Is a Barndominium Considered a Manufactured Home? What If Not?

When you hear the terms barndominium and manufactured home some wonder if a barndominium is a manufactured home?

This is a good question.  They both have to be built although in different ways.  Both can be considered alternative housing.

The question of is a Barndominium Considered a Manufactured Home.  The answer is no, a barndominium is not.

There are many reasons as to why bot but there is one big reason.  That reason is that a manufactured home is assembled in a factory.  A barndominium is assembled at the site where it is going to stay.

In this article, we will explore that answer in more detail.  We will also tell you what a barndominium and a manufactured home are separate.

By the time you finish reading this article, you will know that the answer given is correct.  Read on to learn more about these alternative homes.

What is a Barndominium Home?

When you hear the word barndominium, it almost sounds like it is a made-up word that means nothing.

Barndominium is a combination of two words: barn and condominium.

It is a non-traditional structure.  It has a steel frame and sheet metal siding.  Simply speaking, it is a form of steel building.

It is assembled when they arrive at the land where they are going to be erected.

What is a Barndominium

A barndominium is normally built on an existing property or a multi-acre lot.  It is a building that can be used as two separate dwellings.

If you work at home or want to open some type of store, make it a workshop, or for storage, this you can do while living in the other part of the barndominium.

They were first introduced in Texas but are now growing in popularity across the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska.  There are many reasons for being so popular.

They can be built faster than traditional homes and they are also less expensive to build.  With an open floor plan, you can easily design your own dream house.

The barndominium sits on a concrete slab foundation that is four or six inches thick.  Some prefer to use cement.

They are similar but the question many have is, is concrete better than cement for a barndominium foundation.  Talk to your builder to find out which they prefer to use.

What Does a Manufactured Home Mean?

In years past, a manufactured home was also known as a mobile home.  It is a home that is assembled in a factory and then transported to the site where it is going to be permanently parked.

With this type of home, it has to have a permanent chassis.  This is what allows the home to be moved.

What is a Manufactured Home

When they are made in the factory, they are completely constructed.  For many years, this was the type of home that was chosen for those that wanted affordable housing.

By being constructed in a factory, it saves time and money when it arrives at the land where it is going to be parked.  When it is parked, the chassis does not come off.

Usually, the wheels are taken off and stored under the manufactured home.  The home itself is set on pillars made of concrete blocks.

Some are placed directly on a concrete slab foundation.  A manufactured home can be modules or single units.

If they are modules, they are transported separately and joined when they arrive at the site.

Barndominium vs Manufactured Home:  What’s the Difference?

Although there are several differences between the two, there are also similarities.  Two of the similarities are they are eco-friendly and energy efficient.

Both are built using materials that are friendly to the environment.  This helps to minimize the carbon footprint.

Barndominium vs Manufactured Home

Building regulations

This is in reference to their construction.  With a manufactured home, they have to meet HUD standards.  It is a nationwide construction code.  It overrides all state and local building codes.

With barndominiums, they are built according to the IRC (International Residential Code).  Traditional home construction follows the same code.

They also have to follow all city, state, and county regulations.

Permanent chassis

The chassis is a framework on which the manufactured home is built.  It becomes part of the home.  A manufactured home has to have a permanent chassis.

A barndominium does not have to have a chassis because they are not going to be moved once they are built.  They will become a permanent part of the foundation.

Where assembled

A manufactured home is assembled completely in a factory and moved to its destination.

If you are purchasing a barndominium kit, they are designed and fabricated in a factory and assembled where it is going to be built.

If you are building a barndominium from scratch, it will not be prefabricated.

Size and shape

A manufactured home has to follow strict boundaries.  Because they have to be driven down the highway to their permanent home, they cannot be more than 18 feet wide.

Most are just a simple rectangle shape.  Most manufactured homes are between 14-18 feet wide.  Some add modules to make the manufactured home larger.

If so, they are sent separately.

Barndominiums are more flexible in how they look  They can be any size, square footage, shape, or height as they are not being transported on the highway.

Height restrictions

As with the width restrictions for manufactured homes, they also have a height restriction.

When being transported down the highway, they may have to pass under overpasses, bridges, or even go through tunnels.

As a result, the manufactured home cannot be taller than 13’6”.  This measurement is from the ground to the topmost part of the roof.

Because this is including the chassis, most manufactured homes only have a ceiling of nine feet.

A barndominium has no height restrictions.  If you want them to have high, vaulted ceilings they can.

The builder just has to make sure that it complies with the local building code.


With a manufactured home, you have different floorplans and designs to choose from  Although you get the choice, you may not be able to alter it to suit your needs.

Barndominiums also have floorplans to choose from but if you want to make changes to the design you can.

You just have to work with a construction company or architect to create your custom design.

Why a Barndominium Isn’t a Manufactured Home?

A barndominium is built on-site and not in a factory like a manufactured home.  A barndominium is not portable.

The barndominium does not have as strict codes and has no height or width restrictions.  A barndominium and a manufactured home are built differently and have different codes to follow.

Because of these differences, the barndominium is not recognized as a manufactured home.  When you look at them to see the differences.

Why a Barndominium Isn’t Recognized as a Manufactured Home

What Does a Barndominium Classify As?

A barndominium does not have a class but one thing they do not classify it as is a house.  This is why it is hard to get a regular mortgage when buying a barndominium.

It is made as a “traditional” house.  A barndominium is made of different materials as a regular house.

A traditional house is made of materials like wood, brick, and plaster. A barndominium is a building made of a steel frame.

Final Thoughts

The question was is a barndominium considered a manufactured home has been answered in this article.  It is not considered a manufactured home.

Reading the article, you will see the differences.

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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