Building a Barndominium in Rhode Island | Best 2024 Guide

 Barndominium for Rhode Island State Guide
Ryan’s Black Gray Barndominium via our Barndominium Living group.

If you are fond of the sea and water activities, Rhode Island should be on top of your list when building a barndominium. The state has an astounding 400 miles of coastline and sandy beaches. Although it is the smallest of all the states, Rhode Island boasts many beautiful sights. 

This article will explain what barndominiums are and why you should consider one when planning a new building. We will tell you about their benefits and answer your questions about building a barndominium in Rhode Island.

Can You Build a Barndominium in Rhode Island?

Yes, you can build a barndominium in Rhode Island. It has many historical landmarks, gorgeous mansions, and coastal lighthouses you can explore in your free time. Because of its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Rhode Island is famous for delicious seafood dishes like its clam cakes. 

Rhode Island Barndominiums Overview

A barndominium is a barn-like structure that functions as a house, man cave, warehouse, or workshop. Older barndominiums were converted agricultural barns, modern ones are newly-built to resemble barns. Although most owners prefer metal barndos, some have wooden structures, while others use a combination of wood and metal building materials. Visit our Pinterest account for interesting pictures of a wide variety of barndos and design ideas.

Read our comprehensive Ultimate Barndominium Guide to learn more about the different types of barndominiums. 

Advantages and Disadvantages

There are benefits and downsides to building a barndominium, and we want you to learn about them, so you know exactly what to expect when you construct one. 


  • Shorter construction time – It is faster to build a barndominium than a conventional house because a barndo has a simpler design. If you are pressed for time and need a new building, a barndominium is an excellent option. The shorter construction time also means you can minimize labor expenses if you’re planning to hire a professional builder.
  • They look unique – A barndominium is ideal if you don’t want a building that looks similar to others in your area. Its distinct appearance makes it easily recognizable. You can use this unique appearance as a selling point if you decide to sell it in the future. Check our Facebook page for more ideas on how to make your barndo stand out. 
  • They can be multi-purpose – A barndominium can save you money because it can be multi-functional. Instead of building separate structures for your garage, workshop, and dwelling, put them all under the same roof by opting for a barndominium. 


  • A barndo can attract rust – If you decide on an all-metal barndominium, it may be susceptible to rusting. The best way to counter this is by applying an anti-rust protective coating. Fix leaks immediately to prevent moisture build-up and prevent rusting. You can try asking members of our Facebook group for tips on keeping an all-metal barndominium rust-free. 
  • It may have limited cellular coverage – One of the challenges of living inside a metal building is limited cellular coverage. Metal blocks cellular signal, resulting in dropped voice calls or poor internet connectivity. You can buy a cellular signal booster to improve reception inside your barndominium. 


Make sure you have a building permit to avoid construction delays and penalties. Since counties can have different regulations, it will be best to get a copy of all requirements and regulations from your local building and zoning office. For example, the Town of Charlestown requires three sets of building plans when applying for a building permit, while the Town of Richmond only requires one set. 


One of the downsides of building in Rhode Island is its high property tax. The average rate of barndominium taxes in Rhode Island is 1.53%. Counties determine how to compute property taxes, so get your tax computation directly from the local tax assessor’s office.


The average barndominium insurance in Rhode Island is around $1,221. Getting an insurance policy is crucial because Rhode Island is a coastal state and is vulnerable to floods and storms. An insurance policy lets you repair or rebuild your barndominium after sustaining damages. 


Financing a barndominium can be challenging because of the amount of money it requires. If you need financial assistance, try getting a loan from a bank or a lending company. 

The Mortgage Corner of New England

Licensed mortgage brokers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The Mortgage Corner offers USDA loans for those who want to build their barndos. 

Province Mortgage Associates, Inc.

Province Mortgage is a mortgaged lender licensed in multiple states, including Rhode Island. The company offers USDA, FHA, VA, and conventional loans. 

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Expert builders are excellent partners in building your barndominium because they know how to build it right while keeping construction costs in check. 

Custom Builders RI

Custom Builders of Rhode Island has been operating since 1984. Customer Builders RI provides home renovation and custom building services. 

C.A. Rollins Corporation

C.A. Rollins Corporation is a Massachusetts-based company that’s been operating since 1969. It offers full-service design and building services for customers. 

Caldwell & Johnson

Caldwell & Johnson have been custom builders in Rhode Island since 1968. Aside from building custom homes, they also handle renovation projects. 

You can also try using our directory of the best barndominium builders that take jobs almost anywhere in the country. 

Kit Providers

If you plan on building your barndominium, make sure you get a DIY kit from a reliable supplier. 

AB Martin

A Pennsylvania-based supplier of pole buildings, metal roofing, and siding packages to customers in several states, including Rhode Island. 

Allied Buildings

A company that provides steel building solutions to the New England region, including the state of Rhode Island. 

C.A. Rollins Corporation

Based in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, C.A. Rollins supplies pre-engineered metal buildings.

Check our list of barndominium kit providers that manufacture and ship to different parts of the country. 


The average cost of building a house in Rhode Island is between $240,000 and $540,000. This makes a barndominium a cheaper alternative because the price to build a barndominium ranges between $173,000 and $197,000, depending on the size and location of your structure. Try using our barndominium cost calculator to see how much your barndo will cost. 

Where Can You Build a Barndo in Rhode Island?

New Shoreham, Little Compton, East Greenwich, and Jamestown are excellent locations to build a barndominium in Rhode Island. These are small rural areas with magnificent natural features and architectural landmarks. You can spend your weekends exploring your surroundings and engaging with other community members. 

2 Things to Consider Before Building a Barndominium in Rhode Island

There are several critical factors you need to consider before building a barndominium. These factors can influence how your barndo will look and function. 

Barndo features

List down all the features you want to include in your barndo. This is important so you can create a proper layout of your building. The number of features will also dictate the cost of your barndo. If you are working on a budget, start with vital features first and add nice-to-have ones if your budget permits. 

Open or closed floor plan?

Although most barndominiums use open-floor plans, there’s no stopping you from using a closed-floor plan if you want to. An open floor plan can make your barndo more spacious. It is also easier to reconfigure an open-floor layout. A closed-floor plan is better if you prefer more privacy for all the occupants. 

Is it Worth Building a Barndo in Rhode Island?

Yes, building a barndominium in Rhode Island is an excellent investment. It has many historic areas with gorgeous mansions for frequent sightseeing. Rhode Island also has an amazing coastline and is ideal if you love water activities. If you want to build the ideal barndominium, you can use one of the designs in our barndominium floor plans collection. 

Read our comprehensive article explaining the process of building a barndominium in Rhode Island.