Are Barndominiums Energy-efficient Enough To Save Money?

The idea of barndominiums dates back decades, but it wasn’t until recently that this type of home really started to pick up steam in the housing market.

What are barndominiums, exactly?

For starters, they’re basically modular homes (which are homes built offsite and then transported to their final location) that aren’t bound by the strictures of traditional home building.

They also typically boast lower construction costs than standard homes because they lack many of the amenities required to pass building codes in more traditional neighborhoods.

But are barndominiums energy-efficient?

Energy efficiency of any property depends on various factors including type of insulation in place, quality of wiring, power consumption habits, etc.

But all things considered, barndominiums are actually more energy-efficient than any typical commercial or residential property.

To give you a better understanding of are barndominiums energy-efficient, in the following sections we discuss various aspects that contribute to its efficiency!

Are Barndominiums Energy-Efficient?

The typical American home has grown bigger over time.

Bigger homes use more energy to heat and cool, not to mention appliances like washing machines, dryers, refrigerators and dishwashers.

In fact, a report by Hewitt Research found that larger homes used nearly 20 percent more energy than their smaller counterparts.

So how do you maximize your space while minimizing your energy bills?

Consider opting for a barndominium! Barndominium are much cheaper to build from scratch when compared with houses or even large sheds.

Most people opt for wood frame construction, because it’s cheap and easy to obtain materials.

However, some homeowners choose other materials such as steel or concrete blocks—the latter option adds durability without significantly increasing cost.

Are Barndominiums Energy-Efficient

For example, if you’re building in an area where termites aren’t common (like parts of California), concrete block is a fine choice.

Some cities also have ordinances that require special footings or insulation depending on what type of material you use.

You can find out about these regulations before beginning construction, so they don’t come as a surprise during inspections later on.

If you go with wood framing, remember to insulate well so you won’t have to rely on your furnace quite as often.

Do research into optimal insulating practices for shed-sized structures before laying down plywood walls, tacking up sheet rock and getting insulation blown into place.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Barndominiums Energy-Efficient

There are always tradeoffs when it comes to are barndominium safe and energy efficiency, but when compared with traditional houses, barndominiums offer a few distinct advantages.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Barndominiums Energy-Efficient

1. Helps Insulate Home Naturally:

Although it’s a shed, a barndominium has built-in insulation that helps keep your heating and cooling costs down by naturally protecting your home from temperature extremes.

You can also add additional insulation if necessary or wanted which should aid in energy efficiency as well as comfort levels inside of your structure.

Because they sit on concrete slabs instead of being dug into lots like traditional houses.

They offer less surface area for extreme weather to seep through as well as saving you time and money on foundation work!

2. A Single-Wall Shelter:

Just because you don’t have a traditional roof, that doesn’t mean you don’t get protection from mother nature!

A single wall provides natural protection for both rain and snow, meaning fewer leaks or water damage to worry about.

3. Easy, Affordable Build:

The use of wood framing means that barndominiums are easy and affordable to build for homeowners regardless of skill level or experience.

Many lots are built with low maintenance in mind, which makes upkeep easier on both you and your wallet!

Just keep up with your usual yard work—the key difference is that it’ll only take a fraction of time since you don’t have much grass to mow!

4. Off-Grid Options:

While most homeowners choose barndominiums for their cost and convenience, off-grid hobbyists can still reap many of their benefits while avoiding some of their inconveniences.

5. Makes it easy to build an addition:

With a shed structure, you can easily add on at any time—and be able to insulate and weatherize each new space with minimal work!

This is especially helpful for novice or casual off-grid hobbyists who want flexibility in their living situation without adding too much cost or effort into building out rooms one by one.

Disadvantages of Barndominiums:

Disadvantages of Barndominiums

1. Does not have much space for living or entertaining:

If you have a large family or are looking to throw parties, barndominiums might not be for you—while they do provide adequate shelter, their room layout isn’t conducive to having many people over at once since there’s no formal dining area or extra bedroom space available right off of your main room.

Their design is geared more towards hobbyists who are looking for structure but don’t necessarily need extravagant living spaces.

2. Can’t add much in terms of utilities:

One of barndominiums biggest perks is also one of its biggest downfalls

Although their insulation keeps energy costs down for heating and cooling, you can’t feasibly extend or install most other major utilities inside a shed since it wouldn’t be able to support them structurally!

Not a huge deal if you don’t need added electrical outlets or plumbing, but it might be something to consider if those are at all necessary.

3. Isn’t very good for yardwork:

This might seem counterintuitive, but shed construction really isn’t meant to support a large amount of weight, so you won’t be able to keep a large lawn with a barndominium!

Luckily, it is intended more as a hobby or secondary living space rather than an integral part of your home.

So, that shouldn’t be too much of an issue if you don’t plan on doing heavy landscaping around your property.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are barndominiums more energy efficient?

Yes! Thanks to their design, barndominiums can keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer for just a fraction of what it would cost if you built a traditional home.

They also help keep pests out thanks to thicker walls, so you don’t have to worry about mosquitoes getting into your living space or birds flying through your window!

Whether you’re looking for low maintenance or an easy way to get started off-grid, building a barndominium is certainly an effective way of reaching either goal!

2. Are barndominiums expensive to heat?

It really depends on your heating needs—while they’re certainly more affordable than a traditional home, you can’t just assume that you won’t have to pay anything at all!

It will take some trial and error to find out what combination of insulation and trapping works best for your particular climate.

But once you do, it’ll be easy enough to maintain a comfortable temperature year-round with minimal energy use.

3. How are barndominiums insulated?

Just like other types of sheds, they’re designed to be mostly or entirely hollow!

Their insulating value comes from their walls and ceiling.

By building your walls out of extra thick plywood and attaching a solid roof (with lots of extra insulation) on top, you can expect it to keep heat inside during winter and heat outside during summer for many years to come.

Final Thought

If you’re a hobbyist who wants a standalone shelter or a secondary living space that you can craft to your needs, barndominiums are an excellent option!

They’re easy to build, affordable, and have multiple DIY plans available so you can find one that suits your property.

James HallBarndominiums Advisor

I'm James, your barndominiums advisor. Several years ago, I had no idea what barndominiums were. Although I'd spent over 10 years in the construction industry, the first time I heard about barndominiums was when I saw my neighbor building a new-style home. That was the first barndominium I've ever seen, and I found it so fascinating that I wanted to learn more about them.

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