Custom Barndominiums: Tips, Designs, and Building Process

custom barndominiums

The idea of creating your dream home is an exciting and inspiring journey for many people. Custom barndominiums have become an increasingly popular choice for those looking to create a unique, functional, and cost-effective living space. These versatile structures offer a modern twist on traditional barn living, combining the best aspects of metal buildings and prefab home kits.

In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of designing and building your custom barndominium, with practical tips, examples, and advice to help you bring your vision to life.

Complete Guide to Designing Your Custom Barndominium

Step 1: Choosing a Floor Plan

Barndominium Floor Plans

building plans When designing your custom barndominium, the first step is choosing a floor plan that suits your needs and preferences. Countless barndominium floor plans are available, and these range from simple, open-concept designs to more elaborate layouts with separate rooms for various purposes.

Consider factors like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need, your preferred style of living (open-concept or more traditional), and any specific features you’d like to include, such as a home office or workshop.

Open Floor Plans

Open floor plans are a popular choice for custom barndominiums, as they offer a spacious, flexible living area that can be easily adapted to suit your needs. With an open floor plan, the main living area, kitchen, dining area, and living room, flow seamlessly in one space.

Hence, it creates a sense of cohesion and airiness. This layout is best for those who like to entertain or relax in a more open and airy living environment.

Great Room

home interior Another popular feature in custom barndominium house floor plans is the great room. It is typically a large, open space that serves as the central hub of the home.

Great rooms can be used for various purposes, from hosting large gatherings to serving as a cozy family room. When designing your great room, consider factors like ceiling height, natural light, and how to use the space to create an inviting and functional area.

Step 2: Look Into Customization Options

Exterior Walls

small barndominium house Custom barndominiums offer a wide range of interior and exterior wall options, allowing you to create a personalized style for your home. Choose from various materials, such as metal siding, wood, or brick, and select colors and finishes that reflect your style.

You can incorporate features like large windows or sliding glass doors to take advantage of natural light. Moreover, they offer a better connection between outdoor and indoor spaces.

Windows and Doors

Windows and doors play a crucial role in the look and functionality of your custom barndominium. You have to consider factors like energy efficiency, security, and style when choosing windows and doors for your barndominium.

You may want to incorporate unique features like floor-to-ceiling windows, sliding barn doors, or custom-designed entryways to make your barndominium stand out.

Porches and Outdoor Spaces

cute small barndominium with porch Custom barndominiums often feature inviting outdoor spaces, such as porches, patios, or decks, that you can customize to suit your needs and preferences. These spaces provide the perfect setting for relaxing, entertaining, or enjoying the scenery.

Consider factors like the layout, materials, and size of your outdoor space. Moreover, check if it can accommodate extra like fire pits, outdoor seating arrangements, or outdoor kitchens.

Step 3: Building Your Custom Barndominium

Metal Buildings vs. Traditional Construction Methods

When constructing your custom steel barndominiums, you’ll need to decide between using a metal barndominium shell kit or more traditional construction methods. There are a lot of advantages to metal buildings, including durability, low maintenance, and cost savings.

On the other hand, traditional methods like wood framing may provide more design flexibility and a warmer aesthetic. Consider factors like your budget, desired aesthetic, and long-term maintenance requirements when making your decision

Building Kits vs. Pole Barn Kits

gambrel barndominium Building kits and pole barn kits are popular options for constructing custom barndominiums, each with advantages and disadvantages. Building kit kits typically include all the necessary materials, such as steel framing, exterior walls, and roof panels, making the construction process more straightforward.

Pole barn kits, on the other hand, use a post-frame construction method that can be more affordable and offer greater design flexibility but may require more on-site labor.

Step 4: Navigating the Building Process

Working With Builders and Contractors

Hiring experienced builders and contractors is crucial to ensuring the success of your custom barndominium project. Look for professionals specializing in barndominium construction with a strong track record of delivering quality results.

You can check their previous projects or ask for references. Moreover, it is crucial to communicate openly about your expectations and requirements throughout the process.

Meeting Local Building Codes and Regulations

building codes Before beginning construction on your custom barndominium, it’s essential to ensure that your project does not violate any local building codes or regulations. Work with your builder and local permitting authorities to obtain necessary permits, inspections, and approvals. Being one step ahead will avoid delays or legal issues that may arise.

Budgeting and Cost Savings

Building a custom barndominium can be a more cost-effective alternative to traditional home construction, but it’s still important to plan and budget carefully. Consider factors like the cost of materials, permits, labor, and additional features or upgrades when determining your overall budget.

Look for ways to save money without sacrificing quality, such as using energy-efficient materials or opting for a more straightforward floor plan.

Benefits of a Custom Barndominium

what are barndominiums Custom barndominiums provide several advantages over traditional homes. These benefits include:

Design flexibility: Custom barndominiums offer a wide range of design options, which allows you to design a unique space tailored to your preferences.

Durability: Metal-framed buildings are known for their durability. Moreover, they have the ability to withstand harsh weather. Hence, this makes custom barndominiums a long-lasting and sturdy option.

Low maintenance: Metal construction requires less maintenance than wood or steel, as it is resistant to rot, insects, and warping, which can lead to lower long-term costs.

Cost-effectiveness: Building a custom barndominium structure can be more affordable than traditional construction methods, as the materials and labor are often less expensive.

Energy efficiency: With proper insulation and energy-efficient features, custom barndominiums can help customers reduce energy consumption and save on utility bills.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.    How long does it take to build a custom barndominium?

The construction timeline for a custom barndominium can vary depending on several factors, including the size and complexity of the house plans and design, weather conditions, and the availability of materials and labor.

Building a custom barndominium can take six months to a year at most. Keep in mind that you may need additional time for permitting, site preparation, and any customization or finishing work.

2.    What is the average cost per square foot for a custom barndominium?

The average cost per square foot for a custom barndominium can range from $80 to $150. There are a lot of factors that can affect the price, like the materials used, finishes, location, and labor costs.

It is important to note that this is just an average, and the final cost can be higher or lower depending on your specific project requirements and preferences.

3.    Are custom barndominiums energy-efficient?

Yes, custom barndominiums can be energy-efficient. By incorporating sustainable features and materials into steel buildings, such as insulated metal panels, energy-efficient windows, and proper sealing, custom barndominiums can reduce energy consumption and lower utility costs.

Additionally, the metal construction allows for easy integration of energy-saving features, such as solar panels, which can further enhance the energy efficiency of the building.

4.    Can I build a custom barndominium on my existing property?

Yes, it is possible to build a custom barndominium on your existing property, as long as it complies with local zoning regulations and building codes. Before beginning your project, it is crucial to check with your local authorities to ensure that your proposed barndominium meets all the conditions.

This may involve obtaining permits, conducting site inspections, and adhering to specific building codes and regulations.


barndominium shell kits Custom barndominium kits offer a unique and versatile living option for those seeking a more personalized and cost-effective alternative to traditional home or steel house construction. By carefully considering factors like floor plans, materials, and customization options, barndominium owners can create a dream home that truly reflects their style and meets their needs.

With proper planning, design, and construction process, your custom barndominium plans can become a reality. Request a free quote for your barndominium here.