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Posted by McElroy Metal ● Oct 1, 2021 10:21 AM

Barndominium Market Trends

The concept of a barndominium, a residential living space combined with a workshop or utility space, likely dates back centuries. While it is an idea born out of practical functionality, it would eventually be a popular home renovation show that would send the “barndo” trend into overdrive. 

In a 2016 episode of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines converted a 1980s barn outside of Waco, Texas, into an updated farmhouse dream. It has been one of their most popular episodes, and Joanna Gaines commented on the Magnolia blog that it was “one of [their] most unique, and maybe even favorite Fixer Upper renovations to-date.” 

That Season 3 episode of Fixer Upper brought immediate new interest to the concept of barndominiums and ignited a trend that continues to see market growth. Beyond the initial spotlight that resulted in surging interest in barndominiums, there are other factors that have been at the forefront in recent years and contributed to the barndo trend. 

Regional Popularity

While market data indicates there is a greater concentration of barndominiums in Texas and the lower South, barndo popularity is spreading around the country.  One consistent attribute is the fact that the barndominium market is clearly centered in rural areas where larger plots of land are more affordable. 

Design Flexibility

New call-to-actionA 2020 Design Trend Survey conducted by The American Institute of Architects found that home offices and other multi-functional spaces are increasing in popularity. The multi-purpose flexibility that barndominiums offer makes them an appealing option to home buyers and builders. 

Barndominiums provide design flexibility due to the large open spans they offer since post-frame buildings do not rely on interior load-bearing walls. 

The conveniences of a combined live-work structure that likely served as the original driver of barndominiums have risen to the forefront again. With the work-from-home trend accelerated by COVID-19, many people want a dedicated workspace at home. Additionally, self-employed people can achieve cost and efficiency gains by combining their work and living spaces. 

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Barndo Costs

There are historically high costs associated with building or buying a traditional home in 2021. Lumber prices are continuing to normalize, but their record-high prices have drawn interest to both pre-engineered metal buildings and post-frame barndominium structures as an alternative. 

Similarly, with traditional home prices surging, cost-effective barndominiums have become more attractive to home buyers. Both post-frame and pre-engineered barndominiums are designed to be built simply and quickly. The framing systems reduce time, labor, and material costs when compared to most traditional construction.

Local zoning and building code regulations and financing challenges are some of the largest potential barriers to barndominium market growth. It is important for homeowners to research potential obstacles while considering a barndominium project. For instance, some banking institutions may have different lending parameters for barndominiums. Or perhaps your locale does not issue permits for residential barndominium projects. Before getting too far into your project, you will want to research any potential setbacks. Your local contractor can be a great source for information and knowledge regarding local codes, financing, and ordinances.

While barndominiums are growing in popularity, the market for them remains much smaller than that for conventional homes. The trend is clear though. People enjoy the flexibility and cost advantages of bardominiums so we will continue to monitor this trend and share what we learn.

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About McElroy Metal

Since 1963, McElroy Metal has served the construction industry with quality products and excellent customer service. The employee-owned components manufacturer is headquartered in Bossier City, La., and has 14 manufacturing facilities across the United States. Quality, service and performance have been the cornerstone of McElroy Metal’s business philosophy and have contributed to the success of the company through the years. As a preferred service provider, these values will continue to be at the forefront of McElroy Metal’s model along with a strong focus on the customer.

Topics: Residential, Barndominium

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