At Home in a Barn: Barndominium

Barndos are either refurbished or newly built barns made suitable for living. Constructed of wood and or metal, these homes feature a large, customizable open floor plan. The name itself is a combination of barn and condominium – a home that offers the best of both rural and urban living. One of the most attractive qualities of a barndo is the price tag. Although estimates vary, experts agree that barndos can be built for much less than a traditional house. People are noticing: It is estimated that some 1,000 barndos are being built each year in North America alone.

Soaring ceilings and large windows are two distinctive features of barndos. Their exteriors can be customized to include porches, balconies or decks. Some interiors can include a loft area to maximize the home’s space as well. With a shell made of metal, steel or wood siding, these structures are expected to last 50 years or longer. They are also known to be low on maintenance As with any new construction, there are exterior and interior costs to consider, including those noted below.


  • Purchasing and building the building shell along with the roof, door and windows.
  • Metal, steel or wood siding.
  • Concrete foundation.
  • Landscaping.
  • Patios, porches or balconies.
  • Fencing.


  • Flooring.
  • Appliances.
  • Plumbing.
  • Electricity.
  • Countertops and hardware.

These expenses will depend on how well-appointed you want your barndo to be.

There are also some definite benefits to owning a barndo rather than a more traditional home. For one thing, metal or steel barndos are more fire resistant. They are more likely to stand up against high winds and storms. Despite their generous size, barndos can be energy efficient and environmentally friendly. For example, a metal roof will help reduce energy consumption and lower cooling costs. Having your barn home equipped with energy-efficient windows will  increase cost savings. Another benefit is that barndos may take less time to build than a traditional home. This means lower construction and labor costs.

There are some downsides to consider as well. Metal or steel barn houses are not suitable for humid, tropical climates, where they tend to corrode. Zoning laws may require special permits, restrictions and adherence to local codes for building metal or steel homes in certain areas. Some areas may even require barns to be constructed of wood and not metal. In some cases, it may be necessary to build a barndo in a more rural area away from the amenities of town.

Years ago, it may have been insulting to ask someone if you were raised in a barn. That is certainly no longer true for those who embrace the barndominium lifestyle. This is just a summary—there are more issues to consider. But if you’re interested in something unusual, contact us so we can help you realize your dream.

Claudine Steinfurth
(216) 409-4039
RE/MAX Above & Beyond
7570 Chippewa Road
Brecksville, OH 44141

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