If there is one thing that can be said about the housing market, it is that it loves trends. And when it comes to barndominiums, Austin and Texas as a whole are epicenters for this major trend in new, chic home builds. Once thought of as a utilitarian approach to living and working in agricultural settings, the barndominium has become one of the hottest new home construction types in the last decade or so.
Of course, in order to understand barndominiums, it is important to define them. In its simplest form, a “barndo” (as they’re sometimes affectionately called) is the renovation and/or retrofitting of a barn/agricultural quarters into fully-functional living quarters. Though the term is meant to be one that tips its cap more to the idea of a living area, it became seen as nouveau chic wordplay from a popular Waco couple that’s captured America’s heart on TV. Their long-running renovation series brought the barndominium process directly into the country’s living rooms.
Needless to say, everyone wanted one. And so, the popularity of barndos took off. But unlike the slick production value and inherent experience and work backgrounds of the TV couple in question, most everyone else became very aware that building a barndominium was no easy feat. In fact, depending on where they lived, being granted a building permit was a no-go, period. For those who did have the go-ahead, they met with unique difficulties to those compared with traditional home builds.
Finding builders with the right experience was tougher. No understanding the ins and outs of the open concept and how that ties in with overall square footage became an issue. Perhaps most surprising was believing that barndominiums were not an inexpensive housing alternative when compared to a traditional home.
But as the years have gone by, barndominiums have continued to remain popular. They vary in size, layout, and can run the gamut from basic to quite luxurious. If there is one criticism detractors are still hung up on, it is questions regarding the overall length of time barndominiums will last when compared to traditional homes.
So, do barndominiums last as long as traditional homes? Although a bit of a frustrating answer, it is a bit of yes and no. There are a number of factors that have to be taken into consideration. Perhaps most notable is the quality of the initial build. Erecting the building itself must be done with a certain level of expertise. There is also the quality of the roofing to be considered, as well as the foundation, plus everything in-between. In other words, barndominiums are no shortcut in terms of home building. Build them right the first time, and they will last.
When getting down to the nitty gritty, the numbers tend to bear out just how impressive barndominiums really are when compared to traditional homes. Depending on the source, traditional homes have a lifespan as long as a century. Other estimates note 200 years or more (think historical buildings and preservationist intervention) where special care and maintenance is paramount to an old home’s perseverance.
Barndominiums are a bit of a new kid on the block, so many of the numbers out there are estimates based on knowledge of materials, installation, and overall maintenance histories. Some estimates place barndos in the 80-100 year range. That said, keep in mind that one of the great perks of barndominiums and steel buildings in general is that they are, by nature, very low maintenance. By integrating a regular maintenance program into the mix, it is likely that the century mark could easily be eclipsed, thus making barndominiums as long-lasting as traditional homes.
It’s a lot of information to take in at once, so it is worth getting insight from the pros. Considerations about barndominiums in Austin should definitely include getting in touch with our team here at T. Locke Construction. We specialize in custom homes and are dedicated to bringing your vision to life by creating the one-of-a-kind space you always dreamed of. Call us today and let’s get started!