ENJOY MORE POSSIBILITIES FOR YOUR HOME WITH A BARNDOMINIUM
A barndominium, or pole barn home, is a great alternative to a conventional stick-built house when you want to combine a home with a multi-use toy shed, workshop, or extra-large garage for boats, RVs, and more. The unique type of building offers:
- An open floor plan with expansive interiors
- A potentially faster construction process than a stick-built home
- Flexible living quarters plus a spacious area for storage, hobbies, or a home-based business
WHAT IS A BARNDOMINIUM?
Here at Wick Buildings, we consider a barndominium to be a single-family residential structure built with post-frame construction. That’s also the building technique used for what some call a “pole barn.” In fact, you can also think of a barndominium as a pole barn home.
For the post-frame construction process, builders use highly engineered, prefabricated laminated wooden posts, or columns, as well as trusses and other components that arrive on site ready to assemble.
A key advantage to post-frame construction is that it minimizes the need for interior load-bearing walls. This helps create the barn-like expansiveness of a barndominium.
(Note that definitions for a barndominium do vary. Some, for example, think of it as an actual barn renovated for modern living, or a DIY house kit with a barn-like structure, or even a custom-built stick-frame house in the style of a barn.)
Barndominiums can be designed and built for a variety of uses—like a year-round dwelling, a guest house, or a weekend getaway home. They can also be built in a wide variety of styles.
On top of that, they open up the possibility for incorporating your hobbies into a single structure. A shop house (or “shouse”), for example, combines a workshop and/or large personal storage area with a living space.
More specialized options include equestrian facilities combining a riding arena, stall barn, and a personal residence. Check out our gallery to see various types of barndominiums.
Unlike conventional stick-frame houses, barndominiums are built with post-frame construction, which doesn’t require load-bearing interior walls. That can create amazing options for your interiors in addition to exterior decks, patios, and porch areas.
Pictures say it best. Take a look at our gallery of barndominium interiors.
What’s your vision for your barndominium? A great place to start is with our free barndominium plans. These are a great example of how barndominiums can work for a range of needs—and budgets.
To download these plans and choose from other layouts, visit our Residential Plans page.
THE BENEFITS OF A BARNDOMINIUM VS. A CONVENTIONAL HOME
There are lots of reasons to consider a barndominium over a conventionally built stick-frame house. If you recognize your needs—or wants—in the following, a barndominium could be right for you.
Construction costs go down with a single building, and so can your taxes. By combining structures, you can potentially reduce taxable square footage.
A more flexible, unobstructed layout
Don’t let load-bearing interior walls limit your dream home! A barndominium’s clear-span trusses—and resulting wide open spaces—broaden the possibilities for what you can do with the interior. For example, if you have a big family, you may want to consider the wide open spaces and flexibility that a barndominium, or pole barn home, provides.
Faster construction time
Barndominium construction involves fewer overall building components than a conventional house. On top of that, the majority of components used in a barndominium will be prefabricated, arriving at the project site ready to put into place. These factors can shorten the construction time significantly.
Better foundation options
There are several options for barndominium foundations, including basement, frost-wall, thickened-edge slab, and post/column in ground. Each has advantages, but we’ll focus on the one type that is unique to barndominiums: post in ground.
Posts, either treated wood or concrete, are sunk 4 to 6 feet deep into the ground. A concrete slab is then poured around them. That slab will be at a fraction of the cost of a continuous foundation—which is generally required for stick-frame construction. In fact, the concrete and excavating costs for a continuous foundation can often be up to 15% of overall project costs.
More adaptability to site/soil conditions
Post-frame systems in barndominiums can be designed to accommodate varying soil wall pressures, either from within or from the exterior of the building wall. This can be accomplished without the extensive excavation costs and expensive concrete foundation system needed for stud walls in stick-frames.
Extra-high walls and extra-large window openings
Thanks to the larger structural members in a post-frame building, you can construct higher walls much more easily than with stick-built structures. And the columns used in barndominiums typically have on-center spacing of 8 feet, a fact that makes extra-large window openings much easier—and less expensive—to construct.
Easier additions down the road
Being able to expand your space cost-effectively creates further longevity for your building. Options like large overhangs and even major additions are easier to construct off of the posts of a barndominium rather than the stud walls of a stick-frame building.
The post-frame construction method used for barndominiums uses larger components in its structures. And the larger the component, the longer the lifespan.
High ceilings are a more cost-effective option in a barndominium. They create spaciousness and can transform your barndominium’s interior into an experience.
More insulation, fewer thermal breaks
A post-frame building will typically have columns placed 8 feet apart, instead of the conventional 1 1⁄2 to 2 feet with stick-frame stud wall systems. That reduced obstruction in the walls means more room for insulation and less chance for cold to travel through the wall.
Auto storage and display
Your barndominium can work great for parking and storing a variety of cars, and you can make it spacious enough for a driving lane.
Spacious toy shed
Say goodbye to squeezing vehicles in and enjoy a super-spacious toy shed or shop garage.
To calculate the costs of a barndominium, you’ll need to consider a number of factors, including the following:
Think through your barndominium’s actual uses. Will it be a year-round dwelling? Maybe a weekend getaway home? How many people will typically be living there?
Could you benefit from combining separate structures the way a shop house does, which connects a workshop or storage shed with a house or living area? If so, how much square footage will it require?
Zoning laws, building codes, neighborhood covenants, etc.
The various guidelines you need to follow—and restrictions you need to honor—can play a significant role in your initial construction costs, as well as ongoing expenses. It’s also important to remember that, legally speaking, you can’t necessarily build anything you want. However, with a good plan and a knowledgeable building partner, you can usually get what you want.
The physical location of your barndominium can impact utilities, landscaping, aesthetic choices, and more—all of which will affect overall costs. And don’t forget about access. Will your barndominium be on an existing residential plot with access already in place? If not, that means additional costs for grading in a driveway.
A barndominium is a living space just like any type of house. Prices will obviously vary based on what features you choose.
Prioritize your wants. For example: Top-of-the-line kitchen? Multiple bathrooms? Extensive workshop and/or storage space? Porch overhangs?
Factors like the above are all considered by your Wick team of designers and engineers as we work to develop a price that matches your budget.
Special note on financing a barndominium
Financing a barndominium may not be exactly like financing a conventional home. That’s largely because most lenders are much more familiar with financing conventionally built houses.
However, as barndominiums become more common, more and more lenders understand the nuances—and benefits—of barndominiums. As a result, they’re now more open to financing them.
What can you do? For starters, seek out the right kind of lender. Wick encourages you to contact the financing organizations listed here.
Designing—and building—a barndominium is no small undertaking, and everyone has different timelines, capabilities, and budgets. If you’re thinking about having a barndominium, just understand that you don’t have to go it alone.
If you’d rather work with an expert, be sure to click on the Find Your Builder link, and we’ll align you with a barndominium builder in your area.
Start with a qualified, well-experienced barndominium builder. With over 65 years of building experience, Wick constructs buildings using smart, proven techniques to help ensure customers enjoy a safe, energy-efficient, and long-lasting barndominium.
More than that, we use materials of exceptional quality and give you options to create a barndominium that meets both your functional and aesthetic needs.
Reliable, high-quality lumber
Durable steel and paint
Wick barndominiums include full-hard exterior steel, with 80,000 PSI hardness or better, resulting in less dents. Our steel is also G-90 galvanized for exceptional corrosion protection, and our paint is warrantied not to chip or crack for 40 years (more on paint options below). Want custom exterior features like wainscoting or a full wall of stone? We can do that too.
Kimberly-Clark BLOCK-IT® House Wrap technology
Better weatherization for your pole barn home means less chance for moisture, rot, mold, and structural failure. Wick uses Kimberly-Clark BLOCK-IT® House Wrap patented construction technology that creates a breathable barrier as it prevents water penetration. You get premium protection that’s also affordable.
A spectrum of color choices
Can barndominiums have a basement?
Yes. A barndominium does not require a continuous foundation, such as a basement. However, it’s definitely possible to have a basement if you want.
What’s a barndominium inside like?
You have just as many options for the interior of a barndominium as you would with a conventional home. In fact, because of the way a barndominium is constructed, you have more flexibility for how you design your floor plan.
What are companies that build barndominiums?
Barndominium builders typically specialize in what’s called post-frame construction. Wick Buildings was founded in 1954 and is one of the nation’s largest producers of post-frame buildings, including barndominiums to fit a range of uses and budgets.
Is a barndominium cheaper than a house?
A number of factors can potentially make a barndominium home less expensive than a conventional house. These can include faster construction time, reduced excavation costs, and less site preparation. However, it’s always wise to price out your entire project before making cost assumptions.
Barndominium Builder Locations
Wick provides barndominium building services in:
North Dakota Ohio
Oklahoma South Dakota