Want to build a barndominium in Florida? You’re not alone. Many people in Florida are looking to build this unique style of home. Why? Because they’re affordable and they have a rustic charm.
There are many barndominium Florida builders to choose from, but before you get too far ahead, it’s important to understand the rules. Can you build a barndo in Florida? How much does it cost and what is the process?
Yes, you can build a barndominium in Florida as long as it meets local codes and requirements.
You’ll find that rural areas of the state are more barndo-friendly because regulations aren’t as restrictive as suburban or urban areas.
Still, there are a few important things to keep in mind here:
You may be required to connect to a city sewage system if one is available. Depending on where your property is situated and where you want to place your barndo, this could be a significant expense.
You may be required to follow the International Property Maintenance Code, which may make some off-grid systems that are popular with barndos illegal, like using rainwater as your main water source.
Like most other states, land in Florida falls under some kind of zoning, whether it’s residential, commercial, rural or some other designation. You’ll need to keep this in mind because some zoning laws may make it difficult to build a barndo unless it meets certain requirements.
You will need permits for your building. Check local ordinances and HOA regulations to make sure you have the right to construct your building.
Building laws and regulations can vary from one local jurisdiction to another, so it’s important to do your due diligence before you start the building process. Understanding what you can and cannot do will make your life easier and eliminate so many headaches.
Top Barndominium Builders in Florida
Before you can start building your dream home, you’ll need to find a builder. Regardless of whether or not you already have land, you should know which builder you want to work with and which home you want to build.
Some of the top builders of barndominium Florida include:
MBI Steel Buildings specializes in barndominiums and was created by a group of steel building professionals. The company is one of the leading suppliers of prefab metal buildings in the country. All of their products are manufactured in the U.S.
MBI makes it easy to customize their barndos based on your own design ideas. The company has quite a few barndominiums in its portfolio, and you can view sample plans of 50 x 100 and 40 x 80 models.
Sample plans also include illustrations to help you visualize your dream home.
Keens Buildings has a wide selection of barndominiums, including both single and two-story floor plans. They also offer a 3D builder tool that allows you to visualize and customize your building right from the comfort of your home.
You’ll also find rent-to-own options and detailed information about financing on their website.
Keens has six locations across Florida, including:
Two in Live Oak (one is a Super Center)
If you have any questions about their barndos or company, you can call or text their team.
Florida Barndominiums LLC was founded by Joseph Elliot Craft III, who has been in the construction business since he was 18 years old in 1998. Joe launched Florida Barndominiums LLC to help people build their dream homes in Florida.
The company’s website has several plans for viewing, including homes in the following sizes:
28 x 40
27 x 40
32 x 50
30 x 42
Plans are available for both single story and two-story barndos.
DC Builders constructs barndos through their sister company DC Structures. While the company is headquartered in Oregon, they build barndos across the country.
They offer pre-engineered models as well as custom options and Florida barndominium kits. You can view completed projects, learn more about their building process and get inspiration for your barndo on their website.
11251 SE 232nd Ave
Damascus, OR 97089
How to Build a Barndominium in Florida
Building a barndominium in Florida is a straightforward process that’s not unlike building a stick-built home.
The process for building your barndo may be a little different, depending on the builder you choose and your local laws. But the general process looks a little something like this:
Choose a Builder and a Floor Plan
One of the first steps you should take is to find a builder. Your builder can help you understand what type of property you will need to make your dream home a reality.
Weigh your options carefully and compare each builder’s:
If you already have a vision for your barndo, then make sure that you choose a builder who can accommodate your wishes.
Buy a Plot of Land
Once you’ve chosen a builder and a home, the next step is to find a plot of land that ticks off all of your boxes. Consider the following when looking a land:
Are there utilities nearby?
Is the land easily accessible?
Are there restrictions that will prevent you from building?
Is the property big enough for your current and future plans?
Is the land in a great location?
Some people prefer to buy their land before they seek a builder. It really comes down to personal preference and the builder’s requirements.
In some cases, builders can help you find land.
If the builder doesn’t offer turnkey service, you will need to find a general contractor to take on your project.
Your contractor will manage and facilitate the building project, which means they will also secure the necessary permits for the job and zoning.
Complete Site Work
The next step is to get started on the site work. The extent of the work will depend on the size of your barndo, the foundation you’ve chosen and most importantly, your plot of land.
A heavily treed lot will cost more to clear and grade than a cleared lot.
Site work may also include the running and installation of utilities, such as:
Water and sewer
If municipal water and sewer connections are not available, then you will need a well and septic tank. Permits will likely be required for both. In some parts of Florida, it is illegal to install a septic tank.
Construct the Barndo
Once the site work has been completed, it’s time to construct your barndo. Depending on the size and features of your home, this process can take three to six months or more.
Remember that you’ll need to finish out your barndo, and that can take some time. You’ll need to work with a general contractor for this stage.
Once all of these steps are completed, you can move into your new home.
How Much Does a Barndominium Cost in Florida?
Barndominiums are by and large much more affordable than stick-built homes. Here’s why:
The construction time is quicker, so you save on labor costs.
Many barndos are pre-engineered, so much of the structure is manufactured in a facility.
They use less costly materials.
On average, it costs about $125 per square foot to build a traditional home in Florida. While that figure is still lower than many other states, it’s not quite as low as a barndo. Building a barndo will cost, on average, $30-$40 per square foot.
Of course, your final costs will depend on several factors, including:
Finishes, Add-ons and Customizations
In most cases, the cost of your barndo will only be for the shell. You’ll still need to pay for finishes and any add-ons that you may want.
If you have customizations in mind, then you can expect to pay significantly more for your structure.
The finishes you choose will also affect your project’s cost. For example, high-end countertops, appliances and fixtures can bump up the cost of your barndo quite a bit.
How Much Site Work is Needed
The more extensive the site work, the higher the cost will be for your barndominium. If extensive clearing and grading are required, you can expect to spend thousands.
Many buyers find that these types of properties are well worth the cost of the site work because they often offer more privacy.
The Cost of the Land and Running Utilities
Of course, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of purchasing the land and running utilities. Depending on the situation, you may be able to find a lender who will finance the purchase of your land, but this is uncommon.
The cost to run and connect utilities may be quite high if you are far away from the lines.
Financing Your Barndo
It’s never been easier to build a barndo in Florida. Many lenders now treat barndos just as they would any other type of home.
You can find financing options for traditional loans, FHA loans and more.
If you’re dreaming of building a barndominium in Florida, now is the perfect time to make that dream a reality. Compare local builders, like the ones listed above, to find the right professional for the job and get started on your journey.