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Building a Barndominium in Pennsylvania | Best 2022 Guide

Pennsylvania is one of the 13 original colonies and is also known as the Keystone State. It is also one of the leading centers for steel, coal, and railroads; hence it is not surprising that steel buildings like barndominiums are steadily gaining popularity in Pennsylvania. 

If you want to build a barndominium in Pennsylvania but are unsure where to start, allow us to guide you. We will help you understand what barndominiums are, their benefits, and why building a barndo in Pennsylvania is an excellent idea.  

Can You Build a Barndominium in Pennsylvania?

Yes, you can build a barndominium in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has a diverse landscape, so you can build your barndo in your dream setting. You can have a barndo near Lake Erie, The Allegheny Mountains, or The Tioga State Forest. 

Pennsylvania Barndominiums Overview

Barndominiums are barn-type buildings. They can be made of timber or steel. There are hybrid barndominiums with wood and metal frames and sidings. You can use a barndo as a shop, garage, dwelling, or man cave. 

Our Barndominium 101 Guide will elaborate on different barndominium types, building materials, and other crucial information you need. 

Advantages and Disadvantages

Even though barndominiums are fantastic, there have their drawbacks. Knowing about the good and bad of barndos allows you to appreciate them more.  

Advantages

  • They can be cheap – A barndominium can be cheaper to build. You need fewer materials to construct a barndo, translating to a smaller budget. Since barndominiums are faster to build, the labor cost is not as extensive as that of traditional houses. There is also the possibility of a DIY barndo to save on labor costs.
  • They are easy to maintain – Barndominiums require less upkeep than conventional buildings. You can repaint your barndominium every few years to keep it in top condition. There is also the matter of taking care of dented sidings. Be sure to keep the roof free of decaying leaves and debris to prevent water stagnation and rusting. 
  • They can be more durable – Barndominiums can be more durable than traditional structures. Steel is a strong material and can withstand extreme forces. It is also resistant to fire and combustion. However, a wooden barndo can also be durable as long as the contractor follows building code requirements and ensures that the wooden components get built to withstand more than their allowable load. 

Disadvantages

  • Limited financing options – Some banks don’t provide conventional mortgages for barndominium construction. Although barndos are growing popular, some banks don’t recognize the terms barndominium or barndo. Ask members of our Facebook group about their financing experience for tips about applying for a barndominium construction loan. 
  • You cannot build them anywhere – Unfortunately, you cannot build a barndominium anywhere. Some cities are strict about steel buildings within the city limits. There are also gated communities that don’t allow barndominiums.

Regulations

Building regulations are in place to ensure that barndominiums follow safety standards and keep their occupants safe. Complying with regulations can help you avoid penalties and construction delays. Unfortunately, counties have different regulations, so be sure to check the requirements of your county to get a complete list of requirements. 

If you are applying for a building permit in Allegheny Township, you must submit two building plans. Cambridge Township is a bit more demanding and requires three sets of documents for an application. 

Taxes

One downside of building a barndominium in Pennsylvania is its high property taxes. Pennsylvania’s average property tax rate is 1.35% of a structure’s assessed value, higher than the national average. Don’t let the high barndominium taxes discourage you, though, because Pennsylvania is a great place to settle. 

Insurance

Building a barndo is an investment; the best way to do it is by getting barndominium insurance. The average cost of insuring a house in Pennsylvania is around $1,348 per year. Getting your barndo insured lets you repair or rebuild your barndo in case it gets damaged or destroyed. 

Financing

Financing a barndominium can help you build your barndo without worrying about having enough resources. A loan from a local bank or a lender can help you muster funds to build your barndominium in Pennsylvania. 

Farm Credit Horizon

A financial institution in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, offering home loans to rural homeowners. 

Mid Penn Bank

A community bank that offers construction mortgages and FHA loans. 

Jonestown Bank and Trust Co.

Founded in 1873, Jonestown Bank and Trust Co. has multiple branches across the state and offers mortgages to clients.

Builders

If you want your barndominium to last, ensure you are working with the best builders in your area. Expert builders comply with building standards. They also stick to your budget without cutting corners.

JJ’s Custom Builders

Barndominium designers and builders in Holtwood, Pennsylvania. They also serve Lancaster County and surrounding areas. 

Conestoga Buildings

Post-frame building experts serving Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. 

True Wood Builders, LLC.

Amish pole-barn builders in Honey Brook, Pennsylvania. 

We also have a list of the best barndominium contractors that build barndos throughout the country, including the state of Pennsylvania. 

Kit Providers

The quality of your barndo rests on the shell you will use, so ensure you buy a barndominium kit from a trusted provider. Check with several kit providers to ensure you get the best possible deal. 

Timberline Buildings

A supplier of commercial, agricultural, and residential pole-building kits servicing the entire state of Pennsylvania.

Ironbuilt Steel Buildings

Ironbuilt Steel Buildings is based in Pittsburgh and manufactures steel building kits like garages, barn homes, riding arenas, and warehouses. 

Stevens Engineers and Contractors

An Altoona-based company that designs and builds pre-engineered metal buildings. 

Aside from the local kit suppliers mentioned above, we also have a listing of some of the best barndominium kit providers that sell and ship to several states, including Pennsylvania. 

Cost

The average cost to build a house in Pennsylvania is around $286,400. This figure is higher than the average price to build a barndominium, between $128,000 and $146,000. Don’t be afraid to ask for quotes from different contractors so you can compare prices and hire the one with the most competitive price. We also have a barndominium cost calculator to help you compute the cost of your barndominium.  

Where Can You Build a Barndo in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania has many fantastic places for building a barndominium, including Glen Rock, Berlin, Ligonier, and New Wilmington. Spend time driving around rural Pennsylvania to check your desired location and get a better feel of the area. 

3 Things to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in Pennsylvania

When building a barndominium in Pennsylvania, there are some things you need to consider if you want your barndo to be everything you want it to be. 

The barndominium style you want

Although barndominiums share the same exterior looks, you can customize the interior of your barndo. Ask yourself if you want a modern barndominium or if you are okay with a country-style one. Discuss your preferred barndo style with your contractor for their recommendations on achieving your desired look. 

Single-story or two-story house?

The number of stories of your barndominium is vital because it affects the number and quality of materials you will need. If you are going for a two-story barndominium, your barndo should be made of materials that can support the weight of the second story and its contents. 

Outdoor spaces

If you plan to add outdoor spaces like a pool, a shed, or a patio, ensure to indicate them in your plan. Doing so can help ensure that your yard won’t look too crowded. It can also ensure that you can build outdoor spaces of your desired size. 

Is it Worth Building a Barndo in Pennsylvania?

Yes, it is worth building a barndominium in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has a diverse landscape ideal for building a barndo with an amazing view. It also shares a border with several states, including New York, Ohio, Maryland, and New Jersey, so you can visit other states easily. 

If you want some inspiration in building your barndominium, be sure to check our Pinterest account. We also have a collection of barndominium floor plans you can use as references. 

Visit our website or read our informative article to help you understand the barndominium construction process better. 

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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.