Garagedominiums 101 | Barndominium Garage Floor Plans


Barndominiums have exploded in popularity in the last few years thanks to their open floor plans and beautiful design concepts. However, there is room for improvement and a different focus with barndo designs, and this has led to the rise of the garagedominium.

What Is A Garagedominium?

what is a garagedominium

The garagedominium is a combination of barndominium garage that is a home with a focus on the garage area. Instead of the garage being a simple addition to the home, it’s the focal point of garagedominiums, offering you an open floor plan where you:

  • Park your autos in your home
  • Access the rest of the home from the garage

Most floor plans have a large upstairs area that allows you to overview your autos below. A lot of builders and owners consider these a barndo garage or shop homes. However, there are key differences that you should know about when choosing between the two concepts.

Garagedominium vs Traditional Barndos

If you look at barndominiums with garage floor plans, you’ll find that they look similar to the garagedominium. With that said, there are a lot of key differences. For many people, the exterior of the barndominium offers major appeal and is one of the main reasons to build.

When choosing a garagedominium, you’ll opt for a building that is a garage first.

Most floor plans show this concept by:

  • Leaving the entire first floor of the space for the garage
  • Creating the living space on the second floor of the home

Homeowners who love their cars will appreciate the garagedominium. It’s a beautiful concept for a functional home, and there are a lot of unique uses to consider, too.

Common Uses for a Garagedominium

A garagedominium is more than a barndo garage with a breezeway. These spaces can be used for a variety of different uses, such as:

  • Main residences. Many owners live in their garagedominium as their primary home. If you love autos and want a unique space, this is a good option for you.
  • Guest residence. If you have a lot of guests coming to your home, this type of home offers ample parking space while also offering a second-floor home with all of the comforts of home.
  • Hobby spaces. Do you love cars and want to go a step above a man cave? If so, hobby spaces offer a nice choice, with the option of having beds, a full kitchen and more in your space.

Of course, you can use your garagedominium as an office space or more. However, there are a few things that you need to consider, too.

What to Consider When Choosing a Garage Barndo Structure

Garagedominiums have a lot of perks, but you do need to consider a few things before getting started:

  • will be more difficult than a traditional home, which we’ll discuss in greater detail below.
  • Local restrictions, especially if you have an HOA, may make it difficult to build your own garagedominium. You’ll need to contact your local zoning office to learn more about restrictions or zoning requirements.
  • Wind and snow ratings must meet local requirements. You may need to adapt your garagedominium plans to be able to meet local code.

However, there are a lot of pros to consider, too.


Hidden Beauties

If you’re a private person who doesn’t want to announce to the world that you live in an upscale home, a garagedominium is a good option. Most of these models look like a massive garages, but the inside is filled with some of the nicest interiors that you’ll find.

Open Floor Plan

Large, open spaces are a popular trend that shows no signs of slowing down. People love these open spaces because they maximize their floor space in ways that aren’t possible with a traditional home.

Vehicles and Parking Space

Protect all of your most important vehicles and assets all under one roof. You can park all of your autos or farm vehicles under one roof. If you’re concerned about theft or safety, a garagedominium offers you peace of mind that a single security system can protect your home and “toys.”



If you opt for a traditional garagedominium, where the first floor of the home is a massive open space garage, you’ll want to spend a lot of money on insulation. The large, open space is a challenge to heat and one of the things that owners must consider.

Spending more on insulation will allow you to reduce future energy costs.

However, you can also seal the garage area off with an interior door to further improve the energy efficiency of the space.


Financing a barndo or garagedominium can be a challenge because the banking industry remains far behind the new building trends. You’ll need to work with a builder who has agreements with local lenders if you want an “easy” financing option.

However, you may be able to:

  • Secure financing from a credit union
  • Pay for the unit in cash
  • Find a traditional lender who offers these non-traditional loans

You may find that farm credit lenders or a local, non-chain bank are the easiest options when trying to find financing.

Why Build a Garagedominium?

Morriston FL 6
A unique open-air metal garage. © Amy Jo Lord

Garagedominiums are just another option if you want to build a home or space without a massive budget. These structures are often metal buildings, so you can avoid the rising material costs that are causing stick-built home prices to soar.

When material prices were at an all-time high, interest in metal buildings like this skyrocketed.

However, there are a few other reasons why you may want to consider building a garagedominium instead of a traditional structure:

  • Faster build time. Metal buildings have their components made with precision in a factory, so when the time comes for construction, the build time is much faster. You can begin prepping the lot and be confident that the home’s components are being worked on at the same time in the factory.
  • Less waste. Factory-built structures produce much less waste, so you can be confident that your building will have less impact on the environment.
  • Easy maintenance. Metal buildings are strong and do not have the same concerns as wooden homes. You don’t need to worry about mold, pests or other common issues that happen with wooden structures.

Garagedominiums will increase the value of your property if you already have a home on the lot. Due to their open floor plans and the strength of the building, many owners have an easy time selling their building, too.

For example, there was a recent garagedominium that was sold in Tennessee, which shows just how beautiful these structures are and that they will be a good investment, too.

Feature Spotlight: Tennessee Garagedominium

The garagedominium concept seems great on paper, but what about in real life? To see what this type of home really looks like, check out this garagedominium in Crossville, TN that recently sold.


The structure features an industrial office area with seating for customers, a reception desk, a waiting area, a restroom and a back office. A huge, attached garage offers plenty of working space. Just off of the garage area is a kitchen area and more open space that can be used however you want.

In the loft area on the second floor is the living space. Here, you’ll find a very modern open kitchen and living area with stainless steel appliances and an industrial theme that matches the garage. The living area also has a large master suite with a walk-in closet/laundry area, walk-in shower and dual-sink vanity.

From the exterior, the structure simply looks like a large metal, three-bay garage. Its unassuming exterior is part of what makes garagedominiums like this so attractive.

In total, the entire structure offers 4,000 square feet of space, giving you plenty of room to run a commercial operation and still live comfortably on-site.

Garagedominium Floor Plans and Designs

Even though garagedominiums are still a new concept, you’ll find lots of exciting plans available online, including:

Karmim House Plans Garagedominium

These plans from Karmim House Plans are ideal for anyone wanting a small barndo-style home. This two-bedroom home has 800 square feet of living space, a loft, a garage and more.

The 12’ x 16’ garage has two entrances, one of which leads to the kitchen and living area. The open living and dining area has plenty of space for a sofa, chairs and a dining table. The kitchen sits along the back wall and offers enough space for all modern appliances.

Off of the kitchen and dining area are the bedroom and bathroom. The bedroom is in the loft area, which overlooks the living spaces below.

The plans include 58 PDFs:

  • 3D interior and exterior renderings
  • Material and cut lists
  • Graphical practice schemes
  • Plumbing plan
  • Ground floor lumber plan
  • Mezzanine floor lumber plan
  • plan
  • Roof lumber plan
  • Ground and mezzanine floor plans
  • Door and window details
  • Furniture plans
  • More

These plans can be customized to meet your needs, and you can also build custom plans through this Etsy seller.

Architectural Designs Plan 62868DJ

These barndominium plans from Architectural Designs include a massive garage that can easily be transformed into the garagedominium of your dreams.

The garage portion of the home has more than 3,500 square feet of space. The 59’ x 59’ garage is completely open with a cathedral ceiling, so you can do whatever you want with the space.

Attached to the garage is a two-story home with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Two loft bedrooms overlook the living space below.

In total, this barndo has 2,776 square feet of living space in the home area. The large, attached garage is enough space to fit four cars or to transform into another living area that you can rent out or just enjoy.

The plans include just about everything you need to get this project off the ground. However, very few customization options are available with these plans, so keep this in mind. To customize or modify the plans, you will need to pay an additional fee.

Final Thoughts

With a garagedominium, the garage is the star of the show. Sure, it has a living space, but the garage is the most important area of the structure. If you have a shop or spend a lot of time working in your garage, the garagedominium concept may be a good fit for you.

These barndos are quicker to construct than traditional homes and they’re generally less expensive. If you’re considering building a home and love the barndo style, the garagedominium takes it one step further by offering all of the garage space you could ever want or need.