In 1991 Americans were enjoying a world free from the Cold War, getting by under the administration of George Bush Senior and for many, saving up to buy their own home. Back then the average house price in this country stood at $120,000, 30 years on that figure has risen to $408,800.
It’s no wonder then that every time you log onto TikTok you see a video from someone in their twenties turning a van, outhouse or a boat into a home. Whilst living in a fully kitted out van may be cheaper than buying your own home, it’s hardly likely to fill you with a sense of pride.
If you’re looking for a more practical way to cut the costs of getting onto the property ladder, a barndominium could be just what you’re looking for. Don’t know much about them? Fear not, we’ve got you covered below with our ultimate guide to America’s next big housing craze.
What is a Barndominium?
Well, as the name would suggest, a barndominium is a living quarter either made from an old barn or designed in the shape and style of one. Whilst they have been around for some time, the concept of barndominiums really began to take off when one was featured on an episode of the HGTV show, Fixer Upper.
In the episode Chip and Joanna Gaines transformed an old horse barn into a functional, practical and stunning home for a Texan family.
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(The episode of Fixer Upper that put barndominiums in vogue)
How to Build a Barndominium
There are two ways of going about creating your own barndominium, both of which come down to your level of dedication and your budget. If you want the most authentic experience you can buy your own barn and convert it into a living space.
Do bear in mind that this is often quite costly as you’ll have to think about everything from filling in the ground with concrete to ensuring that all parts of the structure measure up to building regulations.
The most hassle free option is to find a company that specialises in barndominium prefabs like Steel Master Building Systems. Companies like these will allow you to design your barndominium from the ground up, including décor, layout and exterior fittings.
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(There are tonnes of barndominium blueprints available on the internet and plenty of sites that allow you to bring your own dreams to life!)
Are Barndominiums Cost-Effective?
If you were to build your own home from the ground up right now you’d be looking at an average cost of $145 per-square foot. With a barndominium the cost drops significantly to between $70 to $90 per-square foot.
With that extra saving you could think about adding in extra features like an outdoor swimming pool or a gaming room!
Now you know what barndominiums are, how they are built and have a rough idea about how much they cost your mind might be running away with itself. Before you jump right in and decide to spend the next few days researching building costs, here are a few things to consider about living in a barndo:
- Space: Barndominiums take up a lot of space, so take into account the cost of buying a suitably sized plot of land.
- Noise: Your brand new barndominium can’t be sound-proofed in the same way as a traditional home so bear that in mind before building next to a kennels!
- Sprinklers: As a safety precaution you will most likely have to install a sprinkler system in case of a fire. This can be costly and is an extra layer of maintenance.
Don’t mind those downsides? Well, what are you waiting for? Go out there and start designing your dream barndominium!