Buildings & Interiors



Barndominiums, or barndos, are spring up all over the country as people discover the advantages of living in these simple yet comfortable dwellings. The first advantage is that barndominiums cost less than equivalent amounts of stick-built home living space. Typical savings are about $50 a square foot, depending on the amenities. However, barndo owners who choose marble kitchen counters, for example, or full-tile bathrooms with gold faucets, will find that the cost per square foot can be as much as $100, or equivalent to a standard home.

Barndominiums are faster to build, and this also represents a savings, freeing a family in transition from rental costs while waiting for their barnlike dwelling to be completed. Where the sale of a house hinges on having a place to move into, it also simplifies the transition.

One of the nicest features about barndos is that they require little or no exterior maintenance. Sheathed in durable, weatherproof exteriors, with vinyl windows, barndos come standard with the kind of exterior finishing touches that cost extra in a conventional new home. Additionally, barndos as a general rule have lower insurance rates, fitting into a metric that will make new barndo owners break out the champagne. Finally, many barndominium owners report lower utility costs, sometimes as much as 40 percent over an equivalent size standard home.

There are, of course, a few drawbacks. Barndominium exteriors are boxy, but it is precisely that squared-off shape that delivers constructions savings. And it can be difficult to get a conventional mortgage for a barndo, primarily because they represent a new paradigm in the mortgage industry. This means most appraisers lack a metric by which to value such a structure. That, however, is changing as more and more people begin to appreciate the Early American simplicity of barndominum living.

For those who see their barndo as an environmental statement, thanks to its reduced use of materials and its resulting smaller ecological footprint, “green” options – like rainwater collection, a rain garden, greywater systems, thermal windows, and recycled denim or soy foam insulation – reduce that footprint even more.

If I can help you with the design of a barn home in Texas or another state, please call me today. Cuatro Strack, J4 Fencing and Services and J4 Building Solutions, 979-637-9892! Or email us at or