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Building a Barndominium in Illinois | Best 2022 Guide

blue barndominium for illinois state guide
Coty’s Barndominium Home via our Barndominium Living group.

Illinois got its nickname, The Prairie State, because of its vast prairie grasslands. With the Central Plains covering almost the entire state with fertile land and low hills, Illinois is as good as it gets when choosing a location for your barndominium.

Building a barndominium in Illinois can be intimidating. We aim to give you all the necessary information to complete your build as easily as possible. 

Can You Build a Barndominium in Illinois?   

Yes, you can build a barndominium in Illinois. As mentioned, Illinois has large stretches of flat and fertile lands, so building a structure is convenient. Illinois is an excellent place for nature lovers with the Mississippi River, Shawnee National Forest, and Lake Michigan. The state is also home to the city of Chicago, so you can enjoy its skyscrapers, museums, restaurants, and shopping centers if you need a break from rural life. 

Illinois Barndominiums Overview

Barndominiums are barn-like structures with interiors functioning as living quarters, garages, shops, or man caves. While the original barndominiums were repurposed old and unused barns, the modern ones are newly-built. These buildings are typical in rural areas, along with ranches and farms.

While traditional houses primarily use concrete as the chief building material, barndominiums often have steel frames and sidings. Some use wood as the primary building material. There are also hybrid barndos that use a combination of wood and metal building materials. 

Check our Barndominium 101 Guide to learn more about barndominiums, their different types, and other critical information you might need.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Although barndominiums are excellent structures, there are downsides to them. We can help you understand the benefits of barndos and their disadvantages. 

Advantages

  • They can be cheap – A barndominium is a great option for a building if you want to save money. It is cheaper to build because it requires fewer building materials and less time to build. You can also minimize labor expenses by constructing it yourself.
  • They are quick to build – If you need to build a structure in a short time, a barndominium is an excellent choice. It has a less complex design, so it is easier to build. You can reduce construction time even more if you start your build with a pre-fabricated shell and frame.  
  • They are unique – Most traditional houses and buildings look the same, and a barndominium is a building that can help you stand out. Because of their unique exterior design, barndos are great conversation starters; you’ll have a great time showing off your barndominium to family and friends. 

Disadvantages

  • They can be difficult to sell – While barndominiums are increasingly becoming popular, they still appeal to a niche market, and it might be challenging to sell them in the future. This doesn’t mean that you cannot sell them, though; it only means that it might take you longer to find a buyer. Our Facebook group has many barndominium enthusiasts who might be interested in acquiring a new property.
  • You have limited exterior design options – The defining feature of a barndominium is its barn-like exterior. Unfortunately, it is also one of its limitations. Unlike traditional houses that come in a wide range of shapes and designs, you have limited options when it comes to barndo exteriors. However, you can work with your contractor to develop an exterior design and color scheme to make your barndominium stand out from others in your area. Check our Pinterest account for design ideas for your barndo. 

Regulations

Before you can start building your barndominium in Illinois, you must secure a building permit. This is a permit issued by the zoning and building office of the county or city you are building in. There are requirements you need to submit; unfortunately, different counties and cities can have different requirements and regulations regarding building permits. To ensure you have the proper requirements, drop by your local zoning and building office to obtain a complete list.

For example, Rochester allows you up to 90 days after the permit issuance to start construction, while the City of Darien only gives you up to 60 days to begin building your barndo before the permit becomes null and void. 

Taxes

One downside to building your barndominium in Illinois is its high property taxes. Illinois’s average property tax rate is around 1.73% or $3,507. It is one of the highest property taxes in the country, with only six other states collecting higher property taxes. However, don’t let the high barndominium taxes deter you because there are still many benefits to building a barndo in Illinois. 

Insurance

Insuring a barndominium can help its owners protect their investments. The average annual insurance premium for home insurance in Illinois is around $1,376. With the help of an insurance policy, you can repair or rebuild your barndo if needed. An insurance policy also covers the replacement of whatever is inside your building. 

Financing

If you want to build a barndominium but have insufficient funds, barndominium financing might help you. You can reach out to a bank or a financing company and apply for a construction loan. 

Acorn Finance

Acorn Finance is a financing company that offers home improvement, remodeling, and new home construction loans. 

Flanagan State Bank

Flanagan State Bank was founded in 1913 and holds offices in Flanagan, Illinois. They offer lot and construction loans to borrowers. 

Builders

Finding the right builder is critical to building a barndominium because the right builder can ensure that your barndo is durable and built according to your specifications. 

Greiner Buildings

Greiner Buildings is an Iowa-based company that builds residential post-frame buildings in Iowa and Illinois. 

Blunier Builders, Inc.

Blunier Builders, Inc. is based in Washington, Illinois, and builds barndominiums, sheds, and barns for clients. 

Rural Renovators

A company in Franklin Grove specializing in residential, commercial, and custom post-frame buildings. 

If you can’t find an available local builder, try using our list of the most popular barndominium companies that build in most states, including Illinois. Our Facebook page also features expert barndo builders who might be able to help you. 

Kit Providers

Finding a trusted kit provider can help you kick-start your construction project if you’re planning a DIY build. Here are some local suppliers you might want to consider.

Sturdi-Built Buildings LLC

Sturdi-Built is a supplier of customized post-frame building kits and services in most of Illinois and nearby areas. 

Ragland Buildings

Ragland Buildings offers DIY building packages for customers in Central Illinois.

Rigid Global Buildings

Rigid Global Buildings provides metal building kits in Illinois, including Chicago, Aurora, and Naperville. 

You can also buy pre-fab barndominium kits from national suppliers that sell their products across multiple states. 

Cost

Building a barndominium in Illinois can cost between $128,000 and $146,000. In contrast, a traditional house will cost between $257,000 and $405,000. It is important to remember, though, that these are just estimates. Barndominium prices can differ depending on the size of your building, the materials you use, and how complex the design is. If you want a ballpark figure of your barndominium cost, feel free to try our barndominium cost calculator.   

Where Can You Build a Barndo in Illinois?

There are many wonderful locations in Illinois where you can build your barndominium, including Galena, Fulton, Quincy, and Sycamore. These are small towns with tightly-knit communities and peaceful living environments. 

3 Things to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in Illinois

Before planning your barndominium, there are some decisions you should make. These factors can help you design a building with all the necessary features. 

Your lot

Consider the size of your planned structure against the size of your lot. Ensure to leave enough space for outdoor spaces. You should also ensure that you comply with the required setback, which is the distance of your barndominium to the property line. 

Building materials

Decide on the type of building materials you will use. Do you want a steel or wood barndominium? The materials you use affect the total cost of your project. If you are in an area where termite infestations are common, steer clear of a wooden barndo. 

Barndominium style

What barndominium style are you going for? Do you want a modern one, or are you going for a classic design? The overall design style you choose will affect the interior design and finishing of your barndo.

Is it Worth Building a Barndo in Illinois?

Illinois is an amazing place for building a barndominium. It has vast swaths of plains ideal for constructing barndominiums. Although Illinois has many rural areas, it is also home to highly-urbanized places like Chicago and Joliet that you can visit if you want to enjoy a weekend of wining and dining. 

If you need inspiration as you plan your barndo, use our comprehensive collection of barndominium floor plans to get you started. Check our barndominium construction guide to help you better understand the complexities of building a barndo. 

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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.