Tag Archives: barn designs

Maximize the Potential of Your Storage Barn

A well-organized storage shed isn’t just a place to stash your stuff—it’s a wise investment that can save you time, protect your possessions, and even increase the value of your property. Whether you’re storing vehicles, boats, ATVs, or farm equipment, an orderly storage building ensures everything is accessible and well-maintained. If you plan to build a custom storage barn on your property, here are a few essential tips to ensure you make the most of your investment and optimize the organization of your space. 

Implement a Strategic Layout

Buyers should start by considering the best layout for their garage or garages. The goal is to maximize space without sacrificing accessibility. Divide the barn into zones based on the type of items stored and how often you plan to access them. For example, keep all vehicles in one area and smaller equipment, accessories, and tools in another. Within each zone, place materials that you use most often at the front and less frequently used products towards the back. Consider the turning radius and maneuverability of larger vehicles like boats and ATVs when planning your layout to avoid tight squeezes and enhance your experience inside the space.

Opt for Adjustable Shelving and Storage Solutions

Flexibility is key in a storage barn. Investing in features that enhance how you organize, like adjustable shelving units, allows you to customize your storage space to fit items of various sizes. Heavy-duty, free-standing shelves or racks are ideal for holding heavy equipment and can be easily moved if your needs change. For smaller tools and supplies, pegboards or magnetic panels make great storage options. They not only save space but also keep your tools organized and within easy reach.

Enhance Lighting and Electrical Setup

Good lighting is crucial in a storage barn—not just for aesthetics but for functionality and safety. Installing bright, energy-efficient LED lights helps ensure your indoor and outdoor areas are well-lit, reducing the risk of accidents and making it easier to find items. Also, consider the placement of electrical outlets. Adding several conveniently located outlets to your design will make it easier to perform maintenance tasks within the barn and charge battery-powered equipment.

Secure and Protect Your Investments

Security is a major consideration, especially when storing valuable vehicles and equipment. When accessorizing sheds and storage buildings, buyers should consider installing sturdy locks and security systems with cameras and motion detectors. Additionally, ensure that your shop is weather-resistant to protect its contents from environmental damage. Insulate and weatherproof your barn to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to rust and decay of metal components and equipment. 

Regular Maintenance and Upkeep

Finally, maintaining the structure of your barn or warehouse and keeping it organized is crucial. Set a regular schedule to clean the barn, check for pests, and ensure all stored items, containers, and boxes are in good working order. This not only helps in prolonging the life of the items stored but also ensures that the barn remains a safe and welcoming space. 

By following these tips, your storage barn will be more than just a storage space; it will be a well-organized, efficient, and secure facility that enhances the value and functionality of your property.

Ready to take the next step in your project journey? Our team is here to answer any questions you may have regarding your barn plans, location, or anything else! Call us at (888) 975-2057 or request a digital product catalog here to gather more information for your project and begin designing your dream space.

Wood-Framed vs. Steel-Framed Barndominiums: Which is Better?

If you’ve been searching for a barndominium kit for your property, chances are you’ve already stumbled across hundreds of pre-engineered barndominium or barndo options online. From barndominiums with farmhouse flair to those with ultra-modern features and finishes, there are seemingly endless house plans for one’s project, making it exciting and challenging to choose just one for your future build.

While it’s natural to focus on appearances first, one of the more imperative factors in the barndominium research process is determining the best building method for your location, needs, and wants. Between steel construction and wood construction, you may be asking yourself: which is the better choice for my project?

Whether you’re just beginning your search or narrowing down your options, we’re here to help you make the most informed decision for your barndominium build. If you’re ready to take the next step in your project journey, continue reading below to learn more about wood-framed and steel-framed barndominiums and the top factors you’ll want to consider with either choice.

What is a Barndominium Kit?

More often than not, a barndominium kit is a prefabricated building package that is customizable to the homebuyer and comes with pre-cut, pre-designed framing elements for easy assembly. Using off-site construction methods, a team will prepare your package before delivery, ensuring all framing members are precisely labeled, fabricated, and ready for installation once they arrive on the job site.

Not to be confused with modular buildings, which are shipped in sections to form a whole structure, a prefabricated building package sees that your framing crews have everything needed to quickly and accurately construct your building envelope (i.e., your floors, walls, and roof components). Once they’ve done so, your contractor will finish the remainder of the build, ensuring total success with your barndominium project.

Key Features of Barndominiums

Barndominiums are multi-use structures that blend the simplicity of barn-style living with modern amenities and finishes. Many of these homes feature spacious garages and workshops on the main level, offering a unique and efficient approach to residential living. Of their distinct characteristics, however, barndominiums are best known for their flexibility and budget-friendly qualities. See why barndominiums continue to capture the interest of millions of homebuyers across the nation:

Open Floor Plans

Barndominiums are known for their exceptional flexibility and openness. With their wide-open floor plans and lack of load-bearing walls, these structures offer the ideal set-up for people looking for a versatile building design for their property. With a barndominium floor plan from DC, you can easily tailor your design to include things like bedrooms, bathrooms, a modern kitchen, porches, and more. Many of our barn houses come standard with open-ended garage areas, which you can adjust to include a workshop or room for items like skis, surfboards, or miscellaneous equipment.

Fast Construction

With a prefabricated barndominium kit, you can look forward to a streamlined installation process that cuts standard construction timelines by 30% to 50% on average. Additionally, prefabrication ensures better, more accurate results for your build while significantly reducing the amount of waste, noise, and pollutants produced on-site, making it an eco-friendly process with tons of benefits for homeowners.


One of the main advantages of choosing a barndominium design for your property is its incredible cost efficiency. Barndominium kits often employ numerous cost-saving construction methods, making them some of the more affordable custom home options on the market.


While dependent on the building method used for your barndominium, most barndominium kits offer an incredibly durable and long-lasting frame. As building designs, these structures provide optimal security and safety for homeowners and their loved ones.

Wood-Framed Barndominiums

Wood-framed barndominiums offer a warm and inviting aesthetic that many homeowners find appealing in a new home or structure. Wood construction brings a naturally insulating property to barndominiums, making these structures highly energy-efficient and cozy in various climates. In many cases, the flexibility of wood construction allows for more complex designs and easy modifications or expansions like extended square footage. With a wood-framed barndominium, homeowners can enjoy the classic charm of exposed wooden beams and the unmatched ambiance of these rustic structures.

Types of Wood-Framed Barndominiums

Barndominium designs encompass all kinds of looks, styles, and configurations—not to mention building methods. While most barndominiums on the market are metal-built structures, below are some of the most popular wood-framed options for those seeking a naturally rustic barndominium for their property:


Many barndominiums, like our Meridian Barndominium Kit, are clear-span structures designed with durable wood posts and trusses that span the width of the building. Vaulted wood trusses create a wide-open interior that doesn’t require additional structural supports like load-bearing walls, allowing you to do as you wish with your living space.

Post & Beam

Post and beam structures feature premium heavy timbers joined together by metal fasteners and connectors. The walls of a post and beam structure are positioned outside the frame, resulting in an interior defined by its exposed wood elements, vaulted ceilings, and exceptional durability.

Timber Frame

Like post and beam structures, timber frame barndos boast beautiful, exposed heavy timbers inside their spaces. However, the main difference between these structures lies in the way their timbers are connected, with timber frame structures instead relying on wooden pegs and grooves for a more seamless, traditional look.

Pole Barn

Pole barns are wood-framed buildings that use pressure-treated lumber embedded in the ground to secure their structural frame. While cheap and easy to build, this method usually makes for a solid outbuilding solution, considering its shorter lifespan and greater propensity to rot, moisture damage, and structural issues than a standard wood-framed structure.

What We Offer

DC Structures offers numerous time-tested building methods for wood-framed barndominiums, including clear-span, post and beam, timber frame, and conventional wood construction. However, for clients seeking a more cost-effective alternative to our signature heavy timber methods, our Meridian Barndominium Kit offers the perfect solution for your one-of-a-kind home. This clear-span barndominium design is a builder- and budget-friendly model with tons of versatility built into its framework. With our variety of options and upgrades, you can turn this barndominium kit into the home you always dreamed of and modify your interior and exterior to include the ideal layout for its intended use.

The Pros and Cons of Choosing a Wood-Framed Barndominium

There’s a good reason why wood is the primary building material for most homes built today. Wood is naturally insulating, renewable, and versatile, making it an excellent choice for homeowners seeking an energy-efficient and durable addition to their property. If you’re considering building a wood-framed barndominium, here are some pros and cons to consider with your investment:

Pros of Building with Wood

Cost Effective

When built with quality materials and methods, wood-framed barndominiums can be incredibly cost-effective in the short- and long-term. With wood construction, buyers can incorporate less costly materials into less frequented areas of their homes, like closets and garages, while ensuring durability is never an issue.

Easy to Build

Wood is known for being an exceptionally builder-friendly material that is easy to construct and lightweight. With prefabrication involved in the building process, you can expect an even faster and smoother installation phase that requires fewer framers and equipment rentals on site.

Aesthetically Pleasing

Wood-framed buildings are naturally beautiful, but they’re especially so when their structural materials are the focal point of one’s interior. By incorporating wood in your barndominium design, you can bring the natural beauty of the outdoors into your personalized living space.


Wood is an incredibly durable and structurally sound building material. At DC Structures, we source our lumber from top mill-direct suppliers in the Pacific Northwest, ensuring all our materials deliver superior strength and longevity for your structure.

Environmentally Friendly

Finally, wood is a renewable material that offers a low-carbon alternative to heavy-duty construction methods like concrete or steel. Its ability to absorb and release heat makes it a natural choice for barndominium owners across the United States and Canada, considering these structures offer built-in energy efficiency that keeps your living space cool in the summertime and warm in the winter months.

Cons of Building with Wood

Can Be Expensive Upfront

Depending on the construction method you utilize for your wood-framed barndominium, you could be looking at an expensive turnkey cost compared to cheaper alternatives. For instance, timber frame structures can be pricey upfront because of the skill, precision, and craftsmanship involved in constructing these buildings. However, to combat this, our team offers hybrid timber framing methods that allow you to pick and choose where you see timber frame elements in your structure. We can also utilize more cost-effective building methods, like post and beam construction and clear-span construction, to ensure you get the best value for your dollar.

Fire Safety Concerns

Building with wood comes with a laundry list of benefits, but one of the notable concerns of designing a structure with wood as the primary building material is fire safety. As summers get hotter and wildfire season grows longer, clients must equip their structures with fire-resistant materials that help protect their investment in the event of a wildfire. At DC Structures, we understand the concerns of our barndominium customers in wildfire-prone states like California, Oregon, and Texas and take our commitment to fire safety seriously. With DC designing and producing your wood-framed barndominium, you can ensure that our team has the best interest of you and your family at heart and that we’re well-equipped to help you design the ideal fire-safe home.

Issues With Pole Barns

Not to be confused with our post and beam, timber frame, or clear-span designs, pole barns are often cheaply built barns that people use as short-term building solutions. These structures usually last about 40 years and are highly susceptible to moisture damage, durability issues, termites, and rot. On top of that, pole barns are typically only designed as single-story buildings rather than multi-story homes due to their limited flexibility. In essence, pole barn barndominiums may seem budget-friendly upfront but can lead to further issues down the road that could cost you more money and less peace of mind.

The Pros and Cons of Choosing a Steel-Framed Barndominium

Steel-framed barndominiums are the most common prefabricated barndominium kit offerings on the market. These structures utilize prefabricated metal components, including posts, rafters, and trusses, that create a large, open interior expanse free of obstructions or additional supports. Liked for their modern appearance, openness, and customizable nature, metal barndominiums can be popular building options for home buyers. However, where there are benefits to these structures, there are also a few disadvantages to keep in mind for prospective customers.

Pros of Building with Steel


Prefabricated steel-framed barndominiums are generally cheaper purchases than traditional wood homes. Their budget-friendly nature is due, in many ways, to the abundance of steel materials on the market and the historically low demand for steel production in new home construction. However, with more people turning to steel for their barndominiums or commercial builds, the market is beginning to see a noticeable uptick in price for steel framing materials.

Easy to Build

Like our wood-framed structures, prefabricated steel-framed buildings can be quick and easy to construct, making them solid choices for those who want a building that can go up much faster than traditionally framed homes. With all framing components fabricated before delivery, you can enjoy a streamlined installation process that is budget- and builder-friendly.


Steel-framed barndominiums are known for their incredible fire-resistant qualities. These buildings can withstand extreme heat without sustaining damage, making them an excellent option for high-rise buildings, production facilities, and outbuildings.


Steel is one of the most resilient building materials on the market. As a material, steel is known to stand up to extreme weather conditions, including high winds, heavy snow, and intense heat. However, metal-framed structures do require additional upgrades and reinforcements to make them livable in various temperatures.

Cons of Building with Steel

Not Environmentally Friendly

Steel production contributes to about 7% of global carbon dioxide emissions, with its production process being one of the most carbon-intensive in the industrial sector. Despite being one of the most valuable materials in the world, steel negatively contributes to our environment, with its production being highly polluting. As we look toward the future, green building materials like wood or carbon-neutral steel will be necessary to reduce the impacts of climate change on our world.

Poor Insulation & Energy Efficiency

Metal-built structures may be fire-resistant, but that doesn’t mean these buildings are necessarily safe in high heat or wildfire conditions. Without proper insulation, steel-framed barndominiums can be incredibly hazardous in high heat, considering their metal components absorb heat instead of releasing it like wood naturally does. The opposite can also be true for these structures—metal buildings can be incredibly cold and unpleasant in frigid temperatures, making it crucial to add robust insulation, heating systems, and additional energy-efficient features to your design.

Can be Ugly

Let’s face it—metal buildings aren’t as pretty as wood structures! We said it, and we stand by it. While metal structures can incorporate wood elements, these buildings typically boast a more modular look that hardly compares to the beauty of wood-framed homes.

Difficulty With Financing

Since steel-framed homes are relatively uncommon developments, you may find it hard to secure financing for these types of buildings. Ultimately, where you live will dictate the type of material you use for your home, meaning if you live in a county or HOA neighborhood with strict restrictions for construction, metal-framed barndominiums may not even be in the running. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your local city office or potential lenders to see what options are available to you.


Choosing between wood and steel for your barndominium can be difficult, but it’s something buyers should weigh heavily before making their final selection. All things considered, we want potential customers to make the best decisions for them, regardless of whether that means you decide to partner with us or with a metal barndominium builder for your project. As you search for your ideal barndominium, we hope you’ll keep this list in mind and the pros and cons associated with various barndominium construction types.

If you do feel ready to speak with one of our representatives about your barndominium project, don’t hesitate to reach out by calling (888) 975-2057 or requesting a free quote here.

15 Ways to Use Our Barn Kits

Something we pride ourselves on here at DC is the incredible versatility of our barn kits — not just in the sense of what you can do with your design, but what purpose they can ultimately serve on your property. From backyard party barns to wineries and even “bat caves,” we’ve converted our building models into all types of structures for our clients and continue to surprise customers with the many unique configurations we can achieve.

Though it may be hard to visualize the possibilities for your barn kit at first, there are plenty of ways our team can help you create a one-of-a-kind structure that fully encompasses your needs and style. If you’re eager to get started but feeling unsure of what you want to do with your building model, here’s a glimpse at the numerous options available for your custom barn design. 

Barn Home

Let’s say you love the look of our Oakridge Apartment Barn Kit but want it to function as a barn-style home for you and your family. With the help of our talented in-house designers, you can easily create a beautiful, long-lasting residence based on our Oakridge or any other barn design you see fit! We offer hundreds of customization options for your structure to ensure your barn home matches your personality and taste. We can also combine multiple building kits to create an all-encompassing residence that meets your every need. 


Barndominiums are all the rage with millennials, and it’s not hard to see why. With their classic barn-style appearance and multi-use layouts, barndominiums make attractive and efficient structures that can serve several unique purposes on your property. It’s important to note that many barndominiums on the market are metal-built structures, whereas we frame ours with select grade FOHC Douglas fir heavy timbers. Before investing in a barndominium, consider what type of barndominium you’re looking for in terms of material use, style, and function. 

Event Venue 

Whether you’re planning to build an all-inclusive wedding and event venue or a simple gathering space for small parties and celebrations, we offer dozens of pre-engineered barn kits designed to suit your needs. While most of our wedding and event venue projects started as event barn kits, we’ve transformed several of our other barn designs into breathtaking event venues that our clients and their customers love. 

Hobby Workshop 

Any hobbyist knows how important it is to have your own personalized workspace. With a prefabricated barn kit from DC Structures, you can turn your design into a fully built-out workshop tailored to your needs and passions. We offer a complete line of garage and workshop kits designed for the modern tinkerer or creative professional. However, we can take any barn kit in our collection and transform it into your ideal workspace. 

Vehicle & Outdoor Equipment Storage  

While many homeowners store their vehicles and outdoor equipment in their garages, others may find that their existing garage doesn’t provide adequate room for all their storage needs. In these instances, having a detached storage barn or garage makes a practical solution that will increase the value of your home and keep your prized possessions safe and secure. 


Have a vision for a winery or brewery in your state? We want to hear it! At DC Structures, we’ve designed a handful of wineries for clients in Oregon and Washington and would love the opportunity to expand our portfolio of DC-designed wineries and breweries. Our team has also transformed our barn kits into stunning distilleries for clients nationwide and could help you create a production space and tasting room that aligns with your business plans. No matter the complexities of your build, we’re here to help you get your ideas off the ground in any way we can. 


Worship centers come in all different shapes, sizes, and styles, from massive gothic cathedrals to quaint gable-roofed chapels. While we’ve designed a few religious centers in our signature post and beam style, we can transform any of our barn kits into an original worship space that more closely matches your vision. 

Man or Lady Cave 

Who doesn’t love having a personal space to retreat to from time to time? With a detached man or lady cave on your property, you can enjoy some much-needed self-care in a relaxing atmosphere that’s all your own. Whether you envision a sports-themed den or something like our client’s infamous “Bat Cave,” our team can help you create the right look and vibe for your private oasis. 

Business/Office Space

Our barn kits aren’t exclusive to residential uses — you can also transform your kit into a commercial building centered around your business needs. We’ve crafted numerous commercial office spaces for clients in various industries and will collaborate with you to find the right floor plan, features, and size for your individualized workspace.  

Horse Barn 

If you’re seeking a beautiful home for your horses, look no further than our line of pre-engineered barn kits! We offer dozens of open-ended barn designs that you can modify and personalize according to your equestrian needs. With hundreds of premium options and upgrades to choose from for your horse barn, you can create a high-end equestrian facility that perfectly suits your lifestyle and those of your horses. Explore our gallery of horse barn projects to see what you can do with your barn kit! 

Indoor Sports Court

Whether you do or don’t consider yourself a sports fanatic, you have to admit that owning a private basketball court sounds pretty cool. With a custom recreational space in your backyard, you can work out, practice your skills, or play 2-on-2 with friends any time or day of the week. 

Artist Studio 

This option applies to all creatives, from painters and musicians to photographers and ceramicists. Our barn kits offer the ideal setting for those looking for a secluded space where they can be as loud, messy, or downright genius as they need to be.  

Mother-in-Law Suite 

Sharing space with anyone outside your immediate household can be challenging, especially if you’re not used to having a packed house for the holidays. With a mother-in-law suite or backyard ADU, you can offer your friends and family the privacy of a separate guest bedroom while freely enjoying your house after a night (or multiple nights) of entertaining. 

Collector’s Gallery

You have an impressive collection that deserves its own showroom, and we have a line of barn kits that will make your memorabilia shine. With the help of our talented designers, you can create a barn-style structure that brings your collection together in one magnificent space.  

A Harry Potter-Themed Bar 

This last suggestion is partially a joke, but mostly Sirius. We would love to help you design a Harry Potter-themed bar — or any movie-themed bar, for that matter — on your property. While a barn might not be the most authentic portrayal of Harry Potter architecture, we can work with just about any vision you have for the space and help you transform your kit into a magical space that any muggle would adore. 

Ready to get started on your barn project? Call us at (888) 975-2057 or request a catalog today