Barndominiums in Oklahoma

Barndominiums are versatile and resilient making them a great housing option for Oklahomans. These structures can handle the hot summers, mild winters and if reinforced properly they can withstand the storm and tornado Spring season. The average cost to build a barndominium in Oklahoma is around $200 per square foot which tends to be on the higher end compared to the rest of the United States.

Antelope Hills in Oklahoma

Written By: Larry Haggerty

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Barndominiums, or barndos, have grown in popularity over the last 10 years due to modern media highlighting the unique design and customization. These structures have been built for decades combining them with horse stalls, workshops and more!

The ability to customize nearly every piece of a barndo build makes them very lucrative for potential home buyers and builders. They are also energy-efficient, can handle nearly all weather types, faster to build and in most states they are cheaper to build than a traditional home.

If you’re interested in buying or building a barndominium in Oklahoma, you’ve come to the right place. The guide below will step you through everything you need to know to make the right decisions for you and your family. This guide was built on decades of experience building homes and consulting with industry professionals.

Pros & Cons of Barndominiums in Oklahoma

If you are considering building or buying a barndominium in Oklahoma, it is important to weigh the pros and cons. Here are some advantages and disadvantages to help you make an informed decision.

Advantages

  • Quick construction: Barndominiums are quicker to build than traditional homes, as they typically use a steel frame and metal siding. This can save you time and money on construction costs.
  • Energy-efficient: Because of their metal construction, barndominiums can be very energy-efficient, helping to keep your utility bills low.
  • Multi-purpose and versatile: Barndominiums can be used for a variety of purposes, including living space, storage, and even as a workspace. This versatility can make them a great investment.
  • Durable: Barndominiums are built to withstand severe weather conditions, such as tornadoes and high winds, which are common in Oklahoma. This can give you peace of mind knowing that your home is built to last.

Disadvantages

  • Financing can be difficult: Financing a barndominium can be challenging, as many lenders are hesitant to finance non-traditional homes. This can limit your options when it comes to finding funding for your project.
  • Limited resale value: Because barndominiums are a relatively new concept, they may have a smaller pool of potential buyers if you decide to sell. This can make it harder to recoup your investment.
  • Customization can be expensive: While the versatility of barndominiums is a plus, it can also be a disadvantage. Customizing your barndominium to fit your specific needs can be expensive, and may limit your ability to sell your home in the future.
  • Lack of curb appeal: Barndominiums may not have the same curb appeal as traditional homes, which can be a disadvantage if you are looking to sell your home or attract potential renters.

Barndominiums can be a great option for those looking for a versatile, energy-efficient, and durable home in Oklahoma. However, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks before making a final decision.

How Do Barndominiums Handle Oklahoma’s Weather?

Oklahoma has a varied climate with hot summers and harsh cold winters. The state is also prone to severe weather, such as tornadoes, hailstorms and thunderstorms.  Barndominiums can withstand winds up to 150 miles per hour and the metal framing or roofing can limit how much damage the hail or debris does.

If you’re planning to build, or even buy, a barndominium in Oklahoma then you’ll want to make sure it’s reinforced to handle the sporadic change in seasons and weather.

A few things to keep in mind when shopping or building:

  • Insulation: Having an appropriate amount of insulation can help regulate the temperature inside your home and make your house a lot more energy efficient, saving you money on your utility bills.
  • Reinforced Walls: The steel structure of your barndominium is already pretty strong against high winds, however, reinforcing your walls with concrete, such as insulated concrete forms (ICF) can help it withstand even stronger winds up to 200 miles per hour.
  • Roofing: You should look for a barndominium with a metal roof. Metal roofs are a popular choice in Oklahoma as they can withstand severe weather conditions much better than other materials.
  • Foundation: You can build a barndominium on a basement, however, for the best structural integrity you’ll want to make sure it’s on a concrete slab.
  • Windows & Doors: You’ll want to make sure you have impact-resistant windows and doors installed on your barndominium.

It’s important to take Oklahoma’s severe weather into consideration when you’re buying or building a barndominium. You should not cut corners when it comes to weather and making sure your barndominium is up to code.

Planning For Your Barndominium in Oklahoma

Before you run out and buy or build a new barndominium there are a few things you’ll want to think about and prepare for. Due to the uniqueness and customizability of these homes it may be difficult to find many for sale online. Be prepared that you may have to find land and build your own barndominium.

It is essential no matter what type of home you’re buying to prepare and make sure you are budgeting effectively.

Best Areas for a Barndominium

The best area for building your dream home is going to be the one that matches your lifestyle the most. There are certain things you’ll have to account for, like zoning, but ultimately you should pick the area that best suits you or your family.

However, once you’ve narrowed down a few options it’s important to consider factors such as zoning laws, accessibility or proximity to amenities.

The best areas in Oklahoma for a barndominium are:

  • Tulsa
  • Oklahoma City
  • Norman
  • Edmond
  • Broken Arrow

How to Find Barndominiums For Sale

Barndominiums are very unique compared to more traditional wood-built homes. This makes finding some for sale very difficult. Since these homes are customized exactly to what the person building it wants or needs they often are not sold once built.

You will likely need to work with a realtor in Oklahoma that can do the prospecting for you and reach out to potential homeowners to see if they are interested in selling.

You will likely not find many listings on popular sites like Zillow or Trulia. Since many of these homes combine a horse stable or workshop with the home you might have to look at less traditional websites.

For example, you may be able to find barndominiums on Land Search or Land.com. 

Budgeting for a Barndominium

The average cost to build a barndominium is around $200 per square foot which puts it about average across the United States to build a new home.

The cost to buy a barndominium has a much higher range due to the customization options, location and more. The average cost will be between $200,000 and $500,000 to buy a barndominium in Oklahoma.

The factors that affect the cost of a barndominium in Oklahoma are:

  • The current condition of the structure and if it was damaged in any severe storm.
  • The overall size of the building.
  • The materials used in the construction of the building.
  • The complexity of the design and finishings.
  • The location of the property and real estate market surrounding it.

Homeowner’s Insurance for Barndominiums

In Oklahoma, the average cost of homeowners insurance is around $4,500 due to the threat of tornadoes, earthquakes, hail and thunderstorms. Oklahoma has the most expensive insurance premiums in the United States.

It can be challenging to find affordable options and even insurance companies that will insure a barndominium. You may have to insure the livable space with homeowners and the non-livable space with a separate policy.

You’ll want to speak with an insurance provider to make sure they cover everything and your home is protected.

Property Taxes for Barndominiums

In Oklahoma, property taxes are relatively low compared to the rest of the United States. The state has an average effective property tax of 0.85% making the annual property tax around $1,500 for most homes.

Oklahoma has a law that does not allow home values to increase by more than 3% from the previous year’s value which helps keep property taxes low.

Depending on the final location you pick for your barndominium you could end up paying less than $1,000 per year on property taxes.

Design Considerations for Your Barndominium

There aren’t many specific considerations you need to take into account for a barndominium in Oklahoma. The biggest advantage to a barndominium over a traditional home is the amount of customization you can have with your interior and exterior design.

Interior Design Considerations

  • Open-concept living spaces are popular in barndominiums and other modern homes. These spaces typically combine the living room, dining room, and kitchen into one large area.
  • High ceilings and exposed beams are also popular in these types of homes, as they create a sense of spaciousness and add to the rustic charm.
  • Industrial-style lighting fixtures, such as pendant lights and chandeliers, are often used to complement the open-concept design and exposed beams.
  • Rustic or reclaimed wood accents, such as barn doors or accent walls, can add to the overall aesthetic of the home.
  • Modern appliances and fixtures can be incorporated into the design to provide a balance between the rustic and modern elements.

Exterior Design Considerations

  • Barndominiums are often made out of metal or steel, which can give them a modern, industrial look. However, they can also be designed to look more traditional, with wood siding or other materials.
  • Large windows are often used to let in natural light and provide views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Porches, decks, and other outdoor living spaces can be incorporated into the design to provide additional space for entertaining and enjoying the outdoors.
  • Landscaping can be used to complement the overall design of the home and create a cohesive look.

Building a Barndominium in Oklahoma

Barndominiums have become increasingly popular in Oklahoma due to their affordability, durability and versatility. If you are planning to build a barndominium in Oklahoma there are a few things you need to know before you get started.

Foundations and Basements

The foundation of your barndominium is one of the most important aspects of the construction process. In Oklahoma, you’ll need to ensure that your foundation is able to withstand the extreme weather conditions that can occur in the state. This means that you’ll need to consider factors such as soil type, drainage, and frost lines when designing your foundation.

If you’re planning to build a basement in your barndominium, you’ll need to take extra precautions to ensure that it is waterproof and able to withstand the pressure of the surrounding soil. This may require additional reinforcement and waterproofing measures, which can add to the cost of your construction project.

Since Oklahoma gets an abundance of tornadoes throughout the year it’s often recommended to not build a basement but instead build your barndominium on a thick concrete slab that’s reinforced to support the high winds.

Framing and Walls

You’ll have a variety of options when it comes to framing materials and each material has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The three main materials used in framing are wood, steel and concrete.

A wood-framed barndominium will typically come at a lower cost than concrete or steel when it comes to material pricing. The actual cost rises and can be much higher than steel with labor since most components will need to be cut and assembled onsite. Wood has less durability and is susceptible to other things such as shrinkage, mold or warping where concrete and steel is not.

A concrete-framed barndominium has very high ratings when it comes to soundproofing and fire resistance. It is very durable and maintenance free and the weight of concrete alone makes it great to go up against the high winds from Oklahoma’s tornadoes. Even though concrete is fairly durable it does have some disadvantages. Concrete can only be used or set in certain times of year making the build time quite long for a barndominium.

A steel-framed barndominium is the most common type you’ll see since many barndominiums are built with a prefabricated kit. Steel is lightweight and has some of the highest ductility when it comes to earthquakes and tornadoes and is fire resistant. Steel is just as good as concrete with soundproofing is a great energy efficient choice.

Your options for walls are pretty straightforward. You can use traditional drywall or go for a more industrial approach and use corrugated metal, exposed brick or insulated concrete forms (ICF). Each material has its own aesthetic appeal and can help create a specific look and feel for your barndominium.

Roofing

The roofing of your barndominium is another important aspect of the construction process. In Oklahoma, you’ll need to ensure that your roof is able to withstand the high winds and heavy rainfall that can occur in the state. This means that you’ll need to choose a roofing material that is both durable and able to provide adequate protection for your home.

The most popular roofing materials for barndominiums include metal, asphalt shingles and clay tiles. Based on the weather patterns in Oklahoma, your best option is to install a metal roof for the best protection from the elements.

Windows and Doors

The windows and doors of your barndominium are what allow you to enjoy the natural beauty of Oklahoma while staying comfortable and secure inside your home. When choosing windows and doors for your barndominium you will need to consider factors such as energy efficiency, durability, and security.

Some popular window and door options for barndominiums in Oklahoma include double-paned windows, sliding glass doors, and steel entry doors.

Due to the tornadoes, hail and severe weather that Oklahoma sees throughout the year you should pay the extra money and get certified impact-resistant windows and doors.

How Long Does It Take to Build a Barndominium in Oklahoma?

The time it takes to build a barndominium can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the complexity of the design or availability of materials. In most cases, a barndominium can be built in about 6 months if done correctly compared to 9-12 months for a traditional wood-built home.

A barndominium build can be sped up even faster by using a barndominium kit. A barndominium kit is a prefabricated package of materials that match a specific floor plan. The benefit of using a kit like this is that it simplifies the build process tremendously.

It’s important to keep in mind that the actual time it takes to build a barndominium can vary depending on many factors. It’s best to work with a qualified builder or contractor who can provide a more accurate estimate based on your needs and requirements.

Zoning Requirements

Zoning regulations will dictate how land can be used. How you plan to use your barndominium and the regulations required for that use may impact the construction of your barndominium or force you to adjust your plans.

It’s crucial for a successful build to understand all of the zoning requirements in the area you want to build. The zoning requirements will vary by county. It’s important to check with your local building department to find out more information. Some counties may require that your barndominium be located on a certain amount of acreage or that it be set back a certain distance from the property line.

If you’re working with a reputable barndominium builder they should also be able to help you navigate the zoning requirements.

In Oklahoma, if you are going to use your barndominium for agricultural use then you’ll likely need to be zoned for A-1 or A-2. If you are going to only use your barndominium as a residence then you’ll likely need to be zoned for RE, R-1 or R-1-A.

You can find a full list of zoning definitions on the Oklahoma Department of Commerce’s website or by clicking here.

Permit Requirements

In addition to zoning regulations, there are also permit requirements that must be met when building a barndominium in Oklahoma. These requirements may vary depending on the county in which you are building, but typically include building permits, electrical permits, and plumbing permits.

To obtain a building permit, you will need to submit detailed plans and specifications for your barndominium to the local building department. The plans must comply with all local building codes and regulations. The building department will review your plans and issue a permit if everything is in order.

Electrical and plumbing permits are typically required for any work that involves electrical or plumbing systems. These permits must be obtained separately from the building permit and may require inspections to ensure that the work is done correctly.

Financing Options for a Barndominium in Oklahoma

If you’re building or buying a barndominium then financing is likely one of the biggest concerns you have. Fortunately, there are several financing options available to help you make your dream home a reality.

Types of Loan Financing

If you’re building a barndominium you’ll likely be using a construction loan to fund the build. If you’re purchasing a barndominium then you’ll likely be pursuing a traditional mortgage or FHA loan.

There are multiple financing options available:

  • Conventional Mortgages: A conventional, or traditional, mortgage is your standard 15 or 30-year mortgage offered by banks and credit unions. These will typically require a down payment of 20% or more of the barndominium’s value.
  • FHA Loans: An FHA loan is a government backed loan that is designed to help people with lower credit scores and savings to get into a home. These loans have lesser requirements, such as a 3.5% down payment and lower credit requirements making it easier for buyers to get into a home.
  • VA Loans: A VA loan is backed by the government and is available for veterans or active-duty military to help them and their families with housing. There is no down payment requirement and often very flexible credit requirements for these loans.
  • USDA Loans: A USDA loan is designed to help people buy homes in rural areas and are a great option for a barndominium. A USDA loan operates similar to an FHA or VA loan but has strict requirements on income and location of the barndominium.
  • Construction Loans: A construction loan will be used if you are building a barndominium from scratch. These loans are short-term and are designed to cover the cost of building a home. These loans will turn into a more conventional mortgage once the barndominium is built.

Learn more about the rest of your financing options for a barndominium. You should speak with a mortgage lender near you for more information on requirements and restrictions on lending in Oklahoma.

Home Building & Buying Grants and Incentives

Nearly every state offers some form of financial or housing assistance to make more people homeowners in their state as it benefits them greatly from a tax perspective.

The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) offers a variety of programs to help homebuyers, including those building a new home. The program offers up to 3.5% of the loan amount in down payment or closing cost assistance. This program also helps teachers, law enforcement, firefighters and even state employees get into homes at a reduced interest rate saving them hundreds of dollars per month.

To get some tax relief you can take advantage of the state and federal tax credit around renewable energy. For example, you can get 30% of the installation cost to install solar panels as a tax credit until 2030.

The state of Oklahoma, and even the cities themselves, offer additional tax credits around home energy use, rewriting panels and just making minor improvements to your home like installing impact-resistant doors.

Top Mortgage Lenders in Oklahoma

There are several top mortgage lenders in Oklahoma that specialize in loans for barndominiums.

Here are a few to consider:

  • Oklahoma’s Credit Union: This credit union has been in business for over 65 years and has 100s of locations across Oklahoma to serve you. They have construction loans and more conventional options available.
  • US Bank: A larger lender that spans beyond Oklahoma and has several options available for construction or conventional loans.
  • Tulsa Teachers Credit Union (TTCU): A large credit union in the state of Oklahoma with over 100,000 members. They offer all the same loan options big banks do but are local to Oklahoma.
  • Vision Bank: A bank that has been in business for over 100 years in Ada, Oklahoma. It serves south central Oklahoma and beyond. They offer all the same loan options banks do but are another local bank to Oklahoma.

You should do your own research on mortgage lenders in Oklahoma and even look at your local area for a small business. In many cases, a small business will offer you a better deal than some of the larger lenders in the state.

Before selecting a lender to work with you should speak with at least 3-4 and get quotes or pre approvals from each. You can use the pre approvals against each other to get the best deal possible. Make sure you’re reading the fine print and understand the breakdown of your payment structure.

There are lenders that will estimate lower taxes or homeowner’s insurance making your initial monthly payment lower and then it will significantly increase after your first year.

Be sure to talk to friends, family or do online research and read reviews before deciding. You’ll likely be locked into this financial commitment for 15 years or more so you will want to make sure to protect yourself.

Support Finding a Builder or Kit Provider

It doesn’t matter if you’re building a barndominium or a traditional home, finding a reputable contractor or kit provider is key to a successful build.

An experienced builder will be able to guide you every step of the way through your build and will make it as seamless as possible. You will want to search forums, directories and search engines to find a list of builders or kit providers.

After you’ve generated your list you will want to vet each one. Keep in mind, this is likely a 15 to 30 year or longer commitment you’re making so it’s worth it to spend the extra time to find the right builder that will respect your wants and requirements.

A few notable barndominium builders in Oklahoma are:

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