Why You Don’t Need a Barn Style Garage

Barn style garages are large structures that provide plenty of storage space. A barn style garage is usually designed as a two-story, or 1 ½ story garage. It allows you to park multiple vehicles on the first floor, and receive extra storage on the second floor.

barn style garage

Despite some of their advantages most people don’t need a barn style garage. In this article, we will examine the pros and cons of barn style garages to help with your final decision.

About Barn Style Garages

A barn style garage is a trendy new style that custom homes built on large properties are introducing into the design. As the name implies, the style looks much like something you would see in the midwest.

Barn style garages introduce a sleek exterior with multiple different designs, as well as maximum size inside the storage facility. Plans can allow parking for one, two, three, or more vehicles. You can park not only traditional cars and trucks, but also larger vehicles like campers, trailers, RVs, tractors, and other heavy motor vehicles.

The high gambrel roof accommodates high rising vehicles and equipment. Additionally, on the second floor you have more space for storage. Most homeowners are constantly looking for places inside the home to create more storage. Barn style garages produce excess storage space, or allow room for a workspace.

Another consideration is to transform the second story into a loft or studio apartment. Whether you have a son or daughter moving back home, or just want to rent out the garage, there are ways to get some income back from the expensive investment.

The purpose of a barn style garage can range from simply needing more storage to creating a new workspace for your business or hobby. The options are nearly endless, which is why many are attracted to the idea of constructing a barn style garage.

The “Barndominium” Trend

Barndominiums is something that you probably have familiarity with if you spend a fair amount of time looking at new trends on social media platforms. The concept has taken sites like Instagram and Pinterest by storm as barn style garages transformed into living spaces are popping up all over the United States.

The barndominium approach takes an already constructed barn, or a brand new structure, and makes the second story into a living space. Barn style garages are usually produced out of metal, though some still exist in stone or wood.

The concept of a barndominium is designed to keep the cost of living down as you essentially live where you store personal vehicles and other belongings below the living space. There are some owners that vouch they have much less maintenance after transitioning into a barndominium.

Advantages of Barn Style Garages

Whether you wish to convert an old structure into a barndominium, or want to build a new one for storage on a property you have to consider the pros and cons. There are several advantages to barn style garages which is why the home addition has gained some popularity as of late.

Affordable Housing

Barn style garages can get transfixed into living quarters that create affordable housing. You essentially blend two concepts (living quarters and storage space) into one structure. Though you’ll have less square footage living in a barn style garage, it can help you save money and eliminate the need to pay HOA fees.

Quick Construction

Did you know that the average barndominium can go up in as little as two weeks? Unless you’re building a custom barn style garage, plans offered through contractors are usually pre-built and simply need to get pieced together at the job site. As a result, you can move into a new home much quicker compared to a traditional house.

Less Maintenance

The vast majority of barn style garages are built out of metal. Metal structures have their pros and cons, but one major advantage is maintenance. There is very little you have to do to keep the quality up after the garage is constructed.

Improved Durability

Metal structures are outstanding at withstanding just about any type of dangerous weather. Additionally, metal garages are far more fireproof. It’s also an Eco-friendly living choice as many contractors use environmentally-friendly products with their materials in order to reduce carbon footprint.

Disadvantages of Barn Style Garages

It’s not all good news with barn style garages. There are several drawbacks to building one for storage or a permanent residence.

Higher Upfront Construction Costs

Though metal buildings offer long-term savings, the reality is the upfront costs are expensive. Steel is not always easy to gather, so shipping costs will be higher to cover the distance. Though you can eventually save money with metal homes like garage style barns, the value isn’t immediately apparent. You need to have decent savings, or hope for a loan in order to cover initial costs.

Bureaucratic Hurdles

Even if you have the funds to build a barndominium you have to consult the municipality where you intend to build the unit. Some cities currently don’t allow the construction of barndominiums. Rural communities are generally your best bet because the building codes are traditionally more relaxed. You’ll need to make sure the building complies with local codes. For example, most steel structures are required to have a built-in sprinkler system for fire protection.

Not Completely Maintenance-Free

Proponents of barn style garages love to tout how maintenance-free structures are compared to wood barns. While true to an extent there is still a need to inspect the structure over time for corrosion. Additionally, steel can become susceptible to figure over time.

Lack of Soundproofing

Though metal buildings have many advantages one that is an obvious flaw is soundproofing. Even with high quality insulation, you won’t get as much soundproofing compared to a regular home. You will not only hear more traffic, but also when it rains or snows the sound effects are much stronger.

Loss of Community Perks

Barndominiums are considered “stand-alone units” that usually exist on rural properties, outside of town limits. Though you can avoid HOA fees and property management fees, you’ll also lose the luxury of having another contractor take care of the grounds and do other general upkeep around the property. The responsibility now falls on you, the homeowner.

Final Verdict: Barn Style Garages – Yes or No?

pole barn garage

Though it is easy to understand why barn style garages, or barndominiums, are becoming popular – the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. Steel is expensive, it isn’t quite as maintenance-free as proponents like to advertise, and there are hurdles you have to overcome in order to meet building codes.

While barn style garages can improve storage space, or work well for self-employed individuals that live and work at the same space, it isn’t practical for most homeowners. Barn style garages aren’t as affordable as builders like to claim, and it could take years to recover from the high initial construction costs.

Detached Garage with Danley’s

The overall value for a detached garage outweighs the drawbacks and that’s why thousands of homeowners go with Danley’s Garage World. We have build over 100,000 custom size detached garages in Chicagoland since 1959. We simply have the equipment and experience to build a one car, two car or even a three car garage. Speak to a specialist and get a free quote online today.



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Since 1959, Danley’s has been Chicagoland’s top choice for garage construction. Since then, we’ve built over 100,000 garages, making us Chicago’s largest and most trusted garage builder.

We offer an unbeatable combination of products, service and value for homeowners across Chicagoland.

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