What in the World Is a Barndominium

You’ve heard of tiny homes, shipping container homes, and even restored and converted buses and vans — but are you familiar with barndominiums?

Over the last few years, barndominiums (also referred to as barndos). have been making a splash throughout the Southern region of the U.S., and it’s exactly what you’d think it is. Barn + condominium = barndominium. Chances are if you’ve been on social media at all during the pandemic, then you’ve come across a barndo account or two. Let’s get into what it really means to build a barndominium and why they’re becoming so popular.

What is a barndominum?

Whether you live on a homestead or you have a pretty piece of property to build on, you may have come across barndominiums. The barndo experts, the Barndominium Company, define a barndominium as a “custom-designed, steel-framed, single-family residence with metal roof and siding.”

Basically, they are small houses (although recent trends would say otherwise) made from metal barns or buildings built for agricultural purposes. While these new types of homes may seem trendy for the times, they’ve actually been around for years in rural America. You can learn a little more about the history from this 1989 New York Times article.

Now that you understand what a barndominium is, let’s look at just why they’re so popular.

The benefits of a barndominium

While some may have combined their living spaces with barns purely for practical reasons, it has become quite trendy over the last few years, and for a good reason! Here are some of the top factors of why many landowners are opting for a barndo on their property.

  1. Cost-effective: Everyone’s favorite factor – you can save lots of money! The materials are generally cheap, it’s quick to build, which means your costs will be lower, and you can even renovate existing structures so you may not even have to start from scratch.
  2. Easily adaptable: The interior of a barndo is extremely spacious, and most utilize partitions vs. traditional walls which gives you tons of flexibility and freedom to move around floor plans as you please.
  3. Time is on your side: Need your structure set up quickly? No problem! In some areas, it is even possible to have a barndo ready in as little as two weeks.
  4. Very durable: Thanks to the steel frame, your barndo will be able to withstand damage from various types of weather (which is why they’re so popular in the south). Plus, maintenance costs will stay low thanks to fewer upkeep issues associated with steel.

With all of these benefits in mind, it’s worth noting that a barndo isn’t just a great option for a living space. In fact, you could also consider utilizing a barndominium for other purposes like a guest house, meeting center for an organization, an office or studio, and even as a game room.

You can purchase a build kit directly from many steel manufacturers or even floor plans from companies like Our Barndominium Life to give to your contractor. Think that a barndominium is the right fit for you? Check out Land Hub’s current land listings to find the land to build on.

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Finding the perfect home isn’t easy. But when it comes to getting the right house in the right neighborhood at the right price, is buying the best way to go or is it better to build from scratch?

If you’re in the market but not sure which way to go, it definitely helps to know more about how these two options compare. Here’s what to know about building vs. buying, including the pros and cons of both so you can better decide which is your ideal way to go.

Building a home

Does the idea of building a new home from the ground up sound appealing to you? You’re not alone. Interest in new construction builds is on the rise, and regions across the U.S. are seeing an increase in the number of permits for new residential builds.

From the flooring to the finishing touches, building from scratch gives you a unique opportunity to choose exactly what you want in a home. Depending on where you live, it might also give you a chance to break ground in a neighborhood that’s otherwise limited insofar as desirable housing.

So what are the pros and cons of building new? Here are some of the big ones to consider.


Options. When you build new, you get to make a ton of decisions on how your home looks and functions, which could be a plus if you’re struggling to find what you like.

Value. New homes tend to increase in value as the areas around them get further developed. This can make them a good investment, especially for first-time home buyers who intend to sell in the somewhat near future.


Price. Growing interest in new builds plus rising prices in lumber, steel, and other building materials means that it’s certainly not cheap to go this route. You’ll have a base price to consider, plus additional costs for any upgrades.

Competition. Waiting lists for a new build are thousands of people long in some areas, meaning that even if you’re ready to buy you may not have the opportunity.

Buying a home

This is the go-to option for a lot of home buyers, but has gotten a bit tricky with what seems like an endless seller’s market driving up prices and creating a ton of competition for every property. Is it worth it though? Here’s what to keep in mind.


Convenience. Once you buy, you can close and move in a month or two, versus the six months or more it might take to move into a new build.

Quality. Older homes may be made with higher-quality wood, steel, and stone materials that are harder to come by in new construction.


Wear and tear. A lived-in home may have some issues that need to be dealt with, including pricey fixes to roofs, plumbing, or other key systems.

Competition. As it turns out, competition is just as steep for existing homes. Today’s market is defined by high demand and low inventory, and it’s buyers who are having to make concessions if they want to close a deal.

It’s up to you to decide whether buying or building is preferable. We recommend working with a real estate agent and/or a financial planner to figure out what you can spend and what your must-haves are so you can narrow in on your best option and move forward toward the home of your dreams.

Like this article? Please feel free to share or post a link to your site: https://www.landhub.com/land-news/building-a-home-vs-buying-a-home-pros-and-cons/

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