Barndominium, Shed House, or Shouse?
We prefer to call these project Post Frame Residential Homes. Post frame is the construction method vs. traditional “stick built” homes with a foundation. Post Frame construction is the method used in storage buildings and barns.
There is a growing interest in post frame homes for a number of reasons but we have found the reason is primarily for the value. With both materials and labor increasing in cost over the last few years, people are looking for ways to make their dream home and space become a reality which makes “shouses” sound like a reasonable option to explore.
The value in post frame construction comes primarily from a few parts of the construction technique:
- A traditional stick built home requires a foundation and footing around the whole perimeter of the home while post frame homes require a footing every six to eight feet. With a full foundation and footing there is a lot of money spent in excavation and cement work. With post frame construction we auger holes where necessary and at a fraction of the price. This isn’t the time to get into the details on how both of these methods transfer the weight of the building to the ground below the frost line, but we are trying to explain the savings in going with post frame construction.
- Another big savings in building a post frame home is the how the exterior is done. With a traditional stick build home the frame is sheathed in OSB board then covered with house wrap and then your exterior of choice (vinyl or cement board siding, cedar, brick, asphalt shingles, steel roofing, etc.). A post frame home is built just like a typicalbarn except after we frame the building we put up a house wrap and then go over it with the same steel you see on our standard post frame buildings. The savings in labor and materials for the wood sheathing add up and the steel siding and roofing used is an economical option compared to others.
In these two components of the construction of a home, it is easy to see there will be savings if all other things are built equal. There are additional ways to save like being your own General Contractor for the project or finishing the home yourself.
A couple of things to share with you based on conversations had with others who have been interested:
- RAM can only build a complete turnkey home in certain circumstances with factors including geography and timing. Building a home requires a lot of attention (nearly daily) and we wouldn’t want to underserve you or your project by taking it on and not being able to be there at times we should. We have built turnkey and nearly turnkey homes but a large majority of our post frame projects were done with us completing the shell only or the shell with additional responsibilities like the excavation, insulation, cement work, heating and plumbing.
- Some people expect a post frame residential to be able to build a home for less than half of the cost of standard construction. This is a very tough to quantify but if all things were equal besides the two points above and the homeowner General Contracted the project themselves, it is hard to say that this could be done. If you did general contract the project yourself and went with economical finishes, it may be possible to get close to that kind of savings per square foot but it I wouldn’t bet on it. Others ask for a per square foot price and frankly there are just too many variables to give you one a per sq ft price.
If you are considering a post frame home feel free to contact us and have a conversation about your thoughts, needs and what we can do for you. They really are a great way to build a home with a connected shop of storage garage and we really enjoy being a part of building them. Call us today for more information!