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10 common ‘barndominium’ problems

By Cheri Sicard
For many RVers, especially full-timers and most-timers, building a “barndominium,” aka “barndo,” is becoming a popular idea. These large structures house RVs inside or under a canopy and have a small (or sometimes large) bricks and sticks home and/or workspace attached. But like any construction project, building a barndominium comes with potential barndominium problems.

In the video below the team from Texas Best Construction covers 10 common barndominium problems builders or DIYers might need to deal with. These guys build barndos for a living, so they’ve encountered it all.

No worries, an ounce of prevention can help you avoid these issues when building a barndo.

If you are considering such an investment, these 10 tips will give you things to consider before you build. It’s far more cost-effective to fix potential issues before you build than to go back later and fix things.

Barndominium problems addressed in the video:

Lack of soil test and an engineered plan – Without an engineered foundation plan and a soil sample, you just might be building your barndo on a weak foundation, and a home built on a weak foundation will develop issues.

Overlooking wall systems and flashing around windows and doors – You can’t assume spray foam will seal all windows and doors without a firm fastening around these openings.

Underestimating between floor space, eave height, and pitch for 2-story options – You need to consider these factors in order to achieve enough space for clearance in your second-floor areas and enough space in your living areas.

Not using overhangs over roof, doorways, and window areas – For maximum life of windows and doors and to avoid leaks, you will want to shield them from the elements.

Drawing your own plans – Unless you are an experienced architect it, pays to get a professional to do the plans in order to maximize the layout and design possibilities and to protect the barndo’s resale value. A professional will see and catch things an amateur won’t.

Not getting an interim construction loan for the life of the project – Even if you have the cash, it’s a good idea to have the loan in place in order to protect your investment and have a cushion for unexpected expenses.

Underestimating size and budget – It’s important to understand the space you will need in your barndominium both now and further down the road, and what it will cost to build it.

Using Dyform ridge panels on the top of the rooflines – The experts say a closed ridge cap is far preferable because an open ridge allows water to enter, especially with steep roof pitches.

Not enough insulation – Or, more specifically, not enough of the right insulation in the right spots. The video gives you recommendations for the best types of insulation and where to use them.

Not hiring a turnkey barndominium builder – According to the video, and to be sure they are going to tout their services over others, a barndominium builder will already know about all these potential issues and a host of others. A regular contractor probably won’t.

Have you built or are you planning to build a barndominium? Share your experiences with other RVers in the comments below.

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