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Posted by McElroy Metal ● May 14, 2024 8:00 AM

Live, Work, Play: Redefining Space with Barndominiums

Live, Work, Play: Redefining Space with Barndominiums

If you are looking for a space that combines style and functionality, consider a barndominium! Appearing on the housing scene in 2016, barndominiums first became popular in upscale rural areas, and over time, their presence has grown. Today, many people are discovering the advantages of barndominiums and customizing them to meet their unique needs and preferences.

What Is A Barndominium?

A combination of the words "barn" and "condominium," barndominium (also called barndo) is a relatively new term that applies to structures providing both living quarters and working space. Using a post-frame design, these buildings offer a partial or fully converted living space. These multifaceted structures can offer a barn's durability and open space seamlessly integrated with modern living amenities.

The word barndominium comes from two words: barn and condominium. At its core, a barndominium is a barn or warehouse that includes living space. Also known as a barndo, a barndominium may be a good option if you’re looking for a space that’s affordable and easy to maintain.

Peters_Barndominium_Max-Rib_Autmn Red-Walls_Matte Black_wainscot-roof_ExteriorSince 2016, barndominiums have become popular in upscale rural areas and states like Texas. Over time, they've expanded their presence to the Midwest. Today, many people are discovering the advantages of barndominiums and customizing them to meet their unique needs and preferences.

Why Choose A Barndominium?

Barndominiums continue to experience a surge in popularity due to several advantages: 

Durability & Low Maintenance

Arrowhead Pass_Barndominium_Max-Rib_ Patrician Bronze_ExteriorThe metal panel products used in many barndominiums provide optimal durability.

You can count on metal panels to protect your space from damaging elements, and the panels can boast an incredible 60+ year life span.

Metal materials also require minimal upkeep and maintenance and provide unique resistance to mold, rot, and insects.

Pinno Construction, a long-time McElroy Metal customer, considers barndominiums their most requested project. When asked about materials they recommend for barndo construction, Senior Project Manager Rich Zimpel from Pinno says, "The many material options we have available to us from our partners at McElroy allow us to design each home to fit each customer's individual design needs and build projects that can fit the natural landscape or stand out."

Built To Last & Built FAST!

Pole Barn Home with Basketball_Barndominium_Max-Rib_Regal White Wall_Matte Black Roof_ExteriorThe design of barndominiums allows for significantly faster build times than traditional houses; custom homes can take months to build, while barndominiums can be completed in weeks.

Unlike conventional construction methods, using post-frame construction can make it easier to modify your space down the road. With post-frame designs, your space can grow with you if you decide to expand or modify your space.

Think Green: Effortlessly Energy Efficient 

Due to the steel used in barndominiums, they are incredibly energy efficient. These structures offer optimal insulation and weatherization against natural elements, eliminating the need for extra cooling or heating appliances. The metal roofs can also conserve energy and reduce cooling costs by up to 20%, which benefits the owner for the building's lifespan.

Another “green” aspect of metal is that steel panels can be 100% recycled at the end of their extended lifespan. Good for the customer and the planet!

Flexible, Customizable Design


As the demand for this product grows, options increase. No longer just a rustic-styled option, barndominiums are designed to resemble traditional homes and modern spaces more closely. The open floor plans that characterize barndominiums can be customized to match any style and meet any need.

The construction method easily incorporates tall ceiling heights, opening up your options for gyms, lofts, and massive floor-to-ceiling fireplaces. Another popular addition is a wraparound porch, adding to the "country charm and creating a homey look.

Other popular trends include:

  • Beautiful exposed beams work in rustic and modern designs
  • Neutral Color Palettes Accented By Mixed Materials
  • Natural Light provided by lots of windows and skylights gives a bright, airy feel and makes any space feel larger.

These interesting design options create a space tailored to the owner's needs and dreams while often saving money!

When asked why Pinno Construction believes barndominiums are only growing in popularity, Zimpel said, "With changes to the economy, we see more and more customers looking for solutions to minimize the initial expense of building. In many cases, barndominiums provide these solutions in various ways while still functioning as a primary residence or vacation home."

Costs: Savings & Expectations

Traditional homes may cost $145 per square foot or more, depending on where you live. A barndominium can be a more cost-effective option. Believe it or not, you can get anywhere from $30 per square foot for just the building shell to $125 per square foot and up for a fully built-out interior.

Note: Regional prices vary, so checking with your local contractors for detailed pricing information is essential. If you are looking for a contractor, use our Find A Contractor tool to find a professional near you!

While barndominiums offer many attractive features, there are several factors to consider in your planning process. Some mortgage companies might not have readily-available financing for barndominiums and might require extra paperwork or larger down payments to finance.

You might also encounter minor hurdles when applying for construction permits due to local or regional ordinances. It’s always best to factor in these topics from the beginning, so you avoid possible curveballs and are ahead of the game!

Work & Play

barndominium interior

Alternative housing is also trending thanks to the rise of remote work since COVID, which fueled the creation of many new small businesses that capitalize on the combined living and workspace a barndominium provides.

There is even a rising trend to combine an outward-facing workspace, like a restaurant, bar, or retail space, with a living area above or behind. The flexibility of the barndominium design is a great fit for this concept.

For individuals working from home, spaces like barndominiums offer the ideal solution: they are close to home, work, and hobbies, all while promoting sustainability by reducing traffic pollution and commute times.


Barndominiums combine the best of function and form, opening up the possibilities for whatever you can dream up. If you're looking for a space that is affordable and easy to maintain, a barndominium might be a great option for you. Connect with an experienced contractor to bring your barndominium vision to life.

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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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