Get Your Barndominium Quotes: Proper Estimates w/ 6 Questions

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Every day we see the housing market becoming less affordable. Meaning it’s harder to buy or rent a home for you and your family. However, one of the affordable options open to you is to build a barndominium, or “barndo,” which is less of a mouthful.

A realistic barndo estimate is typically between $30 and $150/sq. ft.

Usually, you’ll get a residential metal structure, sometimes incorporating commercial premises, workshop, garage, or hobby space, depending on your wants. Some people who enjoy equestrian sports even include a horse riding arena with stables.

The list is endless and only limited by the size of your bank balance.

So, if you’re serious about living in a barndo, read on, and we’ll explain everything you need to know. Then, we’ll help you select one of the barndo kit manufacturers who will provide a realistic barndominium quote for either an “off the shelf” or bespoke design as your next family home.

6 Factors Affecting Barndominium Quotations

Everyone needs to know the costs of designing and building a barndo. But, as with everything else, the prices of materials and labor depend on many factors.

1. Type of Design

Like most other things, costs vary depending on the complexity and size of your design, and the amount and quality of the materials.

You can keep these costs under control and within budget by choosing simple designs, using economical materials such as metal or vinyl siding, and cheaper interior finishes. Don’t let the design company railroad you into having the best of everything.

You can have a reasonable quality barndo without using premium materials and by choosing a simple structural design. A premium design only benefits the design and construction companies unless you can afford it.

2. Size

As you’d expect, extensive barndos are more expensive to build than small ones.

Of course, you can often offset these high prices by choosing more affordable materials or doing all or part of the work yourself.

3. DIY or Contractor?

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Suppose you know your way around construction tools; it’s possible to save money and have a reduced estimate by taking on some or all of the work yourself.

However, remember that the finished structure will be a showpiece for your skills and must be safe to live in. So, don’t take on too much or cut corners because you don’t know what you’re doing.

Also, you want to move in as soon as possible, so doing a few hours every month is no good.

If you hire a contractor to do everything, you can expect to pay up to $150/sq. ft. or more.

Alternatively, suppose you can do most of the work yourself. In that case, you can save considerable amounts of money and pay as little as $30/sq. ft. 

Typically, tradespeople charge the following rates:

TradeHourly Rate
General Contractor$50-$150/hr
Electrician$50-$150/hr
Plumber$40-$150/hr
Interior Designer$50-$220/hr

Don’t choose the cheapest rate, as you often get what you pay for, and an inexperienced contractor might take longer to do the job than a more experienced person.

4. Groundworks

Don’t forget the preparation work needed to ensure your barndo is stable and best uses your land. For example, check out the following:

  • Ground leveling and clearing
  • Excavating foundation trenches
  • Pouring concrete foundations and floor slab
  • Adding drainage, plumbing, and other utilities

Generally, these operations’ costs vary depending on the land gradient, local geology, lot size, and distance to municipal supplies. The best way to get an accurate price is to speak with a contractor or the company supplying your barndo.

Typically, the following average charges might apply:

OperationAverage Cost
Land Survey$350-$600
Ground Clearance$1,500-$4,000
Concrete Slab Foundation$5-$15/sq. ft.
Connect Utilities$10,000-$35,000+
Well/Borehole Water$25-$70/ft.
Mains Sewer Line Connection$1,000-$4,500 for initial 40 ft.
Septic Tank System$3,500-$5,000
Electricity Connection to Road$10-$30/ft. (underground connection)

$5-$20/ft. (overhead lines)
Plumbing (rough in)$5-$8/ft.
Laying Gravel Road$2-$5/sq. ft.
Paving Asphalt Road$5-$8/sq. ft.
Fencing$15-$25/ft.

5. Roof Type

The roof comes with the barndo kit and, depending on the price, will be a basic roof or a more complex design. Typically, the styles you can choose from include:

  • Gable – The most common roof style. It has two pitches of equal lengths and angles, and meets at the ridge. This is one of the simplest to build and is usually the cheapest. But, you can customize a gable roof by adding dormers and other roof types.
  • Gambrel – These roofs have two pitches on each side. Generally, the lower part of each pitch is steep, while the upper part is shallower. Typically, this shape appears sophisticated and looks like a traditional barn.
  • Monitor – A monitor roof has a raised upper story on top of a larger first floor. It has short walls and a roof separate from the lower floor’s roof. This style is popular with owners who prefer to live above their business premises or have a garage, stables, or porch on the first floor.
  • Shed – A shed roof is one continuous roof pitch, traditionally used for sheds, agricultural and other outbuildings. However, its simplicity and rustic feel work well with a barndo. But, when used as a purely residential structure tends to look contemporary.
  • Others – Not surprisingly, you can mix and match all these roof types onto the same barndo to make exciting designs that stand out from a standard build. However, complex structures like this significantly add to the overall cost.

6. Interiors

The great thing about barndos is that you can incorporate sizeable open-plan living rooms with vaulted ceilings or mezzanine upper-story bedrooms.

A typical barndo is self-supporting and has no internal supports, which provide large open spaces. All these make them cheaper than a conventionally built house.

One of the benefits of having a cheaply built structure is that we can spend more on good-quality fixtures and fittings for the interior. Many purchasers incorporate the following into their barndo when they couldn’t afford to with a conventional build.

  • Solid stone or hardwood kitchen countertops
  • Bespoke cabinets and joinery
  • Large rooms, including pantries, mudrooms, and laundry spaces
  • Wet rooms with spa or sauna features
  • Natural stone or hardwood flooring
  • Because there are no internal structural supports, you can have the rooms as large as you want.

Generally, if you can afford it, you can have it.

Barndominium Estimate Examples

The average cost of a dream barndo ranges from $30 to $150/sq. ft.

Cost Calculator

The following table shows an approximate rule of thumb for the costs of building your dream barndo.

Item% of Total Build Cost
Building Permits≤1%
Barndo Kit20%
Labor20%
Site Preparation5%
Pour Foundations & Slab5%
Install Utilities15%
Interior & Exterior Finishing40%
Total100%

In addition to these costs, you need an architect and structural engineer for extra work.

  • Architect – $150-$300/hr.
  • Structural Engineer – $150-$280/hr.
  • Draftsperson – $50-$150/hr.

The barndo kit manufacturer supplies the outer shell. It’s up to you to finish the interior.

The following table highlights the costs for various interior materials and fittings.

OperationAverage Costs
Drywall Installation$1.50-$3.50/sq. ft.
Flooring Installation (depending on material)$5-$10/sq. ft.
Spray Foam Insulation$1.50-$5/sq. ft.
HVAC Installation (including ductwork)$7,500-$18,000
Furnace Installation (including ductwork)$3,500-$12,000
Doors (interior)$160-$750/door
Doors (exterior)$350-$2,000/door
Kitchen Cabinets Installation$5,000-$17,000
Kitchen Appliances$3,000-$7,000/complete set
Interior Painting$2.50-$8/sq. ft.

Two-Bedroom Barndominium

A 30 ft. x 40 ft. kit is ideal if you want two bedrooms. Generally, they also have an overhanging roof for a porch or carport.

Typical prices are:

ComponentAverage Estimated Price
Concrete Foundation Slab$12,000-$19,000
Kit$25,000-$37,500
Erection$8,500-$14,500
Interior Finish$48,500-$192,500

Three-Bedroom Barndominium with Garage

Typically, this barndo measures 40 ft. x 40 ft. with a 20 ft. x 40 ft. attached garage.

ComponentAverage Estimated Price
Concrete Foundation Slab$30,000-$45,000
Kit$60,000-$94,000
Erection$21,500-$36,500
Interior Finish$115,500-$480,500

Four-Bedroom Barndominium

A good size for four bedrooms would be a 60 ft. x 70 ft. floor area. Typically, this size offers 1,800 sq. ft. living space and 1,200 sq. ft. workshop, garage, or barn.

ComponentAverage Estimated Price
Concrete Foundation Slab$36,000-$54,500
Kit$72,500-$111,500
Erection$25,500-$43,500
Interior Finish$145,000-$576,500

Barndo Quotations Checklist

Before approaching a barndo builder for a quotation, know precisely what you want from the discussion.

The following list covers what you should know.

How much land do you have? 

This includes level ground suitable for building and enough space for parking and a garden.

What’s your location?

A reputable barndo kit manufacturer will engineer your purchase to withstand your location’s climate and other environmental factors. Ensure they’ve considered the following:

  • Hurricane proofing
  • Extra thermal insulation
  • Soundproofing
  • Additional snow loading

Is there access to a public road?

Even if you own the latest ‘off road’ 4×4 truck, your visitors might not. Furthermore, you need emergency access for a fire truck or ambulance.

The delivery of your barndo and crane can’t proceed unless there’s access. If there’s no access road, you must build one.

What is its purpose?

A barndo can be a ‘stand-alone’ residence or include garages, hobby rooms, workshops, a gym, an equestrian arena, a church, and many more uses.

Zoning and Permits

Check with your town hall whether you can build a sizeable metal structure. You’ll need architectural and site plans, and structural, plumbing, and electrical plans before you start building.

Remember, the kit manufacturer can supply their product’s engineering drawings.

Utilities

What utilities do you need? You can connect to these if you’re within range of municipal public utility supplies and drainage lines.

If not, you need a well or borehole with a septic drainage system and some way of generating power.

How many rooms?

Consider the number of people living in the house and whether your family will grow. Consider both the number and size of each room.

Finance

Most people don’t have enough money to pay for and set up the barndo. Instead, they borrow enough from a mortgage lender.

There are two loan types to consider:

  • Construction loan – Usually taken out for one year, this loan covers construction costs which the lender releases in stages. Once you’ve finished construction, the lender converts the loan into a standard mortgage.
  • Mortgage – This standard loan costs less than a construction loan and spreads over a longer period.

Although you can approach a traditional mortgage lender for these loans, finding a lender specializing in self-build barndos is often better.

They appreciate the issues found with barndos and understand the self-build concept better than a traditional mortgage provider.

Insurance

Insurance is essential for your barndo, especially if non-family members have unrestricted access, such as employees and customers. Search for an insurance company that specializes in barndo insurance.

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Barndominium Builder Quote Hiring Tips

There are many things to consider when hiring a barndominium builder. You can hire a company to design and supply a kit to build yourself.

Alternatively, a design and build company will handle everything; design, providing the kit, and site assembly. Also, they install the interior to your instructions and hand you the keys when they’ve finished.

Because the construction workers take instructions from the design and build company, they can communicate easily and solve any issues.

Furthermore, hiring one company to handle everything is often cheaper than using two separate companies.

However, not every barndo manufacturer handles the construction as well. Therefore, knowing what to look for when searching for a qualified barndo builder makes sense.

Choose a Specialist

Constructing a barndominium requires knowledge that a general contractor might not possess. Therefore ensure the contractor has experience working with these structures.

Ask Around

Good contractors are never out of work, but finding the right one is worthwhile.

Ask around family and friends for recommendations. Then be prepared to wait in the queue until the contractor becomes available.

What other packages do they offer?

Most general contractors are qualified in multiple trades or know other specialist tradespeople like plumbers and electricians.

Find out what your prospective contractor can do before hiring them.

Verify Credentials

Check the contractor’s licenses and insurance before hiring them. Contractors need different licenses depending on the following:

  • Trade
  • Size of contract
  • Location

States have independent licensing requirements, and most local zoning boards need specific requirements too.

Contact the contractor’s insurance company to confirm the licenses. Usually, insurance companies have a dedicated phone or email address for this purpose.

Inspect Their Work

Ask previous customers if you can inspect the contractor’s standard of work.

Also, if they’re currently on a project, visit the site and see how the team works. You’ll soon get a good idea of their professionalism and tidiness from a 10-minute visit.

Good Time Management

Ask about the usual plan for assembling barndos.

An experienced contractor should understand each work phase well, what’s entailed, and its duration.

Don’t Rush

Whatever you do, don’t rush into hiring a contractor. You’re paying a significant amount for a well-built home that hopefully will last many years.

So, don’t rush to find the person doing most of the work. Take a bit more time at the start of the project, and you’ll reap the final benefits.

Next Steps

Choosing the correct company to design, build and assemble the kit is a definite skill. It can be challenging to do without experience communicating with contractors.

What you need is some help. So, what are you waiting for?

Complete the form on this page, and we’ll put you in touch with a local metal building specialist who will provide a quote for the barndominium of your dreams.

=> 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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