Barndominium vs. Stick Cost – What’s the Difference?

You have decided to build a new home but are unsure which to build, a traditional home or a Barndominium. What is the cost? How much can you save? Building a new home can be a daunting enough job without having to figure out what to build.

The main question that needs to be answered before deciding which to build is the Barndominium vs. stick cost and the difference. You should consider which would fit your family and lifestyle better. You also need to look at their differences when living in them.

This article will cover the difference in Barndominium vs. stick cost. The article will also discuss why a Barndominium is better than a stick house. There will be some floor plans to give you an idea of how a Barndominiums open concept will work better for your family and lifestyle.

Barndominium vs. Stick Cost

There are many that go into the cost of a Barndominium or stick house. One factor is the size plus labor and materials. Below this article will break down the cost of a Barndominium and a stick house to help you decide which would best suit your budget. With both, you will have to figure out permits and inspections.

Barndominium vs. Stick Cost


The average cost is $50 to $90 per square foot, but if you go with a kit, it can be as low as $20 a square foot. A kit includes the framework, roof, and hardware to put it together. Some will include the exterior door and windows. With a Barndominium, you can help save on labor costs by doing some of the work yourself.

Below is a list of some other costs of building a Barndominium.

  • Plumbing -includes installing all the water and sewer pipes and hooking up the bathtubs, showers, toilets, sinks, washer, dishwasher, and anything else that needs to be connected. This averages $5.00 per foot. When averaging the cost, you have to look at the amount of pipe and how many things need to be hooked up. There may also be the cost to connect it to the city water and sewer lines. Cost $6,000 to $18,000
  • Electricala licensed electrician will wire your Barndominium, indoors and outdoors. This includes all outlets, a circuit panel, light fixtures, and major appliances. The electrician may charge by the hour or by the square foot. The price will depend on how much power you need and how much wire you need to run. If you have a workshop, garage, or home business, it will add to the cost. Cost $5,500 to $18,000.
  • Flooringwith a concrete slab, you can paint it and just seal it if you want. This will save you some money, but most want to put down carpet, wooden floor, or laminate. A hardwood floor averages $5 to $14 per square foot. Carpet is $2 to $4 a square foot, and tile is $15 to $26 per square foot. Cost $8,000 to $34,000

You also have to figure in the costs of the foundation that you are building your Barndominium on. This averages $5,500 to $25,000, depending on the thickness and size plus, if you are building a garage or workshop, you will need a bigger concrete slab. Blueprints cost $50 to $2,500, depending on if the builder or an architect draws them up.


The average cost per square foot is $100 to $200. Below is a list of the other expenses involved in building a stick house.

  • Designing your home—a traditional stick house will have been designed and drawn by an architect, costing $2,000 to $8,500. If you want revisions to the original drawing, there may be an additional charge. After you are satisfied with the plans, they are sent to the local government for approval before permits can be issued.
  • Prepping the site and foundation—to prep, the lot means leveling it out and removing any trees, bushes, or structures in the way of where it is being built. Once this is done, the foundation is laid out. The cost will be more if you want a basement. For prep work, it is about $3,000; the foundation, on average, is $9,000 or more.
  • Framing—this is erecting the walls, roof, and floor, plus using wooden beams on the outline of doorways, hallways, and walls. For example, a house that is 3,000 square feet would be about $50,000.
  • Insulation—this would be approximately $3,500 for a 3,000 square foot home.

The cost for plumbing, electricity and HVAC also varies according to the number of bathrooms, fixtures, how upgraded everything was, and square footage. You also have your interior, siding, windows, doors, appliances, and more.

Is a Barndominium Cheaper than a Stick House?

When you are building a larger Barndominium or stick house, it is cheaper to build the Barndominium. When both are smaller dwellings, the cost difference is minimal. The cost difference becomes more significant when building 2,500 square foot to 3,500 square foot Barndominiums or stick houses.

Is a Barndominium Cheaper than a Stick House

The major differences are in the labor and material, with the Barndominium being less expensive. The material is cheaper for a Barndominium because you have a steel framework, and the other materials are readily available. They are also easier to put up. With a stick house, you have to arrange and put it up one brick at a time, so more material and labor costs.

Reasons a Barndominium is cheaper than a stick.

  • Labor costs lower—Barndominiums are quicker to build than a stick house, so this lowers labor costs. The main area where the labor costs are lower is the time it takes to build the framework. For example, a 3,000 square foot Barndominium can be built within a week, but a house may take a month. A barndominium has its roofs installed with the walls, but a stick has to be completely built before the roof can be put on.
  • Materials cheaper—yes, a steel framework is more expensive than a wooden framework. Still, when you order your steel framework, they create all the parts in the warehouse and ship them to you. It costs more to have wood custom ordered and cut.
  • More elements in one purchase—when you build a Barndominium, many use a kit, so you get more parts in one purchase. The builder has to buy each element from different companies with a traditional stick.

Why Choose a Barndominium Over a Stick House?

A Barndominium is easy to build and has better quality materials. They are easier to customize, offer open-concept floor plans, and have a unique style. A Barndominium is more energy-efficient with better insulation, so you spend less on your electric bill.


When laid out, the Barndominium vs. stick built cost shows that a Barndominium costs less, but how much will depend on various factors, as shown in this article. In addition to the lower cost, a Barndominium is more durable, can save you on your electric bills, and is a steel frame. They can withstand flame and heat, so your insurance is lower. Take the time to look at all the figures before choosing whether to build a Barndominium or stick.

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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