Barndominium Cost vs House Cost: Explained!

Housing is one of the most important yet expensive projects you have to take on in your life. While other projects are important, you need a house to rest your head after a stressful day at work. You may prefer traditional houses similar to those you see daily. However, some people love smaller apartments made from containers or a barndominium. This article will cover everything you need to know about barndominium cost vs house cost.

Barndominium houses are unique and stylish homes that make life comfortable. Unlike traditional houses, barndominiums have different setups and are cost-effective if you want to cut down on housing costs. 

Additionally, barndominium houses cut labor costs and make for a great living space if you want something a little out of the ordinary. Today, we will compare the costs of barndominium and traditional homes to help you make the best housing decision.

What's Ahead...

Our Pick

Although a regular house can be quite an eye-catcher, we absolutely love to see the cost-effective designs and creativity that go into building a barndominium house. Thus, we recommend a barndominium house if you want to cut costs. On the other hand, you can opt for a traditional home if you love the security and features regular homes offer.


About Barndominium Houses

A barndominium is a house made from steel frames. Interestingly, you can consider a barndominium as a non-traditional house because it contains more than a living space. In addition to a living space, you will find a garage or shop attached to the barndominium. Alternatively, you could think of barndominiums as barns reconstructed into homes.

Although you can construct barndominiums to live in, you could also use them to shelter horses and other livestock. Recently, most people have opted for barndominiums since they are easy to set up and do not cost too much.

Several features make barndominiums so desirable. First, you can easily make a custom home with different floor plans and a low budget.

Features of Barndominium Houses

You will enjoy several advantages when you choose a barndominium for your home. First, you will enjoy low maintenance costs, durable materials, spray foam insulation, quality interior walls, and many other benefits. You can also customize your living space to suit your taste.


Barndominium houses are known to last long. The steel frame and metal building materials make it easier to resist rot, mold, and other elements that infest conventional homes. Additionally, you will enjoy peace of mind since your home is more protected than regular homes. You can also lower insurance costs by using a barndominium

Flexible Space

Another interesting thing about barndos is their flexibility and size. Barndos have an open design that makes it possible to use them in several ways. Furthermore, barndominiums have unique features to allow you to customize your home to your lifestyle. You can also design your floor, make space for your office or gym, etc.

Barndominium Costs

Barndominium kits do not cost much to maintain. Unlike traditional homes, you do not need several materials to build this house. Also, barndos come from strong base structures and steel or metal exterior walls. Hence, they last longer than regular houses.


Due to the structure, you will enjoy safety like none other when you use barndominiums. The metal building materials protect you and your household. You also don’t have to worry about fire outbreaks since metal and steel have more resistance to fire than the materials used to build traditional houses. Also, barndos withstand strong winds and provide a stronghold during storms.

Low Building Costs

An advantage you enjoy with the barndominium building process is the low building costs. Although the prices may vary based on building expenses, barndominium kits, and many other factors, the costs are comparatively low compared to any traditional home construction.

Easy to Build

Another feature of barndominiums is the ease with which you can build them. With barndominium kits, you can get your home set up quickly, and you will not need to spend more time working out many details compared to traditional homes.

Regular Houses

About Regular Houses

A regular home has more popularity and prestige. However, the house cost is something to consider before building. One thing with traditional homes is that you cannot build them on an existing structure. You will have to work with materials like concrete, steel construction, and others.

Unlike barndos, you will not save money since the building cost is higher than the barndominiums. Additionally, you will not be able to customize your interior space once you’ve built the house.

Features of Regular Houses

Here are some key features of traditional houses:


The durability of regular houses is subject to many factors. First, the materials used dictate how long a house will last. The design and maintenance are also key factors that determine durability.

Building Costs

Again, there is no accurate answer to the building costs of regular houses. Because of how diverse the designs and building materials can be, the building costs vary significantly. On average, the building costs of regular homes are between $115 to $145 per square foot.

Similarities Between a Barndominium House and a Traditional House

There are a few similarities between barndos and traditional homes. You can use a barndominium and traditional house for shelter. Additionally, both structures provide shelter against storms, rain, and other external forces.

Although these housing types require different materials, they need you to set up strong structures. You can also compartmentalize your traditional house before building completely, although the process is easier when building your barndominium.

Regular Houses

Differences Between a Barndominium and Traditional House

Before fully understanding the differences between a barndominium and a traditional living quarters, you must understand that several factors control both projects. Such factors include:

  • Cost
  • Building material
  • Lifestyle
  • Size
  • Design


The average cost of a regular house is usually around $115 to $145 per square foot, while construction costs for unique, aesthetic barndominiums are around $70 to $95. You can see that a conventional house costs more than a barndominiums.

You must note that comparing costs is quite misleading when it comes to barndominiums and traditional homes. While we generally consider the barndominium cheaper, the total cost for each house largely depends on the materials and design.

You will discover that the cost varies greatly based on how you build your house. If you want to use a continuous roof, stylish exterior doors, and a beautiful interior design, you must spend more money than on regular, plain designs. You can lower the cost if you use cheaper materials for the entire structure of your home.

As a general rule, modern materials tend to cost more. Also, the cost could depend on the city in which you reside. You will discover that the cost of materials is cheaper in a mid-sized city than in a larger one.

If you use stylistic design components in your barndominium, your house will cost more than someone that used basic amenities in their house. Note that the exterior shell of your barndo does not cost much. However, it all depends on the materials you use on the interior.

The major cost difference between a barndominium and a regular house is that in a traditional house, the bulk of the budget goes to the exterior – windows, walls, doors, roof, and siding. However, a barndo project costs significantly less on the exterior designs. You will only spend more money on the interiors than the traditional home. Also, you could spend more money on on-site development if you do not take care.


Another interesting feature to consider is the size of the buildings. Barndos are usually bigger than traditional houses. You could have a spacious barndominium depending on the nature of the steel structures.

Unlike traditional homes, a barndo usually has a ceiling height of around 14 feet. Traditional homes usually have their ceiling heights limited due to the materials used. A typical traditional house has a ceiling height of eight to nine feet.

Building Material

Traditional houses have wooden buildings that use brick or both. However, barndominiums only use steel. The barndo also has a creative exterior framing and gives room for customization on the interior.

Regular Houses


Barndos does not work for everyone. The material is more of a lifestyle choice and only suits those that want to enjoy comfort in their temporary homes. Most people result in using barndominiums while they construct their permanent homes. If you need a great option to stay while you build your permanent residence, barndominiums are the best option.

Barndominium Cost vs House Cost: Final Thoughts

We have provided a detailed cost comparison guide between barndominiums and traditional houses. We found that barndos generally cost less than traditional houses. However, you could spend more money on barndos if you do something elaborate with the interiors.

It is worth noting that most people use barndominiums as temporary residences while building permanent structures using bricks and other materials. One reason people love barndos is their low cost. Additionally, you do not need to spend a lot on long-term maintenance.

Unlike barndos, traditional houses take at least seven months to build. This time is enough to build at least two barndominiums from scratch. If you need a fast fix to your housing problems, you can use barndos to enjoy energy-efficient and safe spaces.

Barndominium Cost Savings Explained

Paul Martinez

Paul Martinez is the founder of He is an expert in the areas of finance, real estate, and eCommerce.  Join him on to learn how to improve your financial life and excel in these areas. Before starting this blog, Paul built from scratch and managed two multi-million dollar companies. One in the real estate sector and one in the eCommerce sector.