If you are in Alabama and want to build a haven that perfectly marries fun and functionality, then a barndominium is right up your alley. A barndominium allows you ample living spaces and more than enough space for your garage, shop, or home office. We know that building a barndominium is a novel idea for many, which is why we’re here.
We aim to provide you with critical information about barndominiums and why you should consider building a barndominium for your next construction project.
Table of Contents
- 1 Can You Build a Barndominium in Alabama?
- 2 Alabama Barndominiums Overview
- 2.1 Advantages and Disadvantages
- 2.2 Regulations
- 2.3 Taxes
- 2.4 Insurance
- 2.5 Financing
- 2.6 Builders
- 2.7 Kit Providers
- 2.8 Cost
- 3 Where Can You Build a Barndo in Alabama?
- 4 4 Things to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in Alabama
- 5 Is it Worth Building a Barndo in Alabama?
Can You Build a Barndominium in Alabama?
Yes, you can build a barndominium in Alabama. A large chunk of the State of Alabama has gentle plains, ideal for building barndominiums. You can also build it in the North Alabama region, where you can enjoy the view of the mountains. If you love spending time fishing, you can construct a barndo near a river system like the Alabama, Tennessee, or Coosa rivers.
Alabama Barndominiums Overview
As its name implies, a barndominium is a building that looks like a barn. The original ones were old barns repurposed for something else, like a garage, a shop, or living quarters. Nowadays, the term barndominium or barndo refers to any building that looks like a barn. Although most have metal frames and sidings, you can now find wooden barndominiums. Some barndominiums combine wood and metal building materials. Our Pinterest account has excellent examples of different barndo types you can check out.
If you want to learn everything about barndominiums, check out our Ultimate Barndominium Guide, where you can learn more about the different types and styles. It also has some fantastic sample floor plans to inspire you while planning how your barndominium will look like.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- It is multi-purpose – One thing that attracts many homeowners to barndominiums is that barndos are multipurpose. It can function as your living quarters and a garage for your car collection. You can also put up a shop, a warehouse, or a home office area, under one roof.
- It takes less time to build – It takes less time to build a barndominium, especially if you buy a pre-fabricated frame and shell. The reduced time in putting up your barndo means you have more time to finish the interior.
- It can be cheaper – Barndominiums use fewer building materials, making them more affordable than traditional houses. If you plan on going the DIY route, you can save a lot on labor costs and make your barndo even cheaper to build. However, it is important to hire professional sub-contractors for the work that you can’t DIY so easily, such as installing your barndo roof professionally. We recommend contacting this roofer in Huntsville who also serves surrounding areas in Alabama. It is better to save money on small jobs but leave the big ones to the experts.
- It is easier to modify – Most barndominiums have open-plan concepts, so they’re easier to modify. In addition, the spacious floor areas of barndo will give you ample space if you intend to add a bedroom or bathroom in the future without having to knock down a wall.
- They can be prone to corrosion – Most barndominiums have metal shells, frames, and sidings, so they are prone to corrosion. However, you can prevent your barndo from rusting by giving it a fresh coat of protective paint every few years.
- Barndominiums are mostly limited to rural areas – If you want to live in a big city, a barndominium might not be for you. Some cities prohibit the construction of metal buildings within city limits. An example is the City of Trussville, which only allows pre-engineered all-metal buildings within industrial areas. If you own a lot in Trussville and are unaware of this regulation, you might end up wasting money by ordering a metal building kit that you cannot use within the city limits.
- They can be hard to sell – Barndominiums are still not as popular as traditional homes and buildings, so you might encounter difficulties should you decide to sell your barndo.
- They may require more insulation – Metal is a good conductor of heat, and having metal sidings can make a barndominium uncomfortable during summer. Unfortunately, Alabama is the 7th hottest state, so you must invest in the best insulation and HVAC system for your barndominium. You can also improve air circulation inside your barndo by adding more windows to keep your barndominium cool.
Regarding construction projects like building barndominiums, different counties impose different regulations. These regulations aim to set a standard to ensure that buildings are constructed safely and protect those living there. Although all counties have the welfare of their constituents in mind, you will find that some counties have unique regulations, and it will be best to know about them before you start building your barndo.
Different counties also have different requirements for obtaining building permits, so be sure to have all the required documents to process your application. For example, if you’re applying for a building permit in Lee County, you must also have an approved driveway access permit for your application to be processed. This is an additional permit that is not required when applying for a building permit in Shelby County.
Visit your local building authorities to learn about how you should go about obtaining a building permit. This is also the perfect time to get insights on highly-recommended local builders and suppliers you can tap into when building your barndominium.
Alabama is an excellent choice if you want to live in a state with low property taxes. The average property tax in Alabama is around $398 per year for homes worth around $120,000, or approximately 0.33% of the assessed property value. Alabama has the second lowest median property tax rates in the US, second only to Hawaii.
However, counties can add additional taxes on top of the property tax. Check with your county assessor’s office for more accurate computation of your barndominium taxes.
Although getting homeowners insurance is not a requirement in the State of Alabama, you will need to get one if you take out a construction loan. Homeowners insurance will also pay for any repairs in case your barndominium gets damaged.
According to a Forbes article, the lowest average annual premium in Alabama is $607, while the highest is $3,532. These are premiums for dwellings with an assessed value of $300,000.
Feel free to shop for the most competitive barndominium insurance rates. Be sure to get detailed information on what your insurance policy covers to get a policy with extensive coverage at competitive rates. You can also ask members of our Facebook group for recommendations on insurance providers in your area.
Even if you have enough funds to finance your barndominium, you should consider enlisting the help of a financial institution. You can pay off your barndominium in monthly installments while using your savings for other needs, like launching your own business or investing n the stock market. Paying your home loan on time also boosts your credit score.
Below are some financial institutions that can help you with your barndominium financing.
Peoples Bank of Alabama
Peoples Bank of Alabama is a local bank that has been operating since 1977. They offer a host of personal loans, including auto loans, conventional mortgages, housing loans, and boat loans.
Alabama Farm Credit
Alabama Farm Credit is a local rural financial institution. What’s great about Alabama Farm Credit is that they have a loan specifically for those who want to build barndominiums.
First South Farm Credit
A financial institution servicing the rural areas of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. They have a country home loan for buying, refinancing, and constructing rural homes.
Hiring the best local barndominium builder takes a massive load off your shoulders. You can benefit from their years of expertise, and they know exactly what to do in case of an emergency. Local builders are also familiar with the area and can give valuable advice on how you can maximize your land and barndo.
Wildcat Construction has been operating for over 25 years and holds offices in Chelsea and Orange County. They serve as a full-service contractor for commercial and residential projects, including custom homes.
Founded in 1983, RBC Buildings specializes in installing metal buildings and roofs in Western Alabama. They assist customers in designing and constructing custom metal buildings like barndominiums.
Joe Crawford Construction Inc.
A homebuilding company with more than 22 years of experience. Joe Crawford Construction is based in Tuscaloosa and services Western Alabama.
M&S Construction LLC.
A construction company specializing in pole barn canopies and barndominiums. The company services Enterprise, Alabama, and nearby areas.
Deep South Buildings
Deep South Buildings specializes in post-frame construction and garages. They service Cullman, Alabama, and nearby areas within an 80-mile radius.
Aside from the local builders listed above, you can also go with national contractors. Check our list of the most popular barndominium builders that service most states across the US, including Alabama. We also have in-depth reviews of the biggest barndominium companies on our Facebook page.
Buying a barndominium kit is an excellent option if you want to save money in labor costs. The key to a successful DIY barndominium is to work with the best available barndominium kit. Your kit needs to be excellently fabricated to last for years. Below are some local companies where you can source your DIY kit.
K&G Metals Inc
A company based in Huntsville with over 50 years of experience. K&G Metals Inc. supplies custom metal buildings, including carports, boat shelters, RV covers, and barndominium kits.
Deep South Buildings
Deep South Buildings provides DIY kits whether you prefer lumber or metal materials. Aside from their ready-made kits, they can also customize building kits to specifications.
Valor Steel Buildings
Manufacturer and contractor of steel buildings like barndominiums, storage facilities, and churches. Valor Steel Buildings services the states of Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi.
Alabama Steel Supply, Inc.
Alabama Steel Supply, Inc. is a company based in Montgomery, Alabama, that provides metal roofing services to its customers. It also supplies pre-engineered metal buildings, pole barns, and custom carports.
Agcor Steel, based in Cullman, Alabama, supplies barndominium and pole barn kits. They also offer consultation and design services for custom buildings.
Aside from local kit providers, there are also barndominium kit providers that build and ship to most states across the US, including Alabama. Check our list of the top barndominium kit providers to see more options.
Estimating the price to build a barndominium can be tricky because there are many factors to consider, like the type and size of your building. The computation also involves labor costs, depending on where you plan to build your barndo.
According to K&G Metals, a local builder in Alabama, a barndominium costs between $95 to $125 per square foot. This is a rough estimate and is subject to change. Be sure to talk to several contractors to get a better feel of how much your barndominium will cost and get the best deal available. If you want to build a traditional house, a Forbes article estimates the cost to be between $150-$500 per square foot.
You can also use our barndominium cost calculator to get a ballpark idea of how much your barndominium will cost.
Where Can You Build a Barndo in Alabama?
The best thing about Alabama is that it has many rural areas where you can build a barndominium, so you have many options to choose from. Rural areas often have a low cost of living and are more open to barndos. Small and picturesque towns like Guntersville, Fort Payne, Eufaula, and Fairhope are excellent options if you want to build a barndominium in the State of Alabama.
4 Things to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in Alabama
Building a barndominium is an exciting prospect, but there are some things you need to consider before you start your construction project. Keeping these things in mind can help ensure the success of your construction project.
Some areas of Alabama experience frequent flooding, so survey an area before buying land if you still don’t have any. If you already own land in an area susceptible to flooding, ensure that your structure is elevated enough to keep your barndo safe from floodwater.
DIY or contractor?
Building a barndominium yourself can help you save money, but it takes patience and a particular set of DIY skills. Ask yourself if you can finish the construction or if hiring professionals to complete the project will be better.
Work out a schedule
Building a barndominium takes time and will consume your schedule, so speak with your contractor to get an estimate on project completion. You can use the provided timeline to gauge how your contractor is doing and get updates on the progress of your barndominium. A timeline can prepare you and your family if you are moving in from out of state or another county.
Plan for the future
Before designing your barndominium, ask yourself if you will have the same lifestyle ten years into the future. If you anticipate major changes, consider them while designing your floor plan. If you envision yourself having more vehicles, make the garage area larger. If you see a growing family in your future, leave provisions for additional bedrooms and bathrooms.
Is it Worth Building a Barndo in Alabama?
Yes, it is worth building a barndominium in Alabama. The State of Alabama has many rural areas that allow the building of barndominiums. It has a diverse set of landscapes to choose from. On top of these, Alabama has one of the lowest property taxes, so you’re looking at a lifetime of savings.
Planning your barndominium is a considerable undertaking, and you can use our barndominium construction guide to help you understand the process better. We also have a comprehensive collection of amazing barndominium floor plans if you haven’t decided on a barndo design and need inspiration. The world of barndo living awaits you!