Do You Need A Foundation For A Barndominium To Make It Strong?

A good foundation provides a house with several benefits like insulation, support, protection, etc. With the rapid adoption of barndos in many parts of the country, many see dissimilarities in the structure.

Usually, this raises the concern:

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  • A basement foundation is the most expensive foundation type for a barndominium.
  • It’s necessary to build a foundation for a barndominium.
  • Concrete slabs are the most used foundations for a barndominium.
  • Beam and Pier foundations are the oldest type of foundations.

Do You Need A Foundation For A Barndominium To Make It Strong?

Despite their prefabricated build, barndos need a foundation like any other building type. Foundation types for a barndo build range from monolithic concrete and stem wall concrete slab, crawl space, and basement foundation.

Hence, a foundation works to keep the barndo in good shape and protect the structure from insects and moisture.

Do You Need A Foundation For A Barndominium

This guide explains the need to build a barndo with a foundation and why it is crucial for a steady build.

Types Of Foundations For Barndominiums

Several types of foundations are adequate for a barndo. While all are suited, they differ in quality, structure, and price. Therefore, you can select depending on the capital available for the project.

The types of foundations for barndos are:

Monolithic Concrete Slab

A monolithic concrete slab is a foundation whereby a construction worker pours concrete at the base. The process should naturally mean that the slab would be uniform, but this isn’t always the case. There are times when construction workers would need to adjust the thickness of a specific part of the slab.

Monolithic Concrete Slab

Stem Wall Concrete Slab

Stem wall concrete slabs involve short constructs linked to a footing made of concrete, helping to give the foundation and the walls a little more support than a monolithic concrete slab. The process takes more time to set up than the monolithic concrete slab and is more robust.

Stem Wall Concrete Slab

To set up a Stem wall concrete slab, you have to place a footer at the site’s base. Afterwards, it would help lay the cement blocks, creating a wall that reaches the foundation of the slab.

Beam And Pier’s Foundations

This type of foundation is one of the oldest types dating back to the 1960s. For this type of foundation, the barndo’s floor is elevated seventeen to eighteen inches from the ground with the help of piers made of concrete.

Beam And Pier's Foundations

The elevation comes in handy as it makes space for electrical wiring and plumbing under the barndo and is suitable for regions with high flooding and high humidity.

Crawl Space Foundation

A crawl space foundation is a foundation with a tight space where you can crawl underneath the building. It is mainly made from cinder blocks, concrete blocks, stones, and poured concrete.

Even though most people tend to mistake a crawl space for a basement, it is crucial to note that they are not the same.

Crawl Space Foundation

Basement Foundation

Basement foundations are generally profound, having a height of seven feet. Most modern houses adopt this kind of foundation, although they are pretty expensive.

So, if you’re under a budget, it’s not a good idea to go for this type of foundation.

However, the good thing about basement foundations is that they provide ample extra space to live or store various items in the barndo.

Basement Foundation

Below is a table that illustrates the average cost for a barndo foundation.

Type Of Foundation Average Cost Per Square Foot

Average Total Cost

Stem Wall Concrete Slab Monolithic Concrete Slab Basement Beam and Pier Crawl Space
$7 $6 $35 $10 $13
$8000 – $25,000 $5000 – $25,000 $28,000 -$55,00 $8000 – $15,000 $10,300 $19,400

Do You Need A Foundation For A Barndominium?

It is worthy to note that foundations are essential for a barndo build, answering the question.

Most components of a barndo are indeed prefabricated, but regardless the home has several parts of a traditional home type.

With that said, the barndo must have a foundation.

Average Barndominium Foundation Cost

Below is a chart serving as a guide to know the average national cost for building a foundation suitable for a barndo.


National Average Cost Minimum Cost Maximum Cost Average Range
$10,500 $5500 $27,750 $6500 to $20,510

Building Foundations: Why They’re Important?

There are several reasons why a foundation is necessary for a barndo and other housing types. Foundations serve as a crucial component that protects the entire building’s structure.

With that said, it’s not only necessary to build one, but it is also vital to go about the construction process properly.

Why Are Building Foundations So Important

The following paragraphs explain the relevance of foundations in a barndo build.

A Foundation Resists Movement

Due to the several climate changes in a particular region, the land’s topography can change, and the land can lose moisture causing the ground’s tectonic plate to shrink.

Hence, the foundation’s job is to protect the building in any situation to ensure it doesn’t lose balance, making it collapse.

It Protects The House From Moisture

Moisture is one of the aspects that you must look out for in a house. It tends to gradually dilapidate the building over time, which can make a building collapse.

A good foundation works to keep water away from the building. After constructing a concrete slab, you can apply a liquid epoxy damp proof membrane to protect from moisture.

Protecting The House From Insects

In most underground areas, bugs and rodents crawl underneath. These critters can feed on the wooden structure or several other components in the house, like the electrical system and plumbing.

Therefore, the foundation’s role is to help keep the bugs and rodents out of the building.

Insulate The Home With Foundation

Most people do not realize that foundations play a vital role in the insulation of a home. It works because the ground absorbs the heat from the sun while the foundation absorbs the heat from the soil, radiating it into the barndo.

To learn a few things about a barndo, check this out:

What Kind Of Foundation A Barndominium Needs?

The type of foundation depends on the budget you have in place for the foundation of the barndo.

Hence, you can utilize any foundation to erect a barndo, but the selection should depend on the terrain of the area and climate factors.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to do a series of wiring and plumbing in the barndo, it is best to opt for a crawl space foundation.

The most common foundations for a barndo are the concrete slabs regardless of what is said.

Why? Because they are cost-efficient, quick to set, and easier to construct, they also offer the necessary support for a barndo.


Because most components of a barndo are prefabricated, you may wonder, do you need a foundation for a barndominium? The answer is yes, it is necessary.

Like every other type of house, it is crucial to have a foundation to ensure that the barndo’s structure remains firm on the ground, and it also provides general support to the barndo.

To learn about foundations suitable for a barndo, read through this material.

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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