Home Sweet Barn: What You Need to Know About Barndominiums

DIY Prefab Barn
steel building with a shingles finish custom front and porch with awning roof

If you’re looking for a unique home that fits your farmhouse aesthetic, it’s time for you to look into a fast-growing trend in the housing industry—the barndominium.

As the name implies, a barndominium is a combination of a barn and condominium. A barndominium can act as a place to live and a workshop or large storage area. The barndominium trend gained traction following an episode of the HGTV hit series Fixer Upper. Hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines transformed a horse barn into a functional and practical home for a Waco, Texas family.

In addition to its unique appearance, barndominiums made from a steel building are a very practical housing choice for many reasons.


A SteelMaster farm building is the perfect way to get in on the barndominium craze without breaking the bank.

The cost of a home can add up over time due to the money it takes to maintain the structure. SteelMaster’s metal Quonset huts are engineered to last a lifetime.

Tom and Terry Scheibelhut built their dream home using a SteelMaster Quonset hut. Tom says it’s the perfect home for their retirement, and not only was it easy to put up, it is easy to maintain.

“Once you put it up, you don’t have any maintenance. You don’t have to worry about shingles on the roof or the wind blowing it. Everything is screwed together and it can be dismantled and moved,” commented Tom.

Eric Skonberg says his SteelMaster home saves him money due to its energy efficiency.

“I had a friend that was living out here in an RV during construction. My electricity bills are lower than his RV for a 2,500 square foot home,” he said.  “It’s 45 degrees today and I have a little propane stove and I have to turn it off every couple of hours.”

Open Floor Plan

Unlike typical straight wall metal buildings, SteelMaster Quonset Huts have unobstructed interior space. Our buildings do not need beams or trusses for support, which leaves plenty of space inside of the structure to create the barndominium floor plan of your dreams.

Existing homes for sale won’t allow you to have the same level of customization. This guarantees a building that is made just for you.

“SteelMaster gives you the shell and you can build what you want with it,” said SteelMaster homeowner Linda Mulkey.

Linda says she especially loves the big open space of her steel Quonset Hut home, and she made sure to keep the “arch look” in every room of her house, nicknamed the “Mulkey Manor.”

Disaster Resistant

SteelMaster’s metal Quonset huts are incredibly disaster resistant. All of our prefabricated buildings receive a certified engineer’s stamp before they are delivered.

front end of custom steel home with deck

The Scheibelhuts Quonset hut home.

We follow FEMA’s building codes, IBC codes, ASCE-7 recommendations and building codes specific to your location, such as Florida’s HVHZ and Chapter 16 codes. Plus, our Quonset Hut is made with commercial grade, high quality steel. The metal panels are pre-drilled and pre-punched making it easier to overlap each one to the next. This is one of the secrets to the arch’s super strength and why arched structures make very effective storm-proof buildings.

The Scheibelhuts benefited from their Quonset hut home’s strength during natural disasters that occur in warmer climates. The couple lives at the end of a ridge and a dangerous tornado once blew through the area packing 70-80 mph winds.

“The building never even shook,” says Tom, who felt secure in his SteelMaster.

SteelMaster’s buildings are built to reduce your vulnerability during severe weather. The deep parallel grooves in the corrugated steel add to the strength of the already durable building. Winds can reach well over 150 mph in some of the most devastating storms turning large objects into deadly projectiles. When a projectile hits an arched, corrugated solid steel building, often times it makes a small dent instead of going all the way through.

Jose Malave, a longtime SteelMaster customer and business owner in Puerto Rico, rode out Hurricane Maria inside of his disaster resistant SteelMaster Building. He says thanks to his metal Quonset Hut, he is alive and able to tell his story. He was also able to save $70,000 in damages when he stored his precious belongings inside of his steel building.

“The building had minor damage to the back wall. We and our work team determined that the fault was a bad installation of the rear wall,” said Malave. “If that wall had been installed the right way, nothing would have happened.”

If you’re not interested in the rustic design trend, a barndominium may not be the home for you. But if you dream of country living, a barndominium from SteelMaster might be your best bet!

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