How Much Does It Cost to Build a Barndominium?
$120,000 - $540,000
$120,000 - $540,000
Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.
Updated January 12, 2023Reviewed by Ezra Laniado, Expert Contributor.
Barndominiums cost between $120,000 and $540,000, with an average 2,400-square-foot barndominium costing $300,000 to build. The total cost to build a barndominium can vary significantly depending on the size, how much of the work you do yourself, and the finishes you choose.
If you already own land or are converting an existing barn, your costs will be lower. But barndominium costs can quickly grow when you pay for luxury options and a build fully overseen by a general contractor.
2022 Notice: Material Prices Are Surging
Demand for siding and other building materials has grown over the past year. And as a result, manufacturers are increasing materials prices. Prices have gone up 5% to 10% this year, and many parts of the country are experiencing long delivery times. If you're planning a building project, we recommend starting as early as possible in the season, preparing for potential price fluctuations, and allowing extra time to order materials.
|Average Cost||High Cost||Low Cost|
You’ll need to consider four main factors when estimating the cost to build a barndominium: construction materials, finishing materials, labor, and site preparation. While these amounts can vary depending on your project, they generally break down as follows.
See the estimated average percentages your factors contribute to your total cost.
The largest portion of your barndominium budget will go toward construction materials. Even if you purchase a prefabricated barndominium kit, you’ll need to budget for additional construction materials, like plumbing, wiring, and drywall—plus any exterior upgrades you want to make, like higher-quality siding, roofing, or doors.
Though you may be able to handle some of the work yourself (painting, installing flooring, etc.), building a barndominium is an exhausting, complex process that merits a general contractor (10% to 20% of your project costs). That contractor will subcontract work out as needed to plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and other professionals.
The cost of site preparation depends on whether you already own land and if it’s set up for electric, gas, and water. Costs will be higher if you have to purchase, clear, and level land. You’ll also pay more to design an inviting landscape. Site preparation may include obtaining permits, paying for a floor plan, and laying a foundation.
To finish your barndominium, you’ll need to budget for appliances, furniture, fixtures, shelving, and cabinetry. Depending on the quality of materials, this cost can go significantly higher than our estimated 10%.
The cost of a barndominium can range dramatically in price, from as little as $120,000 to as much as $540,000, though the average homeowner can expect to spend $300,000 on barndominium construction. Check out the price ranges below to see how much your budget can get you.
Choose a small barndominium kit.
A 1,200-sq.-ft. prefab kit can keep costs down.
Expect builder’s grade construction materials.
DIY what you can.
While you’ll need to hire a general contractor who subcontracts licensed professionals, DIY as many elements as you can.
At this budget, you can afford basic labor needs, but you’ll have to skip the interior designer and landscaper.
Start with land you own.
New land costs would eat into a budget of this size; to build a barndominium on this budget, you’ll already need to own the land.
Ideally, use land that has already been cleared, leveled, and set up for basic utilities.
Use what you already have.
At this budget, you’ll have room left for budget-friendly appliances, fixtures, and furniture.
To stretch your budget, use furniture and appliances you already have, especially if you’re selling your house.
Having trouble calculating how much to build a barndominium? That’s understandable since barndominium costs can vary significantly, making it difficult to estimate. The table below breaks down typical cost factors to consider as you price out your new home.
|Cost Factor||Typical Cost Range|
|Land||$7,600 – $11,400|
|Floor plans||$1,500 – $4,500|
|Barndominium kit||$30,000 – $180,000|
|Foundation||$4,000 – $44,500|
|Permits||$1,200 – $2,000|
|Materials||Highly variable; typically 50% of total cost|
|Septic tank||$3,280 – $10,680|
|Siding||$6,000 – $16,000|
|Labor||Highly variable depending on level of DIY vs. professional construction|
|Finishing the lot||$1,000 – $30,000|
The U.S Department of Agriculture reports that the average cost of an acre of land is $3,800. Assuming you don't already own land to build your barndominium, you'll need to budget between $7,600 and $11,400 for 2 to 3 acres. Depending on the state of the land, you may encounter additional land costs, like:
Land survey: $380–$750
Yard leveling cost: $1,000–$3,230
Landing clearing cost: $1,350–$5,500
You may also need to budget for new road and driveway access.
When building a barndominium, you can choose from predesigned floor plans for around $1,500 to $2,000 or hire an architect to design a custom floor plan, which can cost up to $4,500.
Predesigned floor plans will likely meet most people’s needs. You can find plans for multiple levels with varying numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms. You can even get plans with special “must-have” features like a fireplace or massive kitchen.
Barndominium kits range from $30,000 to $180,000, depending on the style and square footage. A 2,400-square-foot barndominium kit with a covered porch costs more than a standard 1,200-square-foot kit. Delivery fees range an additional 5% to 10% of the kit price. In general, you should budget between $25 and $50 per square foot for a barndominium kit, also called the shell.
Kits provide the outer shell or framing for the house. They come ready to store vehicles and other equipment or for you to design your own home with a barndominium floor plan. You'll still need to finish the interior, including any plumbing, electrical, appliances, and bedroom walls.
Expect to spend between $4,000 and $44,500 on any foundation costs, including excavation. Extra landscaping work to prevent flooding or adding a garage foundation can add to the price.
Building permits cost anywhere from $1,200 to $2,000 when building a structure as big as a barndominium, but prices will vary based on the requirements in your city or county. A construction permit is nonnegotiable for a project of this size.
Building materials make up 50% of the total cost for most homes, but for barndominiums, that tends to be less. Steel framing is more affordable than the cost of wood framing, and steel roof panels cost less than shingled roofs.
But you’ll still need to account for materials to finish the living space of your barndominium.
|Material Cost||Typical Cost Range|
|Drywall price||$0.50 – $0.75 per sq. ft.|
|Insulation cost||$0.25 – $2 per sq. ft.|
|Flooring cost||$0.50 – $14 per sq. ft.|
|Plumber fee||$0.50 – $4.50 per sq. ft.|
|Staircase cost||$80 – $300 per step|
|Painter fee||$25 – $100 per gallon|
|Central AC price||$1,900 – $5,500 per unit or $0.50 – $3 per sq. ft. for ductwork|
|Furnace cost||$2,700 – $6,400 per unit|
|Door price||$40 – $500 per door|
|Lumber||$1 – $5 per sq. ft.|
|Electrical wiring price||$6 – $8 per ft.|
|Kitchen cabinet price||$2,000 – $24,000|
|Lighting fixture cost||$20 – $4,500 per fixture|
|Appliance cost||$200 – $10,600 per appliance|
Installing a septic tank costs between $3,280 and $10,680. If you’re building on a lot with a preexisting septic tank, you won’t need to worry about this cost.
Budget approximately $6,000 to $16,000 if you want to upgrade your siding from the barndominium kit. You may wish to improve the exterior design or protect your home if you live in a harsher climate. Your siding upgrade costs depend on the square footage and material you choose.
You'll need professional contractors to finish the inside of your barndominium. Even if you do some of the work yourself, hiring specialty pros like plumbing and electrical workers is best to ensure your barndominium is safe and up to code.
In some cases, this is required. Labor prices depend on where you live, with metropolitan hot spots like New York or Los Angeles costing more than rural areas.
General contractor fee: 10%–20% of total project cost
Architect rate: $130–$250 per hour
Flooring professional fee: $60–$120 per hour
Engineer fee: $100–$230 per hour
Draftsperson rate: $50–$130 per hour
Interior designer fee: $50–$200 per hour
Painter fee: $20–$50 per hour
Landscape architect fee: $70–$150 per hour
Electrician rate: $50–$100 per hour
Plumber cost: $45–$200 per hour
Carpenter rate: $13–$39 per hour
If you need to add utility services to your lot, expect to spend around $1,000 to $30,000, depending on how close your new home is to the nearest city waterlines and cable lines.
How much are barndominiums? The largest factor determining the barndominium cost is size. While barndominium kits run between $25 and $50 per square foot, a completed barndominium, including materials and labor, is more likely to cost you about $100 to $150 per square foot. For comparison, building a house costs around $50 to $400 per square foot.
The table below explores common barndominium sizes and their typical cost range.
|Sq. Ft.||Average Barndominium Cost Range|
|1,200||$120,000 – $180,000|
|2,400||$240,000 – $360,000|
|3,000||$300,000 – $450,000|
|3,600||$360,000 – $540,000|
|4,200||$420,000 – $630,000|
The average barndominium cost also varies by the features you select. If you have a strict budget in mind, here are some features you can expect:
1,200 square feet
A few upgraded finishes or appliances
2,400 square feet
Some higher-end finishes, fixtures, and appliances
Extra features like a wraparound porch or massive kitchen
3,600 square feet
Luxurious features throughout
Extra features like an attached garage, pool, and/or custom landscaping
To build a barndominium yourself, you’ll need to budget for materials, permits, and tools to do the job. You’ll also need ample time and extensive building skills to complete aspects like a kitchen, interior walls, and flooring.
“Even if you do some of the work yourself, you’ll still most likely need another pair of hands to help out along the way, and you’ll want to hire out specialty jobs such as electrical, HVAC, and plumbing,” says Ezra Laniado, Angi Expert Review Board member and owner of Landmark Construction & Development Group, Inc.
You want to ensure your home meets building codes, structural requirements, and safety for you and your family. Hiring a local general contractor can help ensure your barndominium meets the code and stick to a budget and timeline. General contractors can also arrange for subcontractors to do specialty work. If you want to be a part of the building process and save on costs, you can do some of the finishing work yourself, such as installing flooring or painting walls.
A barndominium offers a sturdy structure for your home, often at a lower cost than a traditional house. A barndominium also provides an open layout, high ceilings, and plenty of room for customization. Metal buildings tend to last longer than those with a wood frame and require less maintenance, which can make barndominiums a good long-term option.
When building a barndominium, you should consider the layout, style, and design. Hiring an interior designer and architect can help you create a functional home you’ll love. You should also consider hiring a general contractor who can manage the project, hire subcontractors, and keep you on budget.
Building a barndominium with a finished living space can take anywhere from four to six months or longer. The timing depends on the size of your home, availability of materials, and contractor schedules. Waiting for permits, utilities, and other prebuild work can also delay the overall construction timeline for any project of this size. You’ll need another place to live until the barndominium is complete.
Building a barndominium can be more affordable than building a house. In general, you can spend anywhere from $50 to $400 per square foot when building a house, while barndominiums cost between $100 and $150 to build. The final price of each construction project depends on the size of the home, local labor rates, and the quality of the materials you choose.
If you keep up with regular maintenance as you would with a traditional house, a barndominium could last anywhere from 50 to 100 years—or even longer. These homes use metal for the structure, which lasts longer than wood. Use our definitive home maintenance checklist to keep up with your barndominium and ensure it lasts for decades.