Tag Archives: barn homes

Barndominiums 101: What They Are & What We Offer

Barndominiums, or barndos for short, are some of the most popular home designs to emerge in the 21st century; and for those who love the look of classic American barns, it’s not difficult to see why! With their wide-open interiors, high ceilings, and modern design features, barndominiums make beautiful family residences that are both highly unique and timeless in their appearance. Although there’s been some debate in recent years over what a barndominium is, the reality is a barndo can be many things depending on how you see it. If you’re interested in learning more about barndominiums, their origin, and, more importantly, what we offer in the way of these structures, keep reading below! 

What is a Barndominium?

As the name suggests, barndominiums are essentially part barn and part condominium in the sense that they offer the aesthetic of a traditional barn and the function of a condo or home. Though primarily designed for living, barndominiums can also include hobby workshops, garages, horse stalls, or anything else you envision, making them the perfect fit for those seeking a multi-purpose structure. In many ways, barndominiums are synonymous with our barns with living quarters and barn home designs, considering all three offer similar features and floor plans. However, the primary difference between our offering and most barndominiums on the market lies in the construction method used to create these structures, as we typically use post and beam construction or timber framing as opposed to steel framing or post-frame construction

Where Did the Term Barndominium Originate? 

Despite being a relatively new concept, it may surprise you to learn that the term barndominium has existed for over three decades. Initially coined by Connecticut real estate developer Karl Nilsen in 1989 to describe residential properties that include boarding facilities, barndominiums now encompass everything from renovated barns to metal-built barn kits and pre-engineered wood buildings. Although Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper are to thank for breathing new life into the term, a big reason barndominiums are so popular today is their affordability and ease of construction. While barndominiums converted from old horse barns and agricultural barns can be expensive and time-consuming to renovate, the average barndominium is a prefabricated, steel-framed building that is generally cheap and easy to build. 

What We Offer

We typically use post and beam construction or timber framing to create our “barndominium” structures. Though these methods are generally more costly than steel framing or post-frame construction, there are a few excellent reasons why we utilize heavy timber construction over cheaper alternatives. One of our main reasons for using post and beam construction or timber framing is that these methods result in incredibly durable and beautiful wood structures that can last up to a century or longer. While steel-framed or post-frame barndominiums may come with low upfront costs, these structures will only last up to 50 years if maintained properly and are usually far less attractive and unique than their heavy timber counterparts.

Another reason for using post and beam or timber frame construction is that these methods offer superior insulation for your barndominium project. Considering wood is a naturally insulating building material, you can expect your structure to keep you and your family warm and cozy during the wintertime; whereas with steel-framed or post-frame barndominiums, you may not even be able to build these structures in areas that experience extreme cold because of their poor insulation qualities. Though homeowners can add winterization features to their steel-framed or post-frame barndo, this means spending more money on something that won’t last that long and doesn’t have the infrastructure to handle certain climates or weather occurrences. 

Lastly, a huge reason why our offering is far better than steel-framed and post-framed barndominium kits is that we offer the same benefits associated with these builds minus many of the setbacks. We utilize prefabrication as part of our process, which means all the framing lumber used to create your walls, roof, and floor components is pre-cut, drilled, and labeled before arriving on your job site. As a result, our clients can expect a highly efficient and accurate framing process that takes 30% to 50% fewer framing hours than a conventional build and saves them considerable time and money during construction. Our barndominium-style structures also include several desirable features associated with steel-framed barndominiums, including vaulted ceilings and open-concept layouts, while featuring exposed heavy timbers that only come with post and beam and timber frame structures. This added touch makes a considerable difference inside your space, as these exposed timbers will give your barndo a truly authentic barn appearance. 

Thinking of building a post and beam or timber frame barndominium on your property? Request a free quote today or give us a call at (888) 975-2057! 

 

Say Yes to Barn Home Kit Dormers

dormers

Heavy timber architecture done right can make any structure look like an old German fairy tale. There is something honest about an exposed joinery, and the smell of freshly shaved cedar or fir. But sometimes there are limits; times in which elegance must intersect with a designer’s pragmatism.

Shed dormers are used fairly indiscriminately throughout our barn home kits. They help facilitate additional space in a building’s second story. Oftentimes they get a bad reputation for being ugly afterthoughts; band-aids for last minute attempts at fixing lost space. This is definitely not the case with us.

What makes a structure inelegant doesn’t come down to specific features. Every building’s elemental variable should feel intentional. A lazily-placed shed dormer can end up as an eyesore. Done correctly, however, it can be a beautiful confluence of practicality and beauty.

Shed Dormers and Gable Dormers

Shed dormers or “dustpan dormers” are characterized by their single-sloping roofs. A proper dormer should provide an average amount of headroom and space for windows. Keeping the dormer proportional in relation to the rest of the roof is the key to maintaining a more elegant look.

There are many different types of dormers included in our barn and barn home kits, although these usually incorporate one of two styles. The first, and most common, are gable dormers. These are smaller, more compartmentalized extrusions that reallocate water away from second-story windows. Usually they’re placed in rows of three, four, or even five, rather than as one solid mass.

The main type of shed dormer you see included in our kits is what’s called a Nantucket dormer. Multiple gables in one solid subscructure conjures much more space than gable dormers. Hybridizing these two elements looks and functions better than the typical fully-supported shed dormer.

Of course, there’s no denying the level of space offered by a shed dormer. We use them repeatedly in some of our more popular kits. Check out our new Pineridge, a slightly different variation of our Oakridge kit. Like the Oakridge, each size option includes two shed dormers. These play important roles in establishing and maintaining enough space in the upstairs living quarters among each variation—especially the Pineridge 24’, a no-nonsense two-story post and beam building design aimed at maximizing efficiency.

Ready to take the first step toward building your dream barn home? Request a free quote to get started today.

Rustic Inspiration: Barn Home Ideas

The barn home is a classic house design with a timeless aesthetic. With their throwback features and exposed wood finishes, barn homes can be otherwise thought of as houses designed in the style of barns or barns converted into living spaces. While barns may call to mind farm-related images such as livestock and dirty boots, the reality is that these types of homes are well suited for elegant personalized touches. When designed with a commitment to long-term durability and fine craftsmanship, barn homes make for great investments. Here’s a look at some of our favorite barn home interiors to give you a better idea of how barn living translates to a luxurious house that you can call home.

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If you’re ready to get started on your own barn home project, request a free quote today!