Barndominium Design Co

Pennsylvania Barndominiums

When it comes to combining the charm of rural living with the convenience of modern amenities, barndominiums have been gaining significant popularity across the United States. One state that’s been at the forefront of this trend is Pennsylvania. With its stunning countryside and diverse landscapes, Pennsylvania provides the perfect backdrop for barndominium living. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into all you need to know about building and living in a barndominium in the Keystone State.

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Interested in a Barndominium in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania, also known as the Keystone State, boasts a rich history and diverse landscape. From the rolling hills of the Poconos to the picturesque Amish country in Lancaster, the state offers a wide range of settings for building your dream barndominium. These unique structures blend traditional barn aesthetics with modern, comfortable interiors, creating a rustic yet elegant living space.

Cost of Building a Barndominium in Pennsylvania

The cost of building a barndominium in Pennsylvania can vary widely based on several factors, including location, size, design, materials, and labor. Here’s a breakdown of the key cost considerations:


As in real estate, location plays a significant role in the cost of building a barndominium. Rural areas tend to have lower land costs, while more developed or scenic regions may come with a higher price tag.

Size and Layout

The size and layout of your barndominium will directly impact costs. A larger floor plan with more bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces will increase your overall budget.


The choice of materials, from the exterior siding to the roofing, can have a substantial impact on the cost. Consider different options based on your aesthetic preferences and budget.


Labor costs can fluctuate depending on the region and the skill level of the builders. Obtain multiple quotes and choose a reputable builder with experience in constructing barndominiums.

Site Preparation

Depending on the condition of your land, site preparation costs can vary. This includes excavation, foundation work, and utilities installation.

Interior Finishes

Your choices in interior finishes, such as flooring, countertops, and fixtures, will influence the final cost. Opt for materials that suit your style and budget.

To get a more accurate estimate, it’s advisable to consult with local builders and contractors who specialize in barndominium construction. They can provide you with detailed quotes based on your specific project requirements.

white monitor style barndominium
gambrel roof barndominium

Legal Considerations for Building Barndominiums in Pennsylvania

Before embarking on your barndominium journey in Pennsylvania, it’s crucial to understand the legal aspects of construction. Zoning and building codes can vary significantly from one township or municipality to another. Here are some essential points to consider:

Zoning Regulations

Zoning ordinances are set by local governments and dictate land use, including the type of buildings allowed in specific areas. Check with your local zoning office to ensure your barndominium project complies with local zoning regulations.

Building Codes

Pennsylvania follows the International Building Code (IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC). Make sure your barndominium design adheres to these codes, and consider consulting a local architect or builder experienced with Pennsylvania’s specific building requirements.


The permit requirements for constructing a barndominium in Pennsylvania may vary by location. Be prepared to obtain necessary building permits, which typically involve submitting plans and paying a fee.

Septic and Sewer Regulations

If your barndominium will be off-grid or rely on septic systems, it’s essential to understand the state’s regulations regarding septic and sewer systems.

Remember, it’s crucial to consult with local authorities and professionals who are well-versed in Pennsylvania’s construction regulations to ensure a smooth and legal building process.

Designing Your Dream Barndominium in Pennsylvania

Designing your barndominium is an exciting phase of the process. In Pennsylvania, you have the freedom to create a unique and personalized living space that captures the essence of the state’s rustic beauty. Here are some design considerations:

  1. Aesthetics: Choose an exterior design that complements the surrounding landscape. For instance, if your property is nestled in the Pocono Mountains, consider a design that incorporates wood and stone for a mountain cabin feel.
  2. Windows and Views: Capitalize on Pennsylvania’s beautiful scenery by incorporating large windows to bring the outdoors in. This can also enhance natural lighting and energy efficiency.
  3. Barndo Layout: Plan your interior layout to maximize space and functionality. Open floor plans are popular in barndominiums, creating a sense of spaciousness.
  4. Storage: Consider incorporating ample storage solutions to keep your living space organized and clutter-free.
  5. Energy Efficiency: Pennsylvania experiences a range of climates, from cold winters to humid summers. Ensure your barndominium is well-insulated and equipped with energy-efficient features to maintain comfortable living conditions year-round.
  6. Amenities: Decide on the amenities you want in your barndominium, whether it’s a spacious kitchen, a cozy fireplace, or a luxurious bathroom.
  7. Exterior Space: Create outdoor living areas, such as patios or decks, to take full advantage of the state’s beautiful seasons.

Remember that working with an experienced barndominium architect or designer can help you bring your vision to life while ensuring it meets all regulatory and structural requirements.

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Living in a Pennsylvania Barndominium: Lifestyle and Benefits

Once your barndominium is complete, you’ll get to experience the unique lifestyle it offers. Living in a Pennsylvania barndominium comes with several advantages:

  1. Scenic Surroundings: Pennsylvania’s stunning natural landscapes are right at your doorstep, whether you’re in the Poconos, the Alleghenies, or Amish country. Enjoy breathtaking views and outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and birdwatching.

  2. Rural Charm: Barndominium living allows you to embrace the charm of rural life without sacrificing modern conveniences. You can experience the tranquility of the countryside while still being close to essential services and amenities.

  3. Customization: Your barndominium is a blank canvas for your personal style. Create a unique living space that reflects your taste and preferences.

  4. Energy Efficiency: With the right design and materials, barndominiums can be highly energy-efficient, helping you save on utility bills and reduce your environmental footprint.

  5. Community: Pennsylvania’s rural communities often foster a strong sense of community. You’ll have the opportunity to connect with neighbors who share your appreciation for rural living.

  6. Versatility: Whether you’re looking for a primary residence, a vacation home, or a weekend retreat, a barndominium in Pennsylvania can be a versatile living option.

Maintenance of Your Pennsylvania Barndominium

Proper maintenance is crucial to ensure the longevity and functionality of your Pennsylvania barndominium. Here are some essential maintenance tips:

  1. Roof and Exterior: Regularly inspect your roof and exterior siding for signs of wear and tear. Address any issues promptly to prevent water damage and maintain the structural integrity.

  2. Foundation: Ensure the foundation is stable and free from cracks. Address any foundation issues as soon as they are detected to prevent structural problems.

  3. HVAC System: Maintain your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system to ensure a comfortable living environment year-round.

  4. Septic System: If your barndominium relies on a septic system, schedule regular inspections and pump-outs to prevent septic tank issues.

  5. Landscaping: Keep the surrounding landscape well-maintained, including lawn care and tree trimming.

  6. Insulation and Energy Efficiency: Regularly check insulation and seals to maintain energy efficiency.

  7. Interior Maintenance: Maintain the interior, including appliances, plumbing, and electrical systems. Fix any issues as they arise to prevent costly repairs down the road.

By following a regular maintenance schedule, you can enjoy your Pennsylvania barndominium for years to come while ensuring its value is preserved.

small gray barndominium
post frame barndominium

Frequently Asked Questions About Barndominiums in Pennsylvania

Here are some frequently asked questions about barndominiums in Pennsylvania:

Can I build a barndominium anywhere in Pennsylvania?

Building a barndominium is subject to local zoning regulations and building codes. You must check with your local authorities to ensure your intended location is zoned for residential use and complies with applicable codes.

What is the cost per square foot to build a barndominium in Pennsylvania?

The cost per square foot can vary widely, but a rough estimate is between $100 and $150 per square foot. Keep in mind that this is a general estimate, and the final cost will depend on your specific design and material choices.

Do barndominiums in Pennsylvania need to look like traditional barns?

No, barndominiums do not have to resemble traditional barns. While some homeowners opt for a barn-like appearance, you have the creative freedom to design your barndominium in various architectural styles that suit your taste.

What are the heating and cooling options for a Pennsylvania barndominium?

Pennsylvania experiences a range of temperatures throughout the year. Common heating options include electric, propane, or wood stoves, while cooling can be achieved with traditional air conditioning or more energy-efficient alternatives like geothermal systems.

Are there financing options available for building a barndominium in Pennsylvania?

Financing options for barndominium construction can vary. You can explore traditional mortgage loans, construction loans, or working with lenders experienced in barndominium projects. It’s advisable to consult with local financial institutions to find the best solution for your situation.

Can I live in a Pennsylvania barndominium year-round?

Yes, many Pennsylvania residents choose to live in their barndominiums year-round. The key is to ensure your barndominium is designed for year-round comfort, with proper insulation and heating and cooling systems to withstand the state’s varying weather conditions.

Enjoy Your Beautiful PA Barndo!

Building and living in a barndominium in Pennsylvania can be a fulfilling experience, allowing you to embrace the beauty of the state’s countryside while enjoying modern comforts. To make your dream of a Pennsylvania barndominium a reality, carefully navigate the legal requirements, consider the associated costs, and prioritize a well-thought-out design that captures the essence of your chosen location. With the right planning and guidance, you can create a unique and charming living space that complements the natural beauty of the Keystone State.

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