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How We Built a Barn Debt Free

If you are thinking about building a barn and you refuse to go into debt to do it the tips below are for you. It won’t be easy but boy it will be rewarding.

Why do you need a barn?

Before you start- you have to know your why. This is important for the whole rest of the barn building. Why do you need a barn? Do you need a barn right now in this season of life?

What does the future look like for your barn?

We knew we needed a barn for our animals. We were currently and still do use our 100+-year-old barn. The chickens go in it at night and that is about it. It’s unsafe and its life is questionable at this point. 

I have always wanted a small farm. Now that we have the acres to build on the animals will continue to come. In fact they have come look how many animals I have in this barn today here.

We started with a potbelly pig who lived inside with us for a whole year, I knew this wasn’t going to last. He was our motivator to really look at building a barn.

We talked about the barn for an entire year. Where to put it, how big to make it, it took a lot of planning and prayer into finding out which spot was best. 

At this point in our lives hiring someone to do any DIY work like building a barn is out of the question. We love a challenge and Eric is pretty amazing when it comes to building stuff. 

Since he was building the barn himself we also had to figure in what he could realistically handle. 

Check out how we did our Kitchen Makeover HERE.

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What size and what can you actually afford

Which leads us into this question. You have to know what size you can actually afford. I would have loved to have the money to fix up the original 100-year-old barn. We even dabbled down that path and had a couple quotes. Just to get the foundation level was $12,000. We would be looking at a $30,000 investment to the barn.

We don’t have $30,000 for a barn for animals.  It wasn’t an option, not at this time. 

We looked at the money coming in from my side hustle, blogging. We figured out in a few months by taking my income and using that to build our barn we would have the entire thing paid for. We didn’t have to take out any loans or use our credit cards. 

Blogging has been an amazing journey for me. If you want to learn more about blogging and how to make money with it go here.

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We went into building a barn without any debt other than our mortgage. It’s important to note this because we already have a system in place when it comes to how we spend money and look at debt.

We took a long hard path to get here, but once you change your mindset, it becomes a lot easier to know what you need and want. What you can afford and what you can’t.

You may want to consider GETTING out of debt before you build your barn

This will mean a behavior change. That is the key to starting a debt-free life. You must change behavior.  You can read more on debt-free living here.

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We knew, for now, we didn’t need a huge barn. We only have a few items to put inside and we only have a couple of pigs. Our goal is to add a couple of goats and sheep.

These animals will fit nicely into this new barn.  Take a minute to think about the future and what you need from the barn.

Don’t forget to figure in permits for your budget. Every state and country will vary on requirements and fees.

We needed a loft to store hay in a safe place. It’s a gamble every time we step foot into the older barn. 

When it comes to living below your means and building a barn you probably won’t get everything you want. That can be difficult to accept depending on where you are on your financial journey.

It’s best to let it go and focus on the here and now. What you can afford now and what your purpose for the barn is now. 

Who’s to say you can’t add on in the future right?


Time Consideration

How long will the barn take to build? If you are going to follow our route and do it all yourself, think about what else is going on and will it disrupt the barn building.

For me with my husband, I know when a big project is coming on like this I don’t offer much physical help, but I’m there taking care of the rest of life.

The challenge for me is to know it’s my time with the kids. I have to help pick up some of the other chores he may not be getting to because his time is going towards the barn.

It takes teamwork and schedule changes but for us, it’s worth it. It isn’t a permanent thing and we were able to build our barn ourselves and for a whole lot less. 

When it comes to spending money, I always say do I have money to spend or time? Usually, it’s a little of both, but if you do hire out others to do things for you, you’re paying them for their time. 


We started the barn in April 2018. We finished it completely the end of July 2018.  My husband was the one who worked on it. He had his dad come out twice for a few hours. Otherwise, it was him and him alone.

The only thing I contributed was managing the rest of the family and homestead while he worked on the barn. Oh and a few Vlog videos too


The barn is 24’x24′ with a 16’x8′ loft.  It cost us $8,000 for everything. We do have electric in the barn as well. 

We have two stall doors inside that house the minipigs. 

It is a beautiful building and one we hope will last many years. You can watch the video below of it coming together. 

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Sunday 26th of July 2020

Love this. Will you share the blueprints


Tuesday 28th of July 2020

We didn't make any blueprints. Sorry. My husband just made a rough outline and went from there.


Sunday 3rd of May 2020

Love the barn. Can you give me the material list?

Sharlee Anderson

Saturday 11th of April 2020

Hi we are expanding our barn and I’m curious as to what you used for flooring in your barn? I’m having a hard time finding what is right and what is cheap. I love that you guys built it yourself.


Friday 8th of January 2021

We used rubber barn mats. These work great.


Saturday 11th of April 2020

Hey we have stones that's it. I have used the pellets in the pig pen for their pooping corner. But other than that we have straw down. We did sand in the chicken coop in the barn. For us it wasn't worth the cost of pouring concrete.


Monday 16th of March 2020

Your barn is beautiful! What did you use for siding, roofing, flashing, sliding barn door? I love the colors and style.


Thursday 8th of August 2019

Do you have a building plan or blueprint you'd be willing to share?


Tuesday 13th of August 2019

Hi Lisa, my husband drew up a very basic drawing and kind of went along with it as he went.

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