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Building a Barndominium in Minnesota | Best 2022 Guide

grey barndominium for minnesota state guide
John’s Grey Barndominium via our Barndominium Living group.

To many people, building a customized home is a challenging undertaking due to the steep costs involved. Thankfully, alternative housing solutions like barndominiums are on the rise, getting better and better as they grow in popularity. In this article, we will get into the nitty-gritty of barndominiums and everything you need to know about building a barndominium in Minnesota. 

Can You Build a Barndominium in Minnesota?

Yes! Building a barndominium in Minnesota has been a decision made by many others before you. It is easy to find land as many of the state’s small towns greatly appeal to barndo owners. There are also experienced builders in Minnesota who can make your barndo dream come true. 

Minnesota Barndominiums Overview

Originally, barndominiums were actual barns that were converted to shops or houses. They were mostly made of metal frames and panels. Modern-day barndominiums can be made of metal, wood, or a combination of the two. Today’s barndos are not necessarily converted barns either. Barndominium is now a term referring to houses with barn-looking exteriors.

For a closer look into modern barndominiums, we have created a Barndominium 101 Guide that will give you deeper insight into these types of structures. For ideas on barndo designs, you can also check out our Facebook page, where we put up barndo content daily. If you have specific questions you want to ask, you can join our Facebook Group, where you can interact with a community of barndo owners.

Advantages and Disadvantages

To better understand what to expect when starting a barndo project, let’s go through the pros and cons of barndominiums.

Advantages

  • Low Cost – Barndos have a cost advantage mainly because they are easier to build. This means they can be erected quicker; hence you wouldn’t have to spend much on labor costs.
  • Easily customized – Because of how they are built, barndos are more customizable. This is perfect if you want control over how your dream house will turn out.
  • Durable – The incredible durability of barndominiums is perfect for Minnesota’s cool winters. The metal frames are highly-resistant to rot caused by moisture buildup.
  • Multi-functional – Barndominiums today are a combination of living space and a workshop, garage, or office. By serving multiple purposes, barndos can save money by having your family and work life under one roof.

Disadvantages

  • Exterior – The outer appearance of barndominiums can be an eyesore to some because it is like living in a warehouse. However, there are ways to work around this. For ideas on creative ways to beautify your barndo, you can check out our Pinterest account.
  • Financing – Although barndominiums are getting more popular, they are not technically considered houses by most financing institutions. Financing one can be a challenge but not impossible.
  • Reselling – Since they don’t attract the masses as much as traditional stick-built houses. Barndos can be challenging to resell, especially when customized to fit a unique lifestyle. 

Regulations

Building codes and regulations can vary per state in the US. In Minnesota, residential building codes are enforced by local building officials. In jurisdictions where no official code has been adopted, there will be no authority monitoring the code enforcement, but the state building code still applies to buildings in these areas. You can check the code details on a specific area in the  Department of Labor and Industry’s (DLI) code enforcement database.

Taxes 

It is crucial to understand how taxes work in Minnesota. Your barndominium taxes will include local and state property tax. Local programs and services, including public schools, fire and police stations, streets, libraries, and more, are supported by local property taxes. School districts, communities, cities, counties, and other special taxing districts are supported by state property taxes. You may apply for homestead classification for a Homestead Market Value Exclusion. Since property taxes are administered per county, it would be best to contact your county assessor for information about your specific property tax.

Insurance

Getting insurance for your home is necessary to ensure it is covered against unexpected threats. When insuring a barndominium, look for an insurance policy tailored to the state’s common causes of loss. The most common causes of loss for houses in Minnesota are blizzards, hailstorms, and flooding. It is also important to note that according to Bankrate, the average cost of insurance in Minnesota is higher than the national average due to the state’s unpredictable winters.

Financing

New homeowners often seek barndominium financing assistance to minimize the upfront construction costs. Local banks and lending companies are great choices. Below are options for financing institutions that can help you with your project.

Heritage Bank

A locally owned and family-operated bank that has been around since 1930. They provide a range of commercial, agricultural, and real estate loans. 

Minnstar Bank

A bank that provides various banking services to rural areas. They can assist with barndominium financing in Minnesota, from mortgage loans to agricultural real estate loans for buying farms.

Builders

Another key aspect of materializing your dream home is choosing the perfect builder for the job. You need to hire builders who have experience working on barndominiums in the past. You also have to look into feedback from previous clients. 

Sherman Buildings

They build residences, storage buildings, pole sheds, airplane hangars, riding arenas, cattle pole barns, and everything in between. Their specialty is in residential, commercial, and agricultural post-frame buildings.

Ram Buildings

Since 1998, RAM has built steel and wood-framed houses. They still place much emphasis on providing high-quality services and construction.

Structural Buildings, Inc.

Structural Buildings, Inc. has been constructing in Minnesota and the five-state region around it since 1985. Their diligent and skilled crew has been instrumental to their progress over the past 36 years.

Ameribuilt Buildings, Inc.

It was founded in June 1997 in Waite Park, Minnesota. Since they see fundamental importance in fostering and assisting local communities, the company’s corporate offices are still housed in the original St. Cloud location. They provide services in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Iowa. 

Lester Buildings

Lester Buildings is a market-leading manufacturer and builder of unique pre-engineered, post-frame building systems for agricultural, residential, and commercial uses.

Here is a list of the best barndominium contractors that can service most states in the US if you want to expand your search further.

Kit Providers 

One way to lower costs is to buy a prefabricated kit and do the construction yourself. People with the necessary DIY skills prefer this option because it is significantly cheaper. Below are kit providers who can deliver in Minnesota.

Hansen Buildings

A pole barn home kit can be purchased directly from their website! It only takes a few clicks to acquire a price for your ideal pole barn, so there’s no need to go to a shop or agency. They offer nationwide delivery.

Weatherstar Buildings

With more than 75 years of cumulative industry experience, the family-owned Weatherstar Company is a leader in its field.

Back Forty Building Co

After constructing their own barndominium, the proprietors decided to go into business to assist others in living the lifestyles they adore. 

For more recommendations on barndominium kit providers, we have listed down suppliers who ship to most states in the US. 

Cost

A barndominium is a great low-cost alternative to traditional stick-built homes. According to Redfin, the median list price of traditional houses is $374,900. The average price per square foot is $175. In contrast, barndominium pricing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, ranges from $78 to $89 per square foot. This can be higher or lower depending on various things like design and luxury features. You can try out our barndominium cost calculator for price estimates.

Where Can You Build a Barndo in Minnesota?

There are many great options for building a barndo in a state with four seasons and 10,000 lakes. The small-town atmosphere throughout the state is perfect for barndo living as most barndo owners prefer open spaces around their property. Choosing where to build your home is a choice you and your family must make together. After considering your lifestyle, family life, education, work, safety, and everything in between, you can make an informed choice. We recommend starting your search with Chanhassen, Lakeville, St. Michael, and Northfield.

3 Things to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in Minnesota

Climate

Minnesota, in winter, can snow a lot, up to an average of 36 – 70 inches of snowfall across the state. This is important to consider because getting caught by surprise is no fun when you have already planned out your barndo project.

Lifestyle

Since barndominiums are a long-term investment, it is crucial that you consider if barndominium living works for you and your family in the next 5 – 10 years. 

Floor Plan

There are ready-made floor plans you can choose from, but you can also opt to customize your floor plan fully. Custom plans might cost you more, but you can be sure that your house will turn out exactly how you want. 

Is it Worth Building a Barndo in Minnesota?

Building a barndominium in the North Star State is one of the best decisions you can make. Living in your dream home in a state with great outdoor activities, a small-town ambiance, and a tight nit community is difficult to say no to.

Now that you’re ready to start planning on your barndo build, you can look into our collection of barndominium floor plans. We also have a comprehensive article on the process of building a barndominium for an in-depth look into the construction of these homes. May you enjoy the barndo life!

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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.