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Building a Barndominium in Delaware | Best 2023 Guide

diy barndominium for delaware state guide
Chris DIY Barndominium via our Barndominium Living group.

Delaware is known as The First State because it was the first of the original colonies to ratify the US Constitution in 1797. Delaware is also called The Chemical Capital of the World because it is home to chemical manufacturing plants like pharmaceutical, chemical, and plastics companies. 

This article aims to give you information about barndominiums, why you should build one, and other helpful information to use as you build your barndominium. 

Can You Build a Barndominium in Delaware?

Yes, it is possible to build your barndominium in Delaware. If you love living close to water, you will love Delaware because water bodies, including the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay, and Chesapeake Bay, surround it. The state has many areas with gently rolling hills ideal for building a barndominium with a fantastic backdrop. 

Delaware Barndominiums Overview

Barndominiums are barn-like buildings you can use as a garage, man cave, house, or workshop. They can be made of metal, wood, or a hybrid of the two. They are often found in rural areas, especially near or in ranches and farms.

To learn more about the different barndominium types, designs, and building materials, check out our Ultimate Barndominium Guide

Advantages and Disadvantages

There are advantages and disadvantages to barndominiums, and learning about them is crucial if this is the first time to build a barndo. 

Advantages

  • They are easy to build – Barndominiums are easy to construct. They are not as complex as traditional houses, so building them takes less time. If you have handyman skills, It’s possible to build a barndo with minimal assistance from building professionals. 
  • They are durable – Barndominiums are durable, especially the all-metal ones. Metal buildings are ductile, meaning they can withstand the forces of heavy loads. In case of an earthquake, a barndo will deform but not break, keeping its occupants safe. However, concrete or wood buildings can also do well against earthquakes as long as they get built following building standards. 
  • They are versatile – Barndominiums are versatile, allowing you to have multiple functions under one roof. Instead of building solely for a home, you can have a structure that combines living quarters with a garage, shop, or home office. With a multi-functional building, you can save money since there’s no need to build separate structures. 

Disadvantages

  • Barndominiums can be prone to rust – Barndominiums are prone to rust because most barndominiums have metal frames and sidings. However, you can minimize rusting by using an anti-rust protective coating on your barndo. It is also best to take care of leaks as soon as you discover them because leaks can let in moisture, causing rust. Inquire from our Facebook group members for tips on minimizing rust in your barndominium. 
  • They have limited exterior options – Barndominiums present limited exterior options than traditional houses. They all look like barns from the outside, hence the name. However, you can use different color schemes or exterior embellishments to make your barndo as unique as it can be. You can also get exterior design ideas from the barndominium pictures in our Pinterest account. 

Regulations

There are regulations you need to follow while building your barndominium, and it is best if you check with the local authorities to know what those regulations are. This is because regulations differ from county to county. For example, a building permit in the Town of Milton becomes void if no work gets done 90 days after the issuance of a building permit. The City of Harrington is a bit more forgiving and allows up to 180 days for construction to begin before revoking building permits. 

Taxes

One benefit of living in Delaware is its low property taxes. Barndominium taxes in the state average 0.56% and is the seventh lowest among all states. This means you can save on taxes yearly and divert your savings to your nest egg, vacation funds, or emergency funds. Check with your county’s tax assessor to accurately assess your barndo’s property taxes, as rates differ per county. 

Insurance

Barndominium insurance in Delaware is relatively cheap at an average of $680 per year. With the said amount, you can mend damages to your barndo or finance its rebuilding in case of a total loss. 

Financing

Getting enough funds for barndominium financing is one of the challenges homeowners face. If you don’t have enough money but want to complete your project on time, try applying for a loan from a bank or lending institution. 

Horizon Farm Credit

Horizon Farm Credit has members across Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. It offers land loans and construction loans. 

County Bank

County Bank is a locally-owned independent bank that serves Southern Delaware. It was chartered in 1990 and offers lot and construction loans. 

Builders

A barndominium is a sizeable investment that you should only entrust to experts. This way, you’re sure that your structure will last longer and that anyone or anything inside your barndo is safe. 

Green Diamond Builders Inc.

Green Diamond Builders Inc. is based in Felton, Delaware. They build custom residential and commercial buildings, including barndominiums. 

Coastal Homes and Design

Coastal Homes and Design is a pole barn and custom home construction expert that services Southern Delaware. 

The Amish Tradesmen

Pole building contractors based in Seaford, Delaware. The company was founded in 2007 and is constituted by local Amish builders.

We also have a list of the top barndominium contractors who build in multiple states, including Delaware. You can also visit our Facebook page for articles and reviews about the best barndo builders in the country. 

Kit Providers

If you want to save money, consider exploring the possibility of building your barndominium yourself. Just be sure to source your DIY barndo kit from a reputable kit supplier to ensure that your barndo will last.

PBS Direct

A company in Wyoming, Delaware that supplies pole building kits and building supplies.

Miracle Truss Buildings

Miracle Truss Buildings is a manufacturer of trusses and a supplier of DIY steel building kits. The company is based in Minnesota but also supplies other states, including Delaware.  

American Metal Buildings

American Metal Buildings supplies metal buildings like metal homes, garages, carports, barns, and utility buildings to most states. 

For more options, try checking our listing of barndominium kit providers that supply to several states across the country. 

Cost

If you are building a house in Delaware, expect to fork out between $275,000 and $575,000 for a 2,500-square-foot building. A barndominium is cheaper because the price to build a barndominium is between $147,000 and $168,000 for a 2,000-square-foot structure, depending on the complexity of the design and the materials used. You can also use our barndominium cost calculator to gauge how much you need for your planned barndo.

Where Can You Build a Barndo in Delaware?

Since barndominiums thrive in rural areas, consider Milton, Lewes, Laurel, and Odessa. These areas are small towns with amazing natural landscapes for building your barndo. 

2 Things to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in Delaware

Before hitting the drawing board and designing your barndo, there are several decisions you have to make. These can ensure that your planned barndominium will be functional and improve your quality of life.

Open or closed floor plan?

Although most barndominiums have open floor plans, you can opt for a closed one. An open floor plan makes it easier to reconfigure the interior of your barndo and can make it look more spacious. However, an open floor plan has less privacy than a closed one. 

The features you want

Consider the features you wish you had in your current home so that you can include them in your barndo. However, remember that more features also mean budget hikes, so prioritize essential features before the nice-to-haves. 

Is it Worth Building a Barndo in Delaware?

Yes, it is worth building a barndo in Delaware. It is a picturesque state surrounded by bodies of water, so you’ll love it if you are a water sports enthusiast or if you love fishing or sailing. It also has one of the lowest property taxes in the country. 

If you want more ideas on designing your barndominium, check out our compilation of inspiring barndominium floor plans

Read our comprehensive article about the process of building a barndominium to learn more about the different stages in making your dream barndo come to life.