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Building a Barndominium in Utah | Best 2022 Guide

black orange barndominium for utah state guide
Maureen’s Black Orange Barndominium via our Barndominium Living group.

A barndominium is an excellent alternative if you want a home that stands out from conventional houses. This is a huge undertaking, and you want to aim for a functional building that serves your needs. What’s great about a barndominium is that it can function as a residence as well as a shop with living quarters.

This article will walk you through everything you need to know about building a barndominium in the state of Utah and why they are increasingly gaining popularity. We will also supply you with critical information about barndos and point you in the right direction to hire the best building professionals to construct your family’s dream house in Utah.

Can You Build a Barndominium in Utah?

Of course, you can build your barndo in Utah. Apart from being a great substitute for traditional houses, it can help you take advantage of Utah’s incredible landscape. 

Keep reading, and we will discuss some regulations you need to be aware of before building a barndominium in Utah. However, getting in touch with the local building authorities is still the best way to learn about unique building regulations. Speaking to local building experts lets you identify suppliers and contractors who can help you build your barndominium. 

Utah Barndominiums Overview

As its name implies, a barndominium is a barn-type building with a steel frame. However, this term has evolved with time, and you can now find barndos made of steel, metal, wood, or a combination of different building materials. 

A barndo functions like a traditional home; you can customize it to include the requisite features. Check our Ultimate Barndominium Guide to learn more about them, their different styles, and why you should consider them for your next construction project.  

Advantages and Disadvantages

Like conventional houses, there are advantages and disadvantages to building barndominiums. Below are some compelling reasons why you should consider going for a barndo as your next man cave, business/shop, or garage, as well as some disadvantages you need to keep in mind. 

Advantages

  • Barndos take less time to build – Depending on the complexity of your design choice, a barndo is easier to build than a conventional house. When constructing a traditional house, prepare to set aside an average of 10 to 16 months to complete your home. In contrast, you can have a barndominium ready in 4 to 6 months. A major contributing factor to the shorter build time is the availability of pre-made metal shells and frames that you can quickly erect on a concrete slab foundation. 
  • Barndos are stronger and more durable – No matter how much you want to avoid them, there’s no going around natural disasters, and the best way to deal with them is by building a house that can withstand them. Barndominiums usually use metal frames and shells that offer better protection from the elements compared to wood. However, this doesn’t mean that timber structures are weak because contractors follow building standards to ensure they are safe for occupants and can withstand natural calamities like cyclones. However, metal structures have better chances of withstanding forces that exceed their maximum allowable load. This inherent sturdiness of barndos can help protect your family and valuables as well as preserve your investment. 

Metal is non-combustible, making it ideal for building a house in Utah, where wildfires are common. However, even though a metal barndo won’t combust, extremely high temperatures can warp or deform the metal. 

Termites are common in Utah, and having a barndo can help you avoid these destructive pests. Since steel doesn’t attract termites and bees, you can preserve your structure, preventing costly repairs and pest extermination expenses. 

  • Excellent for outdoor living – A barndo is a perfect choice if you live in a state with a fantastic landscape like Utah. You can install a wrap-around porch where you can take your breakfast or afternoon snack while enjoying the majestic natural scenery. Join our Facebook group to see more ideas on how to improve your barndominium’s outdoor design. 
  • Open-concept design – Having a barndo for a home lets you take advantage of an open-concept design. What’s great about an open-concept design is that it allows you to maximize small floor space. A free-flowing house design creates an illusion of space to make your house look bigger than it is. Our Pinterest account has floor plan ideas you might like to use as you plan your barndominium. 
  • Requires minimal maintenance – One of the burdens of having a house is the high maintenance cost if you want to keep your house in tip-top condition, whereas a barndominium requires less maintenance than a traditional home. Aside from repainting your home from time to time and replacing a dented siding sheet, a barndominium requires little else; no need to worry about replacing broken shingles or rotten wood panels. This translates into savings you can channel to other essentials like a college fund or a much-needed family vacation. 

Disadvantages

  • Modest design options – Barndos typically look the same and offer limited design options, so they might not be the best choice if you want a complex house design. However, it is easy to overcome these design limitations if you let your creative side take over since you can still design an appealing interior. 
  • Limited exterior treatments – Barndominiums offer limited choices in exterior treatments compared to conventional houses. The most common options include metal or vinyl sidings. If you prefer stonework for your house exterior, you can incorporate it into the wainscot of your home. 
  • Limited resale market – Although barndominiums are steadily gaining popularity, they still appeal to a niche market, so you might encounter difficulties looking for a buyer if you decide to sell in the future. However, you can take advantage of the numerous online groups catering to barndominium enthusiasts, where you might find aspiring homeowners seeking to buy barndos. 

Regulations

Before building your barndominium in Utah, familiarize yourself with building regulations and obtain the requisite permits. Possessing the necessary permits can help you avoid getting your construction project halted or cited for violations. It can also help you avoid the hefty fines accompanying the said violations. 

Generally, the requirements for building a barndominium are the same as those for building a conventional house. However, some counties have regulations that might differ from other areas. For example, Cache County requires the submission of a completed Utility Connection Agreement, while Summit County’s checklist does not include the said document. Check your county’s website for a complete requirements checklist, or visit your local council. 

Taxes

Barndominium taxes differ from state to state and depend on the property tax assessment sent to you. However, it is essential to note that bardos in Utah fall under a “dual-use construction” category, requiring one to pay a different tax rate for the living and storage areas. Begin by getting in touch with the local tax assessor’s office to get your property assessed. The property tax assessment will dictate how much you need to pay and the rate between different portions of your home.

Insurance

One limitation of Bardominium insurance in Utah is that most insurance companies do not provide covers for buildings with metal slidings. However, this shouldn’t discourage you as there are companies which will cover your barndo. Start by finding an insurance agent who has covered similar houses to assist you in finding the right policy.  It is also worth noting that according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Association, the State of Utah has one of the most affordable insurance premiums in the entire United States.

Barndominium insurance can also go a long way in protecting your investment by providing you with a fund for rebuilding/repairing your barndominium in case of a total/partial loss.  

Financing

Building a barndominium is a significant financial undertaking, and getting the backing of an established financial institution can help minimize the financial strain on your family. Barndominium financing can ensure you have enough funds to bring your dream barndo to life much faster.

Farm Credit lenders are excellent options for financing your barndominium. Local banks are also great options, especially if you have an account with them. According to Facebook user Chris B., one thing to remember when applying for a loan is to “Stop calling it a Bardo. Banks freak out when they hear that.” 

Financing in Utah  

Here are some institutions that can assist you in financing a barndominium

  • USDA 
  • Embrace Home Loans
  • Mountain America Credit Union
  • Sun American Mortgage
  • State Bank of Southern Utah

Builders

Choosing the right builder can ensure that you have a fantastic-looking barndominium that will last for decades. They can help you save time and ensure your barndominium gets built to standards. Below are some local builders you can work with in building your barndominium in the State of Utah. 

Beehive Buildings 

This pole barn contracting company serves the states of Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho. They only offer post-frame construction and not metal frames. They take pride in their craftsmanship, and their entire team has worked hard to guarantee customer satisfaction for years.

Premier Structures 

A company specializing in barndominium construction in Utah, Idaho, and Colorado. To provide the best quality at competitive prices, they partner with Lester Buildings, a nationally acclaimed manufacturer of pre-engineered structures and pole barns.

Utah Barndominium Pros

Specializes in barndominium planning and construction, as well as supplying barndominium kits. They pride themselves as the top barndominium experts in Utah. 

RCB Construction 

Utah-based design and construction company specializing in barndominiums. 

US Custom Builders  

Southern Utah-based company with over 20 years of experience specializing in remodeling and new construction of steel buildings. 

You can also check our list of the best barndominium contractors who build in most states across the country, including Utah.                   

Kit Providers

If you prefer the DIY route, purchasing a kit from a trusted provider can help you avoid unforeseen complications with your build. Shop around for kit providers with excellent products at reasonable prices. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is also imperative to read previous customer reviews regarding their experiences with the firms. 

Western Steel Buildings 

Pre-engineered steel building solutions provider based in South Snyderville Basin, Utah. 

Great Western Steel Buildings 

Colorado-based supplier of steel building systems. They supply the entire United States, including Utah.

Worldwide Steel Buildings

Reputable manufacturer and supplier of steel building kits with nationwide delivery. Read our Worldwide Steel Buildings review here.

US Custom Builders 

Southern Utah-based company that supplies pre-fabricated kits as well as constructing custom builds. 

Sunward Steel Buildings 

Manufacturer of commercial and private steel buildings with over 50 years of experience. 

For more information about barndo kits and manufacturers that build and ship to most states, including Utah, check our barndominium kit providers article. You can also go to our Facebook page where you can find informative barndo-related posts.

Cost

The price to build a barndominium is challenging to estimate due to numerous factors, such as the size of the barndo, labor costs, and the type of interior materials you will use. 

According to Beehive Buildings, a 2,000-square-foot barndominium with a concrete floor costs approximately $143,000. This estimate is for a bare barndo without a finish. For a fully-finished barndo, expect to shell out anywhere from $100 to $200 per square foot. 

According to a report published by the University of Utah, the average median price for a single-family home in Utah is $460,000. Considering the rise in inflation rates that started in early 2021, the average median price for homes has steadily been skyrocketing, making a barndo a cheaper and more practical option for aspiring homeowners. 

Feel free to use our barndominium cost calculator to estimate how much your dream barndo might cost.

Where Can You Build a Barndo in Utah?

Utah is perfect for building a barndominium for your family, business, or garage. The state has many excellent rural areas, such as Manila, Springdale, Garden City, Midway, Highland, and Cedar Hills, where you can build your barndominium. These areas are ideal because they are small and rural, with tight-knit communities and a lower cost of living. 

Things to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in Utah

Before diving into your barndo project, there are some things you need to consider. These factors can help make your barndominium construction an easier success.

Building permits 

Consult the local council before laying down the foundation of your barndo. Some counties have building restrictions you need to be made aware of. Knowing the limitations of what you can and cannot build can help you avoid unnecessary headaches. 

Water source 

Ensure you have a source of clean water for your barndo.

Choice of windows  

Plan the placement of windows. Well-placed windows can help improve ventilation and promote air circulation. They also allow you to appreciate the picturesque surroundings. 

Outdoor living spaces 

Plan your outdoor spaces efficiently, like an outdoor kitchen, a living area, or a chill-out zone. For example, you might want to place your outdoor dining in an area where your family can enjoy enough sunlight during the early morning but not too much sunlight during noon when the sun is too hot.

Insulation 

Insulation is critical for any construction project because it ensures comfort in your barndo during either winter or summer. Proper insulation can also help you save money because it helps your HVAC system function efficiently. 

Is it Worth Building a Barndo in Utah?

Absolutely! Utah is an excellent place to build your barndominium. It has many wide, open spaces ideal for this type of building. It has many small towns and cities with low living costs, and building a barndo won’t cost you an arm and a leg. As a bonus, you also get to enjoy Utah’s fantastic natural landscapes whenever you step out of your barndominium. 

Start planning your barndominium by checking out some of the most fantastic barndominium floor plans and layout options you can use as a blueprint for your dream barndo. We also have a in-depth barndominium construction guide, informing you what to expect as you build one in Utah.

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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.