Can Barndominiums Have Basements?

When barndominiums were first developed, they often lacked basements and had massive barn-style architecture with frames constructed on cement slabs.

So, is a basement possible in a barndominium? Yes, barndominiums can be constructed over a basement foundation, despite not being a common design. It’s a complex task that requires an expert.

Most of the barndominiums in the country can actually have basements added to them with proper planning. 

Basement in barndominium

What is a barndominium?

A barndominium is a hybrid of a barn-style structure or an actual barn converted into a posh living space similar to a condominium. It’s a more recent concept in home living. Farmers and ranchers use the extra room in a barn as temporary living quarters or storage space.

Today, barndominiums have ushered in a brand-new era of converting traditionally useful buildings into luxurious holiday houses, rental properties, and fine homes.

Compared to regular homes, barndominiums have several advantages and can be a better choice. They can generally be built faster and for less money.

Because of this, they are a great choice if you’re looking to have your home built and are unfamiliar with the entire procedure.

Can a barndominium have a basement?

It’s possible to incorporate a basement, especially if you design your barndominium from scratch. 

While most floor plans do not have this function, you can inquire about the plan to determine how it would be implemented. A basement can give you additional space and help you stay safe if the weather turns bad where you live.

However, adding a basement is more complicated if you plan to convert your old barn into a barndominium. While the basement is being planned and built, the present building must be moved, placed elsewhere, then returned after it is finished. All costs and labor considered, this would not be ideal.

What types of basements can a barndominium have?

You can have the following basements for your barndominium:

1. Full Basement

First, a complete basement is built, covering the entire first floor. The barndominium covers the basement.

A barndominium with a finished basement typically entails additional expenses. The house will have extra space thanks to this investment.

2. Partial Basement

Two-story barndominiums are ideal for partial basements. This is significantly simpler to incorporate into an existing barndominium floor layout. 

You can reside on both building floors or utilize the partially finished basement as a guest bedroom, laundry room, or extra storage.

3. Walkout Basement

Barndos with walkout basements may be ideal for properties with sloping terrain or hills nearby. There are barndominium floor plans that feature recommendations for materials and walkout basement blueprints. 

For instance, a walk-out basement door might be tall enough to allow you to enter your home. This adds to your living area and makes reaching and enjoying the outdoors easier.

4. Crawl Space in Place of a Basement

A crawl room under the dwelling is an alternative that offers no living space but some storage space. A crawl space will have a concrete surface for the barndominium’s frame to travel around, similar to a partial basement.

As the name implies, a crawl space is not very tall and is only large enough for one person to “crawl” within. This isn’t big enough or acceptable for more living areas. It probably won’t be heated or cooled.

Barndominium basement pros

Some of the advantages of a basement in a barndominium are as follows:

1. Extra Space

The extra space you gain is the main benefit of constructing a barndominium. The basement can be used as additional space for bedrooms, storage, laundry, a family room, or even a second bathroom.

2. Better Aesthetics

For a barndominium on uneven ground, building a basement would be a better alternative. You can construct on a hill or slope without spending much money leveling the property by selecting a walkout basement. 

The money you save goes a long way toward making up for the higher expense of constructing a basement instead of a slab.

Barndominium basement cons

The disadvantages of having a basement in your barndominium are as follows:

1. Costly

Building a basement will cost more than constructing a concrete slab. A full basement costs between $10 and $25 per square foot, whereas slab foundations cost about $4 per square foot.

It takes longer to construct a barndominium with a basement. A slab foundation can be laid in a single day, and construction can begin shortly after. A basement foundation’s construction and excavation could take many weeks.

2. Requires expertise

A basement foundation may require an architect or engineer to modify the plans. Modifications to the frame or particular considerations, like changing the footing depth, may be necessary.

3. Many risks

In some areas, such as those with high water tables, choosing a basement foundation may increase the danger of water damage, especially if your basement sits below the water table.

You’ll need a French drain dug around the house to control runoff and a sump pump system to control the water in the basement. Both of these fixes require money and time and hence can be inconvenient.

Basement alternatives for barndominiums

You can get a slab foundation or a crawl space if you opt against a basement foundation.

1. Slab

The most popular option is a slab foundation, which consists of a basic, flat cement slab. Since they are easier to make, you can build the barndominium’s frame more quickly. They are also the least expensive choice.

2. Crawl Spaces

Crawl areas often have an average height of 3 to 4 feet and are unfinished. There is only enough space to fit a crawl. A crawl space is mainly used for additional storage and access to the subfloor.

Like a partial basement, a crawlspace can be built with a slab surrounding it to support the barndominium’s frame, preventing the need to modify its design.


In the long run, barndominiums provide many of the same design options as traditional homes. All basements are possible but may need extra work and knowledge. 

Consider hiring a seasoned builder who has laid basement barndominiums if you decide to add a basement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put a basement under a pole barn home?

While pole barns aren’t meant for basements, you can add one at a high cost. You can add a full, partial, or walk-out basement to the pole barn.

Are barndominiums good in cold weather?

Barndominiums are good in cold weather and can even cost less to keep warm than traditional wooden homes.

How many bedrooms can you have in a barndominium?

A barndominium can have between 2 and 4 bedrooms depending on the total square footage.

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