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Often-Forgotten Barndominium Costs: They really add up

Did you know that based upon the national average, 85% of all new construction goes over budget by 10%?  That’s a scary statistic to hear if you are getting ready to build, so we wanted to breakdown the often-forgotten costs associated with building a barndominium to help you stay on budget!

Land – First and foremost, you need property to build on.  We get a lot of calls from potential clients who do not own any land yet and are learning very quickly the costs associated with it and its development.  As a precautionary measure, we always recommend contacting your Township or County prior to purchasing the land for your barndominium, to ensure your intentions can be approved, in conjunction with a Perc Test and fully understanding the land’s setbacks.

Permit Fees – Most builds require several permits; a site permit, a building permit, a sewer/septic permit, an electrical permit, an occupancy permit… the list goes on and on depending on where you live.  Permits can add up to several thousand dollars and can be a cost a lot of people don’t include in their budget.

Utilities – If you don’t already have access to electric, gas, sewer, water, even cable/internet you must pay for those companies to come out and make the necessary connections.  If utilities are unavailable, the cost of a well and septic system will need to be designed and installed by professionals.

Termite Protection – This is often required for building permits, especially with wooden structures. 

Site Improvements – There is a lot of work to be done on your property before construction can even begin and it all starts with a land survey, followed by an approved and sealed site plan.  Site costs with excavation, are dependent upon several factors including a wooded lot, soil conditions, slope of land, water table depth, and rocky conditions.

Access Road – Want a driveway?  Well, that’s going to cost you!  Depending on how far back your new barndominium sits on your property, will determine how much that costs.  Be very sure to read your building contract carefully to understand exactly what you’re buying.  Many finished barndominiums do not come with landscaping, foundation plantings, paths, a driveway or even a mailbox – extras that can quickly add up.

Construction Delays – Hold-ups with materials and wet weather are common reasons for construction to take longer than expected. This may not alter the cost of your barndominium, but it can impact your budget if you’re renting while your new place is under construction. It makes sense to plan for this by allowing some wiggle room for delays in your budget.

Material Availability – In today’s market, given the availability of spec materials and their lead times, it pays to remain flexible, allowing for equal quality substitutions.  This flexibility will help to keep your project on schedule and within budget.

Unexpected Surprises – Construction can be full of unexpected surprises and a lot of times you aren’t even sure what you are up against until the process has started.  The best way to prepare for these is to have a 10% cushion on top of the down payment, so when those “surprises” arise, you are prepared to cover them. 

Even the act of moving into your new barndominium has its own share of extra expenses, like moving fees, major appliances, window treatments, and furniture.

Bottom Line – These often-forgotten barndominium costs can bring about delays and can cause unexpected building costs. The best way to avoid going over budget is having a good team, like Conestoga Buildings, by your side to walk you through the process!

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