Is a Barndominium a Manufactured Home? Understanding the Differences

Are you in the midst of building your dream home, but can’t decide between a barndominium or a manufactured home? Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll dive into the debate surrounding whether a barndominium is a manufactured home or not. There’s a lot to consider, including construction materials, zoning laws, and financing, so buckle up and let’s explore this topic together!

First things first, if you’re not familiar with the term “barndominium,” it’s a type of home that’s constructed from a pre-engineered metal building, typically used for agricultural purposes like workshops or barns. These buildings are then converted into comfortable living spaces with all the modern amenities you’d expect in a traditional home. On the other hand, manufactured homes are built in a factory and transported to their final destination, where they’re connected to utilities like water and electricity.

So, is a barndominium a manufactured home? Some argue that because the structure is pre-engineered and then customized on-site, it falls under the same category as a manufactured home. However, others argue that because barndominiums are often constructed on-site and are not necessarily built in a factory, they should not be considered manufactured homes. It’s a hotly debated topic, and one that’s important to consider if you’re looking to build your own home.

Definition of a Barndominium

A barndominium is a type of home that is constructed from a large, prefabricated metal building commonly used as a barn or garage. The term “barndominium” is a combination of the words “barn” and “condominium,” indicating the rustic, industrial look of the exterior combined with the modern, comfortable living space found inside.

While a barndominium can be considered a type of manufactured home, it is unique in that it typically consists of a steel or metal frame that is assembled on the property where it will stand, rather than being transported to the site as a whole structure.

Features of a Barndominium

  • A barndominium is usually a large, open space with high ceilings and an industrial look, featuring exposed metal framing and simple, utilitarian finishes.
  • They often offer ample space for customization and creativity, as they are built to the owner’s specifications and can be designed to include unique features such as large windows, outdoor living spaces, and modern amenities like smart home technology.
  • Barndominiums can range in size from a small, single-room dwelling to a large, multi-bedroom home with an attached workshop or garage space.

Benefits of Living in a Barndominium

Living in a barndominium offers a number of attractive benefits:

  • Cost savings: Barndominiums are often more affordable than traditional stick-built homes, as they require less materials and labor to construct. This can make them an excellent choice for those looking to build a custom home on a tight budget.
  • Durability: Because they are constructed from metal or steel, barndominiums are incredibly durable and resistant to fire, pests, and weather damage.
  • Energy efficiency: The high ceilings and open floor plan of many barndominiums can make them easier to heat and cool, reducing energy costs for homeowners.
  • Customization: Because they are typically custom-built, barndominiums offer a great opportunity for homeowners to create a living space that is uniquely their own, with plenty of room for customization and creativity.

Building a Barndominium

Building a barndominium can be a complex process that involves a number of steps, including:

Step 1: Site preparation, including grading and leveling the land
Step 2: Constructing the metal frame of the building and adding insulation and roofing
Step 3: Installing windows, doors, and exterior finishes such as siding and trim
Step 4: Completing the interior finishes, including plumbing, electrical work, and custom features such as flooring and cabinetry
Step 5: Landscaping and adding final touches to the exterior and interior spaces

Working with an experienced barndominium builder can help ensure that the process goes smoothly and that the final result is a high-quality, customized home that meets the needs of the homeowner.

Characteristics of a Manufactured Home

Manufactured homes, also known as mobile homes or trailer homes, are built entirely in a factory and transported in one or more parts to the site where they will be set up. They are different from site-built homes in several ways, including the following:

  • Size: Manufactured homes must be built to specific code requirements for width and length. They can range in size from single-wide units with a width of 14 feet or less to triple-wide units that can be as wide as 48 feet.
  • Foundation: Manufactured homes are built on a chassis with wheels, which is used to transport the home to the site. Once it arrives, the wheels and chassis are removed, and the home is placed on a foundation. This can be a concrete slab or a system of piers and beams.
  • Design: Manufactured homes are built to a specific design, which can limit the customization options available to the homeowner. However, advances in technology and building materials have made it possible to create a wide variety of styles and floor plans.
  • Safety: Manufactured homes must meet strict safety standards set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). They are required to have smoke detectors, at least two exterior doors, and other safety features.
  • Cost: Manufactured homes are generally less expensive than site-built homes. According to the Manufactured Housing Institute, the average cost of a manufactured home in 2018 was $70,600, while the average cost of a site-built home was $288,000.

The Benefits of a Barndominium

A barndominium is a type of home that combines the features of a barn and a condominium. Typically, the living quarters are located in one portion of the building, while the rest is used for storage, workspace, or livestock. While a barndominium is not a manufactured home, it does offer several benefits that are similar to those of a manufactured home:

  • Cost: Barndominiums are generally less expensive to build than traditional homes. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to build a barndominium is $100,000 to $150,000, while the average cost of a site-built home is $288,000.
  • Energy Efficiency: A barndominium can be designed with energy-efficient features, such as high-grade insulation, radiant barrier roofing, and efficient heating and cooling systems. This can save the homeowner money on their energy bills.
  • Customization: A barndominium offers a high degree of customization. The homeowner can choose the layout, finishes, and features that best suit their needs and preferences.
  • Flexibility: A barndominium can be used for a variety of purposes. It can serve as a home, a workshop, or a storage space. The flexibility of a barndominium allows the homeowner to adapt the space to their changing needs over time.

The Pros and Cons of a Manufactured Home

While there are many benefits to owning a manufactured home, there are also some drawbacks to consider:

Pros Cons
Lower cost May have limited customization options
Energy-efficient May be difficult to sell in some areas
Fast construction time May not appreciate in value as much as site-built homes
Strict safety standards May not be eligible for some types of financing

Ultimately, whether a manufactured home is right for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons carefully and do your research before making a decision.

Design Elements of a Barndominium

Barndominiums are known for their unique design and versatile spaces. They are a great option for those looking to build a custom home that combines the functionality of a barn with the comfort of a traditional home. Here are some of the key design elements that make barndominiums stand out:

  • Metal siding: As the name suggests, barndominiums are typically built with metal siding, which gives them a rustic, industrial look. The metal siding is both durable and low-maintenance, making it a practical choice for those who want a home that will last for years to come.
  • Open floor plan: Unlike traditional homes, barndominiums often have large, open floor plans that allow for a flexible use of space. This is especially useful for those who want to use their home as a workshop or event space, as well as a living area.
  • Unique features: Barndominiums often boast unique features like exposed beams and high ceilings that add to their rustic charm. Many also include oversized garage doors that allow for easy access to larger vehicles and equipment.

Choosing Materials for a Barndominium

One of the benefits of building a barndominium is the ability to choose from a wide array of materials to suit your specific needs and preferences. Here are some popular options:

  • Metal: As mentioned earlier, metal siding is a popular choice for the exterior of a barndominium. In addition, metal roofing is a durable and long-lasting option that can withstand harsh weather conditions.
  • Wood: Many barndominiums feature wood accents like exposed beams and interior walls. Cedar is a popular choice for its natural beauty and resistance to rot and insects.
  • Concrete: For those who want a more modern look, concrete floors and countertops can add a sleek, industrial vibe to a barndominium.

Floor Plan Options for a Barndominium

As mentioned earlier, barndominiums are known for their open floor plans and versatility. Here are some common floor plan options:

Single-story: A single-story barndominium is a popular option for those who want easy accessibility and a more traditional look. This layout typically features a large open living area, one or two bedrooms, and a bathroom.

Two-story: For those who want more space or a unique layout, a two-story barndominium can be a great option. The lower level can be used as a living area, workshop or garage, while the upper level can be devoted to bedrooms and bathrooms.

Custom: One of the best things about building a barndominium is that it can be completely customized to suit your needs and preferences. Whether you want a spacious workshop, a home theater or a large kitchen, the possibilities are endless.

Feature Single-story Two-story
Open living area
Bedrooms 1-2 2-4
Bathrooms 1 1-2
Workshop/garage space

Overall, building a barndominium gives you the opportunity to create a unique and functional space that reflects your personal style and needs. By considering the design elements, material options, and floor plan choices, you can create a home that is truly one-of-a-kind.

Differences in Construction Materials between a Barndominium and a Manufactured Home

When it comes to differences in construction materials between a barndominium and a manufactured home, there are several key factors to consider. Barndominiums are typically made using traditional construction materials such as wood, steel and concrete, while manufactured homes are prefabricated in factories and constructed using a variety of materials including steel frames, vinyl siding, and particleboard.

  • Wood: Barndominiums often use wood as a material for framing and sheathing. This is because wood is a durable and versatile material that is readily available in most regions, making it affordable for many homeowners.
  • Steel: Barndominiums also frequently use steel as a framing material. Steel is a cost-effective and durable material that provides excellent structural support and is resistant to rot, decay, and fire.
  • Vinyl Siding: Manufactured homes typically use vinyl siding, which is a lightweight and low-maintenance material. Vinyl siding is affordable, easy to install, and comes in a variety of colors and styles.
  • Particleboard: Manufactured homes often use particleboard for interior walls and flooring. Particleboard is a low-cost material that is made from compressed wood particles and resin.

When it comes to roofing, both barndominiums and manufactured homes can use a variety of materials, including asphalt shingles, metal roofing, and tile. However, barndominiums often use metal roofing, which provides superior durability and resistance to weather conditions such as hail and hurricanes.

Another key difference in construction materials between barndominiums and manufactured homes is insulation. Barndominiums typically feature thicker walls and insulation, which helps to conserve energy and keep the interior comfortable. Manufactured homes, on the other hand, often rely on thin walls and insulation, which can lead to higher utility bills and less comfort.

Construction Materials Barndominium Manufactured Home
Walls Wood, Steel, Concrete Particleboard, Vinyl Siding, Steel Frame
Roofing Metal, Asphalt Shingles, Tile Metal, Asphalt Shingles, Tile
Insulation Thick Walls and Insulation Thin Walls and Insulation

In summary, the construction materials used in barndominiums and manufactured homes differ in several ways. While both types of homes can be constructed using a combination of wood, steel, and other materials, barndominiums typically feature thicker walls, better insulation, and metal roofing, while manufactured homes often rely on prefabricated materials such as vinyl siding and particleboard.

Floor Plan Options for Barndominiums

Barndominiums are becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeowners who want the best of both worlds: the rustic charm of a barn and the comfort of a home. One of the advantages of building a barndominium is the flexibility when it comes to floor plan options. Here are five common floor plan options for barndominiums:

  • Open Concept: The most popular choice for barndominium owners is an open concept floor plan that combines the living, dining, and kitchen areas into one large space. This type of floor plan is perfect for those who love to entertain and want a seamless flow between rooms.
  • Two-Story: Another option is a two-story barndominium, which offers more square footage without increasing the footprint of the building. This type of floor plan features a living space on the first floor and bedrooms on the second floor, providing an extra level of privacy.
  • Split Bedroom: For families or owners who want more privacy, a split bedroom floor plan is a good choice. This type of layout offers a private master suite separated from the other bedrooms by a main living area.
  • L-Shaped: An L-shaped floor plan is a smart option if you want to maximize outdoor space and create a natural flow between the indoors and outdoors. This layout features one wing of the home extending out to create an L shape, with outdoor living space in the corner.
  • Workshop/Studio: If you plan to use your barndominium as a workspace or studio, an open floor plan with minimal walls is the way to go. This allows for maximum flexibility in creating different workspace configurations.

When it comes to choosing your barndominium floor plan, it’s important to consider your lifestyle and needs. Working with an experienced builder who specializes in building barndominiums can help you find the perfect floor plan for your unique needs and preferences.

Permits and Zoning Laws for Barndominiums

It is important to note that regulations regarding barndominiums vary by state and county. Before beginning construction on a barndominium, it is crucial to research the local zoning laws and permit requirements.

  • Building permits: Most areas require a building permit before construction can begin on any residential or commercial building. Barndominiums are not exempt from this requirement, so it is important to obtain the necessary permit before starting any work.
  • Zoning requirements: Many areas have established regulations regarding where barndominiums can be built, their size and design, and what they can be used for. Some areas may prohibit barndominiums in residential areas, for instance, or require them to meet certain aesthetic standards.
  • Land use permits: In some areas, a land use permit may also be required for a barndominium. This permit may specify how the land can be used, as well as any restrictions on the number or type of structures that can be built on the land.

It’s important to consult with local officials to determine which permits and zoning requirements apply to your specific situation. Failure to obtain the proper permits and comply with zoning laws can result in fines, legal penalties, and even demolition of the structure.

If you plan to use your barndominium for commercial purposes, additional permits and licenses may be required. For example, a restaurant operating out of a barndominium may need food service permits and a liquor license to serve alcohol.

Barndominium Permit and Zoning Regulations by State

Here is an overview of permit and zoning regulations for barndominiums in a few states:

State Permit Required? Zoning Restrictions
Texas Yes May be restricted in certain areas; must meet certain aesthetic standards
Oklahoma Yes, in most counties May be restricted in certain areas; must meet certain aesthetic standards
Michigan Yes, in most cases May be restricted in certain areas; must comply with local zoning laws
California Varies by county and municipality May be restricted in certain areas; must comply with local zoning laws

It is important to note that this table only provides a brief overview of permit and zoning regulations in a few states. Consult with local officials to determine the specific requirements in your area.

Cost Comparison of Building a Barndominium and a Manufactured Home

Barndominiums and manufactured homes are both popular options for those looking for an affordable and customizable housing solution. However, there are significant differences in cost between the two options.

  • The cost of building a barndominium is typically higher than the cost of a manufactured home. This is because the barndominium is a custom-built home that requires more extensive construction and materials.
  • Average cost per square foot of building a barndominium is around $95 to $125 per square foot, which can vary depending on the finishes and materials used.
  • In comparison, a manufactured home costs an average of $65 to $95 per square foot. The reason for this is because manufactured homes are built in a factory and can be mass-produced, which reduces the overall cost.

It is important to note that while the initial cost of a manufactured home may be lower, there may be additional costs of owning a manufactured home that need to be considered. These include the cost of the land, permits, and utility connections.

In addition, barndominiums are known for having a higher resale value compared to manufactured homes. This is due to the customization and the materials used in the construction, making them more desirable to potential buyers.

Barndominium Manufactured Home
Average cost per sq. ft. $95-$125 $65-$95
Resale value Higher Lower

When it comes to choosing between a barndominium or manufactured home, it ultimately depends on personal preferences and budget. While manufactured homes may have a lower initial cost, barndominiums often have a higher resale value due to customization and quality of construction materials used.

Energy Efficiency of Barndominiums vs. Manufactured Homes

When it comes to energy efficiency, barndominiums have the upper hand over manufactured homes. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Construction Material: Barndominiums are constructed using high-quality steel and other durable materials that have a high R-value. The R-value measures the resistance of heat transfer through a material. This makes barndominiums more energy-efficient, as they can prevent heat from entering during the summer and keep heat inside during the winter.
  • Insulation: Barndominiums are highly-insulated to prevent energy loss. The insulation used in barndominiums is designed to keep the temperature inside the house consistent, which leads to lower energy bills.
  • Design: Barndominiums are typically designed with an open-concept layout that allows for natural lighting throughout the house. This reduces the need for artificial lighting, which can save on energy costs. Additionally, barndominiums often have high ceilings, which means that warm air rises to the top of the room instead of staying at floor level.

On the other hand, manufactured homes often have a lower R-value due to the use of lightweight materials. This means that these homes can lose heat more easily, leading to higher energy bills. Additionally, manufactured homes typically have a smaller living space, which means that they require less energy to keep the space heated or cooled. However, this can lead to a feeling of claustrophobia for some homeowners.

If you’re looking for an energy-efficient home, a barndominium may be the perfect choice for you. Not only do they save money on energy bills, but they also offer a unique design aesthetic that can be customized to meet your needs and preferences.

Energy Efficiency Features Barndominiums Manufactured Homes
Construction Material High-quality steel with high R-value Lightweight materials with lower R-value
Insulation Highly-insulated to prevent energy loss May not be well-insulated, leading to energy loss
Design Open-concept layout with high ceilings and natural lighting Smaller living space, may require less energy to heat and cool

Overall, if you’re looking for a home that offers superior energy efficiency, a barndominium is the way to go. With high-quality construction materials, excellent insulation, and a design that reduces the need for artificial lighting and heating, a barndominium can help save you money on your energy bills while providing a beautiful, comfortable living space.

Resale Value of Barndominiums and Manufactured Homes

If you are considering purchasing a barndominium or a manufactured home, one important factor to keep in mind is the resale value. Resale value can have a significant impact on your investment and future financial plans. In this section, we will explore the resale value of both barndominiums and manufactured homes and what you can expect when it’s time to sell.

  • When it comes to resale value, barndominiums tend to hold their value well. In fact, many barndominium owners have reported that they were able to sell their homes for more than the initial cost of construction.
  • On the other hand, manufactured homes generally have a lower resale value compared to traditional stick-built homes. However, newer manufactured homes that are built to HUD code may have a higher resale value than older models.
  • Factors such as location, condition, and demand also play a significant role in determining the resale value of both barndominiums and manufactured homes. If you are selling a home in a high-demand area in good condition, you can expect a higher resale value.

When it comes to resale value, it’s important to keep in mind that market conditions and trends can also affect the value of your home.

Let’s take a closer look at how resale value differs between barndominiums and manufactured homes in the table below:

Barndominiums Manufactured Homes
Initial Cost Higher Lower
Resale Value Higher Lower
Hold Value Well Slightly Lower

As you can see, while barndominiums may have a higher initial cost, they may also have a higher resale value and tend to hold their value well over time. In contrast, manufactured homes may have a lower initial cost but may also have a lower resale value compared to stick-built homes. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get a good return on investment with a manufactured home. By keeping your home in good condition and selling in the right market conditions, you can still get a decent resale value.

In conclusion, when it comes to resale value, barndominiums may be the better investment in terms of long-term value. However, both barndominiums and manufactured homes can offer a cost-effective housing solution with the right location and conditions.

Customization Options for Barndominiums and Manufactured Homes

One of the major benefits of building a barndominium or buying a manufactured home is the wide range of customization options available. Homeowners can personalize their living space to meet their individual needs and preferences. Below are some of the customization options for barndominiums and manufactured homes:

  • Floor Plans: Barndominiums and manufactured homes offer a variety of floor plans to suit different lifestyles. Whether you need more bedrooms, a larger living room, or an open concept layout, there are options available.
  • Exterior Design: Homeowners can choose from a variety of exterior finishes and styles to match their personal taste. For example, a barndominium can be designed to look like a traditional barn, or have a more modern and sleek exterior.
  • Interior Finishes: From flooring to countertops to cabinets, homeowners can select the materials and finishes that best fit their style and budget.
  • Energy Efficiency: Both barndominiums and manufactured homes can be designed to be more energy-efficient, potentially saving homeowners money on their utility bills. Options include energy-efficient appliances, windows, and insulation.
  • Smart Home Technology: Many homeowners opt to incorporate smart home technology into their barndominium or manufactured home. This can include wireless thermostats, lighting controls, and security systems.

Barndominium Customization Options

Barndominiums are a popular choice for those who want a unique living space that combines a traditional barn aesthetic with modern features. In addition to the above customization options, barndominium owners can also choose:

  • Roof Style: Barndominium roofs can be designed to fit the overall aesthetic of the home, and can include gabled, gambrel, or shed-style roofs.
  • Added Living Space: Many barndominium owners add additional living space by incorporating a loft space or a separate apartment area into the design.
  • Workshop or Garage Area: Barndominiums are often designed with a large workshop or garage area to accommodate hobbies or work needs.

Manufactured Home Customization Options

Manufactured homes offer a wide range of customization options to fit different lifestyles and budgets. In addition to the above customization options, manufactured home owners can also choose:

Option Description
Foundation Homeowners can choose between foundational options such as slab, pier and beam, or basement.
Size and Layout Manufactured homes can be designed to be small and compact or spacious and open concept, depending on the homeowner’s preference.
Roofing Homeowners can choose from a variety of roofing options, including shingles, metal, or tile.
Window and Door Placement Windows and doors can be strategically placed to provide natural light and maximize living space.
Decorative Features Manufactured homes can be personalized with decorative features such as crown molding or built-in shelving.

Overall, both barndominiums and manufactured homes offer a plethora of customization options for homeowners. From floor plans to roofing materials, the design possibilities are nearly endless.

FAQs: Is a Barndominium a Manufactured Home?

1. Is a barndominium a type of manufactured home?

No, a barndominium is not a type of manufactured home. It is a type of housing structure that combines a barn and a living space, often made of steel framing and metal siding.

2. Is a barndominium considered a modular home?

While some barndominiums are built using modular construction techniques, not all of them are. Some are built traditionally on site with wood framing and other materials.

3. Do barndominiums have a HUD tag like manufactured homes?

No, barndominiums do not have a HUD tag like manufactured homes. They are not considered mobile homes or trailers in any way.

4. Are barndominiums subject to the same zoning laws as manufactured homes?

No, barndominiums are typically subject to the same zoning laws as traditional homes. They are considered permanent structures and are often treated like any other residential property.

5. Can you get a mortgage for a barndominium?

Yes, you can get a mortgage for a barndominium. However, it may be more difficult to find a lender who is willing to finance this type of unique construction.

6. Are barndominiums energy-efficient?

Barndominiums can be very energy-efficient, especially if they are built with energy-saving features like good insulation, energy-efficient windows, and a well-designed HVAC system.

7. How much does it cost to build a barndominium?

The cost of building a barndominium can vary greatly depending on factors like location, size, materials used, and whether it is built using modular construction or traditional construction techniques.

Closing: Thanks for Reading!

We hope this article has helped clarify the difference between a barndominium and a manufactured home. Remember, barndominiums are a unique and stylish type of housing that can be more energy-efficient and cost-effective than traditional homes. Thanks for reading and make sure to come back for more informative articles in the future!