Why Barndos are Growing in Popularity

white two level barndominium

Barndos or Barndominiums have become one of the more popular housing solutions lately.

At first, the name Barndo may not sound as sophisticated as some other prefab home solutions. After all, this type of home was started by the farmers and ranchers when they created a loft in their barns. Today, however, the barndo is considered for those living the minimalist lifestyle and is seen as an affordable, flexible, and practical home solution. In fact, this is fast becoming a form of high-end vacation and short-term rental space and even luxury accommodations.

The Barndominium aka Barndo

With the use of more modern engineering, the barndo has evolved from the original form, while still pulling on the functionality of the general structure. This is a metal barn that has been converted into an amenable living space. The barndo enables you to add a livable area to somewhere unexpected, while still being affordable.   

The beauty of the barndominium is that it is significantly less expensive than that of a traditional home structure. Today’s construction methods and available materials make barndominiums energy efficient and quicker to build than traditional structures. In comparison the barndo has a lower cost per square foot.

  • The Traditional home cost – estimated $100 – $115 per square foot
  • The Barndo cost – estimate $60 – $75 per square foot

 Design Flexibility

barndominium plans designPreviously considered an alternative living space the barndo today is now quite a popular option that continues to grow in demand. 

Here’s Why:

Customization – The Barndo can be customized to the taste of the new owner. Simply because of the open floor space parameter. This is also so due to the post-frame construction instead of the traditional support walls, therefore giving you limitless options in design.

The Finishes – The building framing is steel and we generally recommend using steel panels from the factory, but there are a variety of other sidings available including:

  • Wood – Then the exterior can be painted or stained
  • Aluminum – This can be made to look like wood, is quite durable because it is metal and very little maintenance involved
  • Vinyl Siding
  • Standard Steel Panels
  • Brick
  • Stucco
  • Stone
  • Stone Veneer

These are but a few of the external finishes which add value to the barndo structure aesthetically. Be minded that the Barndo is really a shell with an uncomplicated interior framing structure. Therefore you can make it into your own style and finish. 


farmhouse barndoBarndominiums, particularly the metal ones, are quite durable, as they are known to withstand some of the harshest environmental conditions around. The strength of the poles and beams in the barndo, enhances resistance to heavy snowfall, hail storms or strong winds. It is also because of this that their maintenance is easy. Added to this metal barndo is not easily combustible, nor is it prone to threats such as pets like termites, nor will the metal barndo rot.

Multi-purpose Use

Because of the expanse of the barndominium and the use of the available space is up to the owner. The open floor space allows functionality as family room, recreational purposes, entertainment or den space, and even a home office. This is also noting that the barndo can have vaulted ceiling heights of 14ft or more which can provide for the inclusion of a loft. 

Energy Efficient

barndominiums vaulted ceilingsWith the continuous rise in energy costs, and the overall cost of living climbing, it has been found that barndominiums are generally more energy efficient. This would be a plus, for any homeowner. Many people who live in barndominiums report a much lower utility bill, especially with respect to heating and power. Some have indicated that their electrical bill runs between 25 to 50% less than in a traditional home. This has been due to the proper use of foam insulation, which may not be as effective in many traditionally built homes.  

These are but a few of the options available that you can jump start the conversation with your builder. The barndo is trending and with your own touch, you can now even add further curb value and appeal to your area.