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What is a Barndominium?

Updated: May 13

“We are going to be building a barndominium.” Maybe you’ve heard someone say this, or maybe you just happened upon this word when scrolling Pinterest, and you want to know what it is they are talking about. Well, here’s the scoop.


The concept of a Barn-house mix has been around for hundreds of years. There is an old German style home called the “Low German House.” This architectural style created a space where owners had both living quarters and a barn for animals. The design was generally more rectangular in design with a long “hall-like” feel inside.

Modern Barndominium

The term “Barndominium” first surfaced in the early 1990’s used by a developer named Karl Nilsen. His idea bridged the old style of the low German house and the modern needs of his clients in North America. His vision was to create communities for people who loved their horses and wanted to be living closely with them. Think of it as a sort of an equestrian sub-division. A Place where all the people living in the community wanted to be around horses.

Since that time, other builders have taken the idea and adapted it to meet the desires of their clients who simply love the design. As you can see above, The modern Barndominium is wonderful for many reasons. The post-frame style design allows for high ceilings and open spaces without all the added cost of a typical stick-frame house. When build properly, a barndominium is more efficient than the average house. The roof load weight is carried by the posts so there is no need for large heavy headers when installing windows and doors, saving both time and money in material & labor costs. This building technique uses 2x6 material for the wall framing called “girts.” The spacing and direction of the girts allow for a larger wall cavity space which can be fully filled with insulation to provide a better seal. All of these features along with designer creativity have allowed for many homeowners to build a barndominium style house without feeling like they are actually living in a barn.

With the benefits of major savings in energy costs, time to build, and material costs, the desire for Barndominiums is likely here to stay. If you are interested in learning more about the process or interested in building a barndominium of your own, reach out and we’d be happy to help!

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