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Large converted barn open living room.

Converted Barn Homes: Everything You Need To Know

Erica Gellerman3-Minute Read
November 02, 2020

There’s something so idyllic about a barn set in the beautiful countryside. But better yet, what if that barn is actually a home you could live in?

Converted barn homes are a home option that appeals to people looking for a rustic style, a large home, and a unique housing option. Is a converted barn home the right option for you? We share what you need to know when considering this unique house option.

What Are Converted Barn Homes?

Converted barn homes are a trendy rural housing option in which an old barn is repurposed and turned into a house. They are known to be popular in states like Connecticut, Texas and New York.

Converted barn homes are popular with people looking to create a unique home, find a new use for an existing structure, or take on a new challenge. Most people keep some of the original elements that make the barn home look unique, like exposed beams and rustic exterior.

Average Cost Of Converting A Barn Into A House

Converting a barn into a house isn’t as simple as dropping in some new furniture and moving in. There is a lot of work that needs to be done – and costs that go along with that. Converting a barn into a home may even be more expensive than building a new home.

Some work and related costs that you can expect when converting a barn into a home include:

  • New foundation ($4,000 – $12,000)
  • Insulation and other weatherproofing ($900 – $2,000)
  • New roof ($5,000 – $10,000)
  • Fumigation ($10 – $20 per linear foot)
  • New plumbing and electrical
  • New windows
  • New HVAC system ($5,000 – $10,000)
  • Structural engineering, plans and permits

Why Choose A Converted Barn Home?

Why would you choose to live in a converted barn home when a traditional home is just down the street? Converted barn homes might not be right for everyone, but for a buyer looking for specific and unique housing, a barn just might fit the bill. Here’s why you might want to choose a converted barn home:

Open Space

If you’re looking for wide-open spaces and a beautiful open floor concept, a converted barn is a good option. It allows for more square footage to work with as opposed to a traditional home layout. That additional square footage does mean that you need to get a little creative with how you structure your dining room and family room.

Authentic Rustic Style

Forget faux-farmhouse. If you’re looking for a way to feel like you’re living in the country, a converted barn home gives you a truly rustic style. You’ll get an authentic farmhouse look with minimal effort. Country charm delivered.

Use As A Guest House Or Airbnb

People love staying in guest homes or Airbnb rentals that are unique. And what’s more unique than a converted barn home? If you want to create a rental that your guests will love and that may be able to command a premium price, a converted barn home is a good option.

Large Piece Of Land

Very few barns (if any!) are built on small plots of land. If you’re looking to acquire some serious acreage, buying a piece of land with a barn offers a great option.

Creativity

You may have a desire to create something – take something old, get creative and revitalize it. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing your vision come to life. Converting a barn to a home is a big job, but if you’re up for the creative challenge, the end result can be extremely rewarding.

Nostalgia

If you grew up in an area with barns or have a family barn that you love, converting a barn to a home can be a nostalgic experience. For some people, it’s worth the additional expense to turn a barn that you love into a home that you can use.

Popular Barn Conversions

Open barn living room with large windows.

Open Living Area

An open living room gives this converted barn home a sweeping flow and the exposed beams add character to remind you that yes, this truly used to be a barn.

Rustic armchairs and stove in room.

Rustic Appeal

The wood beams and fireplace play up the authentic rustic appeal of this converted barn home.

Large converted barn home with vast yard.

Lots Of Land

If you’re looking for large yards and plenty of space, this converted barn home is an aspirational example.

Bottom Line

Converted barn homes can offer a number of benefits: a unique home style, a large footprint, and an authentically rustic design. But there’s also a lot of additional costs that go along with converting a barn into a livable space. If you’re considering converting a barn into a home or buying another home, be sure to read our home buying tips before you make any big decisions.

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Erica Gellerman

Erica Gellerman is a CPA, MBA, personal finance writer, and founder of The Worth Project. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Money, Business Insider, The Everygirl, The Everymom and more.