How Long Does it Take to Build a Barndominium? Here’s the Answer!
how long does it take to build a barndominium

With the real estate market bursting with inflation, aspiring homeowners are turning towards creative options for living. One of the most popular alternatives to traditional housing is the barndominium. A barndominium is a small home built from the shell of a barn. How long does it take to build a barndominium, though? In this guide, we dive deep into the timeframe, cost breakdown, and pros and cons.

How Long Does it Take to Build a Barndominium?

It usually takes around six months to build a barndo from scratch. The time frame, however, ultimately depends upon the size of the barndominium being constructed, the resources being used, and the complexity of the floor plan.

Whether you’re remodeling a used barndominium or building one from the ground up, construction will take roughly the same amount of time. This is because every element of the house, from the roofing and sides to the plumbing and electricity, needs to be done in a specific order.

Final touches like insulation, furnishings and pest prevention can take even more time.

Determining Factors of Constructing a Barndominium

Building wooden house

Similar to traditional homes, building a barndominium from scratch requires a lot of prep work on site. Once you have the location secured, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • First, inspect the property. Does it have extra weeds or shrubbery growing? Remove them as well as you can. Level the ground before having the workers come in so there are no hiccups at the time of construction.
  • Contact the crew to lay the foundation. Pour the cement in place, place the rebar down, and wait until it’s dry.
  • Next, plant the frame of the barndo. This is where you’ll settle on your floor plan.
  • The contractor will then signal the crew to get the secondary frame started where the walls are put up and raised elements are built. At this point, you will also want to have insulation installed.
  • Once the framers are in, you can call the roofers and have them install the metal roof of the barndo. If your area is on alert for rain or snow, make sure to get this done as quickly as possible.
  • Now that the shell of the barndominium is complete, you can have the plumber and electrician install the wastewater system, light fixtures, heating elements, HVAC system, and more.
  • Don’t forget the kitchen: have a technician come in for a gas inspection (if you are using gas).
  • Finally, furnish your barndo, move in, and enjoy your new home!

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Barndominium?

It is difficult to quote a building estimate for a barndominium since the cost depends upon the amount of labor hired, the floor plan, quality of the land, the materials being used, commissions of the contractors, and the furnishings chosen.

It should be noted that there are DIY kits available for building a barndominium.These kits can cost anywhere between $20,000 to $90,000. Basic barndo building kits come with the foundation material and framework. Advanced kits can even include some sort of cabinetry.

Here’s a list of every component, besides land, you’ll need to hire to build a durable barndominium:

  • Labor for assembling the foundation and framers
  • Architect to design a custom floor plan
  • Roofers to get the roof done
  • Electrician to install the wires and plugs
  • Plumber to complete the waste system
  • Insulation to keep warm during the winter (or cool during the summer)

Can a Barndominium be Built Within Weeks?

Yes, a barndominium can be built to completion within weeks. A timeframe that ambitious requires extensive planning and resource allocation, though. You’ll essentially need to tick off the three M’s:

  • Muscles: Hire double shift labor so they can work through the night to complete the barndominium as quickly as possible.
  • Machines: Get the installations ready before time such as the roofers ready to come in as soon as the framers are done. Order furnishings to be placed when the interior work is complete.
  • Money: Funds to burn through as fast as you blink because nothing is free in construction. There are cheaper options that can be easier on the wallet, such as using thrifted furniture.

Pros and Cons of Building a Barndominium

wooden house

Here are the pros of building a barndominium:

Cost Effective

Building a barndominium is quite pocket-friendly. They are cheaper per square foot than a traditional home. Plus, most of them do not require as much maintenance upfront or even in the long run. Not to mention, barndominiums have lower taxes and insurance rates. They are perfect for large families and startups.


Barndominiums have more structural integrity than a traditional home. Not only are they protected from hazardous fires, they also act as great covers during thunderstorms and hurricanes. The metal roofing serves as a great insulator against cold winds and cools great in the summer. It doesn’t hurt that the metal walls won’t rust like wood, either.

Long Lasting

Besides durability, barndominiums have great life expectancy. When maintained well, they can last for generations and still look like new. Simply provide necessary upkeep for the roof and sides, and your house can be home to families for over half a century. Barndominiums are safe, secure and serve as great property for offices and families with little kids.

Open Concept

The best part about owning a barndominium is that the floor plan is open for interpretation. If you’re building a barndo from scratch, it can essentially house as many rooms as you need for daily functioning. You could have a separate office space along with a garage, two story home or even commercial spaces built on the ground floor.

Here are a few drawbacks to keep in mind when building a barndominium:

Financial Frustration

Since barndominiums are still essentially a barn made into a home, they aren’t factored into actual real estate and so getting loans approved can be difficult. They can typically be financed through different sources like farm credit lenders.

Zonal Regulations

Besides payment pains, barndominiums are harder to build in the city as most areas do not view barns as prime housing. You might run into zonal hiccups that prevent you from constructing a barndo in the town, but even so you may be able to build a barndo in the country.

Resale Difficulty

Although a barndominium’s greatest appeal is its open floor plan, that is also what makes reselling difficult. Most consumers would rather pay to get a barndo built from the ground up according to their design preferences than renovate a constructed barndo. Since the cost incurred is almost equal, this makes sense.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a barndominium worth it?

Yes, barndominiums are worth the effort of construction and the cost. Compared to a traditional home, they are cheaper to build. On the other hand, barndominiums do not require much maintenance. Plus, the floor plans can be customized to fit individual needs.

How long do barndominiums last?

Since the roofing of the barn and most of the building is constructed out of metal, a barndominium can easily last over fifty years with minimal maintenance needed. Depending upon the climate of the area and how well the property is taken care of, a barndominium can provide great value for money.

Are barndominiums more durable than a conventional home?

Yes, barndominiums are considered more durable than a conventional home. This is because barns are usually cut out of metal especially the roof and sides which provides essential cover against rain, termites, fire, mildew and mold. Barndominiums are less likely to collapse under extreme weather too.

Are barndominiums safe?

Yes, barndominiums are safe to live in. They are great insulators during winter and the perfect coolers during summer. Besides the roof needing minor maintenance checks throughout the years, there’s no extra work needed on a barndominium for at least 50 years or even more. They are perfectly secure homes.

Do barndominiums have a good resale value?

No, barndominiums do not have a good resale value. This is because most of them have floor plans designed for the specific owners and it can be difficult to find potential buyers that do not require any adjustments. However, you could market the barndominium as rent to own and enjoy the benefits of that.

Is it easier to build a barndominium using a DIY kit?

Yes, it is easier to build a barndominium using a DIY kit. However, it is recommended to have a specialist on standby to provide efficient labor where needed and ensure the property is in good hands. It might take longer than six months to build but it’s worth it.

Brief Summary

Barndominiums are the perfect solution for bachelors and families looking for an open concept home at a budget. Now that you know how long it takes to build a barndominium, the cost analysis, and the legal factors to consider, you can be a proud homeowner within six months!


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