As one of the most accessible and affordable options for self-build homes, the popularity of barndominiums has exploded in recent years and is only expected to rise.
If you’ve decided to build your own barndominium, the particulars of your roof are going to be just one of the many important decisions you’ll have to make. Your roof is a very important decision in terms of the home’s outward appearance, energy efficiency, and functionality. There are a number of key things to consider when choosing a barndominium roof, and a range of designs you can choose from with their own distinct benefits and drawbacks.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the broad topic of barndominium roofs, their essential parts and design options, and the things you need to think about to make the right choice for your build.
Things to Consider with Barndominium Roofs
The pitch, (essentially the steepness), of your barndominium roof, can have a huge impact on the overall aesthetic of the home. Getting it wrong could mean that the whole design looks askew.
From a functional point of view, you’ll have to consult with a reputable architect to determine a suitable range of pitch angles that won’t look out of proportion to the other features of the home, but from there you’ll be able to choose a roof pitch based on the aesthetic design you’re aiming for.
As a general rule of thumb, the steeper the pitch, the more traditional the home will look.
Homes built around the Georgian period up to the turn of the century tended to have notably steep pitches, whereas homes built through the 20th century tended to have progressively shallower pitches.
Be sure to check out some of our Featured Barndominiums to get some inspiration, and find the kind of pitch that looks good to you.
The roofline refers to the area just below the eaves of the barndominium’s roof, composed of four main components that make up this part of the home: the fascias, soffits, gutters, and bargeboards.
The shape of the roofline will depend on the roof design you go with, which we’ll get into further down the page.
However, the four components listed above come in a range of neutral colors and subtly different styles to choose from, based on the other design conventions of your barndo’s exterior.
Uninsulated barndominiums are prone to getting hot in the summer and cool in the winter, so insulation is another key component to bear in mind when mapping out your barndominium roof.
Some of the most popular choices for barndominium insulation include:
Batt Insulation: Dense and effective, batt insulation comes in pre-cut sections 15 to 24 inches by 48 to 93 inches, all great at retaining heat. While it’s effective once installed, it will need to be nailed in, which can be a challenge when working with sheet metal.
Roll Insulation: Like batt, roll insulation is another dense blanket insulation, sold in long rolls 20 to 40 feet long rather than sectioned strips. Though cheaper than batt insulation, the roll form can be awkward to work with when insulating uniquely shaped roofs, and may require extra trimming to get the result you want.
Radiant Barriers: These aren’t strictly insulation, and are instead panels designed for reflecting heat. Though they won’t do much to retain the heat of your barndo if you’re building in an area with cold winters, for barndos in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and other hot states, these could be a great option to keep your barndo cool through those intense summers.
What Type of Roof Should My Barndominium Have?
Now that we’ve looked at some of the fundamentals of barndominium roofs, here’s some of the options available when choosing a barndominium roof.
Barndominium Gable Roofs
The most popular barndominium roof style, gable roofs, have two equal surfaces that rise, usually at a fairly shallow pitch, to form an ‘A’ shape.
Aesthetically pleasing, cost-efficient, and relatively quick to construct, it’s very hard to go wrong with this kind of roof.
Though many people would agree that there’s a certain Old-World beauty in a standard, no-frills gable roof, they can be embellished with wraparound porches, dormers, skylights, and so on for a more unique look.
Barndominium Shed Roofs
Shed roofs, sometimes called “single slope roofs” have no conventional pitch, and instead feature one continuous roofline, usually at a fairly shallow angle.
This style of roof is typically associated with sheds and outbuildings and will give a barndominium a distinctly rustic, rural character.
Shed roofs are an increasingly popular choice for self-builds due to the fact they can be made out of any kind of material and don’t leave anywhere for water to pool.
They’re also much more affordable compared to other roof options, and easy to construct if you’re going the DIY route.
The main downside to this option is the aesthetic, which many people find is a little too commercial and, well… shed-like!
Barndominium Flat Roofs
Barndominium flat roofs lend themselves to a more modern, simplified look that could be just the right feature for your build.
Flat roofs are not only considerably cheaper and easier to install than pitched roofs but also allow you space to install useful features which won’t affect the aesthetic of the home, such as HVAC systems and solar panels.
The main drawback to consider with flat roofs is the drainage.
While pitched roofs are designed to let the rain runoff them, a flat roof tends to gather large puddles when it rains.
If you’re building in an area that gets a lot of rainfall, this can cause serious issues if the roof isn’t installed properly. When subjected to a lot of rainfall, maintaining a flat roof can be quite labor-intensive, and over time you may need to hire contractors for regular inspections.
We hope you’ve found this guide to barndominium roof options useful as you finalize decisions for your barndo build. You will also find these other posts on barndominium cost, floor plans, and design software very useful.
For more guidance on building your own barndominium, be sure to check out the great FAQs, barndominum state guides; financing and insurance; and featured homes on Barndominium Homes!