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

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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.

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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.

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Consolidated structures

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Superior durability

The post-frame construction method used for barndominiums uses larger components in its structures. And the larger the component, the longer the lifespan.

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Vaulted ceilings

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.

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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.

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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.

We only use machine-graded or machine-evaluated lumber for all structural components. This allows us to understand the strength of each load-bearing element in the home as we design the building.

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.

Wick carries a variety of durable, highly energy-efficient windows and doors. These products include a cutting-edge glass coating system for energy efficiency and come in vinyl and aluminum clad frame options.

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.

Expanding your color selections gives you a better chance to find just the right color for you. To our long list of popular colors, Wick recently added Copper, Modern Red, Gray Wood, and Matte Textured Black.

Barndominium Costs

Are you interested in a barndominium home primarily because you think it’s going to cost a lot less than a conventional stick-frame home? If so, it’s important to understand it’s not that simple.

In terms of design, foundations, long-term maintenance, and insurance, you may be able to achieve a degree of savings with a barndominium home.

That said, we want you to be as clear-eyed as possible as you consider a barndominium home. When you’re trying to understand a barndominium home’s cost, be sure to consider everything that goes into the project you’re envisioning.

That will likely mean much more than just the building itself. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the outer shell of the building to be around one third of a barndominium home project’s total cost.

The cost per square foot is likely to be on par with a stud-wall or stick-frame home of equivalent square footage for the finished living space. To get an idea on the current cost per square foot, you can find national and regional information at the following link How Much Does it Cost to Build a House in 2024? (houzeo.com).

Primary Cost Drivers

Major cost drivers to have a barndominium home built include:

  • Design and engineering services
  • Building materials
  • Construction

More specific potential cost sources include:

  • Excavation and site work
  • Concrete slab forming and pouring
  • Well work / Septic work
  • Mechanical / Electrical / Plumbing
  • Finish carpentry for interior layout
  • Interior walls, flooring, fixtures and cabinetry
  • Landscaping / Concrete flatwork

Many of these factors can vary widely in their price, depending on your site needs, your preferences, and your budget constraints.

Here are additional considerations to help you understand a barndominium home’s cost:

Depending on your needs, the foundation of a barndominium home may only require a concrete slab—not a continuous foundation such as a basement, which is generally a requirement with stick-frame construction.

Note that the concrete and excavating costs for a continuous foundation can often be around 15% of overall project costs. If you’re weighing the potential cost difference between a barndominium home and a stick-frame home, this is a major point to keep in mind.

Think through your barndominium home’s actual uses. Will it be a year-round dwelling? A simple guest house? Maybe a weekend getaway home?

Could you benefit from combining separate structures the way a shop house does, which connects a workshop or storage shed with a living area? If so, how much square footage will it require, especially if you’re storing large items like boats and RVs?

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 can imagine. However, with a good plan and a knowledgeable building partner, you can usually get what you want.

Do you already have a piece of property suitable for a barndominium home? That’s one of the first questions a barndominium home builder will ask you.

Then regarding that property, you need to be aware that its location can impact costs related to utilities, landscaping, aesthetic decisions, and more—all of which will affect the overall cost.

Just like any type of house, a barndominium home’s cost will vary widely based on the features you choose for it.

You’ll benefit from prioritizing your wants. For example, are you going for the ultimate kitchen? How many bathrooms do you want? Do you want in-floor heating in your garage or workshop? And what about porch overhangs?

Wick Buildings has a free Residential Building Planning Guide to help you understand your options and decide what’s right for you. You can get one from your local Wick Builder or sent directly from Wick Buildings.

Financing a barndominium home may not be exactly like financing a conventional home. That’s largely because most lenders are much more familiar with financing conventionally built stick-frame houses.

However, as barndominium homes become more common, more and more lenders understand the nuances—and benefits—of barndominium homes. 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 on our Financing page. With many years of experience financing post-frame structures, they will help you find the right option for your project.

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Barndominium Builder Locations

Wick provides barndominium building services in:

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OhioSouth Dakota

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