Build a Barn Cost

How much does it cost to build a barn?

Though many believe a barn to be among the simplest and therefore least expensive types of structures, they can be quite different in size, function, and cost. For this discussion we will assess the cost of building a sturdy traditional English-style hay barn of 1200 square feet (30'x40') that can serve to house livestock or as a form of general storage.

Building a barn of this size is not really a standard "DIY" project, and several contractors might be necessary for the job (concrete, carpentry, electrical, etc.).

Cost breakout

To construct a barn of this type, the typical costs will include:

  • According to the Craftsman Book Company, the average cost for building a barn of the type described above will average at $45,000. The resale value of this update would hold at $34,690, or an approximately 77% return on investment.
  • The above figures place the cost of the barn at $37.55 per square foot. This pricing structure assumes that carpenters charge an average of $70 per hour, electricians and plumbers between $65 to $85 per hour, and painters between $20 and $35 per hour. Traditionally, most homeowners who do not tackle the project themselves will usually opt to work with a single contractor, who identifies suitable subcontractors and pulls proper permits for such a project.
  • What needs to be included:
    • Arrange any required demolition, excavation, or site preparation - Average costs are going to vary according to the level of work necessary
    • Pour continuous concrete foundation and floor - Average price of concrete is $75 per cubic yard, with piers and the full slab it that would require roughly 22.25 cubic yards and would cost at least $1675
    • Build wood framing - Average construction methods use solid wood 4x4 posts bolted to 2x8 beams, and constructed of 10' eaves. The remaining structure will require rafters, galvanized bolts, joist hangers and angle brackets;
    • Installation of high-quality wood siding, fully stained or painted
    • Roof construction of medium-high pitch
    • Digging of and connection to a well of roughly 200' with a 2HP pump
    • Roofing to be comprised of wood shingles and trusses
    • Provide plumbing to code - The average plumber is going to base their pricing on each individual element of the project. For example, the installation of at least two cold water outlets will tend to come in at an average cost of $45 to $65 per hour, plus materials
    • Provide any electrical wiring and lighting to code - Electricians average from $65 to $85 per hour. This project might be priced on a per item basis, or the electrician might simply base it on the square footage; and must include a minimum of four outlets per 1,000 square feet
    • Provide carpentry to code - This is going to depend upon the amount of work required, but carpenters average $70 per hour. This project might be priced on a per item basis, or the carpenter might simply base it on the square footage

Additional considerations and costs

  • Bulk Feed Tanks - can be found in five to sixty ton capacities
  • Motor Truck Scales - can be found in twenty to fifty ton capacities and with platform sizes from 24'x10' by 70'x10';
  • Install sliding barn doors and hardware - average hardware set will cost $290 plus roughly six hours to install;
  • Install one 3'x6'8" exterior door with half-glass and lockset - average of $250 to $500 depending upon the style of the steel door;
  • Installation of stables and bays as needed;
  • Installation of a storage/hay loft using available space in rafters; and
  • Installation of gutters and eaves