Going big with barn-style house plans

When you think ‘barn house’, you might imagine the quintessential big red American barn house seen in the fields and farms of rural USA.

Here in New Zealand, the modern barn house offers something a little more contemporary – and they’re becoming increasingly popular for a number of reasons. Barn-style houses have a few distinguishing characteristics which often include:

  • simple, sometimes rustic exteriors
  • high ceilings
  • large, open-plan living spaces
  • generously proportioned sliding doors
  • exposed beams and trusses
  • exposed natural materials such as plywood and concrete

The big benefits of barn-style houses

Steven Painter, franchise owner of Landmark Homes Taupō and Hawke’s Bay, says that a barn-style house involves relatively simple construction, “That means it can be less complicated to build, which can make it more cost effective.”

With their generous, open living spaces and high ceilings, one of the biggest benefits of a barn-style house is the feeling of spaciousness. And when modern technology and materials are added to the mix, you have a home that’s not only very family friendly, but also incredibly energy efficient and comfortable year-round.

Another great benefit of this style of home is its adaptability with the potential to expand on to the main ‘barn’. This delivers on the best of both worlds – a spacious central barn augmented by additional wings in a more traditional layout.


For Victoria and Ryan, a barn-style plan ticked all the boxes for their Taupō bach. The couple wanted to provide their young children the carefree countryside lifestyle they both enjoyed as kids. They also wanted their holiday home to be big enough to easily entertain a large numbers of guests. Victoria and Ryan had a strict budget to work with, so they were delighted with Landmark’s innovative, fresh ideas for their build.

Costs were kept low by using board and batten exterior, while keeping the floorplan clean and simple. In traditional barn-style, the living room is designed as a box design, with bedrooms and bathrooms on either side. Rather than spending on a raking ceiling, trusses were used for a similar effect, so the couple could get the high ceilings and airy vibe they craved, at a lower cost.

The garage was another innovative design element. Built larger than normal to house the family’s boat, it’s designed to also act as a rumpus room and extra kids’ bedroom – complete with bunkbeds, mounted TV, and table tennis!


With a site nestled under Mount Tamahunga in Matakana, Auckland, Scott and Reg wanted their home to maximise the incredible surrounding views.

Settling on a modern barn house plan, their home has a long rectangular footprint, a steeply pitched roof, and no eaves. “It’s quite a bold house!” says Scott. “With clean lines, high ceilings, symmetrical design, and a lot of glass, it does make a statement!”

At one end of the house is a big master suite and a cosy TV snug room to keep the television out of the socially focused main area. The other end of the home is all about open-plan living, with high, cathedral-like ceilings and massive bi-fold doors on both sides to give a voluminous barn-like feel to the space. Spectacular floor-to-ceiling windows further open the space and create the sense of a home that invites the outdoors in.

Thanks to the carefully thought-out design, the only heating needed in the entire home is a low-emissions Danish Bionic Fire. This doesn’t just work brilliantly but looks stunning too, taking centre stage in the central living space.

The house is perfect for a country where there are notoriously four seasons in one day… and ideal for a retirement property, thanks to the absence of air conditioning and heating costs which keeps bills low.

Looking for some barn-style house inspiration?

Our ready to build plans are a great starting point to inspire your own barn-style home. You may decide you like the plans just as they are, or decide to alter the floor plan, add a room, or move the living space.

We can also design and build exactly what you want from scratch… anything is possible! Here are a couple of barn-style house plans to inspire you.


With a centrally positioned open plan barn-style living area, a guest wing on one side and the master suite on the other, our Hukanui plan is all about versatility and flexibility. This plan is a great example of how a central barn-style living area can be complemented with additional rooms in a more traditional layout. It’s also a great option for those looking for separate living quarters that can be closed off from the main living area of the house – ideal for an Airbnb arrangement.


The Ararimu plan steps up the barn-style layout with a second level master suite. All the benefits of barn-style architecture – spacious open plan living, high ceilings, and natural materials – are included within a more contemporary look and feel.

Inspired to take the next step toward your own barn-style house? Contact us today to get started!

Generated at: 23/07/2024, 06:55:54.579 pm