DIY Barndominium: A Classic Barn Conversion

Always dreamt of having a Barndominium, where your barn can be converted into your own functional space for your work or even an extra storage space.  Well, you’ve just jumped on the right article.  The Barndominium is a word merge of barn and condominium coined by Karl Nilsen over 20 years ago.  Barn renovation is starting to become a trend and it is no surprise there as massive exposed posts, the high peaked timbre frame inspired the imagination. How do you build a Barndominium then? It’s no surprise that building a Barndominium is not going to be easy. There’s lots of work involved, you may even be shocked by how complicated it is to renovate a barn. But if you’re up for the task below is a DIY to build your very own Barndomonium.

Lay the foundation

Since a majority of barns have a diet floor, the first step is to raise the barn off the ground by a few inches.  This step involves lifting jacks and pouring the cement foundation underneath.

Reconstruct the frame

The old barns’ original framing must have deteriorated over the years. Chances are that you may likely replace most of them if not all.  You would need new frames that would be able to hold the structure of a second story. 


The roofing of a barn may not be as solid as the roofing in the homes. So you need to reroof and seal any leaks to prevent the heat from escaping. 

Plumbing and electricity

Once you’ve fixed the foundation,  roof, structure, and everything exterior,  the next step would be to do some installations such as plumbing,  wiring,  fixing off the heating and cooling systems.  You need to plan it out carefully, as you’ll be adding more outlets to the barn for example a bathroom. 

Interior designing

Now it’s time for the fun part of interior designing which is the next and final step. You have to install flooring, countertop, cabinets,  tables, etc, according to what you want your Barndominium to look like. Your Barndominium doesn’t necessarily have to be all country as some people prefer, you could still incorporate modern and industrial designs into your Barndominium.  You’ve already gotten your theme,  so it’s just to design your Barndominium accordingly. 

Here are some extra tips you need to know

  • Adding mirrors to the exterior of the barn for a more graceful look
  • Using reclaimed materials during barn reconstruction
  • Since barns have limited use of lighting, it is up to you to recreate the Barndominium and introduce plenty of light making use of any available openings for doors and windows.
  • Use your barn extension materials well. Remember more is less, try not to go too overboard with your design.

If you decide to build a Barndominium yourself set up your budget accordingly.  Constructing a Barndominium yourself isn’t going to be an easy task, you may need to contact barn Conversion experts to know the cost of building a Barndominium upfront.  There’s a lot of work involved.