For many people, building a custom home is one of the milestones they aspire to achieve. The dream of living in a custom-built space to accommodate our lifestyles is something many of us work hard for. However, if you go through the initial planning stages of building your dream home, you might be turned off by the costs involved. We all have to deal with the rising prices of building materials and labor. This is why alternative housing, like barndominiums, is becoming more and more popular.
If you are in Canada and looking into building your custom barndominium home, you have come to the right place. This article covers everything you need to know about building a barndominium in Canada. We will answer questions like “can you build a barndominium in Canada?” and discuss some advantages and disadvantages. We aim to help you decide whether or not it is a good idea to build a barndominium home in Canada.
Table of Contents
- 1 Can You Build a Barndominium in Canada?
- 2 Is There Any Difference Between Barndominiums in Canada and the US?
- 3 Barndominiums in Canada Overview
- 3.1 Advantages and Disadvantages
- 3.2 Regulations
- 3.3 Taxes
- 3.4 Insurance
- 3.5 Financing
- 3.6 Builders
- 3.7 Kit Providers
- 3.8 Cost
- 4 Where Can You Build a Barndominium in Canada?
- 5 What to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in Canada
- 6 Is It Worth Building a Barndo in Canada?
- 7 Final Thoughts
Can You Build a Barndominium in Canada?
Yes! There’s no reason why you can’t. Building a barndominium in Canada pretty much works like any other house; plan your project, get permits, and start building it. If you want to ask around, we have a Facebook Group where you can interact with barndo enthusiasts. You will likely find someone who has built or is building a barndo in Canada.
Is There Any Difference Between Barndominiums in Canada and the US?
In terms of the construction process, there are not many differences in building a barndominium in Canada compared to the US. As mentioned in the previous section, building a barndominium home is like building a traditional house: you set a budget, hire a contractor, plan the project, get permits, and start the build.
Just like in the US, there may be differences in building regulations from different regions in Canada. Regarding the home’s features, houses in Canada don’t require a large air conditioning system like those in California. Canadian houses need better heating systems, though. In addition, loans and financing may have different rules in Canada, as well as taxes and insurance.
Other than those things, there are no differences between barndos in Canada and the US.
Barndominiums in Canada Overview
One of the most popular alternative housing choices is barndominiums. They are a cost-effective solution to custom housing for home buyers today. A barndominium is a home built from metal frames, sometimes timber. This type of construction is generally used for workshops, storages, and barns. With some architectural creativity and proper planning, people find these types of buildings can be turned into amazing custom homes.
The use of metal frames allows for greater flexibility in design and can be more durable and efficient than traditional construction methods. People find that open floor plans and the large spaces of barndominiums allow for a more relaxed and comfortable lifestyle. Our Instagram showcases a vast collection of barndo builds you can draw ideas from. If you are tired of the same old cookie-cutter homes on the market, consider building a barndominium in Canada.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Before you consider building a barndo in Canada, we need to lay out the pros and cons of building a barndominium to assess whether or not a barndominium will meet your needs. Let’s take a look at the good and the bad of building a barndominium in Canada.
- Energy efficiency – When equipped with proper insulation materials such as spray foam and structural insulated panes (SIP), barndominiums do an excellent job of retaining heat. This is especially a sought feature in areas with cold climates like Canada. With good insulation, these buildings can stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
- Durability – Typically, barndos are made of steel which is known for its robust construction. This makes them the perfect buildings for the harsh Canadian climate. In addition, they are highly resistant to common house issues like mold, rot, and pests.
- Less maintenance – Compared to conventional stick-built houses, barndos require less maintenance thanks to the strength and resilience of their building materials. If needed, they can be easily repaired. This means you will save on potential costs in the long run.
- Multi-purpose – Without the need for load-bearing walls, barndominiums’ construction allows for a lot of space in the building. This is why they are often built for multiple purposes. While most of the space is used for the house’s features, the rest can be used for other purposes, such as a workshop, an office, or even a home gym. It’s entirely up to you.
- Quick to build – Because of the simplicity of the design, barndominiums are quicker to build compared to traditional houses. The building design doesn’t need complicated architectural elements. Another reason is that they are built using prefabricated metals manufactured in a factory and assembled on-site.
- Cost-effective – You can save a lot on labor costs by building quickly. This makes barndos a great option for those who want to build a house on a budget. You can cut costs even more if you purchase a DIY kit. This allows you to have the materials delivered to your property, and you can do the rest of the construction work.
- Resale value – Although barndominiums are becoming popular among new homeowners, the market for non-conventional houses such as barndominiums is not as huge as traditional homes. This makes them more challenging to sell. This is a disadvantage if you plan on selling your barndo in the future.
- Financing options – Since they are not as common as traditional houses, banks do not have enough market data to determine the home’s market value. This makes financing institutions a little more careful when financing barndominiums. When applying for a barndominium loan, you may want to refrain from referring to your project as a barndominium.
- Exterior aesthetics – Although this is not much of a disadvantage, some people are irked by the barn-like appearance of a barndo. The warehouse vibes of a barndo building may be a bother to people who prefer the look of a traditional house. The good news is that there are a ton of ways to stylize a barndo. Check out our Pinterest for creative ideas on how to design the exterior of a barndominium.
In the US, residential building codes are put in place to ensure that buildings are safe and accessible for people who live in them; this is also the case in Canada. The National Research Council of Canada issued the National Building Code of Canada as a model code. It holds no legal status unless it is adopted by a jurisdiction that enforces building regulations. Canada’s constitution allows ten provinces and three territories the authority to adopt and enforce laws and regulations. Therefore, building regulations may vary depending on the location of your property.
To learn more about the regulations, it is important to check with local building authorities to ensure you adhere to all regulations and requirements for building a barndo in your area. You can look up your local province/territory contacts here.
Like in the US, local governments in Canada rely on property taxes to fund various public services such as police and fire departments, schools, and roads. This tax is imposed on different types of properties and is a major source of revenue for municipalities. It is important to note that each municipality has its way of calculating property taxes.
Residential property tax rates in Canada are set by municipalities and are based on the assessed value of the property. The assessed value is determined by a professional property assessor and takes into account factors such as the size and location of the property. The tax rate is then applied to the assessed value of the property.
The Canadian property tax rate can vary depending on the municipality and region and can also change yearly.
Your barndominiums will be one of your largest financial investments. Just like in the US, most Canadian homeowners are required to have insurance as a condition of their loan. Home insurance protects homeowners from financial losses caused by unforeseen risks such as fire, theft, and natural disasters. While not legally required, having your home covered by insurance can provide a sense of security and reassurance.
Premiums are the amount you pay to purchase insurance for your home. Your premiums will vary by the type of coverage you get for your home; more importantly, they will vary from one insurance provider to another. It is important to research, shop around, ask for quotes, and compare prices before deciding which insurance company to go with. In most provinces in Canada, an insurance company can charge higher premiums based on your credit rating.
Barndominium financing in Canada can be done through traditional financing channels such as banks or private lenders. While the process is similar to traditional home financing, barndo financing may require additional documentation to ensure the property is suitable as a residence. In addition, proof of income and downpayment are typically required. Below are popular financing solutions in Canada.
Canadian Mortgages Inc. (CMI)
CMI specializes in financing custom homes. They work with over 250 lenders, including banks, credit unions, and private companies. The company makes the lenders compete for their client’s business rather than the other way around. They navigate through the complex process and paperwork and present their clients with the best offers on the market. They also provide answers to any questions their clients may have and help them make an informed decision on the loan that best suits their needs.
Farm Credit Canada
Farm Credit Canada is a federal commercial crown corporation accountable to Canadians and Parliament through the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. It provides financing to over 100,000 customers. They provide financing options similar to those of USDA Loans. Farm Credit Canada could be a great choice if you do agriculture.
Barndo Builders in Canada offer various designs and floor plans for your project. Most of them are willing to work with you to create a custom-designed home. The best builders use high-quality materials and construction techniques to ensure the durability of your home. Choosing the right builder to work with is a crucial decision. It is important to check the builder’s reputation by doing some research. Looking into their past works, client reviews, and credentials can go a long way. Below are highly-recommended builders in Canada.
Remuda Building, a builder based in Rocky View County, Alberta, was established in 2014. The company aims to offer a wider range of services for the construction of post-frame homes and buildings to meet customers’ needs better. Known for its unique finishings, distinct designs, and quality customer service, Remuda building could be the builder for you.
Integrity Buildings is an expert in the construction of energy-efficient post-frame barndominiums in Western Canada ( BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba). They keep costs low by utilizing local suppliers from the region to deliver building materials.
Goodon is one of the leading post-frame construction companies in Canada. They have a reputation for delivering high-quality work and exceptional customer service. Goodon has been around for over 50 years, and they continue to innovate and improve their services. By having multiple distribution hubs and experienced building crews, they provide efficient and reliable services to their clients.
In Canada, there are several companies that provide barndominium kits. These are pre-designed structures that can be easily assembled on a property. Typically, these companies utilize large poles or posts as the primary structural support and offer various designs and customizable options. Kits are an excellent choice for those who want to save on labor costs. However, some providers offer assembly services as well. Just like choosing the right builder to work with, researching kit providers is crucial in making the right choice. Below are the top recommended kit providers in Canada.
They are capable of helping you design your dream home by allowing you to tweak one of their standard plans or create an entirely custom home that is specific to your needs. Their buildings are sourced from Canadian manufacturers, and they are happy to help you with any help you may need.
Trillium Steel is a Kit provider that was founded by two experienced professionals in the construction Industry. They have been working together since 2004 and have specialized in designing and building steel-frame homes. If you want to purchase high-quality, customized barndo kits, you should consider getting one from Trillium Steel.
Metal Pro Buildings
As one of the top players in the prefabricated steel building industry, Metal Pro Buildings takes pride in utilizing the highest steel grade in the industry on their metal building kits. They offer full customization of the design and allow the addition of windows, doors, and accessories to any part of the structure. For those shooting for the highest quality materials, go for Metal Pro Buildings.
The cost of building a barndominium in Canada can vary depending on several factors. Where the barndo is going to be built, and the size of the home is among the major things to be considered. The materials used and additional features and customization need to be taken into account as well. Essentially, barndos can be built cheaper than traditional houses or in the same price range.
Due to these differences, it is challenging to present accurate numbers on barndo costs. On average, prices can range from around $100 (USD) per square foot up to $150 (USD) per square foot. Generally, a decent barndominium build is cheaper than a custom-made conventional home. For reference, a custom-built single-family home in Vancouver is estimated to be $430 – $1090 per square foot (around USD 320 – around USD 810).
Where Can You Build a Barndominium in Canada?
You can build a barndominium and settle in Ontario. There can be several reasons for moving to the east-central province of Canada. For one, it has plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. It is also home to Canada’s most popular destinations. The good news is that there are a lot of barndo builders in Ontario that can help you with your project. Two of the kit providers mentioned above, namely Metal Pro Buildings and Trillium Barndominiums, are in Ontario.
If you want to settle in a place rich in a unique French-Canadian culture, building a barndominium in Quebec might be your best bet. Quebec City, the capital, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its well-preserved history and unique architecture. Besides having a rich history and culture, you also enjoy a low cost of living in Quebec. In addition, Quebec has diverse landscapes with breathtaking natural beauty.
Building a barndominium in Alberta, a province in Western Canada, can be the perfect decision for those wanting to settle somewhere with high quality of life, safe communities, excellent healthcare, and education. Alberta offers a wide range of outdoor recreational activities. In addition, Alberta has an open immigration policy where people from all over the world are welcome.
Nova Scotia is a province in Eastern Canada suitable for building a barndominium in. The region boasts an affordable cost of living lower than other major Canadian cities. If you want to settle in a place with a strong sense of community, this is the place for you. It is known for its welcoming and friendly people.
A province located in central Canada, Manitoba is perfect for barndominium living. With its strong economy and access to healthcare and education, building a barndominium in Manitoba can be the best move. The province is also known for its low cost of living and openness to immigration.
If you want to settle in the western part of Canada, building a barndominium in Saskatchewan may be your best bet. The province is home to the vibrant and growing cities of Regina and Saskatoon. It is evident that the province has a strong economy and is rich in job opportunities. With various outdoor activities and an affordable cost of living, your quality of life will surely improve.
What to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in Canada
Before building a barndominium in Canada, it’s essential to understand the zoning and building codes of the municipality where you plan to build. These codes vary across the country, so your plans must adhere to the regulations. In addition, climate can vary widely across the country, so you must understand the local climate to design your home accordingly.
Is It Worth Building a Barndo in Canada?
If your goal is to build a custom dream home and improve your quality of life, building a barndominium in Canada is worth it. It is undeniable that the pros of building a barndo outweigh the cons.
Whether or not having a barndo home in Canada would be a good decision ultimately depends on your circumstances and goals. This article aimed to lay out all there is to know about building a barndominium in Canada so that you can decide on your own. We hope that it has served its purpose.