How much does it cost to build a barn?
Get free estimates from builders near you
Build a Barn Cost Guide
Updated: October 18, 2022
Whether you need extra storage on your property or to house livestock, having a barn can be a great asset to many people. Barns come in many shapes, sizes, and styles from small shed barns to massive steel indoor arenas. They can even be finished like houses. Barns can be very small shedrows designed to house livestock. They can also be massive structures with several purposes, such as housing animals, hay, and tools. This means the average cost to build one can have an enormous range.
The national average cost to build a barn is $10,000 to $200,000, with most homeowners spending around $72,000 on a 1,600 sq.ft. pole barn with wooden walls, gable roof, and 4 interior stalls. This project’s low cost is $5,000 for a 2-stall prefab shedrow with 10’ wide stalls. The high cost is $350,000 for a 3,000 sq.ft. round barn with a timber roof.
Cost to Build a Barn
|Barn Building Costs|
|National average cost||$72,000|
2022 Notice: The Effect of the Pandemic on the Barn Construction Industry
Over the last two years, the pandemic has had an enormous impact on many industries. This includes several industries that impact barn construction, including the construction and agricultural industries.
Labor shortages and supply issues have caused many delays and rising prices in construction and food, which are predicted to continue into 2022. Many materials used to build barns, such as lumber, steel, and insulation, have all increased in cost, with price fluctuations that may continue into the coming year.
Supply chain issues in the agriculture industry have led to many people building additional barns. This increase in production and other issues has led to a backlog of barn construction extending into 2022.
It is recommended to start the process soon, whether you are building your barn for storage, agriculture, or residential purposes. This can help lock in costs before they rise again and get your project in line before more delays can slow down construction.
What Is a Barn?
The definition of barn means a building designed to store hay, grain, and livestock. It is sometimes defined as a large shed for storing vehicles.
They can be used for more purposes than just storage, however. You can have a barn with an indoor arena attached for horseback riding, for example. Some people use them as gyms, and others turn them into their primary residence or home.
Most of them are simple structures that are not finished or insulated. They cost considerably less to build than other types of buildings and come in many shapes, sizes, and styles, depending on your intended use.
Cost to Build a Barn by Type of Construction
Just like homes, barns can be built using different methods. This includes modular and stick-built construction. Most modular barns are made of metal, and modular or prefab barns are typically the only choice if you want a metal barn. However, some modular options can be wood. In all cases of modular construction, the barn is built off-site, and then transported to the job site. This can make the process less expensive and faster than building on-site. Some types must be built using stick-building methods, however. This includes post and beam constructions and some styles of pole barn. The latter is mostly due to the infrequency of modular companies who build this style of wood building. Unlike homes, which have a range of finishing materials, barns are much simpler to construct. This often means there is little difference in prices between the two, depending on the material. Below are the average costs to build a barn using the two methods.
|Type of Construction||Costs per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)|
|Modular||$20 - $60|
|Stick-Built||$20 - $100|
The cost of a modular barn ranges from $20 to $60 a sq.ft., depending on the type and materials. Modular construction is the least expensive way to build. They come in two variations: a kit that can be easily assembled on-site or finished structures transported to the site. This usually means they can be constructed faster because they are built out of the elements, so there are no weather-related delays. They can also be pole barns or shedrows. Not every barn can be built modularly. Typically, the more simple structures are constructed using these methods.
The cost of a stick-built barn is $20 to $100 a sq.ft., depending on the type and style. Many types can be built using stick-building methods. Some are fairly simple and use little material. Others are extremely complex and need special types of roofing and construction methods to build properly. For this reason, there can be an incredibly wide range of associated costs. Generally, the more complex the structure and the more things it is used for, the higher the cost to build.
Barn Costs by Type
Barns can be constructed in a few ways, which dictates some of their costs. The average price per square foot varies by type, depending on the build complexity. Some types are simple and do not require a foundation, so they can be erected more quickly and less expensively than others. Some require more attention to detail and more material, raising their costs.
The following barns can be built using stick-building methods. Pole barns and shedrows can also be built modularly. Each has a range of costs. The prices below are for both building styles in all three types, fully installed.
|Type||Average Costs per Sq.Ft. (Modular)||Average Costs per Sq.Ft. (Stick-Built)|
|Pole Barn||$20 - $25||$20 - $60|
|Shedrow||$20 - $50||$20 - $60|
|Post and Beam||N/A||$60 - $100|
The cost of a pole barn ranges from $20 to $25 a sq.ft. for modular construction. Prices for stick-building average $20 to $60 a sq.ft. because they can be finished in many ways. They are the most common type of custom-built barn. They do not use a foundation, so they can be built more cheaply than other structures. At their simplest, they can be open with only a roof or a fully enclosed property that can be converted into a house. They are made of poles or pressure-treated timbers that are inserted into the ground, which is where it gets its name.
The price of a modular shedrow is $20 to $50 a sq.ft. Stick-built shedrows range between $20 and $60 a sq.ft., depending on the material. Shedrows are very simple barns made for livestock like horses. They are essentially a row of stalls, with or without additional storage. They are fully enclosed and can be found in prefab kits or built to suit. Despite their mid-range costs, most shedrows tend to be fairly inexpensive. This is because they are smaller than other types. Their footprint tends to be long and narrow, keeping costs down.
Post and Beam Barn
Stick-built post and beam barns cost between $60 and $100 a sq.ft. Post and beam is a traditional building method that uses large, heavy timbers instead of dimensional lumber. Less material is needed because the material used is heavier and more substantial. They have a very distinct appearance, but it can be difficult to find knowledgeable workers to build them because this construction style is not common. While you do not need as much material, timber tends to be more expensive than dimensional lumber. This can mean that while you need less material, you still pay more.
Barn Prices by Material
Barns of all styles can be constructed from wood or metal. Wood barns can be either dimensional lumber or timber, depending on the construction type. Each material has its own price range. In some cases, you may find that mixing material may be the best for your barn. In other instances, the style may blend more with one material versus another. The following materials are broken down by the price per square foot for modular and stick-built barns. Most prefab options are metal, with a few companies making lumber barns. All metal barns are typically prefab. At this time, timber is strictly a stick-built material. The prices below are for both construction types using the various materials, fully installed. They can be constructed from wood or metal. Wood barns can be either dimensional lumber or timber, depending on the construction type. Each material has its own cost range:
|Material||Cost to Build per Sq.Ft. (Modular)||Costs to Build per Sq.Ft. (Stick-Built)|
|Metal||$20 - $45||N/A|
|Wood (Dimensional Lumber)||$20 - $50||$20 - $100|
|Timber||N/A||$60 - $100|
The cost of a metal barn is $20 to $45 a sq.ft. Prices vary based on the design’s complexity. They are usually prefab or modular construction, either supplied as an entire unit or built on-site from a kit. They are typically designed to be a shell. You can design and modify the interiors as needed so that they can be used as open storage barns or have stalls added. They can even be converted into living quarters.
The cost of a modular wood barn ranges from $20 to $50 a sq.ft. The price of a stick-built wood barn averages $20 to $100 a sq.ft. but may be much higher or lower, depending on the complexity. Wood or dimensional lumber barns can be constructed in a few ways, including prefab or modular. They can also be shedrow and pole barns, so there is a wide cost range. Prices also vary depending on the wood and how you finish the barn. The more features and uses the it has, the higher the cost.
Timber Frame Barn
The cost of a timber barn is between $60 and $100 a sq.ft. Some very complex designs may cost more. They can be more expensive to construct, not necessarily for the material costs but because of the labor involved. They are heavier and more substantial and require specialized knowledge. They tend to use less material than other barns. However, the price of timber can vary more than the price of dimensional lumber, meaning the total cost can vary more than the cost of wood barns.
Barn Pricing by Style
The majority of the costs for building barns are based on size, type, and material. There are some minor fluctuations in cost depending on the style, with some very complex styles being more expensive than simple structures.
|Style||Average Costs per Sq.Ft. (Modular)||Average Costs per Sq.Ft. (Stick-Built)|
|Gable||$20 - $30||$20 - $45|
|Iron Horse||$20 - $27||N/A|
|Homestead||$25 - $50||$25 - $100|
|Gambrel||$25 - $50||$30 - $60|
|Bank||N/A||$30 - $45|
|Monitor||$20 - $55||$30 - $65|
|Round||N/A||$100 - $250|
The cost to build a gable barn using modular methods is $20 to $30 a sq.ft. The price to build this style using stick-building methods ranges from $20 to $45 a sq.ft. The name refers to the roofing style, or a roof with gables, like many traditional homes. They can be made from many materials and may be prefab or custom. Technically, it can take on several appearances because this style refers only to the roof. It can have different shapes and layouts and still fits the criteria if it has a gable roof.
Iron Horse Barn
The price of an iron horse barn averages $20 to $27 a sq.ft. for modular construction. However, they are extremely uncommon and not built using traditional building methods. They can be found in some prefab kits if you desire to build it yourself. These styles are ideal for housing horses because they are weatherproof and can have a ring in the center for riding. They typically use a metal I-beam to hold the roof. They usually made of metal, providing good durability.
The price of a homestead barn built using modular technology ranges from $25 to $50 a sq.ft. The cost of building using traditional methods is $25 to $100 a sq.ft. Theys have become very popular in recent years. This is a style that can be used on farms or residential properties for offices, garages, storage, or any purpose. They are stylish, but not overly large, and are usually made of wood or timber. Prices range depending on whether it is finished inside for use as an office or other living area or left unfinished as a garage or for storage.
Building a gambrel barn using modular methods costs $25 to $50 a sq.ft. The price to build using traditional methods is $30 to $60 a sq.ft. It is popular in the Northeast where the gambrel roof is also frequently seen. This style has a raised center section with lower sides. They can be used for livestock because stalls are easy to install on either side. The home width determines how much usable space you have in the center if stalls are installed on both sides.
The price to build a banked barn averages $30 to $45 a sq.ft. This type must be built using stick-building methods because it must be built on-site to accommodate the location. It is built partially into the side of a hill. It has a lower construction cost in some areas but requires specialized knowledge and engineers to build properly. The builder needs to adjust for the soil type, which requires testing. In addition, the exact shape and size can be influenced by the hill, its size and shape, and how far into the hill you place it.
The price to build a monitor barn using modular methods is $20 to $55 a sq.ft. Building this style with traditional building methods costs $30 to $65 a sq.ft. Monitor or raised center aisle barns resemble the gambrel in shape. The center portion is raised, while the sides angle downward. They also always have stalls below these wings, raising the cost slightly. While the gambrel may have stalls on one or both sides, the monitor style is designed for this purpose. Therefore, it is wider, has more room in the center, and is built with the stalls from the start.
The price to build a round barn ranges from $100 to $250 a sq.ft. This style must be built using the stick-build method. They are very stylish. They are built in a circle rather than a more traditional shape. They can be used as riding rings but are difficult for storing animals due to their shape. They do not typically contain stalls. However, they can store things like grain and hay.
Barn Prices by Use
Barns can be used for many things. For example, you can use them to store equipment or hay, house animals, or even as living or work spaces. The general use can influence its total cost, although those prices may not vary tremendously. Size, material, and building style are the biggest factors in the final project cost:
|Use||Average Costs per Sq.Ft. (Modular)||Average Costs per Sq.Ft. (Stick-Built)|
|Hay||$20 - $25||$20 - $25|
|Horse||$20 - $55||$20 - $60|
|Hog||$20 - $55||$20 - $60|
|Corn||$25 - $45||$25 - $45|
|Gym||$40 - $55||$45 - $65|
|Cow-Calf Hoop Barn||N/A||$400 - $500/head of cattle|
The price to build a hay barn is $20 to $25 a sq.ft. for steel modular barns. The price of a stick-built construction ranges from $20 to $25 a sq.ft. Many people construct them for storing hay, with livestock housed separately. In this case, the pole barn is the most common build because at its simplest, it can be constructed with a simple roof that is adequate for storing hay. Because storage is the only use, the interior can be left empty, essentially constructing just a shell for the building with an open interior, so prices can be low.
Building a Horse Barn
The average cost to build a horse barn averages $20 to $55 a sq.ft. for modular or prefab barns. The price of a stick-built options is $20 to $60 a sq.ft. Many people choose to keep horses inside them, which can technically be done in any style, provided modifications are made like adding stalls. Many people adapt pole barns to include stalls on each side, with a riding ring in the center. It is also common for people to construct simple shedrows of stalls, with some storage for tack, hay, and grain. For this reason, there is a wide range of costs associated with building a horse barn.
The price to build a hog barn using modular building methods ranges from $20 to $55 a sq.ft. The price to build using stick-building methods is $20 to $60 per sq.ft. Many different types can be modified to house hogs. Typically, they can be kept in stalls, so a shedrow or modified pole barn may be adequate. Stalls range in size depending on hog sizes and how many you keep in one area. The number and size of stalls impact your final cost. Since many people choose to keep their hogs outdoors, barns may also be open so that the hogs can enter and leave at will.
The price of corn barns averages $25 to $45 a sq.ft. for prefab structures. The price of a stick-built corn barn ranges from $25 to $45 a sq.ft. They are small structures with a cupola on top, designed for holding corn. Their prices vary depending mostly on the material and whether any additional modifications are done for storing other items. In many ways, this type can resemble a large shed. They are designed strictly for storage, so the interiors are open.
The price of a barn gym is $40 to $50 a sq.ft. for modular barns. The price of a stick-built construction ranges from $45 to $65 a sq.ft. Many people who want to build a large gym find that a pole or modular barn makes an excellent space for this use. Pole and modular barns can be open inside, allowing for the installation of any gym equipment from CrossFit to gymnastics. Because these gyms can be used in so many ways, there is a wide range of equipment costs. Many people spend an average of $20,000 to $100,000 equipping the gym once constructed, in addition to the barn price.
Cow-Calf Hoop Barn
The price of a cow-calf hoop barn averages $400 to $500 per head of cattle being housed. They are built using stick-building methods and are not available in prefab forms. Hoop barns are the most common structure for holding cattle. They are sized and priced by the number of cattle you intend to keep. This is a very simple structure with a rounded, or hooped roof, which is open on the interior, although you can adjust for stalls if desired. These structures are typically made for loose cattle.
What Is the Average Size of a Barn?
Barns come in many shapes, sizes, styles, and uses. But none of these can be considered average. They are usually built to suit a purpose. You may have a small pole barn built to house a few goats, or you could have a massive horse barn with a riding arena attached to one side. Therefore, there is not one average size, but many types and sizes designed to suit various needs. Your barn must be built to house the number of animals, grain, or hay you need rather than following a formula.
Labor Cost to Build a Barn
You may have several professionals assisting in building your barn. This varies by type and style of barn and how finished the structure is. Many do not have electricity or running water, so they have fewer professionals working on them.
Modular barns do not have separate labor costs because they are built off-site and usually have a single cost for the entire structure.
However, having a barn built on your property can have a range of labor costs. Some require a structural engineer. Others may be assembled quickly by a single team of contractors. Therefore, your total labor costs can range tremendously from one to another. Expect to pay $5 to $10 a sq.ft. in labor for a pole barn, while more complex structures, such as timber or post and beam barns, may have labor costs of between $40 and $70 a sq.ft. If you have a barn built that requires separate siding, roofing, and framing, you have a range of professionals and associated costs. These may include:
|Professional||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Roofers||$1.00 - $1.50/sq.ft.|
|General Contractor||$6 - $12/sq.ft.|
|Siding Professionals||$40 - $50/hour|
|Electrician||$40 - $120/hour|
|Carpenter||$60 - $80/hour|
|Plumber||$75 - $130/hour|
|Structural Engineer||$100 - $500/hour|
Barn Kit Prices
Many people choose to use barn kits rather than have one built from scratch on their property. Kits can be a good way to blend modular and stick building. The kit includes everything necessary to build it, but it is not assembled. The kit averages $3,000 to $7,000 without assembly. You can assemble it yourself or pay an average of $4 to $5 a sq.ft. to have it professionally assembled.
Some kits are sold as prefab or modular barns. Find out whether labor is included in the kit because some companies assemble on-site. This is slightly different than modular barns that are assembled off-site and delivered ready for use. In many cases, prices can be similar between the two types of prefab barns.
How Much Does It Cost to Move a Barn?
The cost to move a barn depends on many things. Pole barns, which do not have foundations, are easier to move than bank barns that are built into a hill. In addition, larger barns and complex buildings cost more to move than simple structures. Jacking and transporting it has an average price of $5,000. However, your project may have additional costs, including land clearing at the new site and finishing and securing, raising the total.
Cost to Build a Barn House
A barn house can be a barn converted into a home or one that has been finished on the interior. On the outside, it still resembles a barn that was meant for a farmhouse. On the inside, it is designed for living with all the comforts of home. The price to build a barn house depends on whether you build a house from scratch with the look and style of this type of construction or convert an existing structure. It also varies depending on the building style. For example, pole barns can be used as houses, and they have a very low building cost because there is no foundation.
The average range to build a barn house is $100 to $250 a sq.ft., with all the finish work included. But some custom builds can be as high as $400 a sq.ft., depending on the features added. You will need additional professionals for this job, such as flooring installers, painters, and other finish work, which are not required for ordinary barns.
Converting a Barn Into a House Cost
It is possible to convert a barn into a house, but this has a wide range of costs. The material the barn was built from, style, layout, and how finished the structure was all play a role in how much it costs to convert. For example, many barns do not have foundations. Depending on where you live, you may wish to lift it and build a foundation first. Other barns require considerable cleaning if they have been in use for livestock. The interior must be finished, including running an HVAC system, plumbing, and electrical and adding floors, walls, a kitchen, and a bathroom. The more work that must be done, the higher the costs. Prices have a similar range to building a barn house, around $100 to $250 a sq.ft. on average.
Cost to Build a Barndominium
Barndominiums are a new trend in home styles. This is inspired by the lofts that were frequently installed in barns as a sleeping area for barn hands and farm workers. Today’s barndominiums are usually a very simple exterior metal shell, like a prefab metal barn, with a finished interior. They are less costly than a house to build because the shell only costs $8 to $20 a sq.ft. on average. The entire finished structure is typically between $50 and $100 a sq.ft., depending on the features and how much work you want to put into it.
Cost to Build a Wedding Barn
Wedding barns have become very popular in recent years. These are built to look like working barns, and many include animals or livestock. However, the main purpose is to serve as a site for a wedding. These typically range between $45 and $65 a sq.ft. to build. They are almost always stick-built to suit rather than modular, but you can purchase a modular barn and convert it for another use, such as weddings.
Like all barns, wedding barns come in many styles and materials. However, most are built of wood for a traditional appearance. They are not finished inside but left open to change the interior to suit each wedding party.
Converting a Barn Into a Wedding Venue
Any existing barn can be converted into a wedding venue. It can remain a working barn or be used strictly for weddings. The price depends on several factors, including what the barn was originally used for, whether it is in good repair, if it has electricity and plumbing, and whether the structure must undergo significant cleaning. This ranges between $25 and $200 a sq.ft. This is a wide range, but you cannot know what your barn requires without a professional assessment because they come in many conditions and need a wide range of work.
Shed vs Barn
If you want to use your barn for storage, you may also want to consider using a shed. Sheds are smaller and less costly to build, but they offer many storage options. Sheds are not designed for livestock, however, and they are typically much smaller. So if you want to store tractors and hay, then a barn is a better option. Storing gardening tools and a lawnmower, however, may be better stored in a shed.
Sheds and barns can be built modularly and delivered ready to use to your property. They can also be built to suit on-site. Both come in a range of styles and materials, meaning a wide range of costs. Below are the average costs to build a shed and a barn on-site using traditional building methods.
|Structure||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Shed||$1,500 - $10,000|
|Barn||$10,000 - $200,000|
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Building a Barn With a Loft
Many barns have lofts either for storing hay above animals or for rudimentary living areas. The cost of building one with a loft varies depending on how finished the loft will be but averages $45 to $60 a sq.ft. in total.
Many barns do not have foundations, but they may need water management around the perimeter. While not required for many barns, you can have gutters installed if you have a lot of rainfall and want to protect the perimeter. The price to install gutters is $3 to $30 a linear foot.
Most are either used for storage or include storage in the plan. For this reason, there are often no added storage costs. However, when building a shedrow or other barn comprised mostly of stalls, you can add a storage room. Adding a storage room adds about $3,000 to the project.
It is very rare to insulate a barn, unless it is being converted into a home. Insulation ranges $0.65 to $7.50 a sq.ft., depending on the type. While you would not insulate a barn unless it includes living quarters, they can be insulated in all areas like homes. Inside wall cavities and beneath the exterior siding are two of the most common areas.
Bulk Feed Tanks
If you have a lot of livestock on your property, you can add a bulk feed tank outside. These generally cost between $1,000 and $3,000, depending on the size. They can be added at any time during or after building.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Permits. You will likely need a permit to construct a barn because most of them are over 200 square feet. Visit your town or city hall for more information.
- Maintenance. Like any structure, barns require some maintenance. Metal barns need lower maintenance than wood and tend to do better in adverse weather. Wooden barns have many of the same maintenance and repair requirements as houses.
- Value. Any well-kept structure on your property can add value. This is true even of pole barns, which do not have a foundation. The key is to make sure the barn fits the property, is in good condition, and has a style and function that fits in with the rest of the area.
- How much do pole barns cost?
Pole barns cost between $20 and $25 a sq.ft. for modular construction. Expect to pay between $20 and $60 a sq.ft. for stick-building, depending on the material, style, and type.
- Can you get a loan to build a barn?
This depends on many factors, including the barn use, area, location, and type, as well as credit, equity, and collateral in some cases.
- How much does it cost to build a hog barn?
The price to build a hog barn is $20 to $55 a sq.ft. for a prefab build. Expect to pay between $20 and $60 a sq.ft. for a stick-built barn.
- How long does it take to build a barn?
The length of time it takes to build a barn varies based on several factors. This includes the type and building method. A modular construction could be built in days to weeks, while a post and beam barn may take months. Expect an average timeline of 2 to 3 months.
- How much does it cost to build a wedding barn?
The average cost to build a wedding barn is $45 to $65 a sq.ft. Prices vary depending on the style and materials.