So just how easy is it to build a barndominium? And how much design and work goes into the entire process? Those are the questions we hope to answer with today’s start to finish look at our barndominium project at Old World Garden Farms.
It’s hard to believe, but after nine and a half months of building, the barndominium is now up and complete. And are we ever excited to take you through the process and give you a final look at it all – including a pictorial and video tour of the space!
Barndominiums are certainly all the rage, and with good reason. Not only can they be a great space to live in, they can often be built on a faster timeline than a traditional home. And depending on how you build, they can also save on the overall cost of a home building process.
The Big Three – Our Goals For Our Barndominium
With our barndominium build, we really had three main goals:
- Create a unique look with an open floor plan, allowing for plenty of space, light and views of the farm
- Create a low-maintenance exterior and interior structure that requires little effort to maintain.
- Make the home cost-efficient to live in using ultra-efficient heating & cooling systems.
I would have to say to this point, we feel as though all three have been met and exceeded. Even more, after living in the home now for a few months, we fall in love with it a little more each day!
One thing is for sure, we certainly owe a lot to Weaver Barns and a lot of incredible trades’ crews for helping bring our dream to life. It has been an amazing experience working with all of them from start to finish.
How To Build A Barndominium From Start To Finish
Today’s focus is on the completed project, but if you would like a little more background on the original floor plan and design, be sure to check out Building A Barndominium – Creating A Unique Home In A Classic Barn Style. That article includes all of the layout and design features built into the home, including a look at the floor plan.
You can also check out our Barndominium Gallery Page, which chronicles in photos the entire building process from start to finish as well. Now let’s take a look at the finished barndominium, inside and out!
Foundation – How To Build A Barndominium
The barndominium sits on a slab foundation. We have never liked having a basement for a multitude of reasons. For one, it significantly increases the cost and timeline of the build. It also becomes an easy area to collect and store things we simply don’t need.
Why No Basement – How To Build A Barndominium
In addition, having a basement can create all kinds of issues down the road – from leaks, mold and more. Finally, and maybe most importantly of all, by not having a basement, we were able to build our radiant heat flooring system right into the concrete floor.
Not only does it heat our house incredibly well, it is amazingly energy efficient with our on-demand gas water heater. That same concrete floor also serves as our finished flooring. We scored the concrete in 3′ x 3′ “tiles” with a concrete saw, then acid stained and sealed the floors.
Most visitors think they are actually marble tiles, but they are plain old concrete simply dressed up. And even better, they are virtually indestructible. The cost savings is incredible as well. We have no furnace, no big hot water heater, and no duct work. Just a small on demand unit that does it all!
Exterior – How To Build A Barndominium
The exterior of the home is designed with low-maintenance and durability in mind. The siding is metal board and batten (antique bronze in color), which is a unique product with a 50 year warranty.
With hidden fasteners and an authentic board and batten look, most visitors to our house don’t even know it is metal until they touch it. That was important to us because we wanted to avoid having the exterior look like plain metal siding. And with 50 years of no worry, it certainly is maintenance free!
For the bottom of the barndominium, we chose stacked stone. Not only is it durable, the look really compliments the board and batten siding. To soften up the look a bit from the metal and brick, we used oversized wood corbels in the corners and awnings.
Painted in a butternut finish, we love the way they really beef up the look of the structure. On the exterior, they will be the only items we will need to maintain over the years, and hopefully only every five years or so.
Metal Roofing – The Myths
To finish it all off, we topped off the structure with a black metal roof. Not only is it durable and long lasting, it also is great for our water collection system for the farm. It keeps the water clean when collecting (no asphalt), which is important for filtering purposes.
We always get a lot of questions about using the black metal for heat. It simply does not make our house hot, nor does all the metal affect our cell or internet reception at all. And with insulation and ceilings, we do we not hear the rain in the least.
Interior – How To Build A Barndominium
One of the aspects we love most about the barndominium is just how open it is. We found out with our last home build that you don’t have to have a massive footprint to make a home feel big if you can keep walls to a minimum, and the ceilings open.
For us, we spend and live 95% of our time indoors in our kitchen and living room area. So we put those two areas together in the plan and left them wide open. It certainly makes the space seem much larger than it really is.
The main living space ceiling soars 32 feet from floor to ceiling. With oversized 8′ tall, glass-front double doors and windows all around, we love how much light comes into the space. Keeping it wide open also allowed us to create a focal point with a stone fireplace in the middle of the house.
The fireplace is gas and will serve as a great way to economically add extra heat if ever needed. It also connects the large loft space above that serves as a game and entertaining area. To the left of the fireplace, we built a wooden accent wall from old whiskey barrels to compliment the stone.
The ceiling in the main room is all v-groove galvanized metal. We had this in our last house and loved it. It stays clean, reflects light well, and most importantly, never needs to be painted!
The Kitchen – How To Build A Barndominium
As for the kitchen space, we kept it wide open as well. We both love to cook, and we kept plenty of space between the island and countertops (5′) to allow easy movement. The center island features a small vegetable washing sink with a hidden compost and trash bin underneath.
For food storage, we placed the pantry off to the left of the kitchen. The pantry has an exterior door entrance to make bringing groceries in a breeze. I can’t say how much we already love and use that design feature!
For long term maintenance, all of the countertops are quartz. We had them in our last home and loved both the durability and look. To accommodate Mary’s multitude of cooking projects for her food blogs, we installed a 4′ Kucht gas range with an overhead hood. It has been a favorite for both of us ever since first firing it up!
Bedrooms – How To Build A Barndominium
We really wanted to keep things simple when it came to the bedrooms. The house has a master bedroom, bath and closet, and a separate guest bedroom and bath area down the back hallway. With large windows that overlook the farm in each, the views really are the star of the show. (You can view the bedroom spaces in the video tour)
Each bedroom has its own split air conditioning unit to control temperature. Although the floors are all heated with radiant heat, each split also has a heating unit if ever needed. There are a total of six split a/c units in the home, and the spaces cool easily and efficiently.
Between the split air conditioning and radiant floor heat, there is no need for any duct work in our home. That not only saves on the building cost, but also on the air quality. Add in that by using an on-demand water heater for both hot water and the floor heat, there is no need for an expensive furnace either!
Laundry Room / Garage – How To Build A Barndominium
To complete the living space, our laundry/utility and control room are in the back of the house right off of the garage. We love that location to take off muddy boots, etc. when working on the farm. With so little need for mechanical systems, our control room is located in an 8′ x 3′ space behind the laundry room.
For the garage, we installed doors on each side to make moving equipment or cars outside an easy task. It was a little design feature that really paid off! I can’t tell you how many times having a door has saved us from having to move something out of the way.
Finally, because we used inexpensive radiant floor heat in the concrete, the garage floor is heated as well. It will make it really nice in the winter for pulling in cars and watching the snow and ice melt away!
There you have it – a final close on an exciting project that has now become our home at Old World Garden Farms.
Here is to barndominium living – and to finally completing our dream structure at the farm. One thing is for sure, we are now going to have a lot more time to write those recipe and gardening articles! Happy Living, Jim and Mary
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