Barndominium Vs. Traditional House – Cost Comparison in 2024

When it comes to building a home, many people tend to think of traditional houses. But if you’re looking into more cost-effective solutions, barndominiums might be the way to go! In this blog post, we’ll compare the cost of building a barndominium compared to a traditional house so you can decide which is the best option for your budget and needs. So, let’s start crunching the numbers and see how these two stack up against each other!

Barndominium Cost Overview


They are becoming increasingly popular among those looking for a more unique and aesthetic way to build a custom home. Barndominiums consist of a metal building structure topped with traditional housing materials like brick, stone, or siding. This hybrid design creates an open floor plan featuring everything from shops and guesthouses to pool houses and residences.

The price of constructing a barndominium is not as straightforward as constructing a traditional home as it depends on numerous factors such as the location of the property, size of the building, type of finishes used for the interior, and any additional amenities being added. While there is no one-size-fits-all price for barndominiums, comparing them to traditional houses gives potential buyers an idea of what it could cost to build their own custom home.

Compared to traditional stick-built homes, they generally require less building materials but more labor costs due to the complexity that comes with constructing something from scratch versus just finishing pre-built components together. Materials such as siding, roofing, drywall or insulation would be needed just like in a regular house but could be installed in less time than in traditional buildings due to their already pre-fabricated nature. Labor costs will vary depending on local wages but can range anywhere from $50/hr – $100/hr for skilled laborers doing specialized work such as welding steel or installing insulation.

Traditional House Cost Overview


The traditional house cost overview is an important factor to consider when deciding between a barndominium and a traditional house. A traditional house can vary greatly in price depending on the size, style, and location of the house. Generally, building a single-family home requires more material, land, and labor than a barndominium.

When examining a traditional home’s cost structure there are several components that should be considered. The initial costs include land acquisition, site preparation (i.e., excavation and grading), permits/fees, construction costs (materials and labor) as well as additional contractor fees such as inspections/status updates.

Once the initial costs have been accounted for, ongoing expenses also need to be taken into consideration such as tax payments/assessments, water/sewer bills, homeowner’s association dues (if applicable), insurance policies (e.g., property insurance) plus any costs associated with utilities or maintenance items needed over time.

Finally, when comparing the overall expense between the two options one should factor in the potential resale value between both structures. Traditional homes typically have a higher rate of appreciation than barndominiums however both forms tend to offer attractive long-term alternative strategies for potential real estate investors or builders alike.

Cost Comparison


To help clear up any uncertainties regarding the price differences, we have compared the price of materials needed to build each type of home, as well as the price per square foot.

When it comes to material price, barndominiums can be significantly more affordable than building a typical house due to their simpler construction process. For example, they require fewer and cheaper components, such as wood studs instead of trusses; and they often do away with costly items like shingles since many of them feature metal roofs. Additionally, they can be built much faster than traditional houses since they don’t require extensive excavation or foundation-setting processes such as concrete or block foundations. Typically speaking, this significantly reduces construction time in comparison to a house which can take months to build depending on size and scale.

When it comes to price per square foot for building a barndominium versus a house, the difference is again fairly significant with the former being much more affordable on average for all sizes. Typically speaking for small barndominiums (less than 2200 square feet), you will spend around $50/square foot while for larger ones (larger than 2200 square feet) you should expect $75/square foot or less – depending on your region and local market conditions—in comparison to $120-$250+ a square foot for certain custom houses in certain areas when including extras like landscaping or upgraded finishes/appliances etc., so building it often presents much better value overall in terms of budgeting!

Factors Influencing Cost

  • Size: The size of your Barndominium or traditional dwelling is likely to be one of the main considerations when determining the price. Size affects how much materials and labor will be required and therefore how much money you may need to build it.
  • Location: Location will affect the overall price due to potential restrictions on building material availability and labor costs. Rural areas may also require more preparation before construction can begin.
  • Style/Design: The style of your Barndominium or traditional dwelling affects the amount of materials and labor needed, resulting in changes to the total cost. The design complexity and level of customization may impact both types in different ways, depending on what you desire in your finished product.
  • Contractors: When selecting contractors, consider their experience, reputation, and available services to get an accurate estimate for your project’s cost. Professional advice can go a long way in helping you select products that suit your needs while staying within budget constraints.
  • Finishes: Finishes are also a major factor that can make or break a budget when constructing either type of home because they reflect personal preferences as well as quality standards that must be met in order for an excellent finish result on both types of dwellings.


In sum, building a barndominium instead of a conventional house can be an advantageous decision if you are looking for significantly less expensive construction costs, more immediate availability of livable space, and more customization options. However, when weighing both sides of the equation carefully by considering long-term maintenance costs associated with outbuildings versus resale value enhancements seen in landscapes, buildings like houses that are traditionally constructed homes tend to give better returns down the road.