How much does a barn home cost?

In all of the barn projects we have built, the question that must ultimately be answered is: We love the idea of a barn home, but how much is this going to cost? And how much does it cost to build a barn home in comparison to building a regular custom-built home?”

Our first answer to this question is that price depends on what you put into a barn home. Hardwood floors cost more than carpet or stained concrete floors. Rock on the outside walls costs more than cement board siding. Custom-built all-wood kitchen cabinets cost more than fiberboard cabinets. And construction labor costs also vary for the same items in different regions of the country.

But an easy and approximate way of determining construction cost is to look at the project like building a custom home and adding the price of the historic timber frame on top of this price. (Though the timber frame itself is structural and therefore not as much new framing is needed.)


If there is one piece of advice we give to every barn buyer it is: DO NOT BUY A BARN FRAME THAT IS NOT PROPERLY FUMIGATED! If you do, you are looking for big trouble from some very little bugs, like powder post beetles. It is one thing to fumigate a barn frame in our yard when it is disassembled. It can be over twenty times more expensive to fumigate these stubborn pests when they are in your finished barn home and you need to move out of your house and have a fumigation company tent your entire house in order to fumigate it. We have a licensed in-house fumigator and every one of our barns is thoroughly treated before it leaves our yard with a fumigant that is effective yet has no residual effect.

Why buy a historic barn frame and not a new timber frame?

Our antique timber-framed homes have timeless character that cannot be duplicated in a home built with new materials. The materials speak of a past in which craftsmanship and enduring quality went hand-in-hand. The hand-hewn structural timbers were cut from the early American virgin forests and are much larger than any timbers available today. These time-tested, hand-crafted structures are then finished with modern, innovative, energy-efficient designs and materials. The completed structures make beautiful and unique homes, guest houses, commercial spaces and even…barns!

How old are your barns?

Our barns range in age from 125 to more than 250 years old. Many pre-date the American Revolution (1776), the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803 and the Battle of the Alamo (1836).

How do you know the age of these barn frames?

The primary clues that give away the original time period of a barn’s construction are the tools and construction methods used to build them. The types of tools used are known by the marks they left on the timbers. As the Industrial Revolution of the 1800’s began to influence agriculture, changing its focus from self-sufficient homesteads to larger, agri-business farms, it likewise affected the construction of barns. Also useful, but not always available, are historical documents, oral traditions, or family histories that give a date to the building’s construction.

We have also recently started to use dendrochronology, that is dating by study of the growth rings in the beams. This method of dating is very precise and can give us the exact year the timbers were cut.

Are there differences in the framing of barns?

One of the wonderful things about these barns is that no two are the same. While each frame follows one of several basic traditional designs, the variations in a barn’s overall size, species of wood, girth of the timbers, etc. are as diverse and unique as the farmers who used them, the craftsmen who built them, and the resources of the region in which they were built.

What is the resale value of a barn home? If I decide to sell my barn home someday, will a unique home like this appeal to a large segment of home buyers?

Barn homes are now widely touted in construction and design magazines. Architectural Digest regularly runs articles featuring restored barn homes, and other articles featuring barn homes are coming out regularly in publications as diverse as Victorian Homes and Timber Homes Illustrated. Barn homes have also been regularly featured on programs such as “This Old House.” The uniqueness, rustic beauty, and timeless craftsmanship of restored, historic timber-frames are appealing to a very wide cross section of custom home buyers and therefor enhance their resale value.

Is it hard to design a home using a barn?

Numerous options are available in designing your barn home. You can use one barn or several, add lofts, and even use conventional framing to make additions to the barn frame. Please take a look at our finished projects on the Showcase of Completed Homes page to view some interesting and creative variations.

Do you offer design services?

Heritage Restorations offers complete Architectural design / build services. We are AIA members staffed to produce Architectural drawings and details. Re-claimed timber design and construction is a unique construction type. Designing and building projects from concept to completion is an exciting way for us to explore the large number of options available in a re-purposed custom space.

Barn Home Design

Barn Home Design

What are the steps in building a barn home?

Building a barn home is not a mystery and anyone who builds conventional homes will not have a difficult time building a barn home. To give you an idea of what it takes, we will walk you through a typical process.

1-Initial contact
Call our office and let us know your ideas. What size home. How many bedrooms and baths, etc.

You may have a floor plan for your house in mind or you may need to look at plans. We can show you plans that you can modify to your likes or we can help you come up with an entirely new plan. Instead of working with our design team, you may have already have plans or want to enlist an architect to help you with the plans. We will gladly work with your plans or any architect you wish to work with.

3-General Contractor or Do it yourself
You may have the skill to be your own contractor. Our barn frame sales contract includes standing the historic frame on your foundation. Depending on where the project is located, we also have a general contracting company that is capable of completing all the construction on your home. If we only supply the frame, we are available to advise your general contractor with whatever questions he may have, since we have built lots of barn homes, start to finish and want your project to be everything you expect and hope for.

4-Once you have a rough or precise plan, you know what barn will work and whether you want to go ahead with purchasing a barn frame.

5-Depending on your locale, you may need to go through a permit process with the local town. We have never had a problem with this process. Even though building a barn home is unique, it is universally accepted.

7-You have your land and your builder and your barn frame and you are ready to begin. First the site needs to be cleared and the foundation put in.

8-The barn frame may be already restored and in storage in our yard, or we may be in the process of taking it down. Preparation of the barn frame will not be a delaying factor in most all of our barn projects. We have an experienced crew that is able to meet deadlines. It is also at this time that any alterations to the frame are done to customize it to your plan.

9-Then we arrive with the barn frame. (Now it gets exciting.) In under a week our crew will have your barn frame stood. It is now ready for panels or for the walls to be framed.

10-Then you will go through the rest of the process of building, not unlike any other house:
Framing or SIP panels, roofing, exterior siding, plumbing and electrical, heating and air conditioning, interior finishes, cabinetry, flooring, painting, fixtures.

And then you move in and realize that it really is a wonderful, unique house. Everyone will marvel at it. You will become a revered historian and local legend. And you will sleep better at night with the thought that some time, hundreds of years ago, perhaps even before Thomas Jefferson sat down and wrote the Declaration of Independence or Washington and his small army crossed the Delaware, or Davy Crockett and his Tennessee Volunteers died defending the Alamo, some pioneers built your home’s barn frame by hand with the broad axe and adz from the wild, virgin forest. And they never imagined in their wildest dreams that one day you would be living in it . . . and neither did you.

Do you travel to other states?

Yes. We will restore and relocate these historic buildings anywhere in the world.

Do you build the complete home?

Yes. We can supply the historic timber frame, restored and re-erected on your building site. We can also provide custom millwork such as doors, flooring and staircases, as well as antique materials. And we general contract the entire finish out of homes.

When I purchase a barn home from you, are you available to help me through the process, even if you do not do the general contracting?

We stay with you throughout the process and are always available to you, your contractor and your architect.

What type of foundation is best for a barn home?

We have built barn homes on concrete slabs, on pier and beams with wood-framed floors, and on full basements. You can finish the floors in anything you like, including carpet, tile, wood or stained concrete.

What are SIPs?

Structural Insulated Panels, or SIPs, are a cost-competitive, highly energy-efficient and labor-saving way to enclose an historic timber frame, and have been used in new construction for decades. They are basically panelized walls, replacing in one step: framing, sheathing, and insulating.

Do you have to use SIPs to enclose the timber frame?

No, you can use conventional 2x4 framing around the timbers and insulate with spray foam or fiberglass or other insulation.

How does the energy efficiency of a frame wrapped with SIPs or spray-foamed compare to conventional construction?

SIPs and spray foam have several energy-saving advantages over standard construction methods. Their R values are at least 30-40% higher than fiberglass insulation of the same thickness, but this is only half the story. Their greatest energy-saving advantage over conventional framing and insulating is they create a seamless, insulated envelope around the timber frame.

Does using SIPs limit the type of interior and exterior finishes I can use?

Not at all. You can use any type of roofing siding, and interior finishes available for conventionally constructed buildings. We have finished barns wrapped in SIPs with roofs of metal, slate, cedar shake, copper, and asphalt shingles. Exterior siding can be stone, wood, stucco, brick or any combination of materials. Interior finishes also can be anything from textured and painted drywall to stone and antique barn wood.

How are electrical wires and plumbing run in an SIP?

The panels come with wire chases already run in them. You simply tap into these existing chases. If access is needed somewhere off the standard pattern, the panels can be cut from the inside to allow wire and pipe installation, then the openings resealed with spray foam.

How long does it take to build a barn home?

After the foundation is prepared, we can deliver and erect your barn frame in one week. Once the frame is erected, SIPs can be installed, depending on the size of the barn, in as little as 3 or 4 days. From there, the finish out will take no longer than any other custom home.

What other antique materials do you have available?

We have a large inventory of antique materials, including weathered barn siding, 2-inch thick threshing floor boards, and many other types of materials. We also have hand-hewn timbers, hand-forged iron hardware, barn doors, and more.

Learn More About Our Antique Materials.

Do you need to put a finish on the beams?

You can, but rarely do people finish the beams. They have a deep, rich patina that has been acquired by years of exposure and they do not need a finish.

Do they smell like a barn?

All of our barns are completely washed and fumigated during restoration. We have never had a problem with residual odors.

How to Date a Barn

How to Date a Barn

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