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Barndominium vs Pole Barn: Understanding the Key Differences

April 27, 2023

Introduction

Barndominiums and pole barns are both popular structures that have become increasingly popular in recent years. While they may look similar on the outside, there are some key differences between the two that are important to understand before making a decision about which one to build. In this article, we will explore the main differences between barndominiums and pole barns so that you can make an informed decision about which structure is right for you.

What is a Barndominium?

A barndominium is a type of building that combines a barn with a living space. The term “barndominium” is derived from the words “barn” and “condominium.” The living space within a barndominium can range from a small apartment to a large, luxurious home. The barn portion of the structure is typically used for storage of vehicles, equipment, or livestock. Barndominiums are increasingly popular among those who want to live in a rural or country setting, as well as those who want to have a large workshop or storage area adjacent to their living space.

What is a Pole Barn?

A pole barn is a type of building that is characterized by its construction method. Unlike traditional buildings, which are built on a foundation, pole barns are built on poles that are placed in the ground. The poles are usually made of wood, although other materials such as concrete, steel, or even PVC can be used. Once the poles are in place, the structure is built up around them with a roof and walls. Pole barns are typically used for storage of vehicles, equipment, or livestock, but they can also be used as a workspace or living space.

Construction Materials

One of the main differences between barndominiums and pole barns is the construction materials used. Barndominiums are typically built with a combination of wood and steel framing, with the exterior finished with metal siding. The living space within the building is usually finished with drywall, and the interior can be customized with features such as hardwood floors, granite countertops, and high-end appliances.

Pole barns, on the other hand, are typically built with a combination of wood and metal framing, with the exterior finished with metal siding or wood paneling. The interior of a pole barn is usually left unfinished, although it can be customized with features such as insulation, drywall, and electrical wiring.

Design and Layout

Barndominiums and pole barns also differ in terms of design and layout. Barndominiums are usually designed to be a combination of a living space and a storage/workshop area. The living space can be located on one side of the building, with the barn area located on the other side, or the two areas can be combined to create a single, open-concept space. Barndominiums can also be customized to include features such as multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, and additional living areas.

Pole barns, on the other hand, are usually designed as a single, open-concept space. While the poles used to construct the building can be spaced far apart, which creates more usable interior space, the lack of interior walls means that the building cannot be easily divided into separate living and working areas.

Cost

There is also a significant difference in cost between barndominiums and pole barns. While both structures can be customized and finished with high-end materials, barndominiums are typically more expensive than pole barns due to the added expense of creating a living space within the building. A basic pole barn can be built for as little as a few thousand dollars, while a barndominium can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Permitting and Building Codes

Finally, there are differences in permitting and building codes for barndominiums and pole barns. Since barndominiums include a living space, they are subject to the same building codes and permitting requirements as any other residential structure. This means that building a barndominium may require obtaining permits, inspections, and complying with building codes.

Pole barns, on the other hand, are generally exempt from many of these requirements. Since they are not considered “habitable” structures, they may not require building permits or inspections, although this can vary depending on the location and intended use of the structure.

Conclusion

In conclusion, barndominiums and pole barns are two popular types of structures that offer unique advantages and disadvantages. By understanding the key differences between these two types of buildings, you can make an informed decision about which structure is right for you. Whether you are looking for a large storage space/workshop, a rural living space, or both, both barndominiums and pole barns can provide a unique and functional solution for your needs.

Jason

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I enjoy designing and curating experiences both virtually and in 3-dimensional reality.
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