Pre-Planning Strategy for Building a Barndominium (Download Free PDF Copy Here)
Location (click here for video)
Settling on the right location for you is very important. Below are our best tips on finding the right plot of land:
1. You want to make sure there are no municipal restrictions or permit fees that will affect the costs, creativity or look of your barndominium style home. Some common restrictions we see are on the size of build (both minimum or maximum size requirements) and minimum masonry requirements, which cost extra.
2. You want to look for a potential and accessible build site on the land. Although not a requirement, you will save a lot of money on grading with a build site that has minimal slopes. There will also need to be a road to the build site for workers and crews to access the land, which is another additional cost to think about.
3. Is the land accessible for utilities to be brought in? If not, additional measures will need to be taken to get them there, like building a well or bringing in access points for electricity, which will cost more money.
4. We highly recommend spending the money to get a soil survey for an engineered foundation. This will greatly help ensure you have a structurally sound foundation.
5. You need to keep in mind all of these potential additional land costs mentioned above into your overall build budget.
When wanting to build, you need to analyze what you are capable of spending, whether this be through a mortgage or paying cash. You can analyze this by researching current rates builders in your area are charging per square foot for living space and shop/porch areas. You can find this out by reaching out to builders directly or by individuals who have built recently on Facebook barndominium groups. We recommend you get preapproved if you are working through a lender, and if you are paying cash, having a proof of funds letter may be necessary before you secure your builder. Once you have a set budget, it will help you determine what you can design or plan to build. For our company, we have a Barndo Cost Calculator (link here), where you can get a preliminary proposal based on square footage with our current rates online.
Plans and Layouts (click here for video)
When finding or designing a floor plan that works for you, there are multiple options. There are some companies that sell barndominium floor plans online, and you can purchase the full set from them on their websites. It can sometimes be difficult to find a plan that meets all your needs and/or will keep you within your budget. In this case, you can also work with a draftsman or architect if you want or are needing something custom. The two primary companies Texas Best Construction recommends are listed below:
The Barndominium Company
Ellis County Reprographics
When choosing a floor plan, be sure to take into mind that there are additional costs for special finishes. Common additional costs not included in our standard pricing that we see but are not limited to on floor plans are masonry, overhangs, fireplaces and fireplace hearths, extra showers, extra utility/laundry sinks, double doors, extra garage/shop doors, extra concrete (usually sidewalks/driveways), extra eave height (standard is 12-14ft for single story and 16ft for double), steep roof pitches, mud benches/drop zones, special or extra cabinetry, etc..
Financing your Project through an Interim Construction Loan
It is important to find a lender who is familiar with barndominiums or steel framed homes. You may want to consult your builder for past lenders that they have dealt with. This will make sure the builder and lender will meet each other's requirements and successfully finance the project. Also, if you have financed land already, the lender will likely buy out the loan and tie it into your construction loan. Here is a list of lenders that we have worked with currently or in the past or know will finance steel framed barndominium style homes:
Cowboy Bank of Maypearl
Options for VA loans.
Offering a one time close.
American National Bank
Melissa Smith -
Offering a one time close.
Offering a one time close.
AgTexas Farm Credit
Lee S. Statham
Offering a one time close.
Lonestar Ag Credit
Community National Bank
972-617-8700 Red Oak, TX
903-654-4500 Corsicana, TX
Charley C. Baugh
Locating a Contractor
When locating a contractor, you want to make sure they meet your expectations. Below is an list of questions we recommend asking your potential builder (Our company's answers will be below the question):
1. Where do you build?
Within 60 miles for turkey and within 100 miles for shell-only from Red Oak, TX.
2. What is your time frame?
We have around a 6-8 week waitlist once the contract is signed and you are fully funded and a 8-10 month building period.
3. What is current pricing for living square footage vs. shop and porch space?
Current ballpark pricing with standard finishes is $165-185/sf for living space and $60-70/sf for shop/porch areas.
4. What is included in the standard price? (interior finishes, covered soffits, overhangs, wall systems, insulation etc.)
Engineered Foundation. Stained Concrete, Laminate/Vinyl Plank or carpet Flooring. Basic Trim Package with 4 1/4" Base min, 1x Crown Molding in Master Bedroom, Living Room and Entryways. Custom Cabinets. Level 1 Granite Countertops. Includes Zip System on Walls, Full Spray Foam Envelope on Exterior Walls and Roofing. Single Hung Vinyl Windows (white or clay) Applicable HVAC System per efficiency specifications, Septic System per engineer recommendations.
5. What type of wall system do you use around windows and door flashings?
Huber wood ZIP sheathing w/ 2x6 stud walls.
6. How thick are your exterior walls, window sills and door jambs? (12”, 8”, 6”)
7. Are there beams exposed from the steel framing or are they concealed?
8. What r-factor is your wall and roof insulation for living areas and shop areas?
We use Red Iron Steel for framing, welded on site. We use 26 gauge r-panel for exterior panels and roof. We use closed cell insulation on the roof and open cell insulation inside walls.
9. What type of HVAC system is included in the price? What seer?
15.2 Seer2 (Comparable to a 16 seer)
10. What is your warranty?
Our warranty is a standard 1-2-10 builder warranty. 1 year on workmanship. 2 years on mechanical. 10 years on structure.
11.How do we make selections for the finishes on the interior? (Ex. Paint colors, fixtures, flooring etc.)
We use Buildertrend. In this app, you can upload your own custom selections or choose from a small collection of popular finishes we have pre-uploaded.
12. Can you provide me with a short list of references?
Yes, upon request.
13. Do you have finished pictures of previous projects completed or can show an example of a project during construction such as multiple photos or videos documenting your process?
We have a tour video of almost all of our builds uploaded on our YouTube channel, youtube.com/texasbestconstruction.
14. Are you willing to make changes along the way for added cost if necessary?
Yes, we will try our best to accommodate any changes possible for added cost.
15. What is not included in your price that I will absolutely need or potentially want?
Bid will not include any special finishes unless shown on floor plan or discussed prior to the bid. (you can see what is included with our standard pricing on question 4)
Bid will not include Appliances.
Bid will not include any permit fees and costs associated.
Bid will not include landscaping or bringing utilities from road to jobsite.
Bid will not include any extra flatwork or grading that will need to be done prior to building (this will be evaluated during the site-visit meeting)
16. Is there anything about my plan that is impacting the cost more negatively than others?
If you decide to move forward with our company, Josh can answer this question during your site visit, where he will evaluate the land and floor plan.
17. Learn more about your builder by asking about past success and challenges perhaps.
If you decide to move forward with our company, Josh can also answer this question during your site visit.
Getting Started and Finalizing your Contract with a Builder
With our company, after you have land in our service area, pre-approval or proof of funds, & have gotten a free preliminary estimate from our online Barndo Cost Calculator (link here), it is time to reach out to us for a formal quote. After we send out the formal quote, we will contact you to schedule a site visit meeting. Prior to formal quote & site visit, we do require a $500.00 deposit. If you use us as your builder, that deposit will go towards your build.
Once the builder has evaluated the land & project during the site visit meeting and you have come to an agreement on the price of the project, you are ready to sign a contract.
Once the contract is signed & you are fully funded, our company has a 6-8 week waitlist prior to starting construction. Once construction starts, we have around an 8-10 month building period.