Barn House: Design and Build Your Dream Home

barn house in canada

Do you want a house that blends the traditional rustic appeal of a barn with modern features and comforts? A barn house might be just the perfect option for you. A barn house (aka barndo or barndominium) is a unique, livable, functional, and beautiful space, offering a warm and inviting feel that you can customize to fit your needs and preferences.

In this article, we will guide you through designing and building a barn house, from choosing the right plans and materials to customizing the interior and exterior. Whether you’re planning to build a primary residence or a second home, a small or large house, we will provide actionable tips and examples to help you make informed decisions and create the barn house of your dreams.

Choosing Your Barn House Plans

garage with living quartersThe first step in building a barn house is to choose the right plans that fit your lifestyle, taste, and budget. The size, layout, style, and features of your barn house will depend on several factors, such as the number of people who will live in it, the amount of living space you need, and the type of activities you plan to do. Here are some factors to consider when selecting your barn house plans:

Size and Layout

The size and layout of your barn house will determine how livable and functional your home will be. You can choose a pre-designed barn house plan that fits your size requirements, or you can customize your plan to add or remove rooms, adjust the layout, or create new spaces for additional living space with a good sitting room or maybe dining room too. Some popular barn house sizes include:

  • Small: under 1000 sq ft
  • Medium: 1000-2000 sq ft
  • Large: over 2000 sq ft

When choosing the size and layout for your barn home project, consider the following factors:

  • The number of people who will live in the house: Make sure you have enough bedrooms, bathroom, dining room, ideal master bedroom, and living space to accommodate your family and guests.
  • The amount of living space you need: Consider your daily activities, hobbies, and work, and make sure you have enough space to move around and store your belongings.
  • The type of activities you plan to do: You should ensure you have dedicated spaces if you plan to entertain guests, have a home office, or do outdoor activities.

Style and Features

canadian homesteadBarn homes are available in various styles and designs, from classic and rustic to contemporary and elegant. The style and features of your barn house will reflect your personality, taste, and lifestyle. Some popular barn house styles and features include:

  • Barn style home: features a raised center aisle and a gabled roof, creating a classic and timeless feel.
  • Post and beam construction: uses heavy timbers and natural materials, providing a sturdy and traditional feel.
  • Covered deck: provides an outdoor living and dining space, adding an extra layer of livability and enjoyment to your home.
  • The great room: features ample open space with vaulted ceilings and natural light, creating a warm and inviting feel.
  • Mudroom: provides a space for shoes, coats, and other outdoor gear, keeping your home clean and organized.
  • Wet bar: adds a space for entertaining and relaxing, making your home a gathering place for friends and family.
  • Master bedroom: features a private and spacious room with a sitting area and a bathroom, creating a luxurious and comfortable retreat.

Choose the style and features matching your lifestyle, taste, and budget, and ensure they fit your chosen plan and size.

Building Materials

You can build barn houses with different materials, but our recommendation is always steel for it’s longevity, easy of construction and affordability. Each material has advantages and disadvantages regarding durability, insulation, maintenance, and cost. When choosing your barn house plans, consider the following factors related to building materials:

  • Quality: Make sure the materials you choose are high quality and can withstand harsh times and extreme weather.
  • Maintenance: Consider the maintenance requirements of the materials you choose, such as painting, staining, or sealing.
  • Energy: Choose materials with good insulation and energy efficiency to reduce energy bills and environmental impact.
  • Cost: Make sure the materials you choose are per your budget and offer the best value for money.

Designing Your Barn House Interior

Barndominium Inside InteriorOnce you have chosen your barn house plans, it’s time to design and customize the interior of your home. The interior design of your barn house should reflect your personality, taste, and lifestyle while providing a comfortable and functional space for you and your family. Here are some guidelines for designing your barn house interior:

Room Layout and Functionality

The layout and functionality of your rooms will determine how you use and enjoy your home. When designing your room layout, consider the following factors:

  • Traffic flow: Ensure sufficient space for residents to move around without feeling crowded.
  • Functionality: Each room should have a clear purpose and function, whether it’s for sleeping, cooking, relaxing, or working.
  • Natural light: Maximize the natural light in your barn house by strategically placing windows and utilizing light colors and materials that reflect light.
  • Views: Take advantage of your surroundings by positioning windows to capture the best views of the countryside, mountains, or lake.

Style and Decor

sliding barn doorsThe style and decor of your barn house’s interior will establish a welcoming and cozy ambiance that showcases your personality and preferences. Here are some ideas for adding style and decor to your barn house:

  • Rustic charm: Embrace the rustic charm of a barn house by using natural materials, such as wood, stone, and metal, and adding decorative elements, such as exposed beams, barn doors, and batten siding.
  • Modern twist: Combine the rustic charm of a barn house with modern amenities and features, such as stainless steel appliances, sleek cabinets, and contemporary lighting fixtures.
  • Color scheme: Choose a color scheme that reflects your personality and taste, whether it’s earthy tones, bright colors, or neutral hues.
  • Furniture and accessories: Choose furniture and accessories that match your style and decor, such as vintage pieces, comfortable sofas, and rustic lighting fixtures.


canadian metal houseOne of the advantages of a barn house is the ability to personalize it to meet your specific needs and preferences. Here are some customization ideas to consider for your barn house:

  • Raised center aisle: Create a raised center aisle that adds height and drama to your living space, providing a grand entrance and a focal point.
  • Loft: Add a loft space that provides an additional living area, a guest room, or a home office, making the most of your vertical space.
  • Second floor: Add a second floor that provides extra bedrooms, bathrooms, or living spaces, making your barn house a multi-level home.
  • Master suite: Create a master suite that provides a private and luxurious space for sleeping, relaxing, and unwinding.

Building Your Barn House

modern barndominium house canadaOnce you have chosen your plans and designed your interior, it’s time to build your barn house. Constructing a barn house necessitates meticulous planning, preparation, and execution to guarantee a seamless and successful process.

Here are the steps to follow when building your barn house:

Step 1: Site Preparation

Before starting your barn house project, you need to prepare your building site. Here are some tasks to consider when designing your site:

  • Clearing the site: Remove any trees, bushes, or debris from the site, making sure there is enough space for the house and the foundation.
  • Grading the site: Level the site and create a slope that allows for proper drainage and prevents water from accumulating around the house.
  • Installing utilities: Install utilities, such as water, sewer, gas, and electricity, to provide essential services to your home.

Step 2: Foundation and Framing

steel building framing homeThe foundation and framing of your barn house are critical components that provide your home’s structural support and stability. Here are some tips for laying the foundation and framing your barn house:

  • Choose the proper foundation: Select a foundation that suits your soil type, climate, and building codes, such as a concrete slab, crawl space, or basement.
  • Frame the walls: Use heavy timbers, post and beam construction, or conventionally framed walls to frame the walls of your barn house, depending on your style and budget.
  • Add a covered deck: Create a covered deck that extends your living space and provides a comfortable outdoor area for relaxing, dining, or entertaining.

Step 3: Exterior Finishes

The exterior finishes of your barn house are what give it its unique character and style. Here are some ideas for finishing the exterior of your barn house:

  • Batten siding: Use batten siding, a traditional cladding method that consists of vertical boards with narrow strips called battens covering the joints, to create a rustic look.
  • Metal roofing: Install a metal roof, which is durable, energy-efficient, and requires little maintenance, to give your barn house a modern twist.
  • Windows and doors: Choose windows and doors that match the style and character of your barn house, such as sliding barn doors, French doors, or casement windows.

Step 4: Interior Finishes

The interior finishes of your barn house are what make it a comfortable and inviting home. Here are some tips for finishing the interior of your barn house:

  • Add rustic charm: Use natural materials, such as wood, stone, and metal, and decorative elements, such as exposed beams, to add rustic charm to your interior.
  • Install vaulted ceilings: Create a sense of spaciousness and height by installing vaulted ceilings, which are higher than standard ceilings and create a dramatic effect.
  • Wet bar: Install a wet bar in your great room or sitting room to create a space for entertaining and relaxing with friends and family.
  • Mudroom: Create a mudroom that provides a place to store shoes, coats, and other outdoor gear, keeping your home clean and organized.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a barn house?

A barn house is a type of home inspired by traditional barns’ design and style. They usually feature an open floor plan, high ceilings, and natural materials like wood and stone.

2. What are the benefits of a barn house?

Barn houses offer several benefits, including:

  • Rustic charm: Barn houses have a unique and charming character that blends well with natural surroundings.
  • Customization: Barn houses are highly customizable, allowing homeowners to design and customize their homes to their needs and preferences.
  • Energy efficiency: It is a critical consideration in barn house design. You can incorporate features such as insulation and energy-efficient windows to decrease energy expenses and environmental impact.
  • Spaciousness: Barn houses typically have an open floor plan and high ceilings, creating a sense of spaciousness and height.

3. How much does it cost to build a barn house?

The cost of constructing a barn house varies based on several factors, including the size, location, and building materials used. On average, the cost of building a barn house ranges from $200 to $300 per square foot.

4. Can I build a barn house on my own?

Building a barn house requires expertise, skills, and experience in construction and design. While some homeowners may have the skills and knowledge to build their own barn houses, most will require the help of professional builders and contractors.


farmhouse barndoBarn houses are a popular and stylish choice for homeowners who want to blend modern living with traditional design. With their spacious interiors, natural materials, and rustic charm, barn houses offer a unique and inviting living space that is highly customizable and energy-efficient.

Building a barn-style home requires careful planning, preparation, and attention to detail. Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can build a barn house that meets your needs and preferences while ensuring that it is structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing.

Remember that constructing a barn house, unlike a conventional home, is a substantial financial and emotional investment. Take your time, conduct thorough research, and partner with seasoned professionals to ensure your barn house plans are executed successfully.