Building a Barndominium is as complex as building a custom home because that is exactly what it is! There are many factors that go into building a custom structure, like size, height, degree of finish, and cash flow!  This article will define how to determine how long your project will take, how you can speed the process up, and provide a general timeline for a visual. 

Let’s start with the BIG, ScArY one — money.  You will need to have your financing secured or have the cash available for the project before you’ll make it far.  Materials cost money, and quite a bit of money these days.  Financing can take up to 3 months if you have a lot of requirements from your bank.  On average, we see that process take 30-45 days.  This is the first and most important step from your builders’ stance.   If the cash flow stops, so will the progress of your job. 

Now that we have the money talk out of the way, let’s get into the fun part  — the project.  If you have made it this far, then you have your land secured and are ready to see some movement.  Depending on where your land is and the condition of the grounds, the builder will need to apply for permits with the city and/or begin grubbing and clearing the vegetation from the land.  The permits take from 2 weeks to 1 month to receive.  The land prep around the home site can take up to a week.  If you have more land and want it to be cleared as well, that can go on simultaneously while your home is being built.  The only required clearing is the area around the building site.  Once the land is cleared and level, we can begin to dig the concrete footings and rough in the plumbing so that it is under the slab.  The next step is forming the concrete borders and tying the rebar.  It can take weeks to get concrete scheduled depending on the relationship your builder has with the plant and their availability to get the project on the books.  The average time to get the cement mix is 3 days from when they call to get it scheduled.  Once the concrete is poured and finished, it will need to cure for 3-10 days depending on weather and thickness.  We tell our customers 7-10 days.  This helps with scheduling the next steps and protects the slab when we drive our equipment on it. 

Once the slab is cured and ready to be built on — that’s just what we do!  Your builder should have the framing materials on-site before the day of commencement.  This should include beams, purlin, base angle, weld clips, or bolts (depending on the design and city requirements).  The framing could take 1-14 days depending on the size and height of the structure.  If you purchased vinyl insulation for your home, the builder would begin putting that on and placing your selected color of sheet metal over it to secure the walls of your structure.  Once the building is sheeted, doors and windows are installed, and the roof is put on, then your home is considered “dried in.” Ready foundation to dry in the shell should take 2-4 weeks depending on weather and the size of the structure.  A good standard is 5000 sqft/week.  Smaller crews can probably complete 2000 sqft/week.   Once it is at that stage, the interior finish can begin. 

The interior finish consists of its own framing and sheeting.  Interiors can be framed out of wood or steel the same as the exterior.  Once the interior walls are framed and sheetrocked, they will be taped at the seams and texture will be sprayed.  You will have about a week while the framing is going on to select your paint colors.  Once the texture is sprayed the walls will need 24 hours to dry and then it can have primer and paint applied after that. They will only apply 1-2 coats of paint at this stage.  They will then lay the flooring and install the cabinetry, countertops, backsplash, and appliances.  Next, the builder will have another coat of paint applied after all the “rough” work is completed.  During the interior phase, there are a lot of things that can slow or speed up the process. 

Example 1: You want a travertine tile — GREAT! We need X amount of feet.  They only have (insert smaller amount than needed here) in stock and the remaining quantity is back-ordered for 6-8 weeks.  You would either need to select a different tile or wait.  

Example 2: You like the idea of a color but once it’s on the wall, you don’t like it as much.  At that point, we would need to continue with that color or select and paint in the new color.  [This is a price add as well] 

Example 3: You chose your color scheme based on a sample of granite you want to be used in the kitchen.  You have the location and have given a rough quantity number to the supplier.  This will speed up the process by up to 2 months! Granite is a multi-step, slow process.  Granite countertops require certain fixtures and sinks.  

Make sure you let your builder know when countertop products are selected, or the reordering of the correct materials could delay cooking in your amazing kitchen for weeks.  As I am sure you’ve guessed, this is the lengthiest phase of your build.  The key here is early communication.  Don’t wait until the end to say you want something changed.  The earlier in the process, the better.  It will save you, as the owner, both time AND money because changes can cost money. 

So, let’s say you would like to start building your Barndominium soon. Here is a timeline for what that process would look like: 

Refer to this chart for an overview of each activity’s duration: 

This is the 8,000-foot view of the build process.  I am certain this article answered some questions you may have and also raised some new ones.  Please send us a message on social media or our website, OR call us and we would love to help you navigate through this process further. 

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