Building a Barndominium on a Budget: 8 Unique Tips to Consider (2024)

Building your own home is exciting and should be something joyous and rewarding. However, if you are worried about spending too much money and going over budget, the whole process will become a chore and can sour you on the experience. That’s why building a barndominium on a budget can be such a great experience. Not only are barndominiums less expensive overall, but there are also things you can do to keep your costs down and stick to a set amount of money.

In this guide, we have put together some unique tips for building a barndominium on a budget. These tips are pulled from experienced home builders who have been through the process and made budget mistakes that they have been able to learn from. By following these suggestions, you can be sure to keep your barndominium on a budget.

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Tips for Building a Barndominiumon a Budget

Choose an Inexpensive State

One of the best things you can do to keep your barndominium on a budget is to build in a less expensive state. Some states, like California and Massachusetts, have much higher building costs than some other states like Ohio. Because of this, you can end up saving yourself a lot of money by choosing to build in a place that is less expensive overall and will give you the freedom and flexibility you need for your project.

Some of the reasons that certain states are less expensive than others are the cost of land and materials. Certain states will have much lower prices for large plots of land, especially if they are more rural and further away from urban centers. Plus, once you move in, these states will have a lower cost of living, which can save you even more money in the long run.

Building a Barndominium on a Budget: 8 Unique Tips to Consider (2)

Use a Kit

One of the great things about building a barndominium on a budget is that it allows you to also find ways that you can make the whole process easier for yourself. This includes building a barndominium kit instead of starting completely from scratch. Barndominium kits can allow you to build a barndominium on a budget and offer you a simpler, more straightforward building experience.

Barndominium kits come completely prefabricated with everything you need to get your structure up off the ground. This makes them a great choice for people who want to get started right away once their kit comes to their build site. They can save you money by eliminating the need for purchasing and sourcing your materials, which can result in a lot of waste.

Simplify Your Design

If you want to build a barndominium on a budget, the best thing you can do is simplify your design. Many people want to build a complex, unique home right out of the gate and this can cause budgetary concerns. Everything that you add to your design will have a dollar amount attached to it and eliminating some of those extras can save you a lot of money in the long run during your build.

If you originally planned to build a five-bedroom barndominium, it could be a good idea to simplify this design and bring it down as much as you can. Things like lofts, extra buildings, and designer features can inflate the cost of your barndo quickly. It is a good idea to figure out which features you can’t live without and eliminate the other ones from there.

Do Work Yourself

If you want to save money and build your barndominium on a budget, one of the best ways to do it is to do some of the work yourself. While there are certainly some jobs that are going to be better left to professionals, such as any structural work or skilled carpentry, there are others that are relatively simple and can be done with just a little bit of research and patience. Taking on some of the tasks can help you save thousands of dollars in the long run.

Some of the things you could do yourself include painting and landscaping. These jobs could be done easily by a professional but can also cost a lot of money. If you want to save that cash and aren’t a perfectionist, doing them yourself is a great option. Plus, you get the sense of satisfaction that comes from a job done on your own.

Use Energy-Efficient Appliances

While building a home is one thing, it is quite another to live in it. There are costs associated with doing your daily tasks and if you can save on those, you can save money and build your barndominium on a budget. One of the best ways to do this is to purchase and use energy-efficient appliances.

Energy-efficient appliances can not only save you money on your bills, they often come with incentives. Many government programs will give you rebates on your energy-efficient appliances, which can be cashed in on as soon as you purchase them. By using enough of these appliances, you can save quite a bit of money on your barndo.

Building a Barndominium on a Budget: 8 Unique Tips to Consider (4)

Hire an Experienced Builder

Throughout the course of a home building project, one of the biggest holes you can fall into financially is redoing work. If possible, doing things right the first time is the best way to save money and can end up going a long way in helping you to build your barndominium on a budget. If you aren’t having to get any work done over, you aren’t wasting money on your construction costs.

The best way to ensure that things get done right the first time is to hire an experienced builder. While there are a lot of home builders in the industry, not all of them will have experience building barndominiums. If you can, find a builder who has worked on this kind of project before. It is even better if you find a builder who specializes in barndominiums as they will have the insight you need to get your project done right the first time.

Use a Detailed Plan

Much in the same way that it is best to do things right the first time, it is also essential that you make a plan and stick to it. By ensuring that you create a timeline and budget that works for you and see it through, you can have some control over the build and your barndominium on a budget. This is a great way to manage your expectations and your costs.

Create a complete portfolio of all the information you need for your barndominium on a budget and make sure you include quotes, contact information, and best lines of communication for everyone involved in the project. If you can have all of this information at arm’s length, it makes organizing the project much easier as you move through it. It will also help you make sure that everything is under your control and nothing is happening that you are not aware of.

Building a Barndominium on a Budget: 8 Unique Tips to Consider (5)

Track Spending

The absolute best way to build your barndominium on a budget is to track all of your spendings. Keep a spreadsheet with everything you spend and make sure that it is kept updated with every little bit of money that is used. Staying on top of this will help you stay aware of what is happening with your barndominium and keep it within your budget.

You should also make sure to keep the receipts for everything that you buy or any services that are rendered for your barndominium on a budget. Some of the things you purchase, such as energy-efficient appliances, will be eligible for rebates or tax credits. Having the documentation you need will help you take advantage of these incentives.


By understanding some of the best ways to build a barndominium on a budget, you can build your home easily without breaking the bank. While many people dream of building their own home, the costs associated with it keep most folks from being able to make that dream come true. Building a barndominium is much more accessible to people who might not otherwise be able to get this kind of project done.

If you would like more guides like this one, be sure to check out the rest of There, you will find guides to building a barndominium in different states as well as helpful tips and tricks from the pros. You will also find featured barndominiums to help you get inspired for your own dream home.

Michael O'Connor

Michael O’Connor is a seasoned barndominium writer passionate about creating unique and innovative barndominiums. With over 15 years of experience in the construction industry, Michael has established himself as a leading expert in barndominium design and construction.

His work has been featured in several respected publications, including Barndominium Life, where he frequently contributes articles on best practices and emerging trends in the field. Michael’s ability to blend traditional techniques with cutting-edge technology and design concepts has earned him a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable writers in the industry.

Building a Barndominium on a Budget: 8 Unique Tips to Consider (2024)


What I wish I knew before building a barndominium? ›

Here are the most important things to know about building a barndominium.
  • Obtain a permit for your project. Photo by Bridger Steel, Inc. ...
  • Test the paint. Photo by Justin Doyle Homes. ...
  • Prepare for surprise costs. ...
  • Plan for electrical work. ...
  • Choose your windows and doors wisely. ...
  • Add insulation—it's important.
Mar 14, 2022

What is the most cost effective barndominium? ›

Generally the most cost-effective barndominium size falls between 1,500-2,500 square feet. The Average size Barndominium in the US falls around 2500sqft as well. Most of the Barndominium Floor Plans and steel Barndominium shell Kits that you will find online will Start out around 2000sqft and go up from there.

How big of a barndominium can I build for 100k? ›

Maximizing open communal areas and minimizing hallway footage amplifies perceived space too. With pragmatic design selections, $100k gives hope for wonderfully livable 900-1,000 sq ft barndos in rural regions.

What are the negatives of barndominiums? ›

If you're considering building or buying a barndominium, consider this list of downsides before you sign your name on a dotted line:
  • Location Limitations. ...
  • Financing. ...
  • Corrosion. ...
  • Noise. ...
  • UV Exposure. ...
  • Wiring Challenges. ...
  • Reselling.
Oct 19, 2022

What questions to ask when building a barndominium? ›

Questions to Ask Potential Builders
  • Their experience with barndominiums.
  • Construction loans.
  • Any relevant certifications.
  • Their past projects.
  • Materials and techniques used.
  • The warranties they offer.

How big of a barndominium can I build for 200k? ›

On the high end, barndominiums have an average cost of $150 per square foot. At that price, you can estimate a building of around 1,333 square feet for $200,000. That is the cost of doing it yourself.

Do barndominiums hold their value? ›

Barndominiums normally retain their resale value and may even increase in value gradually, although more slowly than a standard home. However, these homes are still rare in some parts of the country, and it may be challenging to get an accurate appraisal in an area where there are few.

How much would it cost to build a 5000 sq ft barndominium? ›

Average cost to build a barndominium
Square feetAverage cost to build*
3,000$195,000 – $480,000
3,500$227,500 – $560,000
4,000$260,000 – $640,000
5,000$325,000 – $800,000
6 more rows
Oct 13, 2023

What is the cheapest flooring for a barndominium? ›

Vinyl Flooring

It is a budget-friendly option that can mimic the appearance of wood, tile, or stone. Vinyl is also water-resistant, making it suitable for various spaces within your barndominium.

What flooring is best for a barndominium? ›

Polished concrete, epoxy coatings, and barndominium stained concrete floors have the strength to outlast almost any other residential or commercial flooring option.

How fast can a barndominium be built? ›

The construction time can vary based on size and complexity, but generally, barndominiums can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to build, which is often faster than traditional homes due to prefabricated elements.

Are barndominiums hard to insure? ›

Overcoming Barndominium Insurance Hurdles

Some insurers classifying barndominiums solely as agricultural barns rather than primary residences risks coverage gaps or policy denials. Providing detailed documentation clarifying intended full-time occupancy uses simplifies securing tailor-made homeowners insurance.

Why are barndominiums hard to finance? ›

Many USDA lenders are unfamiliar with these structures and may be reluctant to finance their purchase. Borrowers may also experience added difficulty when seeking a USDA construction loan to build a new barndominium, as some USDA lenders, including Neighbors Bank, do not offer this loan type.

Are barndominiums bad investments? ›

If you are purely looking for a quick resale investment, a Barndominium may not be your best option. But, if you are hoping to build a long-term home for yourself or to invest by renting out your Barndominium, a Barndominium could be an excellent choice and long-term investment.

How long does it take to build a 3000 sq ft barndominium? ›

Building Timeline Overview

For a DIY-inclined owner with sufficient time and adequate skillset, constructing a basic 3000 sq ft barndominium yourself using pre-fabricated steel building components could conceivably only require around 5 months from breaking ground to securing an occupancy permit.

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