The barn home has become a fast, unique way to combine a rustic country lifestyle with the comfort of modern household features. And when we say fast, we mean it. To convert these barns into your dream house it’s actually a pretty quick turnaround. How long does it take to build a barn home?
It takes about 6 months for professional builders to convert your barn to your barn home. The t.urnaround time will greatly depend on the existing features and foundation of the current barn you are converting. If you are building from the ground up, you can expect similar timeframes.
Barndominiums are cost-effective, unique, and ac..commodating to a variety of different lifestyles. But many people don’t know where to start, or what to expect. So understanding the process from start to finish is imperative.
The Process of Building a Barndominium or Barn Home
When you look at a Pinterest board or watch a special on barn homes it all looks pretty simple. It’s rustic, stylish, and can be catered to your own personal style. And it seems like it’s done in a flash.
In ways, compared to larger homes that may take 7 – 12 months to fully construct, it is easier. But there are plenty of steps that go into converting these beautiful older barns into the home of your dreams.
These barns, of course, were not originally built to be a house. So with codes, regulations, and just everyday needs for a home; there is a lot of work that needs to go into it.
Right off the bat, this can be a tricky maneuver. Many barns will have a dirt floor. If that is the case, you will need to pour a cement foundation for your new home. This will typically require the builders to raise the barn a few inches off the ground in order to pour the foundation.
The builders will need to assess the condition of the entire framework of the barn. For older barns, this can be a lot of work, as many times the frame will have gotten warped throughout the years.
The taller the barn, the better the chance you will need a completely new framework as well. If you plan to have a split level barn home, a new frame will most likely be the safest way to go.
Similar to the frame of the barn, there is a good chance you will need some serious work done on the roof. Barn roofs are not meant to protect and insulate as effectively as roofs on houses.
So this means reroofing, sealing up any leaks, and possibly replacing it if it is in poor enough condition. Taking these steps first will save you money down the line on heating and air conditioning due to poor insulation.
Electricity, Plumbing, and Considering Heat & AC Options
At this point, you have the outside fixed up. Now it’s time to look inside the walls at what needs to be installed, updated, or adjusted.
Some barns may have electricity, but you will still need to have modifications made in order for it to be functional as a home now.
Wiring will need to be rerouted and most likely updated, along with additional outlets installed for convenience based on your floor plan.
For plumbing, you will need to install pipes and speak with your builders about the floor plans for best options regarding your kitchen and bathroom placements.
Lastly, in most cases the barn is probably not climate-controlled. So consider your options based on your local weather patterns and have the builders install heating and air conditioning accordingly.
As mentioned earlier with the framework and the roof, barn home insulation needs to be done properly in order to save you time and money. You may find some barns that have more modern features that would surprise you. But insulation will very rarely be one them.
This is something you want to plan carefully for, and do your research along with speaking to your builders ahead of time. If you go through all the other steps and take this one lightly, you’re basically still just going to be living in a really pretty, but still very drafty barn.
Carefully consider the benefits of foam insulation versus traditional rolls of fiberglass batting. Here’s a link to another article that may be helpful.
Interior Work aka The Fun Part!
Now that you have made all the necessary adjustments and modifications to the barn itself so that it is a functional, livable, and comfortable home, you get to work on the interior!
This should already be completed in your floor plan, but now that you are in the space and working alongside your builder, you may have sparks of inspiration striking you.
Consider the Options
There are a lot of options for your floor plan and interior decorating, as these tend to be very sprawled out. The appeal for many is the rustic look of a barn home, so many stick to that decor inside as well, but also opt for the modern appliances they will now need in there.
The options are endless though, and you will want to give yourself ample time at the end of this project to make sure the inside looks exactly the way you want it by the time construction is completed.
All of these steps will take around 6 months. But as mentioned, it could be shorter or longer mainly based on the first three steps listed here.
If the condition of the barn is pretty decent, or you got lucky and already have a cement foundation, that will chop off a good chunk of time.
Always Plan Ahead
Always plan ahead and be ready for anything by staying in close touch with your builders. Be clear in your vision and ask questions when you feel lost or need clarification.
The more communication you have, the better. It will make for not only the perfect barn home that you have been envisioning but for a speedier turnaround time.
Why People Are Excited About Barn Homes
The popularity of barn homes has arrived at the perfect time. They fill the needs for many different types of people.
- Low cost
- Unique and aesthetically pleasing
Growing trends among Millenials show that things like travel are ranking lower on their list of priorities than material goods.
So as they start to settle into the idea of having their own homes, barn homes and tiny homes have become extremely popular options.
Instead of spending an exorbitant amount on a house, why not go and build a tiny home or convert a barn, or even build your own barn home and save that money for experiences?
That is where many people are coming from these days, not just Millenials.
Consider the Climate
Plus with the growing concern over the climate and our earth’s future, these housing options are going to leave less of a footprint. Many converted barn homes have:
Spray foam insulation
Engineered concrete slab
All of which make for a far more efficient and low maintenance home
So – How Much Does it Cost to Build a Barndominium or Barn Home?
This is a bit of a more intricate question. The length of time it takes to build a barn home is of course also going to have its variables and may take more or less time than the average, or what some people may assume before knowing the specifics.
But the quick and easy answer is for a very basic shell of a barn home it would break down to about $20 per square foot.
So if you are someone that is really handy, loves to work on projects, and you have the time, equipment and know-how; this could be a great option for you. It keeps the initial cost low while allowing you to do your own work on it afterward.
Might want to call the pros
If you’re not a professional at this, you will want to pay for pros to handle the construction itself. But if you want it to be bare bones so that you can go in afterward and handle some of the more minor framework yourself, then this option is perfect.
The plumbing and electric work should be planned for in your budget, but you may have some additional items you’d like to install or modify since this will be a basic framework.
But if you are looking for the full build-out, you could be looking at around $85 per square foot. You won’t be getting any major appliances included in that price, but any built-in fixtures would be included.
So let’s say you’d like to have a built-in kitchen island or some built-in shelves. Those types of items would be included in this type of price and floor plan. This should also typically include high-grade finish, all building materials, and the slab.
As you plan your timeframe for the build, this is all helpful information to know as well. The end price tag is, of course, a main deciding factor in how you approach everything.
But the way you build it doesn’t only affect the bottom line. It can also greatly affect your timeline for completion.