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What Features Should Your Barndominium Have?

What Features Should Your Modern Barndominium Have?

Seemingly there are a million and one things to consider when planning for your new barndominium. Hopefully, somewhere buried in your lists, are features your new home should have in order to make it appealing to future buyers (although this may be your ‘forever’ home – sadly to say,  someday you will be gone).

NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) conducts an annual survey to provide just this information, helping to make planning just a little simpler. Here are some results of their 2020 survey:

“Walk-in master bedroom closets, low-emissivity (low-e) windows and laundry rooms are the most likely features in typical new homes in 2020, based on a survey of single-family home builders. Energy-efficient features such as efficient lighting, programmable thermostats and ENERGY STAR appliances will also be likely, as will open design concepts such as great rooms and nine-plus-foot ceilings on the first floor. Energy-efficient or eco-friendly features not likely to be included in new homes, however, are cork flooring in main-level living areas, geothermal heat pumps and solar water heating and cooling.

Consumers continue to desire smaller homes, not only in overall square footage, but also the number of features, such as bedrooms and bathrooms. This four-year downward trend has led to the smallest average home size since 2011 at 2,520 square feet—only 20 square feet above the average in 2007, the pre-recession peak. The percentage of homes incorporating four-plus bedrooms, three-plus full bathrooms and three-plus car garages have also dropped to levels not seen since 2012.

“This points to an industry trying to meet the demands of the entry-level home buyer,” said Rose Quint, NAHB assistant vice president of survey research. “Builders are struggling to meet these demands, however, because of factors such as restrictive zoning regulations and lot prices, with the price of a new lot in 2019 averaging $57,000.”

NAHB also examined preferences among first-time buyers and repeat buyers to help builders determine what features are most likely to resonate in the market in 2020. When asked which they prefer, the majority of both first-time buyers and repeat buyers would rather have a smaller home with high-quality products and services than a bigger home with fewer amenities. The top features desired by both groups include:

  • Laundry rooms
  • ENERGY STAR windows
  • Hardwood flooring
  • Walk-in pantries
  • Patios
  • Ceiling fans
  • Kitchen double sink

These trends are reflected in this year’s Best in American Living Award (BALA) winners as well. For example, designers are including flex spaces that add increased functionality to laundry rooms, hardwood flooring and wood finishes to add warmth and character both inside and outside the home, and creating outdoor spaces that seamlessly integrate with indoor living.”

Will your new barndominium follow these trends?

Here is where it is well worth investing in services of a design professional. Someone who can take all of your ideas, those wants and needs and actually craft a floor plan best melding them with construction realities. 


Hansen Pole Buildings has just this service available and it can be done absolutely for free! Read all details here and we look forward to continuing to walk with you in your journey to your beautiful new barndominium

home: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/post-frame-floor-plans/?fbclid=IwAR2ta5IFSxrltv5eAyBVmg-JUsoPfy9hbWtP86svOTPfG1q5pGmfhA7yd5Q

Room in a Barndominium Part 2

Great Room (487/481/680)


We like the open feeling of a great room, especially with 16 foot high ceilings and a huge bank of windows across our South facing wall. Ours is well over 1000 square feet. For our lifestyle this was far more practical than separate Dining (148/196/281), Living (256/319/393), Family (311/355/503), Rec (216/384/540) and/or Entertainment/Media Rooms (140/192/280).

Master Bedroom (231/271/411)

Ours gets lived in (and is on the large side) – we have a small corner gas fireplace and a big screen tv in ours. We also have a sewing/craft loft above a portion accessed by a wheelchair lift.

When I was in Oregon, our 16 foot square Master Bedroom was just not enough, so I added another dozen feet of length, stepping down a step, with an open beam ceiling and a wood burning brick fireplace. 

Master Bathroom (115/144/210)

Being empty nesters, it was convenient for us to have washer and dryer in our bathroom, directly next to our walk-in (or roll in my bride’s case)closet. Originally we had a good sized prefabricated fiberglass shower unit, however this was removed and replaced with an open roll-in shower with a rain head.

Our first experience with open showers was in Costa Rica years ago, I’d never go back to a traditional shower if I was building from scratch. No, they are never cold.

Master Closet 

Neglecting a walk/roll in closet would be a serious design flaw in my humble opinion.

Secondary Bedrooms (130/139/178)

We actually have none! Our children are all grown and gone – but what about a guest room? 

For guests it takes not only a bedroom and a closet, but also another full bathroom. Easily a $10k investment. We did some math and found it would be far cheaper to pay for guests to stay at our not too distant Super 8 hotel (plus they get a free hot breakfast).

Have kids underfoot still? Unless you want them to become bedroom recluses, keep these spaces small.

Other Bathrooms (93/146/313)

In our world we have only a half-bath off our great room for guests on our living level. We do have a full “man bathroom” downstairs. 

At least one guest bathroom is best designed as being ADA (wheelchair) accessible. There are at least two million new wheelchair users every year in our country, so it is best to plan accordingly.

Laundry Room (67/87/145)

A well planned laundry room has plenty of space for a folding counter as well as ironing. If not on the same level with bedrooms, a laundry chute can prove more than a welcome addition.

Home Office

Mine is huge – 18’ x 24’ as it originally housed many of our business staff. Now, it is just me, so I have filled this space with a couch, coffee table, end table and a single bed for afternoon power naps!

In most cases, as youngsters grow up and go off to college a secondary bedroom can become a home office.

Utility/Mud Room (30/48/80)

These things have to go somewhere – water heater, furnace, water softener, etc.  Try to avoid my previous sins of making this area an afterthought. 


These are fairly unavoidable and since we don’t actually live in them, not much thought is given to them until it is time to move something big up, down or through one. To avoid damage to walls, people and belongings I would encourage four foot finished widths for these spaces – you won’t be sorry.

Work from this list to put your ideal spaces into priorities – “must have”, “would be nice to have” and “who cares”. Think about your family structure now and throughout your future years in this home.

Lastly, decide how large (or small) you want each room to be. Draw out each room, cut out and arrange the rooms according to your priorities as to where each room ideally will fit into the grand scheme of things. And there you have it, your new barndominium design!