What is a Barndominum?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX DFW Associates 0534986
WHAT IS A BARDOMINIUM?    A Barndominium is basically a metal building with inside living quarters. To design your Barndominium to fit your  lifestyle, you have the option to incorporate a shop, carport, and porches to create a multipurpose structure.

  McDowell barndominium - wraparound porch and fire pit

The appeal of Barndominiums is affordability, low maintenance, energy efficiency, multipurpose structure, with strong and durable construction. The reasons people choose barndominiums are as varied as the ways they decide to use the space.  Many barndominiums are second homes or weekend homes, and for some, it is a transition or interim home.

Also alot of people are empty nesters who have had the big fancy homes in big fancy subdivisions. They are ready to downsize so they chose a "Barndo" as they are called for short! Some people buy land and build the Barndo and live in it while they are building a conventional home. 

My inlaws told us they would give us 5 acres,  so my husband and I are acutally thinking about the "Barndominium".

 I think it would be a perfect solution for us soon to be empty nesters!

And look at this one....I could live here!

McDowell barndo interior

A Barndominium living square footage cost will range from 25% - 50% less than a conventional home according to W. D Metal Buildings. There are two ways customers build-out thier Barndominium inside living quarters with WD Buildings:

  1. Hire a general contractor that specializes in Barndominium build-outs.
  2. Act as their own general contractor and hire sub-contractors to do their build-out.

In my opinion the second option is appealing if you are paying as you go type build.

Here are some pros and cons for Barndominum building : 


  • Cheaper and faster to build
  • Low external maintenance requirements
  • Generally lower taxes and insurance costs
  • Flexibility in how to use the space


  • Often less aesthetically pleasing
  • Conventional mortgages hard or impossible to get
  • No data yet on how they will hold up over decades


Most Barndominum's won't qualify for conventional financing because they don't qualify as a house.  As they gain in popularity they will probably have more financing options.

The Thomas' bright and cheery kitchen

McDowell barndominium built-in bedding

Posted by

Tracy Lee Parker

Broker Associate with

Servicing all of North & East Texas Areas for home selling, home buying, leasing & property management since 2005!  

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Comments (17)

Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I must say Tracy, that is a term I will put and use in my vocabulary someday. That is very interesting... 

Jan 17, 2012 10:46 AM
Tracy Lee Parker
RE/MAX DFW Associates - Royse City, TX

Yes, it caught my attention too.  I see these homes everywhere in Texas and now I can educate people on the pros and cons! Including myself! Thanks Paul.

Jan 17, 2012 12:39 PM
Carl Winters
Canyon Lake, TX

Great looking barndominum.  The names says it all. Great for the first or second home. I like the idea of minimal maintenance.


Jan 17, 2012 12:54 PM
Tracy Lee Parker
RE/MAX DFW Associates - Royse City, TX

thanks CARL & CEIL! I can see myself in one of these!

Jan 17, 2012 01:10 PM
Stephanie Stringer
First Choice Loan Services NMLS#210764 - San Antonio, TX
Mortgage Loan Originator

Never heard that term.   Nice looking bardominium, I wish I had one myself.

Jan 18, 2012 04:28 AM
Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

This is TOTALLY NEW to me! Wow, very smart! I shall have to read up on this. Thanks for sharing. Suggested and Reblogged.

Jan 23, 2012 09:12 AM
Linda Metallo DiBenardo
RE/MAX Impact, Lockport, Illinois - Lockport, IL

Well how cool ! What a great alternative to conventional housing.

Jan 23, 2012 09:27 AM
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

Over here from Cathy's reblog.  Very interesting indeed.  I live here in San Antonio and have never heard of such a thing.  I wonder if they would treat it as sort of a mobile home for financing?  It's not mobile though, so you would think financing would be easier...Do those who just want to get a home like this do a personal loan somehow. 

Very cool, although it might take folks a minute to get used to the idea :)!

Jan 23, 2012 09:30 AM
Tracy Lee Parker
RE/MAX DFW Associates - Royse City, TX

Thanks Cathy!

Love your photo Linda.

Brenda, You can go to Farm Credit Bureau Website, they say they finance these. 

Jan 23, 2012 10:06 AM
Lisa Dunham
Alexandria, VA
Associate Broker, Alexandria Virginia Real Estate

Tracy, I got this post on Cathy's reblog!  I love the concept.  I find it creative, stylish, and fashionably affordable!

Jan 23, 2012 02:29 PM
Tracy Lee Parker
RE/MAX DFW Associates - Royse City, TX

Thanks Lisa, I did too! I really want one of these. I have had all the fancy homes. I am ready to downsize.

Feb 24, 2012 04:51 AM
Sussie Sutton
David Tracy Real Estate - Houston, TX
David Tracy Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers

I have seen many of these and they are really a great idea. It even crossed my mine to get one. Never say never...

Oct 06, 2012 10:57 AM

We have lived in ours for 15 years. It was intended to be temporary until the more traditional home was built. However it has been so efficient, beautiful, and perfect for raising our family we still call it home. It has held up wonderfully with very little maintenance. As we are almost empty nesters, we plan to build another on the property where we originally planned to go "normal" housing. Financing has become easier as the popularity and economic positives have paved the way for other prospective owners. Also, it is fun for our children to say, "Yes, we were raised in a barn!"

Jun 13, 2015 12:49 AM

I would like more info on this style of home and to see a lay out of how this barndominum?

Sep 28, 2015 12:17 AM

Wonder if my POA board would approve this type. We would have to have built over 2000 sq ft of living space minimal as rules state . Going to look into it.

Feb 23, 2017 12:55 PM