Top 10 Best Barndominium Designs & Layout Features (2024)

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If you’ve decided to build a barndominium, congratulations. Barndominiums or barn homes are quickly becoming one of the most popular new build home options in the United States.

Whether that’s because of low build costs, fast build times, design versatility, or the lack of interior load-bearing walls, it doesn’t matter. Barndominiums make it cost-effective and fast to build your dream home to whatever scale you want and need. 

Still, if you’re building a barndo, that design flexibility means you’ll have to make choices. Metal building kits come in dozens of options, with everything from simple structures to unique design elements.

The following list includes 10 of the best barndominium design options you have to choose from. And, of course, you can add most or even all of them to your barndo if you want. 

1. The Barndominium Silo Design

Silos are a non-standard barndominium design choice. However, they offer a great way to completely customize your home and add a “wow” factor to it, without leaving the parameters of available building kits.

Most metal building kit suppliers sell silos as a standard building option. That means you can buy a metal silo kit as part of your building kit, add it to the kit with minimal customizations, and immediately have a stunning addition to your home.

Short silos make excellent bay areas, which you can use as dining areas, additions to your living room, and even as a second story for a bedroom with a stunning view. They also add a certain amount of country charm, which most people do appreciate.

Of course, they aren’t standard as part of a barndominium, so you will have to custom-order your barndominium kit rather than get something off the shelf.

But, with every piece being part of an already standard building kit option, any of the big building kit manufacturers should be able to supply it to you cheaply and quickly. 

The Ernest Plan (ER0053-A)

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The Ernest Plan is a 3-bedroom barndominium offering a gabled roof, garage with shop, and a silo converted into a dining area.

The silo fits neatly onto the corner of the home, adding an extension to the living area, and a beautiful dining area complete with high windows for extra light.

Plus, with a big porch, plenty of bathrooms, and an open concept living area, it’s everything you could want from a barndominium. 

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2. Barndominiums With Breezeways

Breezeways are a perfect choice for barndominiums where you want a separate or semi-detached garage, guest house, or other outbuilding. Here, the breezeway serves several functions as part of your home.

For example, for most of the year, breezeways offer a covered and semi-sheltered walkway between your home and your outbuilding. That means you can more easily move between your home and outbuildings even when it’s windy or raining. 

Second, breezeways make a great decorative aspect of your landscaping. They provide semi-sheltered and structured places to put plants, to grow vines, and to set up outdoor areas for dining.

A breezeway means you can easily grow grape vines, flowers, and other vines for a beautiful and natural look and then place your outdoor dining area square in the middle of it. 

Finally, breezeways get their name from their summer function. These long, shaded areas allow you to cool the air that goes into your home, give you a cooler place to sit in the summer, and can reduce the temperature of your property.

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A breezeway, especially one with plants, means you always have a cooler place to sit, even in the sunniest and warmest months. 

The Goldsmere Plan (GO1545-A)

This two-story 5-bedroom barndo plan features a breezeway between the garage and the home.

The detached garage also means you can more easily control heating and cooling costs.

However, the breezeway ensures you don’t have to walk out into the weather to get to the garage – and that you’ll have a cooler area shading the door in the summer. 

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3. Barndominium Covered Porches

The covered porch is the signature of the southern country home – but they fit in almost anywhere. Covered porches have made their way into home design in every part of the United States, and for good reason.

They allow you to easily enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather. They can also offer a cooling shade area, ensuring that air getting into your house is cooler than air directly warmed by the sun.

Plus, with a covered porch, you can open windows in the summer to let in a breeze without letting in the sun.

Most of the time, the covered porch is just an excellent place to sit outdoors and enjoy the view and the fresh air, without being in the sun, wind, or rain.

Covered porches are also excellent places to decorate, grow plants, and provide a sheltered area for kids to play. Whatever you want them for, the covered porch is a classic and a must-have for many people. 

The Ferndown Plan (FE0043-A)

The Ferndown Plan delivers three bedrooms, a vaulted ceiling, a garage, and, of course, a large covered porch on the front of the home. Plus, with 752 square feet of covered porch, it has more than enough space to do whatever you want outdoors.

That porch features a lean-to roof with pillar construction to match the rest of the home, leaving you with a beautiful shelter from the sun, rain, and wind. 

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4. Barndominium Wraparound Porches

The only step up from a covered porch is a wraparound porch. These massive porches extend fully around the home, delivering shade, a breeze area, and socializing space on every side of your home.

That makes them ideal for anywhere, as you can very easily step outside of the wind, rain, and sun – no matter which direction they’re coming from.

Wraparound porches are a great choice for warmer areas, as they actually cool your home and keep the hot sun off your windows. However, they can also give you space out of the snow or weather in colder areas as well. 

Wraparound porches are a great way to expand your living space without adding onto heated living space – providing you like being outdoors. In addition, they give you freedom to open doors and windows in the summer for a breezeway-like effect. 

The Masefield Plan (MA0603-A)

This big 3-bedroom home features a wraparound porch, double gable roof, and all the amenities you’d expect from a barndo.

In fact, with 2,040 square feet of heated living area plus another 1,000 square feet of porch, it firmly puts the focus on comfortable outdoor living.

The porch itself is a lean-to construction with wood framing and posts, plus a gable front porch extension for added impact. 

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5. Barndominium With Balcony

Balconies are something that most of us associate with vacation homes or condos, but barndominiums can easily work them into nearly any design.

If you’re going for a second story or a loft, you can easily add a balcony into the design. Here, you get a living space that doubles as shade below and can be a private extra outdoor space for one or more bedrooms. 

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In many cases, you can also work a balcony into a porch design, meaning you get a porch and balcony in one, saving you costs, while adding extra living space.

Balconies are a great way to experience the view, create a private space for upstairs bedrooms, and add a unique touch to your home. 

The Claremont Plan (CL1102-A)

This beautiful 2-bedroom home offers a compact approach to living while still delivering 2,381 square feet of heated living space in a 36×36 building. You also get a front porch and a balcony, with 189 square feet of each.

The balcony is built on top of the porch and features its own gabled roof – giving you extra space at minimal extra cost. 

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6. Barndominium Workshop Space

Workshops are increasingly popular, not just for retirement homes, but also for families. Whether you want to work with wood, machining, or even something like sewing, having that workspace can be great for the quality of life and getting to do the things you enjoy.

Barndominiums give you a lot of extra space to easily add those features in as well. Here, the workshop is usually situated in the garage, meaning you just have a garage with a lot of extra space in the back or against the back wall. At the same time, that’s not always ideal. 

Therefore, you can also look into barndominium floor plans with separate workshop spaces. Then you can easily heat the space without having to heat the entire garage.

You can also work with tools and equipment that might damage or make your cars dirty. And, you can work with things that you’d really rather keep away from the dirt and grease of a garage. 

The Parkway Plan (PA0173-A)

The Parkway Plan features a large garage with space for a workbench plus a separate shop. That means you can put in a standard mechanics area and then also add your woodshop, machine shop, or another tool area into a separate and potentially heated area.

The home itself delivers everything you might need in a barndo, with 2,280 square feet of heated living space, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and a big open floor plan. 

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7. Barndominium Loft & Attic Space

Loft or attic space is a great way to add storage, extra rooms, or even a full extra living area to your home. Barndominiums also make that addition easy. For example, you can often add a second story for as little as $4 per square foot for the kit.

Many barndominium kits also come in as much as 18 feet high, making it extremely easy to add a second floor. Lofts are a good compromise, with less space than a full second floor but still add to your living area. 

In either case, the loft of the attic means you’re using more of the space in your barndo. It also means you’ll have a taller home and opportunities for a vaulted ceiling in your living area.

The loft also means you can easily split living arrangements to offer teens or kids returning to your space extra privacy. And, attic space is always convenient for out-of-sight storage. 

The Hillcrest Plan (HI0324-A)

The Hillcrest Plan delivers with a large loft space, a vaulted ceiling over the living area, and 4 beds. Two of those are upstairs in the loft, as well as a private bathroom and large open loft space.

That makes the space ideal even if you want to offer split or semi-split living arrangements. The plan also delivers a beautiful vaulted ceiling living area. 

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8. Barndominium Home Office

Work from home, hobbies that require an office, a busy job, and more all lead to an increasing need for offices at home.

Barndominiums make it easier to add more space without spending a great deal more on your home. And, that also means it makes sense to work offices and studies directly into your floor plan before you build.

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That means you’ll always have space for a home office, even if kids take over all the bedrooms or you end up needing a bedroom for something else. 

Offices are normally relatively small rooms with space for a desk, potentially bookshelves, and not much else. That means they should fit neatly into the home without being the size of a full bedroom.

However, you can plan them however you want, based on how much time you’ll actually be spending in the room. 

The Keswick Plan (KE1466-A)

The Keswick Plan offers 6 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a 2-car garage plus workshop, and 4,848 square feet of heated living area. Part of that is an almost 100-square-foot home office, situated on the second floor.

It’s also situated next to the kids’ play area and a bath, features windows, and is perfect even for parents of young kids who might have to supervise family while working. 

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9. A-Frame Roof

A-frame roofing features steeply angled gabled rooflines that raise to a point at a sharper angle than a standard gabled roof.

Here, you typically get the roof starting at the floor line or at the bottom of the second story, for an extremely long and slanted roof.

These have multiple advantages in terms of directing rain away from the foundation, reducing construction costs, and stability in the face of extreme weather.

However, most people opt for them because they like the look and feel of an odd home shape. In fact, A-frame roofs are extremely popular for country homes, especially where rain and snow are common issues. 

However, you will have to consider headroom and how you’re using the space around the A-frame, as these roofs will mean slanted ceilings on the upper floor of the home. 

The Parkway Plan (PA0173-A)

This partial A-frame home features a traditional lower story and a high A-frame roof on the top. That means you get the best of both worlds, with the high slant and gable plus a lot of headroom in every part of your main floor.

Of course, the home also delivers 2,280 square feet of living space, a big porch, and a garage and shop. 

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10. Slanted Roof

Slanted roofs are a great contemporary home choice. These roofs typically feature a single peak to one side of the home, directing rain and snow to one side of the home.

That creates a very contemporary design look, while allowing you to better control the flow of water around your home.

In addition, slanted roofs allow you to situate part of your home to catch the sun with a high wall and windows – so you can maximize natural light and heating for your home. 

The slanted roof also means you’ll spend less money on the building. Gabled roofs are stronger and more efficient, but if you’re building a larger home, the slanted roof offers cost-reductions, without major downsides in most climates.

You may want to discuss that with your local builder to verify. However, chances are very high that you can easily make the slanted roof work for your location. 

The Kirton Plan (KI1382-A)

The Kirton Plan features a slanted roof paired with a semi-wraparound porch. The slanted roof directs water and snow off the roof while offering a more affordable alternative to a standard gable.

Plus, with big windows, a large porch, and vaulted ceilings inside, the building looks and feels like a contemporary home rather than a barndo. 

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Next Steps

If you’re planning a barndominium, any of these features can make your home more unique and more your own. Hopefully, one of these plans inspires you for your own home. 

Are you ready to get started but don’t know where to start? Check out our barndominium package for a 300+ page guide on everything you need to plan, design, choose, and build your barndominium, including financing, floor plans, and more. Or, check out your financing options here.

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Adam Marcos

Adam Marcos, a veteran with 25+ years in custom home building, now serves as Managing Editor of BarndominiumZone. He passionately helps people on their journey of creating their dream barndo homes, offering valuable insights and practical advice. With a warm and approachable demeanor, Adam inspires readers to embrace unique living spaces that reflect their aspirations. Join him on a transformative adventure, turning ordinary spaces into extraordinary havens of creativity and fulfillment. Experience the magic of bringing visions to life, one barndo at a time.

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