What is a Barndominium?

What exactly is a Barndominium? One of the definitions on the internet is as follows:

Barndominium is a combination of two words – condominium and barn, where the condominium is referred to as a building or complex, and barn has varied meanings. For an easier description of what is a barndominium, it refers to a non-traditional structure with sheet metal siding and steel frame. It could be defined as a type of steel building.

In actual life, the definition of a barndominium is broader than that, but includes the metal siding and metal roofing. The frame, however, can be wood or steel.

The concept of Barndominiums is one of the hottest trends going, but has been building for a long time. Why not? The exterior of the home is durable and maintenance free, they are economical, and the majority of the steel sheeting has already been recycled. We at NorthWest Arkansas Barndominiums love them for all of these reasons, but also because they are beautiful!!

Before you get too deep in this website, let’s be clear about what we do. We only build the outside shell. Both Ozark Metal Buildings (our sister company) and NorthWest Arkansas Barndominiums have their niche in this world and are committed to perfecting it, nothing more. This means we do not finish out the interior. If you are looking for a ‘ready to move in home’, we are not a good fit for each other. If that works for you, keep reading!

The "shell" is often referred to as "being dried in". Essentially it means the outside is 100% complete. It is insulated so you can heat it and cool it without it sweating and you can lock it up. This is a financial and legal turning point in construction. Everybody can take a deep breath, a sigh of relief, and slow down because we are no longer racing against the elements. Included in the completion of the shell is dirt work (if required), concrete slab or foundation, framing, exterior walls and roof, insulation, windows, walk-doors, overhead doors and rough-in plumbing.

Be fully aware and realistic with your time frame. NorthWest Arkansas Barndominiums usually builds Post Frame homes in about two months, Stick Frame homes in about three months and Pre-Engineered homes in less than four months. However, the interior portion of the build always takes longer. Most custom homes take between 10 to 12 months to complete. Thinking that you can buy land, build the Barndominium inside and out and move in within six months will be disappointing.

The engineering of these Shop Houses uses load bearing exterior walls. There are no interior supports, which gives you a blank sheet of paper where your layout can be anything you want. The inside is one or two huge open rooms that the customer finishes after we have completed our build.

If the Barn Home is all living space it will be one big open room when we are finished with our portion of the build. If it is a split between living area and shop, we usually build a transverse partition wall between the two that goes all the way up to the top of the purlins. This is done to keep shop fumes from entering the living area. This is much easier for us to do while we are building the Barndominium, than it is at a later date. Once the customer hangs sheetrock on the living side of this partition wall, it becomes a firewall.

To finish out the interior, most of our customers are doing one of two things. Some customers finish out the interior themselves because they want to and have the skills required. Others hire a reputable remodeling contractor that is licensed and can write a contract for more than $20,000 dollars. You are keeping a remodeling contractor in his or her comfort zone, the only difference is they do not have to rip out the old kitchen before building you a new one. – you are their dream customer! By hiring a remodeling contractor to finish out the whole interior, your Barndominium has only two people responsible for the entire build. With this, each contactor has their own clearly definable area of expertise.

As a third option, we have had a few customers act as their own General Contractor by hiring the individual trade subcontractors to complete the interior. This can be a money saver on your end if you have the time and patience. Bringing a building out of the ground on a steep hillside covered in trees during winter can seem like a daunting task. However, once you are standing inside a heated shell with rough in plumbing the rest can be easy. This is for the customer to decide and is begun once we have turned the shell over to you.









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Northwest Arkansas Barndominiums

2608 N 2nd St Suite 106, Rogers, AR 72756

(479) 278-2436
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For your next metal building, visit our sister company Ozark Metal Buildings


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