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Building a Barndominium in Hawaii | Best 2022 Guide

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

Hawaii is surrounded by the sparkling waters of the Pacific Ocean and is an ideal location for a barndominium if you want to live in a tropical paradise. With endless beaches and lush landscapes, building a barndominium in Hawaii is like building your dream vacation home. 

We know that building a barndo is challenging, especially if it’s your first time, and we are here to guide you by providing you with the essentials of constructing a barndominium. We will tell you about their benefits and answer all your questions on how to build the best barndo in Hawaii.

Can You Build a Barndominium in Hawaii?

Yes, it is possible to build a barndominium in Hawaii. Hawaii is a great place to live in, with its teeming flora, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters. It has a tropical climate, making it ideal for those escaping the harsh winters of the continental US. Life in Hawaii runs slower and simpler compared to other states and is perfect for those tired of the hustle and bustle of city life.

Hawaii Barndominiums Overview

Barndominiums are buildings that look like barns on the outside. You can use them as living quarters, workshops, or garages. Some also use barndominiums as commercial spaces, churches, or gyms. Although most barndominiums are made of metal, some homeowners use wood as their building material. There are also hybrid ones made from both wood and metal. 

Read our Ultimate Barndominium Guide to learn more about barndominiums, barndo types, and other essentials if you want to build one. 

Advantages and Disadvantages

Before committing to building a barndominium, it is best to learn about its advantages and disadvantages. Learning about them more will help you appreciate them and prepare for their downsides. 

Advantages

  • Barndominiums are easy to build – They are easy to build, making them ideal if you need to move on short notice. The simplicity of their designs not only makes them easy to build but also makes them cheaper because their labor expenses are not as extensive. To shorten the construction time, you can also buy a DIY kit, so there’s no need to assemble the frame, trusses, and shell of your structure. 
  • Barndominiums can be durable – They can be durable, especially if you opt for a metal barndominium. Metals are more durable against earthquakes because they are ductile materials. They disperse seismic energy during earthquakes and can withstand considerable force before breaking. However, wood or concrete structures can also be durable against earthquakes if constructed following building standards. 
  • Barndominiums are multi-purpose – A barndominium is an excellent choice if you want a multi-functional building because you can have your living spaces under one roof together with a workshop, a gym, a garage, or a man cave. This can help you cut costs since there’s no need to build separate structures for different functions. 

Disadvantages

  • Exterior designs are limited – Barndominiums have limited exterior design choices since most look like repurposed barns. However, you can work with your home design expert to give your barndo a unique touch. Be creative with exterior color choices. You can use wall accents to give your barndo some character. Visit our Pinterest account and get inspired by the design ideas in our gallery. 
  • They may limit cellular reception – One disadvantage of living in a metal building is the poor cellular reception inside. Metal can deflect cellular signals and cause those inside a barndo to miss voice calls or have a poor internet connection. One thing you can do is to get a cellular signal booster to improve reception. You can also ask for tips from our Facebook members who may have dealt with this issue.

Regulations

Familiarizing yourself with your county’s building regulations can help keep your construction project on track and avoid fines or penalties. Some counties have regulations that differ from neighboring areas, so check with local building authorities to ensure you have a complete list of regulations you need to follow. A Kauai County building permit becomes null and void if construction does not commence within 180 days of the issuance of the permit. Maui County is more lenient and allows construction to begin up to one year after the building permit issuance. 

Taxes

If you want to save on property taxes, Hawaii is the state for you. It has the lowest property taxes in the entire country at just 0.28%. However, check with the local tax assessor’s office to get an accurate estimate of your barndominium taxes, as counties have different ways of computing them. 

Insurance

Aside from low property taxes, Hawaii also boasts affordable homeowners insurance at an average of $378 per year. Barndominium insurance is essential because it can protect your investment by giving you funds to repair or reconstruct your barndo if needed.   

Financing

Barndominium financing can be helpful if you want to start your barndo but lack funds. You can get a loan to build your barndo without dipping into your savings. 

Pacific Home Loans Inc.

A mortgage company with branches in California and Hawaii. It offers Construction to Permanent Loans to borrowers in Oahu, Maui, The Big Island, and Kauai. 

Bank of Hawaii

A financial institution founded in 1897 and serves not just Hawaii but also Guam, Saipan, Canada, and the US mainland. They have New Home Construction Loans with interest-only payments during construction. 

Builders

Working with expert builders in your area is the best way to ensure that your barndominium will last. Expert builders can also help you save time because they work faster and with minimal mistakes. 

Wave Builders LLC.

Based in Waipahu, Wave Builders handles new home constructions of custom homes. The company also offers pre-fabricated homes to clients. 

Silliman Construction Inc.

Silliman Construction Inc. is a family-owned construction company in Kapaa, Hawaii. They provide custom construction services to clients. 

Check our directory of the best barndominium companies that serve most states across the country if there are no available builders near you. 

Kit Providers

If you want to save money, you can build a barndominium yourself. Call a local DIY kit supplier near you to get your project started. 

Ohana Steel Buildings

Ohana Steel Buildings sells building kits of pre-engineered galvanized cold-formed steel. The company’s main office is in Texas, but it has a branch in Haiku, Hawaii. 

Hawaii Steel Building

Hawaii Steel Building has been operating for more than 20 years. The company manufactures steel buildings for agricultural, residential, and commercial use. 

CSC Building Systems

CSC Building Systems is a supplier of steel building kits from Sunnydale, Washington. They supply states on the West Coast, including Hawaii and Alaska. 

Browse through our list of trusted barndominium kit providers that supply multiple states, including Hawaii, to expand your choices.  

Cost

Hawaii is a touristy state; building a house can cost you between $400,000 and $2.25 million for a 2,500-square-foot home. The price to build a barndominium is lower at $232,000 to $265,000 for a 2,000-square-foot structure. It will depend on your location, though, because building near commercial and tourist centers is more expensive. Try using our barndominium cost calculator for a ballpark figure of how much your dream barndominium might cost. 

Where Can You Build a Barndo in Hawaii?

Hana, Hilo, Wailuku, and Waimalu are excellent for building a barndo in Hawaii. These are beautiful places, but the cost of living is lower than in other areas. 

2 Things to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in Hawaii

Before diving into the planning stage, there are factors you need to consider if you want a barndo that serves all your needs.

Barndo style

Do you want to have a classic barndo or a modern one? Or do you prefer to incorporate the island vibes into your structure? Decide on a design idea and use it to plan the rest of your barndo. Visit our Facebook page to browse for design ideas. 

Building materials

Are you going for a full metal barndominium, or do you favor a wooden one? The choice of building materials is essential because it will affect the overall cost of your project. Also, remember to apply a protective coating to a metal barndo if you are near the ocean to prevent rusting. 

Is it Worth Building a Barndo in Hawaii?

Hawaii has a tropical allure that makes it ideal for a barndominium. You can escape the biting cold winter of the mainland and enjoy Hawaii’s endless beaches and lush forests during your rest days. Hawaii also has the lowest property taxes, so you can save money in the long run. Check our collection of barndominium floor plans to help you find the best design for your Hawaiian barndo. 

Make sure you study our barndominium construction process article to learn more about what to do as you build your barndominium in Hawaii. 

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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.