What is a barndominium? You have probably thought about building your own custom home. You have crafted the perfect house in your mind with the amenities and features ideal for you and your family’s lifestyle. Building a custom home is one of the most challenging and fulfilling endeavors you could ever take on. If you have looked into the prospects of building your own home, there’s a good chance you will be overwhelmed by the cost and effort required to actualize your plans. You want to build what you love but realize you will have to compromise and settle for less. A barndominium just might be the perfect choice!
You don’t have to settle for anything less than your dream house. With alternative housing choices like tiny houses and shipping container homes gaining popularity, it is the perfect time to look into other exciting and eccentric ideas for building your dream home. For this reason, constructing a barndominium in Virginia is one of the first options you should explore.
Table of Contents
- 1 Can You Build a Barndominium in Virginia?
- 2 Virginia Barndominiums 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 Virginia?
- 4 3 Things to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in Virginia
- 5 Is it Worth Building a Barndo in Virginia?
Can You Build a Barndominium in Virginia?
Yes, you definitely can. Virginia’s climate is frequently referred to as the “Goldilocks Climate”, with warm summers and never-too-cold winters. The day-to-day forecast is often lovely, with winters receiving snow in the Western and Southwestern Mountain regions and moderate rainfall year-round. Summers can occasionally seem a little “sticky” due to an abundance of moisture in the air, but the forecast is typically pleasant.
Due to this, Virginia is the ideal location to construct a post or metal frame barn, whether it be for a workshop, barn home, or horse barn. The favorable climate and unique terrain are perfect for building a barndominium for aspiring homeowners. This article will provide all the requisite information to complete your dream barndominium in Virginia. For inspiration and ideas on barndo designs, you can check out our Facebook page, where we post a lot of barndo content..
Virginia Barndominiums Overview
Barndominiums, also known as “barndos”, are one of the latest trends in real estate. Modern barndominiums are barn-type structures built on steel frames, post-frames, and sometimes a little bit of everything mashed together. They are widely known for being both cost-effective and highly customizable. Barndominiums can be pre-fabricated and converted into custom homes or built from scratch.
Due to the simplicity of their structural design, barndos are increasingly gaining popularity among those who want to build a custom home but are on the fence regarding the expenses and trouble of constructing a traditional stick-built home. One of the most important features of barndos is their durability. For Virginia’s humid climate, the steel construction of barndominiums gives them the upper hand. This can save you from potential repair expenses for common issues like mold and rot.
If you are interested in having an in-depth look into barndominiums, check out our Ultimate Barndominium Guide, where we compiled everything you need to know about this type of construction.
Advantages and Disadvantages
You might be asking why someone would choose to live in something that looks like a modernized barn. However, barndominiums can be glammed up to make them look appealing and more than just fancy barns.
While there are several advantages to building a barndominium in Virginia, you should also be aware of the disadvantages we have listed below to assist you in making an informed decision.
- Low cost – The most attractive advantage of barndominiums that most people unsurprisingly gravitate to is their cost-effectiveness. From construction to maintenance, barndos are cheaper compared to traditional houses. Additionally, barndominium have much lower tax and insurance rates.
- Highly customizable – The interior of a barndominium includes the same amenities as a regular home as well as luxury features, including an open floor plan, a second story, or even fireplaces. Additionally, due to the spacious interiors, you can designate a working area that can be used as a storage area, a large workshop, or even a home gym. This working space can be customized to meet your lifestyle needs.
- Quicker construction – Due to the materials used and the simplicity of the structure, barndominiums are generally faster to build. They can take half the time to construct compared to traditional houses. With constructing a building in Virginia, as with any other state, time is money. As such, quick build times would help lower costs.
- Durable – The longevity of barndominiums is one of the advantages that makes them popular. Due to being mostly made out of metal, barndominiums are resistant to pests, rot, mold, and even fire to some degree. This is imperative when building a home in an area with a humid climate like Virginia. This will help you save on potential repair expenses.
- Energy-saving – Corrugated metal sheets are often used to clad barndominiums. When paired with good insulation like spray foam, the building becomes almost airtight, which greatly helps in temperature regulation. As such, you wouldn’t have to spend as much on utilities to cool or heat your home.
- Challenging to finance – Conventional mortgage options won’t likely be an option for financing barndominiums. Since they are technically not classified as houses. This complicates the appraisal process since there isn’t as much sales data to compare. While difficult through traditional housing lenders, we will look at other financing alternatives below.
- Difficult to sell – Even though barndominiums are gaining popularity, they do not appeal to the mass market as much as traditional houses do. This narrows down your buyer prospects to a niche market. Additionally, since a barndominium is often customized to your specifications, this may add to the difficulty of selling your barndo in the future.
- Unattractive exterior – Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely ways to improve the aesthetics of a barndominium’s facade. However, if you are not willing to put in the time, effort, and, most importantly, money into materializing a custom design worthy of ten thousand Instagram hits, your home will pretty much look like a warehouse. Although, there are many creative ways to work around this with reasonable costs.
Assuming that you already have decided to build a barndo in Virginia. The first thing you need to check is the zoning status of the land you plan to build on. It can be zoned for commercial use or residential use. You can move to the next step if it is the latter.
Otherwise, you will need to get a zoning permit. This process can be rather time-consuming, so it is best to plan ahead. You can ask your local government’s zoning board or search the property’s zoning status online through GIS (Geographic Information Services).
After securing a zoning permit, you can start acquiring all other building permits. This includes the building, plumbing, electric, septic, and mechanical permit. Some builders will be able to handle permits. Keep this in mind when choosing a builder that would help you with your project.
The way that barndominium taxes work varies by location. The tax percentages paid by two barndo owners can differ, even within the same state. This is because some assessors examine the land’s dimensions when determining what is taxable, while others just consider the living space and ignore areas of the property like the workshop.
Insuring a barndominium tends to cost lower for the same level of coverage amongst traditional homes because insurance companies don’t regard barndos as highly as typical houses. This means that owners of barndos have the chance to reside in a cozy, fully insured home for a reasonable monthly premium.
For most people, financing a barndominium in Virginia would be a requirement. Due to its unique construction, many banks might find it difficult to finance barndos. That being said, it is crucial that you plan this step. Below are helpful financial institutions you can approach.
Northpointe Bank out of Atlanta, Georgia, was suggested by Matt I. from a post in the Facebook group. According to Matt, that would also be the suggestion you would receive from American Patriot Builders LLC. If you’d like to connect with like-minded future and current barndo owners, join our FB group Barndominium Living here.
Farm Credit has covered you if you need financing for your horse barn, garage, or barndominium. The staff at Farm Credit are very helpful and will walk you through your loan process.
Founded in 1908, F&M Bank has been helping people get the requisite financing for their building projects. They are an excellent choice in securing a loan for your barndominium in Virginia.
One of the most important decisions you will make throughout this home-building process is picking the right builder. The choice of builders is quite vast, making it difficult to know which barndominium builders in Virginia will be the best to work with. The good news is that all of this info can be accessed easily online.
One vital thing to consider is whether or not the builders have experience building barndominiums. They need to be well-versed in specific construction methods for barn-like structures that have the essential features of standard homes. Not all builders are knowledgeable about building these types of unique structures.
Another thing to look into when choosing the right builder is client reviews. Knowing that the builder has a great history working with past clients is important. To help you with this, we have listed the best barndominium builders in Virginia.
Virginia Barn Company
Post and frame structures from VBC are explicitly made for each client’s requirements. Interested customers can schedule a free consultation with the Virginia Barn Company.
We Build Barns
Located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, We Build Barns are owned and operated by Steve and Cathy Vess. The duo has built dozens of custom homes to fit a wide range of budgets.
Country Wide Barns
From builder plans all the way to which style door knobs, CWB is there to make it easier. They can develop your builder plans, take care of all structural details, and give you an all-inclusive source to select all options from one place exclusive to CWB.
They can copy a previous garage, recreate a set of plans you find on Pinterest, or start from scratch with an idea you dream up. Their residential gallery is also full of past projects you can use as inspiration.
We have also put together a list of the best barndominium builders in the country that can build in most states across the US, including Virginia.
What if you don’t want to build barndominiums from scratch? Although you could buy pre-built barndos, going DIY is often less costly. Barndominium kits are one of the most cost-effective ways to go. Barndo kit companies can provide many choices in size, style, and floor plans. There is a wide selection of kits and kit providers that can ship across the country. Below are barndo kit providers you can check out.
Founded in 1999, Absolute Steel is a privately owned Arizona LLC. They manufacture the products they sell and promise to rapidly design and produce building systems that conform to your specifications.
Worldwide Steel Buildings
The kits from Worldwide Steel Buildings have customizable, personalized floor layouts that combine living space for residents and recreational areas. Although they are made to be DIY, they don’t leave you in the dark regarding barndominium plans. Read our Worldwide Steel Buildings review here.
We have also put together a list of the top barndominium kit providers in the country that can build or ship to most states across the US. This article will contain general info about barndo kits, not only a list of companies.
The initial cost of a standard structure for a typical single-family home in Virginia is about $77.06 per square foot up to $118.01 per square foot. Note that this does not include furnishings, plumbing, heating, or air conditioning. Typically, the cost of construction per square foot goes down as a house gets bigger and goes up as a home gets smaller. We have a barndominium cost calculator if you want to look into the exact figures. The extra money means you can afford custom luxury features.
Where Can You Build a Barndo in Virginia?
Now that we have all the nitty gritty covered, let’s find a good piece of land to build on. We can take advantage of the lightning-fast information transfer of the digital age by using online resources such as land.com to look into listings.
Be sure to check that the listings are zoned for residential use. This part is crucial. You can proceed if the land is zoned as a residential area.
3 Things to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in Virginia
What will your life look like in the next 5-10 years?
What this means is that before planning out your barndominium specs, how will your life change in the future? How will your lifestyle change? Would you be adding members to your family? Is there anything that you could add as a feature of your home? Remodeling will be costly in the future, so it would be best to put some thought into your build specifications.
Outdoor living space
Many people in Virginia love their outdoor living spaces. This is also a huge consideration when purchasing a lot. How would your barndominium blend with the outside environment? Would you need outdoor amenities like a wrap-around porch or an outdoor kitchen? If you are going to host barbecues on Sundays, these are things you need to think about.
Open floor plans are pretty popular nowadays. Fewer walls and more open spaces mean the family can spend time together while doing different things. Imagine preparing food in the kitchen while also glancing at the TV show everyone in the living room is watching. If you enjoy such activities with your family, consider looking into open floor plan layouts.
Our Pinterest account is a treasure trove of ideas and inspiration on layouts that you might find interesting. From there, you can spark new ideas on floor plans that suit your lifestyle.
Is it Worth Building a Barndo in Virginia?
With all our information, it is definitely worth building a barndo in Virginia! A custom home tailored to your lifestyle translates to a far better quality of life, and that alone is an opportunity hard to say no to. The unique appeal that barndos have is that the possibilities are virtually endless! Check out our wide selection of barndominium floor plans and take a peak into the world that awaits you and your family. These choices should help you decide on which one you gravitate toward.
If you also want to know how to build a barndo from the ground up, we have you covered! We have put together an article on the process of building a barndominium that walks you through every stage of constructing your future home. Welcome to the world of barndo living. We hope you enjoy your stay!