If you’re considering building your dream barndominium in Tennessee, you may be wondering whether there are any building restrictions or laws that may affect your building. The good news is that Tennessee has few restrictions on building and land use.
Let’s take a closer look at the building laws, local barndo builders and the average cost of building a barndominium in the state.
Tennessee Barndo Restrictions
Overall, Tennessee is pretty off-grid-friendly with few building restrictions. Many areas of the state don’t even have zoning laws, which means that you are free to use the land however you wish (for the most part).
You’ll also find that rural and agricultural areas often don’t require building permits to build any kind of structure. Permits will still be required for grid-tied electric hookups and septic systems.
That said, your structure will still need to meet building codes. You may not need a permit, but your structure must be up to code. Tennessee follows the International Building Code. It shouldn’t be a problem to meet these codes if you use a reputable bardo builder.
Many counties and cities in TN have opted out of the residential inspection program, which means that you can build your barndo without having to worry about inspections. You can request one if you’d like, but it’s not required
The cities and counties that have opted out include:
Many other counties and cities in the state have an exemption for the State Residential Building Program. In other words, it’s relatively easy to build a barndo in most areas of Tennessee.
Urban and conservation areas are the primary areas of the state where building restrictions will come into play if you want to build a barndominium.
Our Favorite Barndominium Builders In Tennessee
Multiple Tennessee barndo builders are popping up around the state, willing to help would-be buyers design, plan and erect their barndos. A few of the most prestigious builders include:
Compass Construction Service
Compass Construction Services LLC is located in Johnson City, TN and will custom build your barndo for you. The builder will work with you to make your dream home with no limitations on the:
Compass’ team will even outfit your interior design, so every last detail is handled by one company. Once a design concept is agreed upon, the builder will create a pre-made shell or barn kit in the factory that allows for rapid construction.
Sturdy and durable, you can have your dream home built to withstand the elements and require fewer repairs.
Summertown Metals has a streamlined process that helps would-be barndo owners construct their buildings rapidly. The process goes through multiple stages:
Blueprints must be provided to the company before a quote can be given.
Quotes are provided based on the detailed blueprints of the client. All estimates are free of charge.
Contracts can be signed if you agree to the quote and want to begin your build. A 20% deposit is required at this point.
Concrete will need to be formed according to your pipes and drains. The concrete will be poured and need to be cured to progress.
Shipping is the next step, with all materials being shipped to the job site.
Framing will occur for all of the exterior walls, doors and windows and trusses set.
Metal will be put up and all interior stud walls will be set.
Final repairs and finishes are put in place, including garage doors.
Multiple models are available through Summertown Metals.
Midsouth Barndominiums is an experienced team from Tennessee that is fully licensed and insured. The company focuses on residential and commercial projects with the customer needing to prepare and level a pad for the structure.
Multiple packages are available, including:
Material and labor options
Midsouth will handle the framing, structure and installation in accordance with the blueprints that the customer provides. However, the customer is responsible for the following:
Multiple models are available to choose from.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Tennessee Barndominium?
One of the biggest concerns when building a barndo, or any home for that matter, is cost. How much will it cost to build your barndo?
It’s difficult to estimate costs when there are so many variables to consider:
Do you have land already, or do you need to purchase a plot?
How big is your barndo going to be?
What kind of finishes or features do you want?
Will you be hooked up to city water and sewer, or will you install a well and septic?
Does the land need to be cleared and graded, or is it ready to build?
While it’s difficult to estimate your individual cost for a barndo, we do have some general figures to go off of.
A builder-grade new construction home will cost anywhere from $100-$500 per square foot, with $150 per square foot being the average cost. In Tennessee, the average home costs $261,940 to build.
Keep in mind that this figure is only for the home itself. You also need to consider other costs associated with building a home, such as:
Excavation and Site Work
Your home site will likely need at least some excavation and site work to prepare for the foundation and whatever else you have planned for the property.
Costs will vary, but on average, you can expect to spend:
At least $2,000 on excavation work
$3,000-$5,000 per acre for clearing land
Excavation and site work can also include installing a driveway. If your site needs extensive work, these costs can easily add up.
Barndominiums can have the same foundations as stick-built homes:
Slab foundations are the most affordable options and one of the most popular choices for barndos.
Generally speaking, foundations cost anywhere from $4,070 to $14,230, depending on whether you have a basement and the size of the barndo.
HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical Work
If you want to live in your barndo full-time, then you’ll need to ensure that you have an HVAC system, electrical work and plumbing in place.
The cost of a new HVAC system is, on average, $7,500
The average cost to install a new plumbing system s $4,080
The average cost to install electrical wiring can range from $500-$2,000+
Remember that these are just average costs, and the size of the barndo will play a big role in the final cost of these systems.
Flooring, Countertops and Cabinets
Your barndominium will also need flooring and cabinets, which can come at a high cost, depending on your preferences.
Flooring can cost anywhere from $2-$20 per square foot
Cabinets can cost anywhere from $250-$360+ per cabinet
Countertops can cost anywhere from $8-$13 per square foot
These costs are difficult to estimate because prices can vary greatly. If you want high-end granite countertops and hardwood cabinetry, the costs will be significantly higher.
You’ll also need appliances for your home, and these costs can also vary greatly. On average, appliances can cost:
Costs will depend on the size, type and functions. Most people will spend at least $2,000 on their appliances. If you want high-end models, you can expect to spend significantly more.
Building Permits and Inspections
Some counties in Tennessee don’t require permits or inspections, which means that you may save on these costs.
However, if you do require them or you opt to have inspections, then you can expect to spend:
$3,000 on average for permits
$4,500 for inspections
Again, these costs may be much lower in some parts of TN or non-existent.
One big cost concern when building any type of home is utilities. You may dream of building your barndo off the beaten path away from the city, but living so far away from utility connections can mean that you’ll pay exorbitant costs to get connected.
But what if you have a well and septic installed?
It costs $15-$60 per square foot to drill a well
It costs anywhere from $7,000-$20,000 to install a septic
The cost of connecting to city sewer and water will vary greatly. Electric hookups can cost at least $1,000, but it’s not uncommon for costs to soar to $10,000 or more.
Building a barndominium in TN is a straightforward process. Most areas of the state have relaxed laws and regulations for building structures, which will make your project far less stressful.
Just make sure that you do your research to understand whether you need permits and the requirements for building on your land.