It is easy for a barndominium to look out of place among tall and modern buildings, but they look at home among rolling hills and endless farmlands. For this reason alone, Nebraska is an obvious choice for those who want to build barndominiums. 92% of Nebraska’s total land area comprises farms and ranches. To top it off, barndos are fantastic alternatives if you want to build a unique shophouse or building.
This guide contains vital information you can use as you build your barndominium in Nebraska. We will dive into the benefits of barndominiums, tell you about exemplary local builders, and answer your burning questions about building a barndo in Nebraska.
Table of Contents
- 1 Can You Build a Barndominium in Nebraska?
- 2 Nebraska Barndominium 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 Nebraska?
- 4 4 Things to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in Nebraska
- 5 Is it Worth Building a Barndo in Nebraska?
Can You Build a Barndominium in Nebraska?
Yes, you can build a barndominium in Nebraska. Barndominiums thrive in rural settings, and Nebraska is as rural as you can get. It had more than 44,800 farms and ranches as of 2021. While a barndominium might raise some eyebrows in other states, a barndo looks quite at home among Nebraska’s farms, grain silos, ranches, and barns.
Nebraska Barndominium Overview
While most of us think of barndominiums as barn-like buildings with steel exteriors, this is no longer true. Although barndominiums still retain their barn-like exteriors, you can now find barndominiums made of wood. There are also barndos made of wood and metal.
Our Ultimate Barndominuim Guide talks about the intricacies of barndos. It also presents detailed barndominium floor plans to guide you as you plan your barndo’s layout. Our Pinterest account also has sample floor plans you can use for your barndominium.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Although barndominiums are magnificent structures, they are not perfect. Barndos also have their disadvantages. Learning about the advantages and disadvantages of barndominiums can better prepare you for the barndo lifestyle.
- Barndominiums can be pest-resistant – Since barndominiums have more metal components, they can be resistant to pests like termites. This protects your investment since termites are destructive to wooden structures. Barndominiums with metal exteriors are especially resistant to termites.
- Barndominiums can be cheaper to build – You need fewer materials to construct a barndominium, making it more affordable. Using a DIY barndo kit can help reduce labor costs, leaving you with a bigger budget to furnish your barndominium.
- Barndominiums are easy to improve – You can easily customize and improve a barndominium because, unlike traditional buildings, most barndos don’t have concrete walls. You can add new rooms or expand existing ones easily.
- Barndominiums have lower property tax – The amount of property tax that a homeowner pays depends on the assessed value of their property. Since barndominiums often cost less to build than traditional houses, a barndo will also have a lower property tax rate.
- Barndominiums can be difficult to sell – Barndominiums may be popular, but they are still not for everyone. Some prospective homeowners still prefer conventional dwellings, so you might encounter difficulties looking for a buyer if you decide to sell your barndo in the future. One of the best ways to easily find a buyer for your barndominium is to join Facebook groups like ours.
- Barndominiums may have poor cellular reception – Barndominium owners may encounter poor cellular reception because of their metal components. If you have a barndo with metal sidings, you might experience dropped voice calls or missed text messages. You might need a signal booster to improve cellular reception inside your barndominium.
- Barndominiums are not allowed in some areas – Although barndominiums are prevalent in rural areas, some urban areas prohibit the building of barndos. In some counties, barndominiums are only allowed within industrial districts.
One thing that may surprise you is that counties within the same state can have contrasting building regulations. Some states even have policies that other states don’t impose. You can easily avoid penalties or building code violations by reading all about your county’s building regulations and preparing all pertinent requirements.
For example, Nebraska has a “Call Before You Dig” law, requiring that you call 811 before starting excavations, like when laying down the foundation of your barndominium. This law aims to prevent injuries while digging. It also aims to prevent accidental damage and interruption of utility services.
You can personally visit or check the website of your county’s building and zoning office to learn about the county’s regulations.
Homeowners pay property taxes depending on their properties’ assessed fair market value. Unfortunately, Nebraska has one of the highest property taxes at 1.7493%. Some homeowners might find this discouraging, but the good news is that barn owners might need to pay lower barndominium taxes compared to owners of conventional houses because barndominiums often have lower assessed fair market values. Depending on your county, there may be add-ons to your property tax, so check with your county for a more accurate assessment.
Although getting your barndominium insured is not required by law, you might need to insure your barndo if you plan to get a construction loan. Barndominium insurance also ensures that you can repair or rebuild your barndo if required. Your policy will even cover the replacement of any electronics or furniture inside your barndominium. The bad news is that at $3,309, Nebraska has the highest average annual home insurance rates in the US, according to a report published by Forbes.
If you want to build a barndominium but have insufficient funds, you can apply for a loan at a local bank or lending institution. They can offer a variety of rates depending on how long you want the loan to be. Compare the barndominium financing rates of several banks to get the one offering the most competitive rate.
First Bank of Nebraska
The First Bank of Nebraska was chartered in 1882 and has 4 locations throughout Nebraska. They offer loans to those intending to build barndominiums.
First National Bank of Omaha
First National Bank is one of the oldest banks in Nebraska and was founded in 1857. Aside from conventional loans, they also offer construction loans and FHA loans.
Security First Bank
Security First Bank is a Nebraska-chartered bank that services Nebraska and the southwestern part of South Dakota.
The success of any construction project hinges on its builder, and the same goes for barndominiums. An experienced local builder can construct a barndominium of exceptional quality. If you want the most competitive rate, send your floor plan to several builders and ask for their bids.
The Ironwood Co.
The Ironwood Co. builds barndominiums, pole barns, and post-frame construction buildings. They serve the areas of Omaha, Nebraska metro area, and Northeast Texas.
Timberlyne has custom and pre-designed construction packages that homeowners can choose from. The company has offices in Wayne, Nebraska, and Boerne, Texas.
Critel Buildings is a company based in Hastings, Nebraska, and offers design and construction services for barndominiums and pole barn houses.
Astro Buildings is an Omaha-based company that constructs barndominiums not just in Nebraska but in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Minnesota, and some portions of Colorado.
Vap Construction Inc.
Vap Construction, Inc. specializes in building post and steel-frame buildings for Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming residents.
We also have a list of the most popular barndominium companies that build in multiple states across the US, including Nebraska.
The good thing about barndominiums is that you can buy a barndominium kit and take care of the rest yourself. You just need to look for a kit provider in Nebraska that offers excellent kits at competitive prices.
Metal Barn Central
A North Carolina supplier-based supplier of metal building kits for carports, barns, garages, warehouses, and residences that services surrounding states, including Nebraska.
Western Building Supply
Western Building Supply is based in Wyoming and supplies the states of Nebraska, Montana, Colorado, and South Dakota with barndominium kits.
Gee Building Systems
Gee Building Systems supplies post-frame building kits to Southwest Iowa and portions of Northwest Missouri and Southeast Nebraska.
Great Western Buildings
Although Great Western Buildings is based in Colorado, the company also supplies to Southeastern states, including Nebraska.
Sunward Steel Buildings
Sunward Steel Buildings is a company in Colorado that provides steel buildings like barndominiums, garages, shops, and barns to most states, including Nebraska.
Aside from local kit providers, we also have a list of suppliers of barndominium kits that serve almost all states, including Nebraska.
Buildings require money to construct, and according to Home Builder Digest, it costs between $240,000 and $1,200,000 to build a 2,400-square-foot home in Lincoln. Although this data is specific to Lincoln, it gives you an idea of the price range of house constructions in Nebraska.
Barndominiums prices are lower, especially if you build the barndo yourself. A 28×70 metal building kit by Metal Barn Central will set you back by $35,000. If you add in the labor cost and other expenses, it is possible to build a barndominium at under $200,000, depending on how complex you want your barndo to be.
Keep in mind that prices are fluid and depend on your location and prevailing inflation rates. Use this site’s barndominium cost calculator to help estimate the cost of building your barndominium.
Where Can You Build a Barndo in Nebraska?
If you’re going to build a barndominium in Nebraska, small towns like Ashland, Seward, Valentine, Chadron, and Red Cloud are your best bets. They have small populations making them ideal if you want a quiet community. In general, living in small rural communities is also more affordable because the prices of commodities are lower.
4 Things to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in Nebraska
Here are some factors you need to consider before building a barndominium in Nebraska:
Access to basic needs
Choose an area where basic needs like groceries, schools, and medical services are within reach. Although a quiet place is appealing, living in an area where you have to drive two hours just to buy groceries can be a bummer. You’ll also want quick access to medical services in case of a medical emergency.
How your lot looks
Take a long look at your lot and envision what your barndominium will look like. Keep in mind that you need to comply with set-back regulations, so refrain from designing a barndo that eats up every square inch of your lot.
Single-story or Two-story building?
Some barndominiums have second floors, while others are single-story buildings. If you have a small lot, a two-story barndominium can help you maximize your lot. If you’re going for a single-story barndominium, ensure you have enough interior space for all your planned living spaces.
Outdoor living spaces
Outdoor living spaces can help you appreciate the fantastic landscape that Nebraska has to offer. Set provisions if you want an outdoor kitchen, dining room, or living area. If you plan to build an outdoor dining room, place it right beside your indoor dining room so you can create a large dining area by opening the door separating the two. If you plan on building an outdoor living area, try placing it in a shaded area to make it more comfortable, even during hot summer days.
Is it Worth Building a Barndo in Nebraska?
Although the high property tax rates can be discouraging, Nebraska is still an attractive option if you want to build a barndominium. The state has thousands of ranches and farms, making it an ideal setting for a barndominium. Because of Nebraska’s agricultural nature, you can have your pick of local suppliers of building materials for your barndominium. Nebraska also has a low population density which is excellent if you’re yearning to live in a quiet community.
To help you plan your barndominium in Nebraska, check our comprehensive gallery of barndominium floor plans that you can use for your build. We also have an interesting article to help you easily understand the process of building a barndominium, so you know what to expect as you start your barndominium journey.