9 Pro Tips For Choosing A Great Barndominium Builder


As more and more people discover the advantages and versatility of barndominium homes, the demand for “barndo” home builders continues to grow.

Home building contractors are plentiful, and all make the claim that they can get the job done on time and within budget.

That’s when the smart buyer exercises extreme caution before signing the dotted line on the contract. It’s important to know the right questions to ask and the proper research to do to select the perfect barndominium builder.

The goal is your finished dream barndo – one that is completed within the agreed-upon timeframe and is well constructed utilizing quality materials.

Why Hire A Professional Barndominium Builder?

Since barndominium kits are so plentiful and relatively inexpensive, many think they can skip the contractor and manage construction themselves.

Doing the building yourself can save a lot of money. And, for those with extensive construction experience, this may be the way to go.

For the rest of us, the complicated structural elements – such as the foundation, putting the beams and siding in place, HVAC, electrical, plumbing and septic – are better left to professionals.

The integrity of your barndo construction begins with the foundation and, if that is not poured or built correctly, the entire long-term stability of your structure is in jeopardy.

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Additionally, an improperly built foundation can doom the entire project resulting in beams and joists not fitting together properly.

Beams utilized in barndominium construction can be wood or heavy steel. Both require large cranes and skilled operators to put them in place.

Even the interior work can require custom craftsmen such as cabinet builders, tile installers, and stone masons. Barndominiums often require custom finish work to achieve the perfectly completed, dream home.

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A professional barndominium builder serves are the general contractor for your project and has the necessary experience and existing relationships with skilled subcontractors to get the job done correctly the first time and build a quality barndominium that will last a lifetime.

Your Checklist For Selecting A Barndominium Builder (9 Tips)

Selecting the right barndominium builder boils down to three overriding factors:

  • Research
  • Asking the right questions
  • Communication

Specifically, these tips include:

1. What to Do Before Looking for a Builder

The process starts with some basic decisions such as the type of barndominium you want – pole or steel construction, approximate size, how many bedrooms, use of the structure, one or two stories, foundation type, to include a basement or not, and roof elevation.

2. Experience

The right builder will have specific experience in building the type of barndominium you want – either pole or steel construction.

Check out their website gallery. Most reputable builders will have a gallery of completed projects that you can browse through.

3. Ask Questions, and Lots of Them

Be prepared with a list of questions when talking with potential barndo builders.

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Some questions to ask include:

  • Have they done similar projects?
  • How many projects do they schedule at once?
  • What are the lengths of their relationships with their subcontractors?
  • Will they provide financial references from suppliers and/or banks?
  • What is their design process?
  • What is the timing on the build schedule?
  • How do they structure the timing of various phases of the project?

4. Research and Verify Experience

When speaking with potential barndominium builders, ask for a list of previous clients, including their contact information. Take the time to set up appointments with these clients to see previous barndo projects completed by the builder.

Ask previous clients questions about how they feel the build went and if it was completed on time and within budget. Determine if phases of the project were done correctly the first time or did corrections have to be made.

Contacting previous clients without the builder present will allow those people to be candid with you.

5. Type of Materials

Whether the builder is utilizing a prefabricated barndominium kit or building a custom project from scratch, ask for specifications on the materials they will utilize in the build. For example, in steel construction, ask for the grade of steel.

Ensure that the builder will utilize high-grade building materials.

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6. Knowledgeable

The right barndo builder will have an in-depth understanding of your local building codes.

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Hiring a builder who is not familiar with your building codes can result in having your build “red tagged” by the local building permit inspector. A red tag means your builder must stop work as outlined in the order.

These types of violations are costly and can result in lengthy delays to project completion.

7. Is the Builder Reputable and Professional?

A good sign that a builder is reputable is that they are licensed and bonded.

A bonded builder is insured against damages to your property or other’s property that may occur during their work on your project.

Licensed builders have a minimum amount of required experience by the state and are often required to pass an examination to obtain licensing from the state as a contractor.

Licensed and bonded builders offer you protection if something goes wrong during the build.

Another sign of a reputable, professional barndominium builder is that they offer a warranty on their work.

8. Get It in Writing

Ask for everything in writing from the builder you choose. This includes a detailed estimate, the contract, the warranty, and detailed billing invoices.

All billing and costs related to the process should be completely transparent, including receipts for materials from suppliers.

9. Communication

Make notes about your general impressions after talking with potential builders. The right barndominium builder will be a good communicator who helps you understand their abilities and experience and offer insights into the process.

You should leave the meeting with a clear understanding without feeling confused.


Hiring the right barndominium builder will add peace of mind to your build and ensure the soundness of your structure for a lifetime of enjoyment.

To get in touch with builders in your area, complete the “Compare Steel Building Prices and Save” survey on this page.

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