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Building a Barndominium in Kentucky: Costs, Locations, And Tips

The idea of affordable housing these days seems to be a distant dream. House rent these days is also not reasonably priced and is, in fact, not a practical long-term solution either. And such issues look far from being solved.

These problems, on the flip side, gave rise to modern and cost-effective housing alternatives.


Take the modern housing style called barndominium as an example; a modern housing concept but with a ranch-house like structure. Over the years, it has become a trend among folks living in rural areas—be it in Texas, Kentucky, Indiana, and other states. But particularly to those who are into farm-like lifestyles. 

Having said that, you are probably thinking of building your own barndo in Kentucky? If yes, then this guide for building a bardominium in Kentucky could help you. 

What Is a Barndominium?

A modern and practical alternative to traditional housing, barndominium or barndo is a residential housing concept that features both the characteristics of a barn and a condominium. The structure is mainly a combination of steel and metal that, unlike the traditional housing concepts, is easy to assemble and build. Barndominiums in Kentucky come in a variety of styles too, from simple cabin-like barn houses to high-end homes too. 

Typically, a barndo features the following traits:

  • Concrete floors
  • Columns
  • Gabled metal roof
  • Big windows
  • Sliding barn doors
  • Rustic wooden stairs
  • High vaulted ceilings

But apart from it is easy to build and is a unique concept, barndominiums in Kentucky have also gained popularity due to their low construction cost. In fact, many consider it solely for the said reason. 

Barndominium as an Alternative

Barndominium as an alternative is not all roses. It shares a few drawbacks too that interested buyers should know about.

That being said, below is a list of pros and cons if you wish to build a barndo in Kentucky. 

The Pros

  • Low-cost construction. One of the most appealing traits about building a barndominium in Kentucky is the affordable cost of construction. From the materials used to the labor, a lot of aspects are relatively cheaper compared to traditional housing.

    The time of construction, for instance, takes about a few weeks only. And that will save you a lot compared to traditional housing concepts which typically takes months and even a year to build.

    In return, it significantly lowers the customers’ expense in labor.

    Steel, the main material used in barndominium, is much more affordable in contrast with hardwood, too. It is also way better in terms of durability, making it cost-effective compared to wood. 
  • Low maintenance. Another aspect that makes barndos cost-effective is how convenient it is to maintain. Basically, you would not need to paint and stain it occasionally since it is made of steel. All you need is a little bit of cleaning.

    It does not only save you time but also saves you money. 
  • Energy-efficient. Building barndominiums in Kentucky are also energy efficient. It is because barndo contractors typically use efficient HVAC units and exceptional insulating systems. Such a system can help you lower your utility bills down to 25%, and even up to 50%. 
  • Durability. Barndominium is a lot better when it comes to durability compared to traditional barn structure, too. Its main material, which is metal and steel, is incomparably tougher than wood.

    As you know, steel and metal are not prone to pest infestation. It also has a better chance to stand against natural calamities such as earthquakes, flooding, and hurricanes. It is also fire-resistant. 
  • Flexibility. Lastly, a barndo is versatile in terms of interior design and function. Barndo being open, with high-ceiling and large space is very customizable. Adding an extra room is a lot easier as well compared to conventional homes. It gives you enough space to do whatever design you prefer without making the area look cluttered or clamp.

    Apart from that, you can also make it both your home and your office—that is if you are working from home. You can add room for small biz, too!

The Cons

  • Initial cost. While barndos are cost-effective in the long run, that does not mean you would not need to shell out some money. It is particularly important during the initial stage of construction. Essentially, you will have to hire contractors, buy land in Kentucky, source out materials, and pay other building expenses.
  • Noisy metal roof. Metal roofs tend to be noisy as well, despite good insulation. So, expect some faint outside noise if you are to choose a barndominium.
  • Travel time and expenses. Rural living may offer you the size of space you want at a cheap price but if you are working in the city, it could be a bit of a hassle. It would be a little more difficult if you don’t own a car. 

Building a Barndominium in Kentucky

When it comes to building a barndominium, each state has different rules, land price, as well as the cost of labor. Even the materials that will be used must be suitable—the common weather, for example—to the area. 

That said, here’s a quick rundown of things you need to know before building a barndo in Kentucky.

Structural Options

  • Foundation. A barndo’s foundation is not that different from a conventional housing’s substructure. It is built with footers lining the all-load bearing walls. It may also vary depending on your preferred substructure as barndominiums can use a basement, a slab, or crawl space foundation. 
  • Roofing Materials. For barndos, common roofing materials will do. You can use wood shingles, slate tiles, or clay tiles. A 29-gauge painted metal also fits in Kentucky’s weather.
  • Framing Components. Depending on your preferred design, the structure can be framed in several ways. You can employ a red iron framing, for instance, with metal or wood stud if you wish your barndo to have a large roof and high ceilings. 

    The typical 2×6 studs 16” OC along with a 3/8 plywood also works well.
  • Interior Walls. For interior walls, the materials may vary but will significantly depend on your preference. Although the typical weather of the area may also require a specific wall material.

    For Kentucky’s typical climate, however, painted drywall works well. Stones, laminate, or tile is also great in adding an accent to your walls. 
  • Exterior Walls. The usual exterior wall options for barndominiums are bricks, stones, vinyl sidings, and even painted metal. 
  • Insulation Options. When it comes to the insulation system, barndos can employ the standard insulation but with spray foam. The spray foam provides resistance to extreme seasonal weather which can help in keeping the utility bills low. 

Make sure to check and compare several banrdominium floor plans before estimating your building expenses.

Estimated Cost of Barndo in Kentucky

The overall cost of building a barndominium in Kentucky is typically determined by varying factors such as the preferred size of the house, the land’s price, the materials, and the contractor’s fee. But for the barndo alone, you can get a general estimate by calculating the price for every square footage.


For example, an average value per square foot of barndo in Kentucky costs around $99. Relatively cheaper compared to traditional housing which could cost up to $135 per square foot. But that is just the barndo’s structure. If you wish to add important furnishing like countertops, high-end finishes, and kitchen cabinets, the estimated cost could go high as $150 per square foot. 

However, if that is still quite high for you, contractors offer an alternative solution known as a prefabricated kit that—if you are a builder—you can assemble on your own.

Prefabricated Kit

While building from scratch has its own perks, some interested owners simply cannot afford the time, effort, and money one needs to provide to do that. As such, barndo builders in Kentucky offered a convenient alternative: prefabricated kits.

 A prefabricated barndominium Kit is a complete set of materials one needs to build the structure. It is a cheaper and time-saving option in contrast to building from scratch. Because rather than waiting for several months, the estimated time of construction is shorter. It can even take a few weeks only, depending on the size of the barndo. 

Moreover, barndo kits do not only come in one style. A lot of builders these days provide a variety of designs, ranging from simple, small cabins to high-end looking cottages.

Some, on one hand, provide more than just the shell. For instance, they also add extra furnishings like stained concrete floors, roofing, spray foam insulation, door installation, and even engineered concrete slabs.

Kentucky Land Prices

Another variable that could significantly affect the overall cost of building a barndo is the land price. That being said, Kentucky’s land price has increased lately. An acre, for example, costs as much as $3, 920. 

But if you consider the average residential space in the US, you will only need 1/5 an acre or 8, 600 square feet. So, depending on the size of land you would want to take up, the overall price of building a barndo will vary.

Permit Acquisition

Building a structure, whether it is residential or commercial, requires a state permit. As such, make sure to get a permit from Kentucky’s local government first before you do everything else.

Having said that, acquiring a permit for a barndominium is just the same as getting a permit for regular housing. Generally, here’s what you will need to provide:

  • Property address
  • Name and contact number of the property
  • Distinguish if its residential or commercial
  • Name of contractor or architect who will build your building
  • The proposed cost of construction

But apart from the construction permit, you will also need to get permission for electrical wiring, septic tank installation, plumbing, and also occupancy. 

Barndos Financial Assistance

Another great thing about barndominiums is that there are financial institutions that assist interested owners. 

Here are a few: 

  • Farm Credit. As its name suggests, it is a national agricultural bank that has been helping people concerning farm living. Farm Credit loans out a good amount of money for people who truly deserve it. In fact, it has distributed more than $4.6 billion since it started. 
  • Central Kentucky AG Credit. Another agricultural bank, Central Kentucky AG Credit also allows loans for barndo building. They allow anyone who wishes to own a property, no matter the background.

    It is a good option aside from Farm Credit.

Kentucky Barndominium Builders

  • J.C Pole Barns. J. C. Pole Barns is a company that specializes in barndominium building specifically in Kentucky. Its builders are experienced and are knowledgeable enough to know everything about building a structure using metal and steel. 
  • Blitz Builders. Blitz builders has been operating since 1981. And through the company’s experience and extensive knowledge, it has developed quality metal pole structures that are perfect for barndominiums.

    Blitz Builders also give a 5-year warranty upon the construction of the building. 

One Response

  1. Your article was very informative.
    We are a retired couple who want to be near grandchildren…. One of which is I’ll and we will be able to help in their care. Of interest we would like to include 2car garage, a 1story open construction, a wraparound covered porch…. Area for dog runs, as my husband shows dogs…an enclosed porch for family cats…. And some area for a few chickens. We absolutely must have a safe fenced perimeter.

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