Dated: September 13 2022

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You’re probably scratching your head and asking, “What the heck is a barndominium?” But you probably won’t be surprised to find out it’s exactly what it sounds like.

Barn + Condominium = Barndominium

It’s not a new concept, just a newer name and a trend that’s on the rise. Using barns as a living space is simply practical and has been done for centuries. Barndominiums have brought the concept into the 21st century for an updated take, ranging from remodeled old barns to new builds, usually designed to be eco-friendly.

Photo courtesy of Building Elements


Reuse of an existing structure is the highest level of sustainability. It promotes the reuse of materials and maintains the history of the existing barn. And there’s something undeniably romantic about turning an old barn into a cozy home.

New builds are usually made of steel, which is the most recyclable material in construction, reducing the production of new raw materials. Metal barndominiums are sustainable and durable, protecting your home against weather, pests, mold, and fire. You also end up saving money by needing fewer repairs than a home built of wood usually requires.

Barndominiums are usually well-insulated, keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, which lends to energy efficiency with less use of air conditioning and heating. Other features like energy-efficient windows help as well.

Dual-purpose barndominiums are a great way to reduce the environmental impact of constructing multiple buildings, whether planning a work-from-home space, a workshop, or even keeping part of your remodeled barn for its original purpose.

Is a Barndominium for you?

When deciding between building a barndominium or a house, there are a few factors to consider–

Cost: Barndominiums are advertised as being cheaper to build; however, that usually only takes into account the price of exterior building materials. It’s the choices you make on the interior design that can bring the price back to comparable to a traditional house-build. If you’re renovating an existing barn structure, bringing it up to code could be much more costly, but will help save on some structural costs.

Size: Barndominiums are typically larger. Because of the barn shape, you’ll have higher ceilings. In a traditional house, the ceilings are around 8 to 9 feet; in a barndominium, they are usually around 14 feet.

Design: This is the part where you get to have the most fun, but be cautious if you’re trying to keep the cost down because it’s easy to get carried away. If building, you can opt for the traditional look and shape of a barn, something modern, or even more utilitarian. The interior easily lends to an open floorplan design or plenty of space for a loft.

Building Materials: If building from scratch, this is where the biggest difference comes in. Your traditional home is built using wood or brick, while the primary structure of a barndominium is made of steel.

If you do decide a barndominium is for you, with a quick Google search you can find an abundance of plans available online.

About Murney Associates, Realtors®

No one loves the Ozarks more than Murney Associates. Our real estate agents are here to help you navigate one of the most important decisions you’ll make. We encourage you to look at our market updates which highlight real estate trends in Springfield, MO, and the surrounding area, as well as our rankings in home sales. Thanks to our clients for making Murney Associates, Realtors the number one real estate agency in Southwest Missouri.

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