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Building a Barndominium in Idaho | Best 2022 Guide

gray barndominium for idaho state guide
John’s Grey Barndominium via our Barndominium Living group.

If your dream is to spend a quiet life in a barndominium, the state of Idaho should be on top of your list. Idaho is one of the least dense states, with roughly 23 residents per square mile, making it ideal for escaping the hustle and bustle of crowded communities. Idaho also has many rivers, lakes, and national parks where you can spend quality time with your family or just commune with nature. 

To help you reap the benefits of living in a barndominium in Idaho, this article contains important information about building your barndo. We will tell you about local Idaho builders and suppliers you can work with, as well as answer your questions about constructing a barndominium in Idaho. 

Can You Build a Barndominium in Idaho?

Yes, Idaho is the 14th largest state in the United States, and there are many areas where you can build your barndominium. Barndominiums are well suited for rural areas, and 88% of Idaho is still considered rural, so you won’t run out of suitable sites for your barndo. 

Idaho Barndominiums Overview

Simply put, a barndominium is a building that looks like a barn on the outside; how the interior looks is up to you. You can create a living space, a garage, a workshop, etc. Although the first barndominiums used metal frames and walls, this has evolved, and some barndos now use timber, steel, or a combination of multiple building materials. One thing that is still true about barndos is that you will most likely see them in rural areas, making Idaho an obvious choice for barndominium enthusiasts. Our Pinterest account has terrific examples of barndominiums combining different building materials. 

If you need a more in-depth discussion about barndominiums, we have a Barndominium 101 Guide you will find helpful.  

Advantages and Disadvantages

Everything has pros and cons, and barndominiums are no exemptions. We’ve listed some benefits and downsides to help determine if a barndo suits you. 

Advantages

  • Offers a lot of extra space – Barndominiums often have more floor space than traditional buildings, allowing you to create more interior spaces. You can create a large garage to store your collection if you love cars. If you have a large family, a barndo is perfect for designing large common areas like the living room, dining room, or kitchen where everybody can move freely.  
  • They can be more durable – Although some barndominiums use wood for frames and walls, most barndominiums still use metal. Metals like iron and steel are resistant to fire. They also won’t rot and attract termites like wood, so your barndominium might be more durable than conventional dwellings. However, wooden barndos are still reliable as long as they are built to safety and quality standards.
  • Faster to build – Barndominiums have shorter construction schedules than conventional buildings. Pre-fabricated kits cut down construction time even more and allow you to move into your barndo earlier than expected. 
  • More affordable – Building a barndominium can be cheaper than a traditional house because barndos require fewer materials. Using a pre-fab kit can also minimize your labor costs since most of the work has already been completed. 

Disadvantages

  • Prone to rusting – The iron components of a barndominium can make it prone to corrosion and rusting. Repainting the metal components every couple of years is the best way to prevent rust and extend the life of your barndominium. You can connect with members of our Facebook group for tips on how they keep their barndos rust-free. 
  • Requires a large lot – Barndominiums require larger lots because the floor space is laid out horizontally, unlike conventional buildings where you can build upwards and add more floors. The good news is that the land is cheaper in rural areas, so you can stretch your budget and buy a large parcel of land. 
  • Might block out cellular signals – Metal blocks off cellular signals, so you might experience dropped calls and delayed messages inside your barndominium. Buying a signal booster can help improve reception inside your barndominium and minimize signal disruptions. 

Regulations

Building in any county requires you to adhere to their building regulations, so learn about their requirements to secure a building permit. While many counties share similar requirements, some counties have unique requirements. 

If you are building a barndominium more than 150 feet from the main road in Jerome County, you need a letter from the Fire Department. Jerome County’s Fire Department requires that you build an access road they can use in case of emergencies. This is not required in Boise County

Talk to the personnel of your county’s planning and zoning department to get a complete list of requirements for getting a building permit. 

Taxes

The average property tax rate for rural areas in Idaho stands at .698% of the total assessed value. It is lower than the 1%+ that some states impose, so you can save on property taxes by building your barndo in Idaho. 

Since counties can add charges to property taxes, you can use Idaho’s Property Tax Estimator to check how much barndominium taxes you will need to pay in a specific county. This is just an estimate, and the county’s taxing authorities still have the final say on property tax computations. 

Insurance

Getting homeowners insurance is like getting a safety net for your barndominium. According to Forbes, Idaho’s average home insurance premium stands at $1,073. Your barndominium insurance will cover repairs and construction costs if your barndo sustains damages or gets declared a total loss. 

Financing

If you don’t want to overextend yourself building your barndominium, you can get a loan from a local bank or lending institution. Just be mindful of using the term “barndominium” while applying for barndominium financing since not all banks recognize the said term. You can use other terms like custom housing on a concrete foundation instead.

Bank of Idaho

Bank of Idaho offers interest-only payments while your barndominium is still under construction. They have branches not just in Idaho but in Washington State too. 

Ireland Bank

Ireland Bank is the oldest state-chartered bank in Idaho. They offer personal, commercial, agricultural, and real estate loans. 

Northwest Farm Credit Services

Northwest Farm Credit Services is a cooperative that delivers financing services to farmers, ranchers, and rural homeowners. They service residents in Idaho, Oregon, Montana, and Washington.

Builders

Partnering with a trusted local builder is one of the best decisions you can make in building your barndominium. A professional builder can help make your barndo last longer. A seasoned builder knows how to handle emergencies, so your construction doesn’t get delayed. 

CDA Structures

CDA Structures is a construction company that services the states of Idaho, Washington, and Montana. They specialize in residential and commercial pole buildings, shops, and garages. 

Premier Structures

Premier Structures does construction projects in Idaho, Colorado, and Utah. They build residential and commercial pole barns, farm buildings, and horse barns. 

Solid Structures

Solid Structures is a construction company based in Spokane, Washington but also services Idaho residents. Aside from custom homes, they also build commercial and residential pole buildings. 

Wellard Constructors

Wellard Constructors has been operating since 1947 and has offices in Salmon, Idaho. They handle new home construction, renovations, and additions. 

We also have a list of barndominium companies that build in most states throughout the US, including Idaho. 

Kit Providers

Buying your barndominium kit from a trustworthy kit provider can ensure that you have the best kit to start your barndo. Trusted kit providers don’t cut corners during fabrication and use only high-quality materials. 

Solid Structures

In addition to providing construction services, this Washington-based company also sells building kits for DIY enthusiasts. 

Premier Structures

Aside from being a construction company, Premier Structures is also the exclusive dealer of Lester Building Systems in Idaho. 

Hansen Pole Buildings

Hansen Pole Buildings is a Minnesota-based company that supplies pole-building kits to Idaho residents. 

Parker Buildings Inc.

Although Parker Buildings Inc. has physical offices in Hubbard, Oregon, they supply DIY kits to residents of Oregon and Idaho. 

Pole Barns Boise

Pole Barns Boise is a construction company that builds barndos, metal carports, garages, shops, and barns. It also sells DIY building kits to its customers. 

You can also look into our list of barndominium kit providers that ship to customers across the US, including those in Idaho. 

Cost

According to Home Builder Digest, Idaho homeowners spent an average of $257,762 per home or between $235 and $255 per square foot. In contrast, a manufactured home like a pre-fabricated barndominium typically costs between $71 and $81 per square foot. Take note that this computation is for a basic barndo unit, and you will most likely have to handle a lot of legwork. However, if you have the skills to build yourself, you can save on labor costs and keep the final cost of your barndominium in check. You can use our barndominium cost calculator to help you get an estimate of barndominium prices

Where Can You Build a Barndo in Idaho?

If you’re still looking for a place in Idaho to build your barndominium, Salmon, Sun Valley, Priest River, and Sandpoint are excellent options. These are small rural towns where you can live in solitude in your barndominium. Small rural towns typically have lower living costs to help you stretch the value of your money. 

Things to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in Idaho

Building a barndominium is a big decision, and there are some factors you need to consider before starting a barndominium project. These factors can affect your quality of life, so consider them before building. 

Climate

Idaho is one of the coldest states in the US, with areas like Custer County registering an annual average temperature of 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Ensure that your barndominium has an excellent HVAC to keep you warm throughout the year. 

Cost

Come up with a budget and stick to it to avoid dipping into your savings. Be honest with your contractor about your budget so they can give you options, like alternative materials or designs, to help you stay within your budget. 

Contractor or DIY?

Decide if you want to farm out your barndominium construction to a builder or if you want to go the DIY route. Going DIY can help you save money, but ensure you have the skills to complete your barndominium on time and up to standards. 

Choice of material

Choose the primary material for your barndominium. Do you want a metal, wood, or a combination of the two? Weigh the pros and cons of each material and choose the one that delivers the most benefits according to your needs. Your choice of materials can also affect your budget because different materials have different costs. 

Is it Worth Building a Barndo in Idaho?

Building a barndominium in Idaho is an excellent idea since it has many rural areas where barndominiums are allowed. Idaho also has one of the lowest population densities in the United States, making it appealing if you want to spend your life in a peaceful environment. As a bonus, Idaho has an attractive property tax rate lower than other states. 

Now that you have the basics of barndominiums covered, stop dreaming and start planning your barndominium. We have many barndominium floor plans you can choose from if you’re still undecided on how you want your barndominium to look. We also have an in-depth guide on the process of building a barndominium to help you learn about the entire barndominium building process. 

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Written by Metal-Building-Homes.com

We strive to deliver informational and inspirational content for unconventional homes. From barndominiums to steel-framed modular homes, this is the place to browse if you're looking into untraditional housing options.