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How Much Does a 1,500 Square Foot Barndominium Cost?

June 3rd, 2024 | 26 min. read

Nettie Grubb

Nettie Grubb

Nettie joined the FBi Marketing team in 2022 as the Marketing Content Creator. Nettie grew up just outside of Des Moines, IA. In 2016, she received her BS in Agriculture Communications from Iowa State University. Upon graduation, she has worked in agriculture sales and marketing. She moved to Indiana in 2020. Outside of work, Nettie enjoys quilting, crocheting, crafting, canning, gardening, fishing, and hunting. She is married and enjoys spending time with her husband and dog.

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A barndominium is a type of residential structure that combines elements of a pole barn with those of a condominium or traditional home. It's a metal building that has been repurposed or designed to serve as a living space. 

Barndominiums typically feature large, open floor plans with high ceilings. They often incorporate living quarters, workspaces, and storage areas within the same structure. Due to the clear-span trusses, they don't require load-bearing walls.

They are known for their rustic charm, affordability, and versatility, appealing to individuals seeking a unique living space that blends modern amenities with a rural aesthetic.

Renovating a barn into living space or building a pole barn home has been on the rise over the past twenty years. The cost per square foot is determined by multiple factors.

How Much Does a 1,500 Square Foot  Barndominium Cost?

In this article, we will break down the different factors for you to consider when building a barndominium: 

Cost Breakdown of a 1,500 Square Foot Barndominium

First, let's look at what size of pole barn would be 1,500 square feet. Many barndominium floor plans online feature a living area of 700-3,000 square feet with an additional garage or shop area attached. If you were to add a  40' x 60' shop to the 1,500 square foot  living area, you are looking at adding $35 to $50 a square foot or $84,000-$120,000 to your overall building project price.


Post Frame Building Size

We recommend building 8' on center, so you may end up with a 40' x 40' (1,600 square feet). When planning your building, it's crucial to consider the dimensions and height to minimize cost impact

Choosing a more square shape over a rectangle can reduce engineering complexities and the need for structural upgrades. Additionally, keeping the building height at 16' or less can help minimize costs by using fewer and smaller boards for construction.


Pole Barn Height

Building taller has several benefits. By going vertical, you can double your living square feet and pay less per square foot. The second-floor deck system with large spans provides support for interior walls, attributing to additional cost savings.

Arrowhead Pass_Web_800x500_7One way to achieve this is with a 20' x 40' living space. Going 16’ tall will allow for a second floor that is 17.5' x 40' to have 1500 square feet of total living space. 

Whenever a pole barn lists its height, it is not from the peak but rather the height of the side wall. The minimum ceiling height allowed by code is 7’-6”. If you figure 7’-6” ceilings above & below the deck system and 12” for the depth of the deck, it works out to 16’ total height.

However, we recommend 18’ or greater in most cases. This would give you a minimum ceiling height of 8', and in many cases, homeowners like to have 9’ ceilings.


Post-Frame Trusses

DSC09888You do have several options regarding the area where the trusses are. You can drywall or install a steel liner to cover the trusses. You can paint, stain, or leave them plain to incorporate exposed trusses into your overall aesthetic. 

The big difference in post-frame construction is that the trusses allow for a large open-concept floor plan. In stick-built construction, you are probably familiar with rafters. Our engineers can do a truss-rafter combo for some projects, depending on your project needs. Another option is scissor trusses if you want vaulted ceilings.

Ballpark Pricing

Below, we outline what you can expect to pay for each item to build a 1,500 square foot barndominium.

Please remember that prices may be higher or lower in each category depending on where you live, who is contracted to do the work, the quality of materials for each item, etc. These are given to help you with a ballpark number. 

Click the item to learn more about each item.


Low End

High End









Included with FBi Buildings price

Site Prep (drainage, pad, tree removal, etc) 



*varies on location




Foundation (concrete slab)



*depends on location, thickness, etc.

Foundation (basement)



*Varies depending on site & if full


$3/sq ft

$30/sq ft

*depending on length and material


FBi Shell (post-frame structure, screws, gutters, overhang & metal)

$45/sq ft

$75/sq ft

$90,000 (depending on features & height)

Roof (if Shingled)




Siding (other than metal)



Brick, Vinyl, Wood, Stone

Overhead door(s)




Doors (exterior)







*varies on style, size  & number




$3480* stone one side, steel on other 3


$200/linear foot

$250/linear foot















Septic System








*pricing depending on material and rooms may already have price factored in












*depending on type. Note that the bathroom & bedroom flooring may already be factored in listed price below

Doors (interior) each




Bathroom (each)




Bedroom (10’ x 12’)








Laundry Room




Living Room









Sod (¼ acre)





$6/sq ft

$10/sq ft

$2,400 (400 sq ft)

Variations in Costs: Factors to Consider


One of the biggest variances is location. If you are building outside of a metropolitan area, you will likely have a higher land acquisition cost. On the other hand, depending on where your builder is located, you could save money on transporting crews and materials to your site.

Another factor that can vary in the location is the site prep. Site prep is the work done on your land before construction–finalizing location details, gaining access to the site, drainage, and more. This process allows you to identify and address site complications before construction begins. 

Site Prep, FBi Buildings

It's designed to prepare you and your building for success. Although it is more work upfront, it has the potential to save you time and money if done correctly. Problems are much easier (and cheaper) to correct before equipment and schedules are involved.


Customization and Design Preferences

Each post-frame project is unique, and we understand that everyone has a different budget. If you are looking for a hunting cabin that you want more basic and affordable finishes, you can expect to pay around $125 per square foot or $187,500 for the 1,500 square feet of living quarters.

Trey Rohrman_Suburban_800x500_15If you, like me, prefer the finer things in life and value quality materials, your project can easily cost over half a million dollars. A great example of a higher-end project is 127475. It has a 48' x 44' living space and a 64' x 64' shop. 

If we were to build it again in 2024, the shell alone would cost $305,870 due to the added porch, dormers, cupolas, and other high-end finishes. That price does not account for all the internal finishes, so you can easily take that number 2-3 times to get the overall project cost.

This may shock you, as you may believe the common misconception that a pole barn home is cheaper than a stick frame building. When building a residential structure, whether it is stick-frame construction or post-frame construction, you can expect to pay an average of $400,000. However, keep in mind that each project can go up or down due to the factors discussed above.


Quality Materials & Workmanship

Quality materials might cost more, but you will save money in the long run by not having as many repairs to do in the future. 

Some materials to pay attention to are:

It is easy to want to go with whoever is cheapest. If you were building a shed for storing your yard equipment, that would be understandable. However, a pole barn home is something that you want to last and keep your family and valuables safe and secure.

There are seven questions to ask your pole barn builder to help you identify if they are a right fit for your project.

Perhaps you are a weekend warrior and want to save money. Another option is DIY pole barn kits or material package. These would allow you the same quality FBi Buildings materials, but could save you thousands of dollars in labor.


Market Conditions and Demand

The rise of barndominiums and pole barn homes has been steady. Every day, we get customers inquiring about how much a barndominium costs, what size people typically do for a post-frame home, can you build a post-frame home on a basement, etc. 

That is why we release a new blog, like this one, on our learning center and multiple videos on YouTube and our social media accounts each week. We also have a suburban brochure we recently updated with project pictures and specs to help you decide what pole-building features you would like to include in your project estimate.

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Tips for Cost Optimization

If you've made it this far, congratulations! You are truly invested in learning about building a barndominium and its potential costs.

Most people want a big, fancy barndominium. They are shocked when they find out that just adding a porch can add thousands to the overall price.

Throughout the building process, it is important to identify:

  1. What are your top three must haves?
  2. What is your budget?
  3. What might I want, but could I add in the future?
  4. Prioritizing needs vs. wants
  5. What is your timeline?
  6. What, if anything, are you willing to do yourself vs. contracting out?

These are important to identify since it can be easy to get carried away. Just remember that having your pole barn built with its structural integrity in mind is ultimately most important. 

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DonVanDame_Subruban_Number 1-2Building smaller barndominiums involves many of the same fixed costs as a large building, such as land, site engineering, site prep, permits, foundations, driveway, septic, utility hookups, etc. These costs may be similar, but they are spread over a much smaller building square footage, so expect the cost per square foot to be drastically higher than what would be expected for a typical building project.

For example, project 20-0493 has a 1,360 square foot of living area in their shouse. The shell would be close to $75/square foot. While project 460072 which has a living area of 1,536 is closer to $65 per square foot.


Financing Options for Barndominiums

Allen Huff_Pole Barn Home_732x575Sometimes, financing a pole barn home is challenging. When banks mortgage any construction project, they look at comparable properties in your area. There isn't a standard size or even style, for that matter, in pole barn home construction. As you have learned in this article, a pole barn home could cost around a quarter of a million to well over half a million dollars.

However, with their rise in popularity, there are more options than ever before. There are even barndominium communities popping up! If you are looking for a lender, we have put together a list of six lenders we recommend. 

Challenges and Considerations

Keep in mind that pole barns might not be allowed in areas with specific zoning and building requirements. Do some research on the permits and building requirements in your county.

One of the benefits of metal roofs and siding is the reduced maintenance and long-term costs. However, they are not bulletproof. We have literally repaired bullet holes, hail damage, and other storm-related repairs.

Pole Barn Homes_Kathleen SimkoLike any home, it is good to inspect your pole barn each spring for any repairs or maintenance that need to be addressed.

The biggest unknown of pole barn homes is resale value. This is something worth checking with your local real estate agent for your area. Since the pole barn homes started about two decades ago and have rapidly increased over the past decade, there aren't many who have resold. 

Many barndominiums are custom-built to what the customer wanted, so it is unclear when compared to a stick-built home if they will sell as quickly or for as much per square foot.


Are You Ready to Build Your Barndominium?

Barndominiums have become a popular housing option for those looking for a unique and cost-effective living space. The cost of a 1,500 square foot barndominium can vary depending on factors such as location, materials used, and customization options. 

On average, a 1,500 square foot barndominium costs between $187,000 and $600,000. However, the overall project price can increase significantly if you choose high-end finishes or add additional features such as a loft or garage. 

When planning your barndominium project, it's important to carefully consider your budget and priorities to ensure that you get the most value for your money.

If you are ready to get your FREE quote, contact us at 800.552.2981 or click the button below.

Pole Barn Quote_FBi Buildings

Have more questions about pole barn trusses not covered in this article? Please contact FBi Buildings at 1.800.552.2981 or click here to email us. If you are ready to get a price, click here to request a quote and a member of our sales team will call you.