Barndominium styles continue to grow in popularity due to their spacious living areas, open floor plans, and high, vaulted ceilings. With the ultra-customizable nature of all this open space in a barndo, one of our most raved-about additions to our barndominium floor plans is the built-in loft.
The barndominium with loft design provides many benefits, as well as a few possible downsides, that we think you should consider. If you still think this house plan is right for you, take a look at our design ideas for inspiration for your barndominium-style home.
Benefits of Barndominium With Loft Designs
Depending on your needs, a loft can make or break how much you enjoy your barndominium life. Here are four ways a loft can improve your living space:
1. Extra Usable Space
Open floor plans are amazing in that they provide freedom in design and plenty of open space, but they can create a challenge when it comes to privacy. Adding a loft can bring some privacy to your open living space. Whether you’re looking for a home office, a place to work out, or storage for your winter clothes, you’ll always find a purpose for those extra square feet over the main room of your barndominium.
2. Variety and Character
A loft space gives the rest of your living space character and separation. It adds variety to the large open space of the main house without completely dividing up the great room. Whether you situate your loft over the living room or build a master suite with a laundry room underneath, you can avoid putting up unnecessary walls and still add variety to your barndo layout. A loft brings a warm, more livable feeling to the rest of the house by adding separation and layers.
3. Take Advantage of High Ceilings
By adding a loft space, you get the utility of a second floor in your barn home without sacrificing the spacious feel of the vaulted ceilings on your main level. The expansive overhead space that makes barndos so unique is perfect for lofted designs. You can add a loft or mezzanine without having to stoop to enjoy the main floor.
4. Amplify the Barn Aesthetic
The modern American concept of the loft comes from the hayloft of a barn. So it makes a lot of sense that a loft space complements the rustic feel of your barndo. Use a loft to create a covered porch or to give your master bedroom a bird's eye view of the family room on the first floor. You can lean into the farmhouse style with barn house decor or go for a sleek, modernized home design.
A well-constructed loft can be used for almost anything, from a stylish master bedroom to a home office to a walk-in closet. There’s nothing quite like it for a clever way to add function to your barn house plans.
Possible Drawbacks to the Barndominium With Loft
The extra space of a loft is handy, and it's fun impressing your friends with the clever ways you’ve added storage or office space to your barndominium design without sacrificing the dining room table. But there are some potential downsides to adding loft space that are worth considering.
Because a loft is not fully closed off from the rest of the open floor plan, you can't heat or cool it separately. This can mean paying higher utility bills as you try to keep cool or stay warm up there. It can also pose a challenge for a multiple-bedroom barndominium with sleeping areas on different levels since you’ll have to balance the climates on each floor.
The stylishness of a cozy loft space can make some drawbacks easy to ignore, but if you have young children, live with elderly folks, or if there are people with mobility issues in your family, a barndominium with a loft won't be an ideal setup. Loft rooms are often accessed by ladders or narrow staircases, which may present problems for people with mobility impairments. And even with railings in place, the open wall of a loft is a hazard for curious toddlers.
There's a charm to a loft tucked under the rafters, but the size of your available loft space will dictate how you use it. If you're able to build super high ceilings, a loft or mezzanine floor will leave plenty of overhead space for standing and moving. But in smaller builds with lower ceilings, portions of the loft may not be usable due to the slope of the ceiling.
However, if a loft fits your lifestyle and needs, don’t be deterred. Start visualizing your own barndominium with loft space overhead — we'll help you figure out how to fit a loft into your barndominium house plans.
How to Build a Barndominium With a Loft
Once you've decided how a loft can elevate your barndominium, you can start incorporating one into your plans. Here are four tips for adding a loft to your barndominium house plan:
- Consider the purpose of your loft. A loft for sleeping can take up considerably less vertical space than one you plan to use for an office, workshop, or gym. If you want to stand up, you'll need to make sure you have a comfortable ceiling height. Standard ceilings today are 9 feet high, but a loft will often have lower overhead space than this.
- Research local building codes. Requirements and restrictions may vary depending on where you live, so look into the dimensions specified by your area's building codes. The International Residential Code specifies that a loft room in a tiny home must be at least 35 square feet, with at least 5 feet in each horizontal measurement and at least 3 feet vertically. However, states can differ in their requirements. For example, the building codes in Oregon have more specific rules regarding the walls, access, square footage, and egress of a loft space.
- Make sure you prepare for live loads. Many attic and storage spaces are built for "dead loads," meaning they're designed to support the weight of things that won't move. People are live loads — they move! — so your loft floor needs to be able to support moving weight.
- Hire and consult experts with experience. Even if you're planning to DIY your barndo, you'll need the help of knowledgeable friends and specialists at different stages of your build. Be sure to work with certified tradespeople and find a reputable builder. A Complete package from DEN Outdoors comes with detailed house plans, helpful checklists, and a comprehensive rundown of necessary building materials — everything you need to bring your dream barndominium to life.
After you and your builder are on the same page regarding your barndominium with loft plans, you can get back to the exciting part: researching and visualizing the perfect loft space for your barnhouse plans.
Barndominium With Loft Design Ideas
A loft might serve as a bedroom, study, or storage space in your barndominium. Whether you have cathedral ceilings to work with or a smaller overhead space, you can create a loft that works with your home design. We've gathered a few inspirational examples to get the sparks flying.
Modern Cottage Ladder Loft
This cozy DEN Outdoors home includes a lofted bedroom accessible by a classic wooden ladder to complete the rustic barn aesthetic. The crisp Scandinavian design of this cottage lends itself well to an efficient home for a couple or a single homeowner, but it can also be expanded with the customizations available from the team at DEN when you purchase a Complete package.
Bed-Stuy Barndo Vibes
Photo from New Affiliates Bed-Stuy Loft
An industrial loft apartment in Brooklyn may seem like a far cry from a barndominium in the peaceful countryside, but there's inspiration to be found in the loft of this New Affiliates design. The partially screened loft creates an extra layer of privacy while still allowing for light and air to pass through, and the vertical space afforded by the ultra-high ceilings provides an extremely versatile space. Besides a comfortable bedroom, you could opt for a semi-secluded home office or a breezy workout studio in a spacious loft like this.
Tucked Under the Eaves
The Modern Loft Barnhouse brings modern minimalism to the barndominium, letting the beauty of your surroundings take center stage in the design. With clean lines and industrial touches — like the rolling iron and wood step ladder that leads to the lofted room — this barndo provides space for a bedroom or a cozy reading nook under the charming, sloped ceiling of the loft.
The open floor plan of a barndominium allows you to customize the space to fit your lifestyle. These are just a few examples of the versatility of a barndominium with a loft design. Unleash your creativity on the open concept of a barndo and see how you can elevate your home style with a loft.
Get Started on Your Next-Level Barndo
Barndominiums are characterized by open floor plans, high ceilings, and rustic barn style. That's why lofts are a perfect addition to these customizable open spaces. You can get the best of both worlds by adding some privacy and variety to your barndo without cutting into your high ceilings and open concept design. Opt for something spacious with enough room to work from home or work out, or design a cozier space for sleeping, reading, or storage.
Whatever you plan for your barndominium with loft, build your dream home with DEN Outdoors. Our plan sets and highly detailed Buying Guides will help you prepare for your home build, whether you're working with a developer or builder. Purchase a Complete package to customize your home with our experienced team, or follow the plan as is to create your lofted barndominium. Find your design in our collection.