Exploring the Cost to Build a Barndominium

Barndominiums are an excellent way to hybridize a structure into a functional, multipurpose space. By offering living space with modern amenities alongside typical barn features, like storage, vehicle parking, and workshop tables, barndominiums can effectively maximize interior space and serve an important role in modern property plans.

So, how much is a barndominium? Barndominiums are becoming wildly popular, and a variety of styles and dimensions are available. Though the final cost to build a barndominium can vary depending on the size and extravagance of materials used, there are some basic parameters that can be established to create ballpark estimates for the overall cost. Depending on a property’s terrain and the goals of the barndominium, some of these elements may be cut from the total expense tally.

Barndominium Price Per Square Foot

In most cases, building a barndominium from scratch costs $30 to $40 per square foot. This is an estimate for basic assembly, assuming that metal is used as the main structural component, which tends to be the most popular option among barndominium builders. For perspective, compare the barndominium price per square foot with the average cost of $100 to $200 per square foot to build a traditional house, and building a barndominium suddenly seems like an attractive and affordable option. However, there are many more elements yet to factor into the expense sheet.

Does Lower Cost Mean Lower Quality? 

When considering a barndominium’s price per square foot, some people make the false assumption that lower cost means lower quality, and thus a lower safety rating. While this adage is true in many regards, it isn’t the case with barndominiums. Metal structures are much less flammable than traditional wood barns, so metal barndominiums can be considered safer when it comes to fire risk than some other more flammable building materials.

Sewer and Plumbing Costs

Because barndominiums include living spaces, a sewer line will need to be installed for proper plumbing. Connecting to a septic tank or sewer line can run anywhere between $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the terrain, distance to public access points, and installation challenges. Materials for pipes and proper installation can run an additional $1,000 to $2,000.

HVAC and Electrical Expenses 

Electrical hookups are almost a given for barndominiums since most individuals will be using power tools or other hobby equipment in the barndominium’s workshop space. Electricity can cost anywhere from $600 to $2,200 depending on the extent of power needed in different areas of the structure.

Heating and cooling will also be necessary, and proper ventilation is even more essential in barndominiums that include workshop areas in which power tools and construction materials will be used regularly. Depending on how the living space is integrated near workshop areas, creative airflow solutions may be necessary to maintain proper ventilation within the barndominium.

Siding Costs

The cost of barndominium siding can vary greatly depending on the structure’s size, architectural elements, and the selected materials. However, it’s important to factor in ongoing maintenance and upkeep into cost estimates, as different materials may require routine repair in order to keep the barndominium’s living space protected and up to par. Rotting, cracked, or insect-damaged siding can compromise a barndominium’s exterior protection and make the interior space dangerous, so it’s best to select a siding material with extremely high durability and long-lasting protection.

For example, TruLog steel siding offers a practical way to create a stylishly rustic barndominium exterior aesthetic while benefiting from minimal upkeep expenses, which can be expected with less durable materials, like wood or vinyl. High-performance materials like steel siding can actually lower barndominium siding costs in the long run by requiring much less maintenance and repair than traditional materials.


Like siding, roofing is an integral part of barndominium construction, since the structure must be absolutely impenetrable in order to maintain a comfortable living space inside. The average cost of a barndominium roof can fall anywhere between $5,000 and $11,000, with many material options available. Barndominiums made with metal siding may want to continue the aesthetic with metal roofing, though the design is truly adaptable depending on style preferences.

Interior Furnishings

Finally, the interior furnishings will also impact the total cost to build a barndominium, and there’s a lot of wiggle room in this department, depending on how lush homeowners want their barndominium to be. Some prefer a rustic interior living space with a simple bedroom and lounge, while others like to furnish the barndominium with everything needed for a long stay, including washers and dryers, a shower, kitchen appliances, and entertainment hookups.

Total Cost to Build a Barndominium

The variety of expenses when building a barndominium is extreme, and much depends on how minimal or lush the layout plan is. For those who want top-of-the-line products and complex designs for their barndominium, it’s not uncommon to end up with a price tag that is quite comparable to the cost of building a small home. With that said, there are many ways to modify layout designs and select smarter building materials that can save money for barndominium dwellers in the long run. 

Selecting a durable, wood-look siding product like Trulog’s steel board and batten siding is one of those smart decisions. Contact a siding expert at Trulog today to get started on your barndominium project.

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