about October 2020 we got quoted an average of $165 a sq ft for basic finishings in a traditional. All in our barndo will be around $102 a sq ft we hope! Still a significant difference and more sq footage than what we would have gotten going traditional build. It is all in what your preferences are and how fancy you get. We initially wanted 2 story but the cost was significantly more so we just made a bigger footprint and kept it all one level which I think we will like better since this will be our forever home. Also keeping the roofline all one level and direction saved as well. You can have barndos that have the roofline just like a traditional build, but it is more expensive. All that being said, if you have a budget work with a builder on how to get what you want into your budget or what your options might be to keep the costs low and still get everything you need!

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If you stick to basics, you can save a ton. The problem is trying not to want to splurge on a few things :grin:

A traditional home would have that same issue though, so I would still go with a barndominium.

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I found a good basic breakdown of the cost of building a Barndo. It might be worth checking out.

Here’s a snip from it:

" * $10-$14 per SQFT for materials

  • $4-6 per SQFT for concrete
  • $8-$12 per SQFT for erection
  • $40-$100 per SQFT for interior finishes"
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This is spot on to the averages we are currently paying for our barndo!

It’s amazing how much of the bulk of the cost is the interior.
I know most of it is necessary (can’t exactly go without plumbing) but I wonder if something as simple as a different floor plan could cut down on the price by a bunch.

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This being our 3rd build, we tried anything and everything to cut down on construction cost, without sacrificing our wants and needs. What we found was the simple roof line was a significant savings. We also found out as far as interior, “every corner costs” so we opted for a SUPER simple floor plan. We have the great room including kitchen, living and dining. And ONE hallway with rooms/bathrooms on each side. It served every purpose we needed plus kept costs down. Plumbing has been a huge cost, cabinets are a big expense and also appliances. Keeping concrete floors was a big savings as well. I’d love to know what big costs were saved from some other barndo owners!

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I guess there are more advantages to an open floor plan than just the aesthetic. It’s nice that it can be a cost-cutter as well.

As for cabinets, I just ran across the use of long cabinet doors as the doors for a panty. I’m trying NOT to find more ways to spend more money, but they really do look nice. It’s like having a hidden away pantry until you need it.

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I saw those. It makes me think of those secret rooms with hidden panel entrances.

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