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Do Barndominiums Rust? (5 Common Mistakes)

It's time to clear up the common mistakes about barndominiums! Do they rust? Are they too pricey? The truth about this new alternative might just surprise you.

Dark shade hue of a barndominium exterior design.

As the demand for barndominiums continues on the rise, so does the need for answers. The most frequently asked question regarding these metal buildings is whether or not they are prone to rust.

As a general rule, it is possible for barndominiums to rust. However, this does not mean that every barndo is equally as susceptible to rust, or that rusting is likely to happen if the construction of your building is up to standard. More likely to rust than a metal barndominium, steel barndominiums are particularly prone to rust.

There are so many questions we have about barndominiums, and we often make mistakes by assuming without looking into the truth. Well, I’ve found the answers to 5 common mistakes we make about barndominiums, as well as solutions to each issue!

5 Common Mistakes About Barndominiums

1. Do Barndominiums Rust?

Barndominium building with metal frame
Barndominium building with metal frame.

It’s time to get down to the real facts; can barndominiums rust? Yes, it is possible for barndominiums to rust. But how is rust caused? How can we prevent rust from eating away at a steel building? Find out more about rust on this website,

Rust, mold growth, mildew, and wood rot – found in standard houses with wood frames – are all things that can be caused by water damage or the collection of moisture on the steel frames, metal frames, or wood frames. Water can get in through improper insulation, structural damage, or leaking pipes. Metal barndominiums offer more resistance than steel barndominiums, but one drop might not make a difference. Prolonged exposure to water or moisture is when corrosion occurs.

Now that we know how rust is caused, how can we prevent rust in the first place? After all, the best way to protect something is to prevent the issues from coming up in the first place. The first and most common preventative measures are proper insulations and sealants, especially in particularly vulnerable areas of the home. This should be used for any home, not just steel buildings.

The second way to prevent the corrosion of your barndominium is to apply a protective coating over the steel frames. This may seem high maintenance or too pricey for your taste, but you should consider the amount you’ll have to pay once the damage is done. Rust weakens bars and joints, posing a serious threat to the structural integrity of the entire building.

However, finding rust somewhere on your barndominium doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. There is rust removing chemicals that can take care of almost any corrosion affecting the steel or metal in a building. In some cases, though, the best and safest solution is to either replace the affected pieces or tear down the building to start anew. Still, the best way to stop the corrosion of your barndominium is to take precautions!

2. Are Barndominiums More Expensive than Houses?

A tranquil barndominium home
A tranquil barndominium home with a contemporary design.

Barndominiums are generally cheaper than a standard house, by around $25 less per square foot. There are a lot of factors that play into this, and some of it requires patience since the savings are established over years due to the less frequent need for maintenance or the lower cost of heating and cooling in the building.

Some of the short-term savings can be the fact that using durable materials during the construction of barndominiums, such as steel and metal, makes the building more resistant to surface damage caused by weather and water damage that would affect a wood frame or even asphalt roofs on the average house.

A long term save would be that barndominiums tend to have metal roofs, which not only contribute to the benefits above but are an excellent form of insulation! Because of the metal roofs, metal frames, metal walls, and open living space (typically only one floor), the cost of heating and cooling will decrease a significant amount. The units won’t have to work as hard to heat so many individuals or closed-off rooms, and the proper insulation will keep any of them from leaking out.

For more information about building a barndominium, and the proper care required for the successful construction of a barndominium, take a look at our other article, “Is a Barndominium Cheaper than a House,” which goes into depth on the financial advantages and disadvantages, such as real estate, of choosing the barndominium style home!

3. Do You Have to Hire Someone to Build a Barndominium?

 A skilled professional building homes
A skilled professional with experience building homes.

No one is required to hire professionals to build a barndominium on their behalf. Thanks to convenient barndominium kits, turning this construction process into a DIY project is perfectly possible. By building a barndominium yourself, you will have yourself the cost of labor and the small commission fee often associated with hiring professionals.

However, even though these kits come with all the materials you’ll need, such as metal frame parts, and it is seemingly as easy as putting metal panels up, it would be in your best interest to have some degree of knowledge in construction. Whether it be your experience or someone helping out who knows what they’re doing, this will make the entire project go much smoother!

4. Is a Barndominium Just a Barn?

An outside view of a red and white barndominium
An outside view of a red and white barndominium with trees in the background.

One of the biggest questions asked about barndominiums is whether or not they’re just a barn, or only intended for commercial and business use. This is not true! Most barndominiums may be used for professional purposes but barndominiums offer great versatility. In fact, there are businesses dedicated to design functional floor plans for barndos.

House Plans has great options for those interested in browsing barndominium kits. Customize your searches with bedroom and bathroom counts, and even choose your favorite style!

When people think of a barn, they think big, red, wood with an arched roof. Generally, these barns are worn down from years of water damage or barely standing upright after severe weather, made from mainly wood materials with a wood frame.

A barndominium, on the other hand, is made from much more durable material – typically starting with a metal or steel frame. Rather than a shingled roof and much like the barndominium frame, they are made with a metal roof. Perhaps the most important part is the sturdy slab foundation.

5. Do Barndominiums Follow Building Codes?

checking for compliance with building codes
Checking for compliance with building codes during home construction.

Certainly! There have been cases with alternative housing (which could be anything that strays from traditional houses) where the homeowners have gotten into a tiff with the law over what does or doesn’t meet building codes. Some of those requirements might be square footage, electrical, sewage, and plumbing or water systems, and maybe you’ve heard about these from past projects.

Thankfully, building a barndominium style home doesn’t violate any of those building codes so long as the construction goes according to plan! Of course, certain requirements can change from state to state, and may even vary from county to county, but the standard will always remain the same.

You don’t need to worry about giving up on standard houses anymore – embark on your journey into country life with your new barndominium now!