Barndominium Vs House Cost: What’s The Difference?

Barndominium has, in recent years, served a conventional variety of housing alternatives. Because of its sturdy form, a barndo presents the perfect solution for building construction. Even though barndos aren’t widely popular yet, they are gaining ground in some states in the US.

Deciding between building a traditional home or a barndo often leads potential owners to compare barndominium vs house cost to see which one is more pocket friendly.

The answer to the comparison can differ depending on the functionality. The average cost of a 2000-square-foot barndo is around 200,000 dollars; the average per square foot is about 100 dollars, while building a traditional home costs about 284,000 dollars.

However, the price isn’t set in stone due to various factors such as design costs, labor, and more. This guide will explain the different costs for building a barndo compared to traditional houses. By the end of the article, you will be able to make informed choices. Read on!

Barndominiums Vs Regular Houses: A Price Comparison

In some ways, erecting a barndo is less costly than a traditional house. The cost of barndo homes is different from traditional houses, mainly if large structures are being constructed. However, the price differences between building a barndo and a regular house aren’t very significant.

One will only notice the difference in cost when making 2000 to 3000 square feet homes.

Are Barndos Cheaper Than Regular Houses

Manual labour and materials are lower on the side of barndo. As a result, many modern materials are cheap and readily available. The materials for barndo are easy to lock and secure with little effort, which cannot be said for traditional homes where you have to cement one brick after another.

Summary Of The Difference Between Barndo And House Cost

Regular Houses Barndominium
The cost of maintenance is high. The cost of maintenance is lower.
The aesthetics can be found in many other houses. The aesthetics are unique.
The height of the building is about 8 to 9 feet. The height of the building is as high as 14 feet
The ceilings are covered. The ceiling beams are usually exposed.
It is divided into rooms. It has an open living space.
They require more labour to build. They require less labour to build.
They consist of wood and bricks. They are made from metal.

Barndominium vs House Cost: What’s The Difference?

The trend of people moving to alternative housing is getting higher because of the rising costs of traditional houses. It can be tricky to calculate the cost difference between traditional houses and barndos.

However, with this guide on barndominium vs house cost, you will have a better idea about the cost implications. The following paragraphs will highlight some factors that will affect the price.

Barndo Vs House Cost

Design Cost Comparison

Most traditional homes are built standardly, and most builders have a better experience building conventional homes than barndos. Barndos take advantage of standard construction techniques, but they often start as metal buildings. Their initial metallic build eliminates many construction concerns and means that barndos are faster and easier to construct.

For standard construction, the foundation will form the structure’s perimeter, which can take up to 20% of the total bill cost. A barndos foundations are poured onto a monolithic slab, meaning that the core doesn’t take too much of the total bill cost.

In place of block footings, barndos are built using posts. Barndo posts are generally cheaper than wooden frames used in traditional homes. Because of the monolithic used in making them, you can save at least five to ten per cent before completing the shell.

Barndo Regular house
They use monolithic slabs for the foundation They use cement blocks and piers
They are built using metal They are made using wood
Barndos are built using posts While a regular house uses wood frames

Labour Cost Comparison

The design is one factor that affects the cost of labour, and because of the way barndos are built, they tend to be less expensive. For the most part, barndos will not often have the elements found in traditional homes, and features such as brickwork and wooden beams are not to be found.

Hence, the skeleton of barndos is usually easy to build because cranes set them.

The building costs for a barndo are usually high because of the specialized skills needed and machinery. In traditional homes, the wood structures cost half of the total expenses. In contrast, the wood frame is about forty per cent of the total cost for a barndo.

Barndo Regular house
They do not have brickwork and wooden beams. Regular houses have brickwork and wooden beams.
Initial costs are high because of the use of specialized machinery. Specialized machinery is optional at the beginning of the building.

How Do You Appraise Barndos?

Potential owners may find the unique structure of barndos a bit frustrating. In the appraisal of regular homes, appraisers can look at similar homes with the same design and estimate the property value.

Most traditional homes use the same building design and materials, making their valuation easier. The number of square feet available also plays a big part in the valuation.

How Are Barndos Appraised

Barndos, on the other hand, are dissimilar from traditional homes. So, their appraisal usually takes a different route, making comparing regular homes and barndos difficult regarding cost implications. It is also quite challenging to obtain financing for barndos because of their uniqueness.

If a home is appraised for sale, it is easier for the appraiser to look at other homes with similar structures and understand the property value. Hence, it poses a challenge to appraise barndos due to their various designs. Below are some simple ways you can know the value of a barndo;

Using An Automated Model Of Valuation

Benefiting from this model involves using public records, tax assessments, deeds of ownership, and more to determine the value of a home.

Federal Housing Financing Agency Calculator

Using the FHA is a quick way to get a general estimate of a home’s worth. The calculator uses a repeat sale method to estimate how your home value changes in the market.

Consider These While Comparing Your Costs

The design cost and labour cost comparison are not the only factors to consider when comparing a barndo vs house cost. While design costs are essential, materials, location, and other factors should also be carefully considered. Below are some other factors that will affect the price of both a barndo and a traditional home.

Build Materials

It is essential to consider the cost, as barndos and traditional houses do not use the same materials. While a barndo uses metal, regular homes use wood and bricks. The price of timber and bricks is higher, making building a traditional home a little more expensive than a barndo.

Barndo Location

There is no doubt that where a property location plays a massive role in the cost of building. Some states are beginning to open up to the idea of barndos as an alternative housing option. Therefore, engineers and architects are gaining more knowledge in constructing a barndo. The cost of building a barndo will be lesser in a location with experienced engineers and labourers.

Maintenance Down The Line

The cost of building a typical house is high because of materials such as wood and bricks. On the other hand, barndos are constructed with metal notorious for rust.

Insulation And Air Ventilation

Barndos are large and airy, and Barndos are popular in the Southern States like Texas. Here, insulation is not prioritized. As the design of barndos spread into other states, the need for insulation has become more apparent. You can now insulate your barndo using the same materials as traditional homes.

Should You Build A New Barndo Or Renovate One?

There is more advantage to renovating an existing structure than buying a new one. Depending on the owner’s end goal, building or renovating both has its pros and cons. You can adopt a rule of thumb: if a project takes more than 20% of the structure to be modified, it’s better to buy.

It is important to note that part of the existing structure will have to be demolished for these changes. There would be no need for changes when buying, and the cost of demolition will be saved. However, if you want to opt for renovation, the best idea is to find a structure close to the desired plan. Hence, you would reduce costs and charges.


As barndos begin to gain relevance in several regions in the US, many potential homeowners evaluate their choices. This guide on barndo vs house cost shows that, for the most part, barndos are cheaper to build than traditional homes.

However, the cost implication can be minimal if the structure isn’t large. Hence, the cost of building a barndo is around 200,000 dollars, while a regular house is about 280,0000 dollars.

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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