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Barndominiums 101: The Hottest Trend for 2021

Housing trends are always growing and evolving, as people choose to ditch traditional homes for something more unique. Prefabricated homes, tiny homes, shipping containers, and yurts are just a few. These trends range in style, but all offer unique features that can appeal to different people. For homeowners looking for a truly unique home, these various trends are a great option. Barndominiums are one option that has gained popularity in recent years for their uniqueness. Read on to learn more about this style of home.

What Are Barndominiums? 

The term “barndominium” is a combination of “barn” and “condominium.” While they first gained popularity after being featured on a popular design show a few years ago, the concept has been around for centuries. 

The term wasn't coined until the 1980s by Connecticut-based real estate developer Karl Nilsen. Nilsen wanted to create a planned community around the theme of raising horses. His barndominiums would have had living quarters on the top and a stable beneath. 

While his plans never took off, the idea of barndominiums was born, and people adopted the concept for themselves. Today, it has become a popular trend that you can find across the country. They are a unique housing trend that has much to offer and is easy to customize. 

Features of Barndominiums

As a whole, barndominium designs can range from rustic to contemporary or modern, depending on the owner's style. The shape of these structures is generally the same, however, appearing like a large barn or storage structure.

In many cases, they are divided between work and living. The living quarters go on the second floor, while the first is dedicated to a workspace. For homeowners that do not need a workshop or something similar, the bottom level can also serve as a garage. Alternatively, the entire structure can serve as one large living space, with various rooms.

Structural Needs of Barndominiums

The traditional barn is a simple structure; it doesn't require much insulation or energy efficiency. Small barndominiums, on the other hand, do require these things to make them comfortable living spaces. By adding insulation, installing the right siding, and creating a more secure structure, you will ensure there is no heat loss or risk of mold growth, structural damage, or pests getting inside.

Barndominium Exterior Siding Materials

The exterior of a barndominium needs to offer the most protection possible while looking aesthetically pleasing. The two common materials include: 


For those who want to keep with the traditional barn appearance, wood siding is a popular choice. It is a more traditional siding option that is easy to work with and install. Wood siding, however, requires a great deal of maintenance, including repainting and repairing damaged pieces. 

Without proper maintenance, wood siding can develop water damage, rotting, warping, buckling, and even mold growth. It is also susceptible to damage by insects and other pests. Another concern to keep in mind is fire safety, as wood doesn't offer the same protection from fires as other materials.


Another common barndominium exterior siding option is metal siding, such as steel. Metal lap siding offers many benefits: it is a more durable material that offers fire resistance. Metal, and especially steel siding is also weather-resistant, eliminating concerns of rot and mold. Insects and rodents are also of little concern, as long as the barndominium is sealed correctly.

Steel siding, unlike wood siding, requires very little maintenance. Where you would have to treat and repair wood siding, steel will not have that issue. Instead, all that steel siding requires is seasonal cleaning to keep it free from dirt and grime.

Wood vs. Steel Siding

At first, choosing the right siding can seem difficult. You can get a beautiful, rustic looking exterior with wood–but not without the pitfalls of such siding. Steel siding offers durability and safety, but, to most, the appearance can leave much to be desired. The material chosen can greatly affect the cost of a barndominium.

For homeowners that truly want the traditional look of wood siding, TruLog steel siding is an excellent choice for cost effective barndominium exterior siding. Their siding has a realistic wood-like appearance. So realistic, it is difficult to tell it isn't real wood. While it looks like wood, it has all the benefits of steel, ensuring the barndominium has the most protection possible. The siding comes in various styles and colors, allowing you to create the perfect exterior.

Siding Matters

Barndominiums are one of the newest housing trends taking the nation by storm. They are a creative option for people who want something different than the usual home you can find on the market. These easy-to-customize homes hold a great deal of potential, but you want to choose the right siding to ensure it is protected. While wood is a classic choice, wood-like steel siding, like TruLog's products, offers both beauty and durability.  

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