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Building a Barndominium in Oregon | Best 2022 Guide

Oregon should be on top of your list if you’re looking for a state with a diverse offering of fantastic landscapes. It has evergreen forests, redwood forests, desert plateaus, rich valleys, and a wind-swept coastline. With such a diverse geography, you can easily find the perfect backdrop for your barndominium in Oregon. 

In this article, we will talk about barndominiums, what makes them unique, and how you can start building a barndominium in Oregon. 

Can You Build a Barndominium in Oregon?

Yes, you can build a barndominium in Oregon. Oregon is a large state with a land area of 98,379 square miles. It is also one of the least densely-populated states, with around 40 people living in a square mile, making it ideal if you prefer a serene environment. 

Oregon Barndominiums Overview

The first barndominiums were old and unused barns converted into houses, garages, workshops, or storage facilities. Nowadays, although barndominiums retain their barn-like looks, most are newly-built structures. The original barndominiums are also made from steel, while new barndominiums can be made from metal, wood, or an amalgam of different building materials. One thing remains, you’re more likely to find a barndominium in a rural area since some cities have moratoriums against building metal buildings. 

For an in-depth discussion about barndominiums, our Barndominium 101 Guide is filled with valuable information to help you understand barndos better. You can also visit our Facebook page for more barndominium-related articles. 

Advantages and Disadvantages

It’s easy to fall in love with barndominiums because of their cool look and the nostalgia they evoke, especially if you were raised in a rural area. However, barndominiums are not all roses. There are also downsides to barndominiums, and we hope to help you decide if a barndominium is your best option. 

Advantages

  • They can be better against termites – If you’re building in an area prone to termites, a barndominium is an ideal option because it has fewer wood components, especially if you are going for a metal barndominium. Preventing termite infestation can help extend the life of your barndominium. If you have a timber or metal and wood barndominium, you can still prevent termite infestation by treating wooden components with preservatives, but it will be costlier.  
  • You can build a barndominium yourself – If you are not in a hurry, you can build a barndominium by yourself. Suppliers can provide you with a DIY barndominium kit which they can also install for you. You can then handle the rest of the construction during your free time. Needless to say, ensure that you have the construction and woodwork skills to build your barndo correctly. 

  • They might be more affordable – A barndominium can be cheaper because it uses fewer building materials. You can also save on labor costs by going the DIY route. 
  • Property taxes might be lower –Property taxes hinge on the assessed value of a structure, and since barndominiums are often cheaper than traditional homes, you might end up paying a lower property tax. However, the assessed value of your barndominium can also depend on your local tax assessor. If the tax assessor doesn’t count non-heated living spaces like the workshop or garage, you will have a smaller total square footage and lower property tax. 

Disadvantages

  • Limited exterior design options – A barndominium’s looks may not appeal to everyone. Unlike traditional houses that come in a wide variety of exterior designs, barndominiums look the same on the outside. To make your barndo exceptional from others, talk with your contractor and ask for suggestions on exterior design options. You can use a distinct color scheme or add exterior embellishments like a two-tone color scheme, a covered porch, or a large arch doorway. Check the various barndominium design ideas in our Pinterest account if you are on the hunt for design inspirations. 
  • Limited cellular reception – The metal frame and sidings of barndominiums can result in limited cellular reception. Limited cellular reception inside your barndo can cause dropped voice calls, missed messages, and weak data. You can buy a signal booster to increase reception inside your barndo. 

Regulations

Before you start building your barndominium, you must secure a building permit. Building permits ensure that safety standards are followed during construction projects. Although all counties consider safety issues of utmost importance, they can have different building codes and permit regulations. 

One example is the number of documents needed when applying for a building permit. If you are building in Polk County, you’re required to submit two sets of plans with your application. On the other hand, Benton County only requires the submission of one copy of your site plan. This highlights the importance of speaking directly with your local building authority to get an accurate list of requirements for your construction project. 

Taxes

Barndominium taxes in Oregon are not as cheap as most states but also not as high as others. The average property tax rate in Oregon is 0.85%, and an Oregon homeowner shells out an average of $2,241 in property taxes per year. As with building permits and regulations, counties have different tax rates, and the best way to ensure that you are paying accurate property taxes is by getting your tax assessment directly from the tax assessor’s office. 

Insurance

The average cost to insure a house in Oregon is $840 per year. This is good news for homeowners because the amount is cheaper than the national average. Although it is affordable to insure your building in Oregon, we recommend getting a quote from several insurance companies to get the cheapest insurance policy available.

Oregon does not require Barndominium insurance, but it can be a bank requirement when applying for a loan. It is also a safety net to help repair or rebuild your barndo if needed. Think of it as protecting your home and everything it contains. 

Financing

Even though barndominiums are cheaper than conventional buildings, they can still cost a lot of money. Financing a barndominium is one of the best ways to build your dream barndo, even if your funds are insufficient. However, refrain from using the term barndominium during your application since most banks don’t use the said term. Refer to your barndo as a custom metal house or a custom house with a concrete slab foundation instead. Try connecting with members of our Facebook group to get more tips on applying for a barndominium loan. Listed below are some helpful financial institutions.

WaFd Bank

WaFd is a regional bank offering construction loans and home-building financing in Washington, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Texas, Utah, New Mexico, and Oregon. 

Oregon State Credit Union

A state-chartered credit union that offers home construction loans to borrowers. 

Heritage Bank

Founded in 1927, Heritage Bank offers home loans to residents of Washington and Oregon.

Builders

Construction projects, like barndominiums, require expert builders to ensure they are built correctly, so partner with the finest local builders in your area. Expert builders have a wealth of experience that allows them to build barndominiums to your satisfaction. 

Johnson Builders Corp.

Builders of custom-designed engineered buildings in Grants Pass, Oregon. 

EquityQuest Homes

Designer and builder of custom houses. The company builds within a 75-mile radius of Portland, where it is located. 

Central Oregon Pole Buildings

A local builder that’s been in operation since 1989, specializing in post-frame buildings. 

Greg Stallings Construction

A building company based in Eugene, Oregon. The company has more than 30 years of experience building custom houses.  

Aside from local contractors, we also have a listing of barndominium builders who build barndos across the country, including Oregon. 

Kit Providers

Unlike conventional houses that need to be built from the ground up, you can start a barndominium using a pre-engineered frame and shell. Some companies sell DIY kits to help you save time and money as you build your barndo. 

Parker Buildings Inc.

A Hubbard-based company that designs and manufactures kits for pole barns and custom metal houses. 

Locke Buildings

Locke Buildings is a company in Estacada, Oregon, that supplies DIY pole-building kits. 

Pro Metal Buildings

If you are near Estacada, Oregon, Pro Metal Buildings supplies residential metal buildings with vertical roofs and horizontal sidings. 

Elite Metal Buildings

Elite Metal Buildings is a large supplier of pre-fabricated metal buildings throughout the country. You can read our Elite Metal Buildings review to learn more about this company. 

Apart from local suppliers, there are also barndominium kit providers who sell and ship barndominium kits to several states, including Oregon. 

Cost

A typical barndominium in Oregon costs between $155,000 and $177,000. This is significantly cheaper than an average house in Oregon which costs around $515,000. It is important to note, though, that the price to build a barndo depends on factors like the size of the barndominium, the type of materials, and the size of heated living spaces. We also have a barndominium cost calculator to help you compute how much your barndo will cost. 

Where Can You Build a Barndo in Oregon?

If you’re still searching for the perfect place for your barndominium, you might consider Woodburn, Hermiston, Ontario, or Klamath Falls. These areas have low living costs to help you maximize your budget and increase your savings. 

3 Things to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in Oregon

Building a barndominium is committing to a new life, and you want to ensure everything is perfect before you start laying down the foundation of your barndo. Considering the factors below can help ensure you have a barndo with all the necessary features. 

The appearance of your lot

Although an ideal lot is rectangular or square, not all lots look alike. Make sure that your barndominium fits in your lot with ample setback. A setback is the minimum distance you can build your barndo from the road or property line. 

Outdoor spaces

When designing your barndominium, leave enough space for outdoor areas like a porch, an outdoor kitchen, a shed, or a pool. Considering these outdoor spaces during the planning stage ensures that your lot won’t be too crowded while maximizing its usage.  

Proximity to basic services and amenities

Although barndos are often located in rural areas, choose a spot near basic amenities like medical centers, supermarkets, schools, or transportation hubs. This ensures you have access to everything you need while enjoying a serene barndominium life. 

Is it Worth Building a Barndo in Oregon?

Yes, a barndominium in Oregon is an excellent idea. With a diverse landscape, you can build a barndo near a forest, the coast, or a fertile valley. Barndominiums are also cheap and multi-functional so that you can make the most of your budget. In addition, Oregon has a low population density, making it an ideal location if you want a slow-paced and quiet barndo life. 

If you’re still on the fence about your barndo’s final layout and design, you can choose from our gallery of barndominium floor plans. We have a wide variety of floor plans, and we’re sure you can find one that suits your taste. We also have an instructional article to help you understand the process of building a barndominium

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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.