Building a Barndominium In Florida, FL: 2024 Ultimate Guide

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A barndominium, or barndo, is a new home built in the style of an agricultural building or renovated from a derelict barn.

Usually, they have a structural steel frame covered in steel siding to form a load-bearing shell with a large open-plan indoor area. However, some may use wood with a pole support structure.

Because of the high humidity and abundance of pests and wood-eating fungi in Florida, we generally build a barndo using steel. However, porches, sheds, and decks may still be timber-framed.

Building your home is rewarding and can be more affordable than buying one, especially if you choose a model supplied by one of the many Florida Barndominium kit providers presently trading in The Sunshine State, rather than constructing a conventionally built house.

Furthermore, purchasing a new one directly from the supplier gives you more chance of getting a design that ticks all the boxes.

However, organizing the contractors, permits, connecting utilities, and ensuring zoning compliance can be intimidating for many people.

Therefore, don’t dismiss the convenience of buying a pre-owned barndo in Florida, even if you may not get everything you want.

A Barndo’s exterior façade has a rugged agricultural appearance. Compared to other modern styles, it doesn’t look out of place in a rural area and can complement the surrounding beautiful landscape.

So, let’s get on and find out more about choosing a barndominium in the Everglades State.

Can You Build A Barndominium In Florida?

Yes, you can build a barndominium in Florida, but only if you comply with the zoning rules, regulations, and local building codes.

Florida has plenty of unoccupied land, whether a beachfront or further inland. Therefore, it’s an ideal state for those starting in the housing market.

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And, by selecting a barndominium as your house of choice, you can have an affordable residence within the reach of almost anyone.

Not only that, but if you’re handy with construction tools and concepts, you probably are suitable to erect a simple barndo kit with the help of a few buddies.

However, we recommend using a professional contractor for anything but a small, simple barndo.

In fact, your mortgage lender or the zoning board may insist on the house being professionally built anyway. In this case, put those tools back on the shelf and get the barndo properly built. 

Having said that, you’ll find that rural areas of Florida are easier to accept a barndominium because the zoning regulations aren’t as strict as urban or suburban districts.

Points to Remember

When you’re looking for suitable building land, remember the following:

  • Watch out for restrictive zoning regulations. Florida and most other states categorize their land as residential, rural, agricultural, commercial, etc. So, some zoning regulations may cause problems when building a barndo unless the project meets the exact requirements.
  • Like other states, FL requires all residential building projects to comply with local building codes to ensure a safe structure.
  • Usually, Florida doesn’t allow your barndo to connect to a septic tank. Therefore, you need to connect to a municipal sewage system. Depending on where the nearest connection is, the cost may be prohibitive.
  • Some off-grid systems, such as using harvested rainwater as the primary water source, are illegal in Florida. Therefore, consult the International Property Maintenance Code for guidance on this and other possible restrictions at the planning stage.
  • Check Florida’s Home Owners’ Association (HOA) regulations and local ordinances to ensure you can build where you want. Also, remember you need building permits before starting work.

Benefits Of Building A Barndo In Florida

There are several advantages to building a metal framed barndominium in the Sunshine State compared with a conventionally built masonry or timber framed house.

Quick Builds

Because of the generally fine weather all year round, barndos are quicker to erect than many other building types.

Typically, from start to finish, expect completion to take from 4 to 6 months.

No Mold and Pests

As you probably already know, the Sunshine State has a high-humidity climate. Therefore, buildings made from wood tend to fall prey to mold and pests, which require continual maintenance and repair.

Metal barndos don’t suffer from this problem, so they are ideal to own in this state.

See also  Top 12 Best Barndominium Builders In Louisiana (2024)

Robust and Resilient

It’s not only rot, mold, and pests that affect wooden buildings. The weather has an effect, too.

Florida is located in what is known as Hurricane Alley. And, because the warm seawater surrounding the state is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms, it can have torrential rain and strong winds during the hurricane season.

Generally, the extreme weather would adversely affect and wash away a regular timber-framed building. With a hurricane-proof foundation, steel framing is far more resilient for a home in Hurricane Alley.

Less Maintenance

Because steel has higher structural strength than wood, a barndo suffers much less accidental and weather-related damage.

In Florida, a local contractor who knows the usual climate can repair most issues relatively cheaply. 

Affordable Construction

Compared to a traditionally built home, an affordable barndo allows many people an accessible route to owning a home in Florida.

How Much Does A Barndominium Cost To Build In Florida?

Like everywhere else, you calculate your barndo price in Florida based on its square footage. Knowing the floor area helps track the budget, allowing you to decide how much you can afford on the finishing touches. 

The money needed to cover the cost of the basic structure, not including additional features such as the kitchen and bathroom fixtures, is around $200-$240/sq. ft. In comparison, a traditionally built home costs about $200-$400/sq. ft.

Therefore, for a typical 60 ft. x 40 ft. structure, a barndo costs $480,000-$576,000, while a conventional house costs $480,000-$960,000.

Because a barndo is so much cheaper than a traditional house, you can easily afford to incorporate many more features into the design.

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26 Barndominium Builders In Florida

Probably, one of the most significant decisions to make when choosing who will build your barndo is which one of the many Florida barndominium kit providers or construction companies to select. They aren’t all the same, and you may work better with one company while your neighbor may prefer another.

So, we’ve researched and compiled a list of those we consider some of the best companies operating but not necessarily based in Florida. We reckon you can find one from this list of 26 companies to suit your requirements.

1. Mueller, Inc.

Mueller, Inc. is a steel construction company specializing in prefabricated and custom-built steel barns and barndominiums. Although their corporate office is in Texas, they also serve all of Florida.

Unlike many, Mueller publishes prices for its standard kits. So, the Homestead range of barndo kits costs around $27,700-$42,400. However, they only provide the shell, so you must hire other contractors for the remainder of the work.

Address: 1915 Hutchins Ave. Ballinger, TX 76821
Phone: 877-268-3553

2. EC Building Solutions

EC Building Solutions has a Sunshine State base and handles all construction and electrical work for your barndo.

However, they don’t offer prefab kits, so you must find someone to design and engineer the steelwork.

Address: 5190 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, FL 34606, United States
Phone: +1 352-683-5904

3. Allied Steel Buildings

Allied Steel Buildings, one of the world’s largest metal prefab building companies, is based in Fort Lauderdale.

However, they may not be ideal for small barndominium kit projects because they’re such a large concern.

Address: 6451 N Federal Hwy Ste. 411, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308, USA
Phone: +1 954-590-4955

4. AmeriBuilt Steel Structures

AmeriBuilt Steel Structures is a Florida-based barndominium and agricultural prefabricated building kit specialist.

Furthermore, if you need finance, the company works with several lenders.

Address: PO Box 623001, Oviedo, Florida, 32762, United States
Phone: +1 407-340-9401

5. Boyle Buildings

Boyle Buildings is another Florida-based barndo construction company. Furthermore, it also installs barns, commercial buildings, and carports.

Also, the company operates as Crossroads Sheds, which supplies many other types of prefab structures.

Address: 8 Hickory St Unit B, Arcadia, FL 34266, United States
Phone: +1 863-494-1678

6. MetalBuildingShop.com

MetalBuildingShop.com supplies and erects barndominium kits, especially turnkey steel buildings. And some of those it supplies, you can customize or erect as a DIY project.

So, if you want, you can hire a local contractor for the kit assembly to save a hefty chunk of money.

7. Sawgrass Construction Group

Sawgrass Construction Group is a Florida-based general architectural design and project management company for all types of buildings, not only barndominiums.

But, as they don’t supply barndos, you should look elsewhere if you only want an affordable kit.

Address: 1456 Lynwood Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33901, United States
Phone: +1 239-280-7704

8. Brad Hartt Construction

Based near Sebring, Florida, Brad Hartt Construction builds all types of homes, not just barndos, from various construction materials.

However, the company has an excellent local reputation, and they’re perfect if you want a company to manage all aspects of your project.

Address: 5311 S. Hammock Road, Zolfo Springs, FL 33890, USA
Phone: 863-381-0748

9. The Avanti Group

The Avanti Group designs and engineers metal barndominiums and barns and works with other mixed materials to produce customized barndos and more conventional buildings.

Furthermore, the barndos will always comply with your local code requirements and construction space.

Address: 1345 N Falkenburg Rd, Tampa, FL 33619, United States
Phone: +1 813-655-2884

10. Discovery Buildings

Based in Miami, Discovery Buildings supplies many metal frame structures, including barndominiums.

You can customize your building, and its delivery is usually within eight weeks from the order date. But, you have to hire a local contractor for assembly.

See also  An Introduction To Building Hybrid Barndominiums: 2024 Guide

Address: 3526 Ellis Ln, Mims, FL 32754, United States
Phone: +1 321-383-4000

11. Steel Commander Corp.

Steel Commander Corp. designs and builds steel buildings such as barns and barndominiums to be hurricane-proof. Everything is either custom-made, or you can choose an affordable kit.

Although the company is Florida-based, it happily serves most of the country.

Address: 2200 Corporate Blvd NW Suite 410, Boca Raton, FL 33431, United States
Phone: +1 844-722-4766

12. Florida Barndominium Pros

Florida Barndominium Pros specializes in barndominiums and has offices in Miami, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Jacksonville, and Orlando.

Unfortunately, the company doesn’t offer kits. However, their designers use mixed materials to provide a sophisticated-looking composite wood and steel barndominium.

Address: NA
Phone: +1 850-800-6514

13. Back Forty Building Co.

Although Back Forty Building Company is based in Montana, they supply most of the US, including Florida.

The company provides custom designs, works with your plans, or supplies a kit. However, they don’t usually install, so you need a local contractor to assemble their kit.

Address: 239 Martin Ln, Florence, MT 59833, United States
Phone: NA

14. Keen’s Buildings

Keen’s Buildings supplies 1-, 2- & 1.5-story barndos, garages, barns, and tiny homes. They’re based in the Sunshine State, offering custom designs, and will help with most construction phases.

The company also offers a finance option starting at 3.99%.

Address: 568 US Hwy 41, Masaryktown, FL 34604, United States
Phone: 1-352-797-2291

15. Riverbend Timber Framing

Riverbend Timber Framing’s specialty is luxury timber-framed building projects, including barndominiums. Although based in Michigan, Riverbend serves the entire country, including FL.

The company designs, prefabricates off-site, and installs structures, often erected in a few weeks. 

Address: 012 US-223, Blissfield, MI 49228, United States
Phone: +1 888-486-2363

16. Florida Quick Steel

Florida Quick Steel, previously known as Green Construction Services, is a general contractor licensed in Florida for metal buildings.

The company produces all metal building types, not only barndominiums, and they also supply three out-of-the-box projects.

Address: 110 W Ariel Rd, Oak Hill, FL, United States
Phone: 1-386-316-6316

17. Riken Construction

Based in Altamonte Springs, Riken Construction builds custom and prefabricated metal barndos.

The company offers complete project support, including site preparation, pre-construction, erection, and finishing. So, they’ll be there for you throughout the project.

Address: 781 Douglas Ave, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, United States
Phone: +1 321-363-4904

18. D&B Builders Inc.

D&B Builders specializes in commercial and residential steel buildings, both customized and kits.

The company can also help remodel existing metal buildings, and their designers use wood for a mixed material barndo if you prefer.

Address: 670 Molino Rd, Molino, FL 32577, United States
Phone: +1 850-587-3597

19. Apex Metal Buildings

Apex Metal Buildings specializes in commercial and residential metal buildings and works with existing plans. However, they will customize these designs at no extra cost.

Furthermore, they don’t offer foundations or finishing, so you’ll need a local contractor.

Address: 118 Conner St NE 120 Live Oak, FL 32064
Phone: +1 850-974-3433

20. Coastal Steel Structures

Coastal Steel Structures works out of Fort Worth and specializes in barndominiums.

They supply ten base model kits with five standard sizes, so choosing is easy. They then erect the barndo on preexisting foundations, but you need a local contractor for finishing and insulation.

Address: 631 Lucerne Ave Suite 45, Lake Worth, FL 33460, United States
Phone: +1 888-783-3535

21. Kessler Construction

Kessler Construction only serves South Georgia and the Big Bend area of Florida. So, its products are unavailable elsewhere in the Sunshine State.

However, they offer designs customized to your requirements and a 5-year warranty on all completed barndominiums. Furthermore, you don’t need to hire other contractors because they’ll do the entire project.

Address: 3375-C, Capital Cir NE Suite 200A, Tallahassee, FL 32308, United States
Phone: +1 850-997-4540

22. DC Builders

DC Builders specializes in only timber framed barndominiums, making the company unusual in Florida.

However, it does mean the products are quality rather than a cheap metal prefab. But, prices will be correspondingly higher.

Address: 1639 Dickerson Blvd A, Monroe, NC 28110, United States
Phone: +1 704-225-9669

23. Country Wide Barns

Country Wide Barns works across 18 states, including Florida, specializing in wood, metal, or mixed material barndos.

They employ independent inspectors to ensure each barndo is of sufficient quality. Furthermore, they work with local contractors, thus reducing installation costs.

Address: 1020 Industrial Dr #20, Pleasant View, TN 37146, USA
Phone: +1 800-615-9720

24. Florida Barndominiums

Florida Barndominiums specializes in the entire barndominium construction project, from planning and building permits to finishing, or can remodel existing barndos.

Many banks approve the company, making project financing much more accessible. 

Address: 3012 Kacher Rd, North Port. Fl. 34288, USA
Phone: +1 850 800 6514

25. MBMI Metal Buildings

MBMI Metal Buildings has more than 40 years of experience.

They use state-of-the-art technology and employ first-class engineers to ensure they design and erect your barndominium without problems.

Address: 4723 W Atlantic Ave, Ste A20 – Delray Beach, FL 33445
Phone: +1 800 293 2097

26. Morton Buildings

Morton Buildings specializes in commercial, agricultural, or residential steel buildings.

They have been in the construction business for 100 years, so you can be sure their work is of a very high standard.

Address: 252 W. Adams St. Morton, IL 61550-1804
Phone: 800-447-7436

For a full list of barndominium builders in Florida click here.

How To Build A Barndominium In Florida: 6 Steps

Building a barndo in the Sunshine State is no different from constructing a conventionally built home.

See also  Top 9 Barndominium Builders In Michigan: 2024

Although the detailed procedure might differ, the local permits and the general protocols remain the same.

1. Buy Some Land

After choosing the builder and the type of barndo you want, buy land that helps you achieve your personal goal. Consider the following points and ensure everything is okay:

  • Is the land accessible all year round?
  • Are there zoning restrictions?
  • Is the lot big enough for your plans?
  • Are there utilities within easy reach?
  • Is the location acceptable?

You probably won’t have all the boxes ticked, and you may have to compromise on some.

2. Choose a Contractor

Find a builder who knows about barndominiums and is registered to work in FL.

Experienced contractors have much knowledge and can help you decide on the land and property type you need. Otherwise, ensure they can accommodate your vision of your dream home.

3. Building Permits

Some barndo suppliers offer turnkey services and organize the permits as part of the package.

You need a general contractor to manage the project if yours doesn’t. Part of their job is to secure the necessary zoning and building permits.

4. Clear the Site

This work depends on the barndo’s size, the chosen foundation, and the plot of land.

Before excavating the foundations, you must clear vegetation, remove tree stumps, and grade the soil. At this stage, you can also connect to the utilities such as electricity, water, and drainage.

Alternatively, you can install a freshwater borehole and, if the local building codes allow it, a septic tank. However, these are illegal in most parts of Florida.

5. Foundations

Previously, a structural engineer has calculated and designed the foundations and footings.

Now is the time to excavate to the required depth and pour the concrete. Then, allow the concrete to cure.

6. Barndo Construction

The supplier will deliver the barndo kit. Then, you can assemble it using the instructions and plans provided.

Depending on the size and complexity of your barndominium, this process can take three to six months.

FL Legal and Zoning Considerations

In the US, most states have zoning regulations and building codes that residential owners must comply with. Because of the beautiful scenery and the Everglades, the Sunshine State requires occupants to adhere to the state and local rules and regulations.

Florida is divided into counties, each subdivided into municipalities with unique zoning information. Look on the Zoning Point website for your area’s relevant zoning information.

You’ll also find that each city has a zoning map. For example, this link points to the Crystal River Zoning Map. Alternatively, request a copy from your local government planning office.

Zoning Assessment

When constructing a property, the owner must check the district’s zoning rules for allowable uses. Land regulations vary depending on the industry, commercial building, or residence you want to construct.

Typically, the zoning restrictions for a building include:

  • Area – square footage
  • Size – general floor dimensions
  • Height – height to eaves and ridge

Land Use

According to state zoning laws, Florida’s land is classified into specific districts:

  • Residential
  • Recreational
  • Commercial
  • Agricultural
  • Industrial

Furthermore, some areas accept mixed use, such as residential co-existing with small-scale businesses or recreational.

Potential Issues

Although zoning regulations aim to ensure complementary land use within each zone, sometimes the restrictions can be too restrictive and a nuisance for the average property owner.

In this instance, you can apply for an exemption to the zoning regulations by qualifying for a “non-conforming use of land” or a “zoning variance.”

Typically, a zoning variance allows the property owner to not comply with the zoning ordinance requirements if they can prove it impossible to comply because of unusual circumstances.

Sometimes, this happens when a specific zoning area’s category changes from industrial to residential, as in the case of renovating an existing agricultural building into a residential barndominium.

In this case, the activity in the barndo no longer complies with its current standing classification.

How to Deal with Florida Zoning Regulations 

The best way to gain local government approval for a variance is to use a real-estate lawyer specializing in zoning regulations.

Building Codes

To ensure residential and commercial buildings remain safe when in use, they must comply with the local building codes. This ensures your barndo’s structural integrity.

All US states, including FL, use the  International Building Codes for 1- and 2-story residences. Because each locality is unique, local code rules are based on these guidelines and adapted to suit local conditions and existing legal requirements.

Finally, local government-approved inspectors check the project for permit compliance.

Building codes and the permits you need to buy vary between local jurisdictions. So, you must contact your local permit office to confirm which ones you need for your project.

Understanding what permits you need and buying these from the local government permit office ensures you stay on the right side of the law.

Financing Your Florida Barndo

Financing a barndominium construction project in Florida is somewhat different from funding a regular house, as some lenders don’t know what a barndo is, and others find it hard to categorize it. Is it an agricultural or a residential property?

Even further, some lenders only finance with an approved contractor. However, if you persevere, you will eventually find a lender to help you fulfill your dream home.

Apart from the national home loans available across the country, Florida has several banks offering mortgages for self-build properties. However, agricultural credit unions seem most receptive to barndominium mortgages.

Farm Credit of Florida

Farm Credit of Florida helps people find the money to finance their dream home.

Contact your local representative and find out more about their barndominium loans.

Farm Bureau Bank

Farm Bureau Bank works with the local farming community. So, you would expect them to be amenable to barndominium financing.

Contact the local representative for more details.

Barndominiums For Sale In Florida

Even though barndominiums are a great way to live, not everyone wants to build one from scratch or a kit. If this sounds familiar to you and you don’t want the hassle of finding land, choosing a design, finding a contractor, and all the other hoops you’ve got to jump through.

Why not look for a ready-built barndo with all the problematic stuff already done?

We have listings for many sizes and types of barndos of several price ranges here in Florida. Some of them may already have your name on them.

So, browse the list and find a barndo to suit you and your family today.

=> Looking for a custom Barndominium floor plan? Click here to fill out our form, a member of our team will be in touch.

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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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