Jul 15 2021 / Buyer's Guide ,

Buyer’s Guide: Barndominium vs Houses in Sioux City

From ranches to colonial homes to McMansions, there’s plenty of diversity among Sioux City homes. One form of homebuilding that remains popular also keeps us close to our roots: the barndominium. Barndominiums in the Tri-State area can be as rustic or as modern as you’d like. They deserve a closer look if you’re weighing your options since it has some surprising advantages over other home styles. Here, Koskovich and Murphy answer a few of the most frequently-asked barndominium vs. house questions.

What’s the Difference Between a Barndominium and a House?

Post-frame home design isn’t just about designing buildings that look good. It’s also about managing the weight of the interior and exterior walls, the roof, and external forces like wind and weather. Different building styles, from a home to a skyscraper to the Tyson Events Center, are engineered to handle those stresses differently.

How Does Barndominium Construction Work?

Walls, roofs, and other structural elements are subjected not only to gravity but also to the weather and other natural forces. Broadly speaking, these forces are known as a structural loads. That load, in turn, is borne by the building’s foundation. Post-frame construction used in barndominiums transfers load to the foundation via exterior walls and interior trusses, allowing for wide-open interior spaces that are far more flexible than what you’d get when you’re relying on the walls to bear the load.

Your home doesn’t have to look like a three-car garage inside; you can still have as many discrete rooms as you want. But how those rooms are laid out is more flexible, while still allowing for amenities like floor-to-ceiling windows, quartz countertops, or stainless steel appliances if you want them. 

How Does House Construction Work?

So what makes a house different? Houses are “stick-built.” That doesn’t mean gathering kindling, but it does mean that a house bears its weight differently; its weight is borne by both the exterior walls and load-bearing walls inside as well. If you’ve ever tried to renovate a stick-built home, you already know one of the disadvantages to this: those load-bearing parts of the structure have to go in certain places if you don’t want the house to fall.

What Are Some Advantages to Barndominiums?

Barndominiums compare favorably to stick-built houses, and they have several advantages.

  • Safety: With better load distribution, there is less chance of damage from snow, high winds, and even tornadoes
  • Efficiency: Because there are fewer thermal breaks than other home-building styles, a barndo is very energy efficient.
  • Durability: As a post frame building contractor, we use materials and construction techniques that weren’t around when this building style first became popular; today’s barndominiums last longer than ever before, especially with proper post frame building maintenance
  • Customization: If you want a two-story structure, a sprawling ranch, a small and cozy farmhouse, or a configuration that’s completely outside the box, there’s a way to make it happen 

Do Barndominiums Have Any Drawbacks?

To be fair, yes. Post-frame buildings in general aren’t the best choice if you want a basement. Some jurisdictions won’t allow or place certain restrictions on, barndominium construction in specific. And banks and other lenders can be standoffish when it comes to a mortgage for a barndominium. We can help you to navigate these and other issues.

What if I Already Have Barndominium Floor Plans?

Good! We welcome your input. So whether you’ve already got an architect lined up, you’ve seen something you adore on Pinterest, or you just have an idea in your head that hasn’t made it to the drawing board yet, we’ll help you make your dream home something tangible.

What Does it Cost to Build a Barndominium?

As we’ve already seen, a barndominium costs less to build than a traditional stick-built house. But one thing both share in common is that the choices you make will dictate the cost. Size, site preparation, the kind of insulation chosen, the addition of outbuildings like sheds or garages, and especially the finishing touches like glass, paint, and electrical will also factor into the calculation. We’ll help you to plan, identify potential pitfalls, and help you stay on time and budget.

Why Choose Koskovich and Murphy Developments?

In some ways, building any kind of structure is the easy part. That’s certainly true when you have the kind of experience Koskovich and Murphy Developments bring to each project. But we’ve learned something else from our experience: how to make a house a home. You’ll get a structure that’s designed, built, and finished to perfectly fit your life—move-in ready from the day we finish. So call us today!