Mastering the Barndo: Is a Barndominium Good in Cold Weather?
September 15, 2023
It’s the dead of winter. You’re cozied up in your dream barndominium that was finished in time for the holidays. You sit with your family, partner, or pets on your couch in front of your TV, wrapped in blankets, and hot cocoa in hand. You’re practically bubbling with excitement and comfort. You hear the howl of the wind outside and to your dismay, a cold draft moves through the house and you wonder “Is my barndominium good in cold weather?”
Due to their open spaces and construction, you may be asking yourself, “Can I build a barndominium in cold climates?” “Will they keep me warm in the winter and extreme weather?” “Are barndominiums good in cold weather?” Living in a barndominium in a cold climate requires proper insulation, heating solutions, and the best doors and windows to ensure year-round comfort, but it can be done.
In this blog post, we’ll take you on a tour of the barndominium and show you how barndominiums hold up in the winter and extreme weather and how you can insulate and weatherproof your barndo so you stay warm and safe no matter the climate.
Pros and Cons of Barndos
The benefits and drawbacks of barndos may vary depending on the size, the area you live in, and the type of material you use. Here are a few of the major pros and cons of barndos.
Advantages of Barndos
Barndominiums are often cheaper than traditional homes. Whether you’re designing it yourself, buying a pre-built barndo, or using a DIY barndo kit, barndos tend to run cheaper than a traditional home with similar square footage.
Barndos also tend to have lower taxes and insurance rates.
Resilient barndos, especially those made from steel, will require fewer repairs and have a longer life when compared to traditional homes.
Steel barndos are also resistant to rot, mold, mildew, termites, fire, and extreme weather. Resilience is also a great aspect of a barndominium in a cold climate.
One of the great advantages of barndos is the flexibility of space they provide, allowing you to combine function and design to craft the perfect custom home. When designing a barndo you can decide how big you want your living spaces and workspace to be in order to work best for you and your family.
Disadvantages of Barndos
While far from impossible, financing a barndo is more difficult than getting a mortgage on a traditional home. Getting a loan from a lender can be challenging, but there are options out there like going with farm credit lenders.
Reselling Your Barndominium
The flexibility and specificity of your design is a double-edged sword. You can cater your new home to your specific needs and wants, but that may make it more difficult to sell depending on how much you customize the space.
Despite the popularity of barndos, they remain a niche, meaning some buyers will inevitably prefer to purchase a traditional home rather than a barndo.
Some cities and towns may not let residents build barndos. Therefore, look into your local building regulations to see if barndominiums are an option for you.
Barndominium Weather Resistance
Weather resistance is a vital consideration whenever you’re considering buying or building a home. Weather resistance keeps you and your home safe from storms, flooding, and extreme weather events, considerations that are becoming all the more necessary as storms increase in frequency and severity across the globe.
A resilient home won’t only keep you comfortable and safe while you weather storms, but it will also prevent you from spending money on costly repairs.
Water and Rain Resistance
Metal barndominiums are particularly resistant to rain and water. Metals roofs and sidings will keep water out, preventing rot, structural damage, flooding, mold, and mildew. Using galvanized steel will also prevent the metal from rusting.
You might think that having a metal barndo puts a big bullseye on your home for the storm clouds. But steel doesn’t attract lightning and because of its lower electrical resistance, the heat and energy can be more easily spread out and channeled into the ground.
High winds can cause serious damage to a home by damaging siding and roofs and opening the house up to more damage from wind and rain. If you visit tornado-prone areas in the country, you’ll notice how common barndos are. This is because metal barndos in particular offer better wind resistance than traditional homes. If you’re in a hurricane or tornado-prone area, you may also reap additional insurance benefits for using a storm-proof metal roof.
Moisture Problems in Barndominiums
Similar to some traditional homes, owners of barndos may notice condensation appear and accumulate around windows and/or inside double pane windows that aren’t properly sealed. If this problem is ignored, the moisture can seep into the walls of the house and cause corrosion or rot.
This problem is most common around windows and walls that do not have adequate overhangs shielding them from moisture. Gables, awnings, hips, covered porches, and other types of overhangs protect doors and windows from moisture and rain, preventing this problem from occurring in the first place.
How to Keep Your Barndo Warm and Comfortable
Keeping your barndominium warm, insulated, and weatherproof won’t only provide you with peace of mind and comfort, but it’ll also save you money on repairs and utility bills. The difference in savings between energy efficient housing compared to conventional housing is nothing short of significant. More energy efficient housing reduces the burden on HVAC systems, saving you money on heating and cooling.
Is a barndominium good in cold weather? That depends on its construction, insulation, and your barndo’s windows and doors. Here are some factors to consider when building your barndominium in cold climates.
People underestimate just how important ventilation is. During the summer it’s vital to keep us cool and prevent hot air from getting trapped in the ceilings and attics of our homes. What people often forget is that ventilation plays a major role in moisture control.
As humans, we naturally generate moisture. Add cooking, showering, and house plants to the mix and you’ve got significant amounts of moisture being produced inside the home. During the winter when we close the windows to keep warm air inside, that warm, humid sticks to the walls or air rises to the attic and ceiling where it can cause corrosion, rot, mildew, and mold.
Attic vents, attic fans, whole house fans, dehumidifiers, or anything that improves ventilation and/or removes moisture will keep your home dry and intact year-round.
Another great way to improve passive ventilation is to utilize your doors and windows. Double pane windows and quality insulated doors can keep you warm when closed and allow for additional ventilation when open.
If you live in a climate that experiences cold winters, the best thing you can do for yourself and your barndominium in the cold is to ensure it’s properly insulated. Combined with proper ventilation, an insulated home will result in additional comfort and more energy efficient housing that makes it easy to maintain temperatures throughout the year, keeping your barndominium warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Talk to your builders about ensuring maximum insulation inside your barndo. If you’re building your barndo yourself or already own one, there are steps you can take to improve insulation.
Some effective insulation for your barndo includes:
- Spray foam insulation
- Foam boards
- Radiant barriers
- Batt and roll insulation
- Insulated windows for your barndominium like double pane windows
Feel like taking an extra step to make sure your barndominium is good in cold weather? Then consider radiant heat flooring. Your barndominium in the cold will stay warm from the floor up with radiant heat flooring, keeping your feet and the rest of the home toasty throughout the fiercest winters.
Keep Warm with Panda Windows & Doors
You can have all of the insulation in the world laid out on your barndominium’s floors, ceiling, and walls but if your windows and doors aren’t insulated and weather resistant, your barndominium in the cold will continue to leak warm air in the winter, wasting energy as you struggle to maintain temperatures inside your home.
Durable, weather-resistant, energy-efficient doors and windows will keep you comfortable and warm throughout the winter and summer while saving you money on heating, cooling, and future repairs.
At Panda Windows & Doors, we offer a range of doors and windows for barndominiums and traditional homes. Our windows and doors are fully customizable, coming in a variety of styles, functions, and sizes. A few of our stylish, functional, and winter/weatherproof windows and doors include All Aluminum Thermally Broken French Doors, Hurricane-Rated IMPACT Lift & Slide Doors, and Thermally Broken Windows.
At Panda Windows & Doors the possibilities are endless, but the result is always the same: highly functional and stylish windows and doors that keep you and your home warm throughout the coldest winters and most vicious storms.
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