The Ultimate Guide to Building a Small Barndominium House

Do you have land? With lumber prices on the rise, consider building a barndominium.

What do you get when you combine a house with a barn? A barndominium, of course! This new style of home caters to those with a love of farm homes, open floor plans, countryside aesthetics, and a large garage or shop area all within one building. Some barndominiums even have an actual horse stable connected to the home as well. 

Barndominiums have a ton to offer for those who love country-style homes and are becoming increasingly popular, so here’s a guide on how to build one in case you’re interested.


What is a Barndominium?

Barndominiums originally began as barns that were converted into homes, but recently people have been constructing them from the ground up. A barndominium features everything the average country home does, but with a large shop area or workplace also connected under the same roof. Some also have animal housing like chicken coops, pig pens, and/or horse stables connected to the home as well. 

The barndominium caters to homeowners who like the open floor plans and spacious designs that country homes usually offer and homeowners who have such an affinity for their barn animals and/or workshop projects that they don’t mind having it all under one roof. A small barndominium offers everything a regular-sized one does, just on a smaller scale.

Things to Know Before Building a Barndominium


Barndominiums are incredibly cheap to build. The average home can cost up to $200 per sq. ft to build, while the barndominium cost is anywhere from  $30 to $125 per sq. ft. This is because the construction process is much simpler and easier to complete. 

A small barndominium is usually around 2,000 sq. ft, which is still pretty big compared to the average tiny home. A small barndominium gives you the best of both worlds, with the space of a regular home for the price of a tiny home. 

How to Build a Barndominium

Barndominiums are usually built with either a wood or metal frame. There are many barndominium designs to mull over, which gives you plenty of creative wiggle room, even for a small version. Depending on how small you plan to build your barndominium or how much time and energy you want to invest, it might be feasible to build your own. You might also want to hire a contractor, however. 


Barndominiums are built like any other home as far as the actual building process goes but feature much different layouts. The space inside is typically very open, with the kitchen, dining room, and living room all within the same space. 

Bedrooms are often adjacent but with big, open entryways to them. Some don’t use doors at all. If a shop area is included, it can usually be found on one end of the home and is designed as one big room. 

Unlike separate workshops and outdoor buildings, barndominium workshops and garages are built with the same material as the rest of your home and often feature the same level of insulation as well. Animal housing is still designed with the ideal animal living conditions in mind, however. 

What’s Not to Love about Barndominiums?

Although they can be slightly more expensive than the average tiny home, a small barndominium can still help you save money and make more out of less square footage. 

With spacious floor plans and extra accommodations for hands-on work with tools, machinery, and animals, it’s hard to go wrong with any type of floor plan you choose. If you like rural homes, countryside aesthetics, and getting your hands dirty, you’re sure to love a barndominium.


By Matt Lee

Matt is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

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