People choose to build barndominiums for all kinds of reasons. One of the most compelling is that of being able to build their dream home on a dream budget, which is exactly what inspired the Hunt family down in Waco, Texas.
Back in 2016, just after they’d bought their property, they learned a friend of theirs built a barndominium for just $35,000. Could the Hunts build their dream home for their young family and live debt-free? After crunching the numbers, they thought they could. They designed their home, moved into an RV on the property, then started bringing their dream to life. The Hunts chronicled their experience on Instagram.
They used a kit, but the rest of the home was custom designed to suit their tastes and their family. While metal studs are an option for these builds – with great load strength and not being subject to pests and rot – but the Hunts went with wood framing, an option that can make the learning curve a little less steep for DIYers.
Though some fixtures, like the marble countertop in the kitchen, are decidedly posh, there are many other fixtures that saved money while looking mod and cool, like the concrete counter for the bathroom vanity. Polished concrete was also the chosen floor product, which the family later stained to create a designer feel.
Their floorplan celebrated their vaulted ceilings while also creating a loft as a playroom for their two boys. The loft is accessed via their very custom, steep and narrow set of steps, which they say was the hardest part of the build. (Prefab steps are a splurge that saves grief, if you build a barndominium yourself.)
One thing we love is the fireplace, a real statement piece, but very budget-friendly, since it’s wrapped in whitewashed shiplap. It’s tall, linear, clean and beautiful, but we bet the final price tag was a thing of beauty too.
Look at the ceilings – the wooden beams are stunning! But they’re a budget-saver, because the Hunts simply clad the barndominium kit’s steel beam with rustic wood planks to make them look like old-school wood beams.
The Hunts have lived in the home since spring, 2017, still making the occasional tweak and improvement. But these days, they beat the Texas heat on summer days as they enjoy their shaded rustic porch and rocking chairs, savoring the stress-free feeling of debt-free life in the countryside.
It took just half a year to finish their home themselves. Much of it, like pouring their concrete counters and staining the floors, was achieved through skills they learned via research and working on the fly, proving that it doesn’t take a pro contractor to raise these barns.
The Hunt home may be on the smaller side for a family of four, but it’s been built the way they want, with a budget they can afford, and with all the love they can spare. It’s a testimony to the flexibility and customizable freedom that comes from choosing to build a barndominium.
What could your dream home look like? How much could you build it for? Could you go from start to finish in just six months? (The Hunts did, while raising two energetic little boys!)
When could you start living mortgage-free?
We’re here if you want to talk about possible plans and budgets for building your dream home.