New call-to-action
The Metal Roofing and Siding Blog

Helpful information for homeowners, building owners, and anyone interested in metal roofing and siding

Blog Home

Posted by McElroy Metal ● Jun 11, 2024 8:00 AM

Shouse vs Barndominium: What’s the Difference?

Shouse vs Barndominium: What’s the Difference?

For many small business owners, hybrid living spaces that blend features of both commercial and residential constructions often make more sense than maintaining two separate properties. Consider the innovative designs of what are known as barndominiums and shouses.

barndominiumA barndominium merges spacious living quarters with versatile working spaces, characterized by high ceilings and a mix of rustic and modern aesthetics. Alternatively, a shouse — shop/house — combines the comforts of home with the practicality of an attached workshop or storage area, resembling a conventional home with an added industrial flair. These structures are gaining popularity for their affordability, quick construction times, and flexible designs catering to diverse needs.

Why Are Barndominiums and Shouses Becoming More Popular?

Barndominiums and shouses represent a significant shift in custom construction, appealing to modern homeowners for several practical reasons.

1. Construction Time

The construction speed of these structures outpaces traditional stick-built homes and, depending on design and finishes can offer a significantly shorter occupancy schedule.

2. Cost Efficiency

When opting for standard finishes, these buildings typically yield a lower price per square foot compared to traditional commercial and residential buildouts, making them financially attractive.

3. Durability

A reliance on metals for exterior and structural components gives barndominiums and shouses longer life expectancies, compared to common construction materials like vinyl siding and shingles. Traditional materials are more susceptible to weather-related deterioration than metal components.

4. Minimal Maintenance

The metal construction of barndominiums and shouses also minimizes maintenance. Unlike wood or vinyl, metal is invulnerable to mold, mildew, and rot, and does not demand frequent repainting.

5. Facilitated Solar Integration

The design of hybrid structures often allows for easy integration of solar panels, enhancing their suitability for renewable energy use. This factor is increasingly important for homeowners seeking sustainable living options.

What Do They Have in Common?

Arrowhead Pass_Barndominium_Max-Rib_ Patrician Bronze_ExteriorBarndominiums and shouses share several important structural and functional features.

1. Suitable Locations

Adaptable in location, barndominiums and shouses work well in rural, suburban, and even selected urban settings where zoning regulations permit mixed-use development.

2. Innovative Hybridization

Both barndominiums and shouses break with traditional residential construction methods and styles to give owners the benefits of residential and commercial functionalities at the same time.

3. Post-Frame Technique

The post-frame technique is a construction method that excels in both efficiency and versatile design possibilities.

4. Steel Panels in Roofs and Walls

Barndominiums and shouses both use steel panels for roofs and walls in residential applications, with products like the Nostalgia Board and Batten adding aesthetic value.

5. Shared Benefits of Metal Roofing and Siding

These construction styles reap metal roofing and siding advantages, translating into tangible homeowner benefits.

  • Metal paneling makes barndominiums and shouses fire-resistant, adding a layer of safety to the home.
  • For sustainability purposes, the materials are 100% recyclable.
  • Homeowners can experience significant energy cost reduction — often between 20-40% — thanks to the reflective properties of metal structures.
  • Durability with an average service life of 50-60 years, minimizes the need for replacement.
  • The hail-resistant nature of these materials offers resilience against severe weather, safeguarding the residence and reducing liability.

How Are Barndominiums and Shouses Different?

Cold Formed building Interior BarndominiumWhile barndominiums and shouses share some construction attributes, their differences are still significant.

1. Ceiling Heights and Finishes

Barndominiums often feature soaring finished ceiling heights throughout, enhancing the open, airy feel of living spaces. In contrast, shouses may have high ceilings in the shop or hobby area, with the residential portion typically exhibiting lower, more traditional ceiling heights.

Barndominiums tend to boast higher-end finishes, reflecting their status as predominantly residential spaces. It's not unusual to find barndominiums equipped with luxurious amenities, from designer kitchens to elegant lofts. Shouses, while comfortable and fully functional, often prioritize utility and cost-effectiveness, hence may not feature the same level of finishes.

2. Cost

Cost variations also reflect the differences between these two styles. The architectural elements that characterize barndominiums — expansive windows and lofts — contribute to a higher price point. With simpler designs and more modest residential features, shouses often come at a lower cost.

3. Exterior Appearance

Barndominiums typically have a rustic charm, reminiscent of their barnyard heritage, while shouses lean toward a more practical, industrial aesthetic that underscores their dual-purpose functionality.

4. Interior Space Allocation

Interior space allocation also sets them apart. Barndominiums are characterized by vast open spaces, often incorporating mezzanine levels or lofts. Conversely, the shouse design is a blend, with clear demarcation between living spaces and the adjoining workshops or hobby areas. This reflects the shouse's purpose of merging a home with a functional workspace.

McElroy Metal for Custom Barndominium and Shouse Construction

If you’re a small business owner in the market for a blended residence style to suit your personal and business needs, let the team at McElroy Metal share the full range of possibilities with you. With over 60 years of experience in high-end metal roofing and siding manufacturing, McElroy Metal can help connect you with an experienced contractor to help bring your barndominium or shouse dreams to life!

Find a Distributor or Contractor

Learn everything you need to know about Residential Metal Roofing. Check out our metal roofing resources for inspiration and answers to your questions.

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: Post Frame, Barndominium, Cold Formed Steel Buildings, Metal Buildings, Shouse

Comments on this article:

Scroll down to the bottom to submit a comment and join the conversation. Need help or have a question? Please contact us. Looking for a distributor or contractor? Please click here to get started.