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File:Northeast Arkansas Barndominium.jpg
Barndominium in Northeast Arkansas C/O

Barndominium is a neologistic portmanteau of barn and condominium with multiple meanings.

As of June 2021, the term "barndominium" is searched for on Google over 200,000 times per month and #barndominium has over 85 million views on TikTok.

One definition refers to a type of steel building. This usage refers to a non-traditional structure, with a steel frame and sheet metal siding, originally designed as a storage building or barn structure that has been repurposed by the addition of living areas to previously open space. This type of building is typically built on an existing property or multi-acre homesite and the structure often acts as a dual purpose living and shop or work and storage areas large enough for things as large as boats and recreational vehicles.

The term has also been used for wood-framed structures, and is often used interchangeably with terms like "barn home" and "barn with living quarters",[1] for newer buildings in the tradition of bastles, housebarns and connected farms.


The word “barndominium” was first used by a real estate developer named Karl Nilsen who envisioned a planned community based around horses and equestrian activities in the 1980’s. The Silhouette Farm project consisted of 10 homes all built from metal barn shells in Colebrook, Connecticut. The word was coined to refer to a lot and horse stable that was to be purchased together.[2]

The first instance of the word being used in the media was in a New York Times article about the community published in 1989.[3]

Barndominiums gained popularity in the 2010’s when a barn conversion was featured on the popular HGTV show, Fixer Upper.[4] Since then, barndominiums have become increasingly common in rural areas and many builders specializing in the conversions have cropped up across the country.


Barndominiums are built from metal pole structures usually reserved for applications like stables, storage, and shop space. The structures use frames made of posts driven into the ground instead of wood 2x4 frames that are usually used for traditional homes. This generally makes them quicker and easier to construct.[5]

Instead of a traditional foundation, barndominiums are built on top of concrete slabs. Because of this, barndominiums often feature polished or raw concrete floors that are left bare from the slab. While barndominiums look like metal barns on the outside, on the inside they are framed up and converted to look like traditional homes. This allows the builder to implement any kind of floor plan they want.[6]

Floor plans for barndominiums are just as diverse as any other traditional home. They can include multiple bedrooms and bathrooms as well as extra additions like wraparound porches, walk-in closets and pantries, and shops.[7] Barndominiums can also have a smaller carbon footprint due to their mostly metal construction.[8]

Recent events[edit]

  • The city of Arnold, Missouri banned the construction of new barndominiums in June of 2021. This was done in the interest of giving neighborhoods a uniform look as well as concerns of structural safety.[9]


  • Texas Flip (Season 5, Episode 6)[10]

Casey and Catrina renovate a barn into a modern barndominium using found metal objects in the front yard as inspiration.

  • Fixer Upper (Season 3, Episode 6)[11]

Chip and Joanna Gaines renovate a barn with a 1,000 square foot attic and horse stalls into a contemporary barndominium home.


  1. "Texas Barn Home & Barndominium Builders". DC Building. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
  2. "What is a Barndominium? The Ultimate Guide to Building, Costs, and Everything You Need To Know". Retrieved 2021-07-17.
  3. Libov, Charlotte (1989-09-10). "At 'Barndominiums,' Home Is Where the Horse Is". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-07-17.
  4. "Fixer Upper: A Very Special House in the Country". HGTV. Retrieved 2021-07-17.
  5. "What is a Barndominium? The Ultimate Guide to Building, Costs, and Everything You Need To Know". Retrieved 2021-07-17.
  6. Howe, Don. Build Your Dream Barndominium: From First Concept to Move In Day, Here's What You Need To Know. ASIN B08NVHXLZM. Search this book on Logo.png
  7. "Barndominium Floor Plan Archives - Barndominium Life". Retrieved 2021-07-17.
  8. "Barndominium Pros and Cons: Deal-Breaking Differences". Retrieved 2021-07-17.
  9. Krausz, Tony. "Arnold bans 'barndominiums,' adjusts residential standards". Leader Publications. Retrieved 2021-07-17.
  10. "Beautiful Barndominium vs. Junkyard Jewel". DIY. Retrieved 2021-07-17.
  11. "Fixer Upper: A Very Special House in the Country". HGTV. Retrieved 2021-07-17.

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