Pole Barn Home vs Barndominium: Which Is the Better In 2022?

In today’s society, when you want to build a home, it is no longer the traditional style home.

You have people having tiny houses built, taking old storage containers, and turning them into homes, and more.

There are now two more added to the list:  pole barn homes and barndominiums.

Pole Barn Home vs Barndominium.  The question many wonders if they are not one and the same.

The answer is no, they are not.  One big difference between the two is that a pole barn home is supported by large wood poles.

A barndominium is supported by a steel frame.  Although they are not the same, the pole barn can be made into a barndominium.

Now that the question has been answered, read on to find out the differences between the two dwellings, what they are, and whatever helps distinguish one from the other.

One way to tell the difference is that a barndominium sits on a foundation and a pole barn house does not.

What is a Pole Barn Home?

As mentioned, a pole barn home is supported by large wooden poles.  These poles are buried deep in the ground.

This is an inexpensive way of building a home because it does not need a foundation.  This type of building method allows the building to be put up where it is needed.

You do not have to do a lot of site prep or grading before putting the structure up.

What is a Pole Barn Home

In the beginning, they were just called pole barns and were used to house animals but not to live in.

Somewhere along the way, someone thought of the convenience it would provide if they lived above the part that houses the animals.

The wooden posts are spaced 8 to 12 feet apart, making an open floor plan possible.  The wood posts also have less support so the walls will need some type of support.

They will not be movable walls  They are also less expensive to build.

What is a Barndominium?

In the beginning, as mentioned, these were just referred to as pole barns with added living areas.  Over the years they have evolved into what they are today.

Now a barndominium is built with a steel frame and set on a foundation.  The steel columns are 12-20 feet apart, which enables them to have an open floor plan.

It is a combination of two words, barn, and condo.

What is a Barndominium

The condo part of the word refers to the living quarters and the barn means different things.  It depends on what it is used for.

The interior of the barndominium does not need any load-bearing walls, getting the support for the structure comes from the rafters and roof beams.

Outside, it is covered in aluminum or metal siding.  The roof is metal.  When you live in a barndominium, it looks more like a home than a barn.

Are Barndominiums Cheaper Than a Pole Barn?

The simple answer is no, a barndominium is not cheaper than a pole barn home.  The reason that they are more expensive is because of the materials used.

Barndominiums are made from steel while pole barn homes are made with wood.  A barndominium requires a foundation, which a pole barn home does not.

Are Barndominiums Cheaper Than a Pole Barn

These are the different reasons why a barndominium is more expensive than a pole barn home.  You have all these extra expenses for the materials and labor used.

It raises the price of a barndominium.

Pole Barn Homes vs Barndominium

Pole Barn Homes vs Barndominium

Although barndominiums were born from the designs of pole barn homes but there are many differences.

When you are deciding which to build or whether to convert a pole barn into a barndominium, look at the differences below to help make your decision easier.

Pole Barn HomesBarndominiums
They do not need a foundation. But there are some that have a foundation.They need a concrete foundation to give the home stability and solid footing
The support poles are buried deep in the ground and the house is built around the poles.The support poles, which are steel, are put into the concrete foundation to support the home.
With no foundation, there is no worry about a cracked foundation.
If you live in a climate with many thawing and freezing cycles, the concrete foundation may start to crack.
This type of home is constructed at the site. It takes longer to build a pole barn home because you have to cut the pieces of wood as you go.
You can buy a barndominium kit. The pieces are pre-cut and pre-drilled. All you need to do is follow the instructions to put it together. This makes it quick and easier to build.
Pole barn homes are anchored to the pole and not the foundation so over time it could shift.Because barndominiums are built on a foundation, the house has more stability and does not shift over time. The steel frame is more rigid and can hold up more weight, wind, and more.
Being made of wood, they are more susceptible to termites and rotBecause barndominiums are built on a foundation, the house has more stability and does not shift over time. The steel frame is more rigid and can hold up more weight, wind, and more.
They will require some maintenance to look nice for years to come.They require little maintenance to stay looking beautiful for years.
A pole barn home can be a fire hazard. Being made of wood, if it caught fire, it could be a total loss. Being wood, they could go up in flames easily.A barndominium is made using a steel frame with metal siding so if it caught fire, it would most likely not be a total loss. They do not go up in flames easily.
With a pole barn home, they are made of wood and do not require a foundation, so that is one less expense.Barndominiums are more expensive to build because of the frame and need for a foundation.

Can a Pole Barn Home be Considered as a Barndominium?

This is a question that could have a yes or no answer.  The reason is that many of the pole barns have been converted into a barndominium.

So, the answer would lean more toward no because the barndominium came into existence after the development of the pole barn.

At first, a pole barn was used to house animals, and then an extra space was added for a living area.

With a barndominium, it is a home with living space and extra room for a home office, storage, or whatever you want it to be.

Final Thoughts

This article covers Pole barn home vs barndominium, letting a potential buyer of a new home know what each one entails.

It also covers the differences and how the pole barn transferred into the barndominium of today.

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.

More Posts

Leave a Comment