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Building a Barndominium in Ohio | Best 2022 Guide

red barndominium for ohio state guide
Todd’s Red Barndominium via our Barndominium Living group.

Also known as the Buckeye State, Ohio is the historical center of steel production in the United States. Ohio is the second largest steel producer in the country, so it is hardly surprising that metal buildings like barndominiums are gaining popularity in the state. 

Building a barndominium in Ohio can be stressful, especially if it’s your first barndo. We aim to help relieve that stress by providing you all the information you need to succeed in your construction project. We will tell you about barndominiums, what they are, their benefits, and how to make the most out of them. 

Can You Build a Barndominium in Ohio?

Yes, you can build a barndominium in Ohio. Barndominiums are ideal in rural areas, and Ohio is largely a rural state. Sixty-five of Ohio’s counties have more than 90% rural land. Ohio is mostly made up of plains, ideal for building houses and barndos. The state has a temperate climate so expect warm summers and cold winters. Ohio is perfectfor you  if you don’t like sweltering summers. 

Ohio Barndominiums Overview

As its name implies, barndominiums are barn-type structures. The original barndominiums were old barns with metal sidings turned into houses. The term has now evolved and can refer to wood structures that look like barns on the outside. There are also hybrid types that use a combination of wood and metal building materials. 

Although they look like barns, new barndos are not strictly agricultural. Some people use them as their primary residence. Others build them for use as garages to house their automobile collections. Most homeowners build barndominiums as multi-functional buildings for use as a combination of a dwelling and workshop. To see how other homeowners use their barndos, visit our Pinterest gallery of different barndominiums. We also have a Barndominium 101 Guide to help you gain a better understanding of these unique structures. 

Advantages and Disadvantages

Barndominiums are not perfect. They also have some qualities that may not sit well with you. However, their benefits effectively cancel out these disadvantages. Presenting you the advantages and disadvantages of barndominiums might help you make an informed decision on whether a barndo is your best choice.  

Advantages

  • They are affordable – If you want to build a house or a workshop without breaking the bank, a barndominium is an excellent option. It is less complex and easier to build. It allows you save on labor costs because complex buildings take longer to construct and need the expertise of many construction professionals. 

If you are an expert handyman, you can make your barndo more affordable by building it yourself. You can order a DIY kit from a supplier near you. Some suppliers handle the assembly and installation of the kit. Ensure that the concrete foundation is ready before ordering your kit.

One downside to building a DIY barndo is that it might take longer to complete, especially if you cannot work on it full-time. One idea is to involve your family in your project. Aside from getting more work done, you can use it to spend time and bond with your family. If you have friends with handyman skills, you can also ask for their help. 

  • They are quick to build – Barndominiums are easier to build compared to traditional homes. This makes a barndo an excellent alternative if you need a new house or workshop on short notice. 

A shorter construction time can also help you save money, as labor costs make up most of construction expenses, so getting your barndominium built faster can reduce your costs. Some people are forced to rent temporary houses during construction, so moving into your barndo earlier can help you reduce your rental expenses. Speaking of rentals, people often rent smaller spaces for temporary dwellings that are too small for their needs. The sooner you move into your new building, the sooner you get comfort in a spacious environment.  

  • They have lower property taxes – Counties determine property tax rates by assessing how much a house or building costs. Since a barndominium costs less to build, it will have a cheaper fair market value resulting in a more affordable property tax. A property tax rate is an annual expense, so you’ll be saving money for years to come. You can put the money you save into your savings, towards a college fund, your nest egg, or towards a long-delayed vacation. 
  • They are versatile – Barndominium are versatile buildings, making them excellent investments. Instead of building exclusively for dwelling, why not construct something you can use not just for living but as a workshop too? You can also build one that doubles as a spacious garage or home office. You can even construct one with a huge man cave to spend time with friends or indulge in your hobby. Sure, you can build a traditional house and use one room as a man cave, home office, or workshop, but you’ll most likely have limited space. The large floor space of a barndominium can ensure you have all the space you need to attain an ideal work-life balance. 

Disadvantages

  • They can be prone to rusting – Rusting is an enemy of metallic building materials like iron and its alloys. If left unchecked, rusting can compromise the structural integrity of your barndo. Rusting is a part of corrosion and can cause building materials to deteriorate. Although corrosion can occur on wood, it is more evident in metals. Although traditional buildings also have metal parts prone to corrosion, they often have fewer metal parts than barndos. 

If you want to minimize rusting, seek your contractor’s advice regarding anti-rust protective coatings. You can apply this protective coating on the metal components of your structure to keep rust at bay. Another way of minimizing rust is by keeping your barndominium moisture-free. If you notice any leaks, fix them immediately. Leaks let in moisture, resulting in rusting. If your area is humid, consider investing in an anti-rust humidifier for your building. 

You can also ask members of our Facebook group for advice on keeping your barndominium free from rust, especially if you live in a humid area.  

  • Some places don’t allow barndominiums – Unlike conventional buildings, you cannot build a barndominium everywhere. Some cities prohibit the construction of metal buildings within city limits so if you plan on erecting your barndo in a city, check if there is an ordinance against it. Some counties allow metal buildings only within designated industrial zones. 
  • You might need a larger lot – A barndominium takes up more space than a typical house because of its layout. The entire floor space of a barndo is laid out horizontally, and more often than not, you can only go as high as two stories with a barndominium. You can still build a barndo on a small lot, but you will have limited floor space. If you have a small lot and want to maximize it, a traditional house is more suitable since you can build several stories high. 

Regulations

No matter where you plan to build your barndominium, you need to secure a building permit and abide by local building regulations. Counties implement their local regulations, so one county’s regulations may differ from another’s. Don’t assume that counties within the same state will have uniform building regulations. To avoid penalties and fines, head down to your county’s building and permit office to get a checklist of building requirements that you must submit. 

One example of a difference in building permit requirements is that of Franklin and Warren counties. If you are building in Franklin County, you must submit a PDF electronic copy of your building plan. In Warren County, however, you can submit either a digital or physical copy of your plan. 

Some counties also have different regulations regarding the validity of building permits. In the City of Brecksville, a permit becomes null and void if you don’t begin construction within six months of the issuance of approval. Moreland Hills is a bit forgiving and allows home owners up to 12 months to begin construction before the permit is nullified. 

Taxes

Like any other building, you need to pay property tax for your barndominium. A property tax is computed based on the assessed fair market value of a barndo. 

In the state of Ohio, the average property tax rate is 1.36% or around $1,836 each year. This is an average rate because the exact property tax you need to pay depends on the county in which your property is located. Delaware County levies the highest property tax rate at an average of 1.48% or $3,732. For low barndominium taxes, your best option is Monroe County, where the average property tax rate is 0.8% or $692. Visit your local assessor’s office for an accurate assessment of the property tax you need to pay. 

Insurance

Many homeowners consider a home insurance policy an additional and unnecessary expense, but getting an insurance policy is vital for homeowners. Barndominium insurance can give you peace of mind because it can help you repair your barndominium if it gets damaged or rebuilt if it is deemed beyond repair. Whether it’s from fire, smoke, theft, vandalism, or extreme weather conditions, you have coverage for damages to your building. Your policy also covers the contents of your barndo, like appliances, furniture, and clothing items. 

The average cost of a home insurance premium in Ohio is around $1,119 per year for a building worth $250,000. This is just an average, and getting a policy with a more competitive premium is possible. Talk to several insurance providers in your area to compare rates and get the most affordable but comprehensive insurance policy possible. 

Financing

Financing a barndominium is one of the ways you can build your barndo without using up all your savings. With the backing of a financial institution, you can relieve yourself from the stress of thinking about the expenses associated with building a barndominium. Instead of spending time crunching numbers, you can devote your time to designing your barndo and ensuring it has all the features you need.

Getting a loan might be a better idea, even if you have enough funding for your construction project. Depending on your agreement with your lending company, you can pay off your loan for up to 30 years. You can conserve your savings and use them to furnish your barndo. 

Loan rates differ, and you need to speak with different banks to get the best rates possible. Try starting your search with your bank because they are more likely to approve your loan. It will also increase your chances of getting favorable rates. 

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated

Huntington Bancshares is a regional bank headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. It was founded in 1866 and has more than 1,000 branches across 11 states. They offer construction and home financing loans to borrowers.

Woodsfield Savings Bank

Woodsfield Savings Bank was established in 1887 and currently has two locations, its main is branch in Woodsfield and another branch in Barnesville. They finance the construction of new homes, including traditional houses, modular homes, mobile homes, and barndominiums. 

First Federal Bank of Ohio

First Federal Bank of Ohio has been operating since 1891 and is headquartered in Galion, Ohio. It is a bank dedicated to residents of North Central Ohio and offers New Construction Loans to clients. 

Builders

With so much at stake, you cannot entrust the building of your barndominium to anybody. Hiring a mediocre builder can result in a sub-par structure. You will be risking the money invested in your construction project. Aside from your savings, you also risk living in a poorly built house.

When searching for your barndominium builder, ask for credentials and licenses to ensure that you are hiring a qualified builder. Ask for pictures of previous projects to see the quality of work they can deliver. You can also look up your target builder online to check for customer reviews.

MilMar Post Buildings

MilMar Post Buildings are barndominium builders based in Northeastern Indiana. They construct post-frame buildings for customers in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana. 

Jordan Homes LLC.

Jordan Homes is a barndominium builder and renovation specialist in Lancaster, Ohio. They service customers not just in the Lancaster area but as far as Hocking, Fairfield, Perry, and Vinton counties. They have several ready-made floor plans that customers can choose from.

DM Roofing, Siding, and Windows

DM Roofing, Siding, and Windows builds barndominiums and pole barns for Akron, Canton, and Northeast Ohio residents. Aside from construction services, they also handle house renovations and restorations. 

Attica Lumber

Attica Lumber is a pole barn company that has been operating in Attica, Ohio, for almost 100 years. They build commercial, hobby, and residential buildings as well as pole barns. 

Timberline Buildings

Timberline Buildings is a local family-owned business founded in 1982 and located in Warren County, Ohio. They build residential and commercial pole buildings in Southern Ohio, Central Ohio, Eastern Indiana, and Northern Kentucky. 

Aside from the contractors mentioned above, we have also listed the best barndominium contractors who service several states, including Ohio. 

Kit Providers

Instead of hiring a contractor to build your barndominium, you can also build it yourself. You can explore this option if you can devote enough time to construct your barndo. The first thing you have to do is buy a DIY barndominium kit. 

Several companies supply building kits; the best option is to look for a local supplier. Working with a local supplier means you can visit their offices to look at sample kits or building materials. Getting your kit from a local provider might also help you get competitive prices because the supplier won’t have to ship the building kit out of state. Ask for quotations from several kit providers to compare prices and buy from the one offering the best deal. 

Hixwood Metal

Hixwood supplies post-frame building kits for residential, commercial, agricultural, or recreational use. They also sell kits for clients who want to build metal sheds. The company also services clients in the states of Ohio and Wisconsin. 

Toledo Pole Barns

Toledo Pole Barns is a Northeast Ohio company that builds barndominiums and pole barns for customers. In addition, they also have material packages for customers who want to build their barndominiums themselves. 

FBi Buildings

FBi Buildings is a company based in Remington, Indiana, and supplies pole barn kits for pole barn homes, hobby shops, barns, garages, and workshops. FBi Buildings services Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, among others. 

Republic Lumber Inc.

Rebublic Lumber Inc. is a company in Republic, Ohio. The company is family-owned and offers pole barn packages of hardwood and softwood lumber. They also provide a red custom pole building set for residential use. 

General Steel Buildings

General Steel Buildings is a Colorado-based manufacturer of steel buildings. They sell metal building kits to help homeowners start their barndominiums. You can read all about General Steel Buildings in our in-depth review. 

Use our list of barndominium kit providers if you’re looking for a supplier that sells kits throughout the US. 

Cost

Building a house involves funding, and the average cost for a newly-built house in Ohio is between $290,000 and $345,000, depending on the area and the size of the structure. The price to build a barndominium of around 2,000 square feet ranges between $129,000 and $147,000. This makes building a barndominium a more cost-effective alternative. However, these are estimates and can change depending on several factors like your location, the size of your project, and the features you want. You can use our barndominium cost calculator to estimate how much your planned barndo may cost. 

Where Can You Build a Barndo in Ohio?

There are many excellent places to build a barndominium in Ohio, including Yellow Springs, Oberlin, Millersburg, Marietta, and Granville. These are small communities with all the amenities you need. Small rural areas are also often known for their low living costs and can help you maximize your earnings. 

3 Things to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in Ohio

Barndominiums are huge investments, so carefully plan your building before breaking ground. You need to consider several factors if you want a barndo to serve all your needs. 

The number of stories you want

Although most barndominiums are single-story buildings, you can go for a two-story structure. Building a two-story barndo can help you maximize your lot if your lot is a bit small. However, a two-story barndo also requires more and larger building materials, so it might be more expensive. 

Outdoor spaces

Planning the outdoor spaces of your barndominium can ensure you allot enough space for them, especially if you plan on adding them in future. If you want to add an outdoor kitchen or dining area, plan on placing them near their indoor counterparts. You should also have your contractor install plumbing and electrical during construction instead of adding them later.  

What your lot looks like

The size and shape of your lot are something you need to consider while planning your barndo. Most counties have setback regulations that you need to follow. A setback is the minimum distance your building needs to be from your property line. 

Is it Worth Building a Barndo in Ohio?

Yes, it is worth building a barndo in Ohio. It has vast swaths of rural areas ideal for barndominiums. It is a fantastic area to live in if you love visiting famous landmarks like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the Armstrong Air and Space Museum. 

To make planning your barndominium easier, feel free to browse through our gallery of barndominium floor plans or check the informative articles on our Facebook page. We also have a guide you can use to help you through the barndominium construction 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.