Barndominiums, or barn homes, are becoming increasingly popular as people look for more unique and affordable housing options. The average lifespan of a house is about 60 years, so how do barndominiums compare in that regard?
Barndominiums last longer than traditional houses, with an average lifespan of about 50-150 years. They are constructed with higher-quality materials like steel and are very versatile. Steel is extremely durable and can withstand severe weather conditions better than wood.
The risk of rot, insect infestation, and fire is also lower with barndominiums. In this comprehensive guide, I will explore all the reasons why barndominiums last longer than traditional houses. I will also provide some tips on how you can maintain your barndominium to extend its lifespan.
Why Barndominiums Last Longer Than Houses
Here are some of the things that make barndominiums have a longer lifespan than traditional houses:
Their Unique Design
The unique design of barndominiums makes them very durable and weather-resistant when compared to traditional houses. Barndominiums have a metal shell frame made of steel that protects the interior from the elements.
The metal exterior also makes them more resistant to fire and pests. Some barndominiums also have metal sheeting on the metal roof and exterior walls. This serves as an extra layer of protection against the elements.
They have an open layout with large windows and high ceilings that allow for better ventilation and natural lighting. The gambrel roof design (a type of barn roof), this design is more aerodynamic and can withstand high winds better than a traditional house.
Higher Quality Materials
The materials used to construct a barndominium are usually of a higher quality than those used in a traditional home. For example, the metal roofing and siding used on a barndominium are often thicker and more durable.
This means that a barndominium is more likely to withstand severe weather conditions, such as high winds and heavy rain. A commonly used material for the frame and exterior of barndominiums is steel, which is known for its strength and durability.
In contrast, traditional homes are often constructed with wood, which is more susceptible to rot, insect infestation, and fire.
Lower Risk of Rot, Insect Infestation, Fire
The most common reasons homes need to be repaired or replaced are rot, insect infestation, and fire. All three of these problems are less likely to occur in a barndominium.
Rot and insect infestation are most common in homes that have wood framing. The reason for this is that wood is a natural material that is susceptible to decay and damage from insects.
Barndominiums are mostly made of steel. Since it’s not an organic material, it’s immune to rot and insect infestation. Steel is also non-flammable, which means it won’t catch fire.
How To Maintain Your Barndominium To Extend Its Lifespan
Although barndominiums are built to last, you can still do some things to maintain your barndominium and extend its lifespan. They include:
Inspecting Your Barndominium Regularly
Inspecting your barndominium is the best way to catch problems early and prevent them from becoming bigger issues. Inspect the roof, windows, doors, and foundation for any signs of damage.
Also, check the interior walls and ceilings for any cracks or leaks. This will help you identify any problems early on and fix them before they become bigger issues.
When inspecting your barndominium, use a ladder or other safe method to access the roof. Don’t just inspect the roof from the ground, as you may miss some problems.
The best time to inspect your barndominium is in the spring and fall when the weather is milder. If you live in an area with severe weather conditions, you may need to inspect your barndominium more often.
Condensation can also turn into a huge problem in barndominiums, especially if you live in an area with excessive moisture. I recommend reading my guide on the different ways to deal with condensation in barndominiums to get a better idea of what you need to do.
Cleaning Your Barndominium Regularly
Cleaning your barndominium is important to maintain its appearance and prevent dirt and grime from building up. Be sure to clean the exterior of your barndominium, including the roof, windows, and doors.
The best way to clean the exterior is with a power washer. You can also use a garden hose and some elbow grease.
For the interior, do the same as you would in any home: dust and vacuum regularly and mop the floors if they get dirty.
The best way to clean the interior of your barndominium is with a microfiber cloth. This will prevent dust and dirt from getting trapped in the fabric.
Doing Regular Maintenance
The best way to extend the lifespan of your barndominium is to do regular maintenance. This includes painting the exterior, staining the deck or porch, replacing worn-out windows and doors, and replacing the gutters.
These tasks will help protect your barndominium from the elements and keep it looking its best. Painting the exterior of your barndominium is the best way to protect it from the sun, wind, and rain.
You should paint your barndominium every 7 years or so. Be sure to use quality paint that is designed for steel buildings.
Staining the deck or porch will help to protect the wood from the elements and prevent it from rotting. You should stain your deck or porch every two years.
If you have any windows or doors that are starting to show signs of wear, be sure to replace them. Gutters should be replaced every five years to prevent them from rusting.
Hiring a Professional
You can always hire a professional if you are uncomfortable doing maintenance or repairs on your barndominium. They have the expertise, tools, and experience to do the job correctly. When hiring a professional, hire a reputable company that’s familiar with steel buildings.
Get a written estimate before the work begins. This will help to avoid any surprises later on. A professional can also help you to customize your barndominium to meet your specific needs.
Why Barndominiums Are Worth It
So far, I’ve gone through a few of the virtues of barndominiums. Just not having to worry about rot, pests, and fire is a huge plus.
Steel is not exactly the traditional material for a house, and because barndominiums are still a niche venture, it might be difficult to get financing. However, if you manage to raise one for yourself, there are even more advantages awaiting you:
Barndominiums Are Versatile
Barndominiums are easy to design from scratch and are also quite easy to modify. This means that you can have a barndominium that exactly fits your vision and decorate it however you wish.
On top of that, barndominiums don’t just make great houses—they make great garages, workshops, and storage sites. You can have it all in the same building.
Barndominiums Are Cheaper
In many cases, building a barndominium is cheaper than building a traditional home. For larger barndominiums—say, above 2000 sq feet or 185 sq meters—the savings can be as big as 40%. For smaller units, the savings may be smaller or not at all.
Even if you don’t save money on construction, maintaining a barndominium is significantly cheaper than maintaining a house.
Barndominiums are built to last, but there are some things you can do to extend their lifespan. First of all, make sure to inspect your barndominium regularly and clean it often.
You should also keep an eye on parts that need replacing. Make sure the exterior paint is in good shape and stain the deck before it starts showing signs of wear. It’s better to do regular maintenance than to have to pay for expensive repairs.
You can also hire a professional to help you with these tasks.