Windows and Doors for your Barndominium

Common Question: I want to order everything from the same place. I like your kits. Why can’t I order doors or windows through you to make things simpler?

A: You like our barndominium kits, and the prices at which we offer them, because we design and manufacture them in-house. We’re proud of the quality we offer and we’re confident in it, too, because we’ve spent decades perfecting our product.

But we don’t manufacture windows or doors. We could sell them to you, sure. We’d buy them from a supplier or retailer, mark the prices up, and make some money off you — except that’s not what we do.  Then we can ship them to you, leaving these fragile components susceptible to damage during transport.

We can’t stand behind another company’s products like we can stand behind ours. And we certainly don’t want to make windows or doors ourselves, because they’re obviously completely different engineering processes with all kinds of parts and machinery, which would impact our prices to you.  You don’t want that, and we don’t want that.

Windows installed on a steel barndominium frame

Windows for Barndominiums

Caution – metal building specific windows are not recommended.  There is such a thing as metal building-specific windows, but we don’t recommend buying those windows.  Not for Absolute Steel buildings anyway.

That’s because metal building-specific windows are not strong.  They have no sub-frame and they’re designed to attach to the exterior steel panel, not the frame, which makes their installation both tricky and inferior.  Because they are designed to attach to a 29-guage panel only, the windows are very lightweight, and the connection isn’t weatherproof over the long term. It’s just not a quality option.

You are going to be living in this building – you want quality, energy-efficient windows.  We recommend purchasing the same type of windows one would install on a traditional custom home. 

We recommend windows manufactured by companies that excel in traditional windows, which are easily installed into our kits and offer you the greatest protection and strongest warranties.

In fact, we think you should buy the best windows and doors you can — from a local retailer, or big box with a local presence. You’re already buying the best quality building kit you can for your budget, so visit local window-and-door suppliers to see what they offer.  Shop Home Depot, Lowes, or the local Window & Door store.

That way, you’ll get the widest variety of windows and doors, with local shipping that’ll get them to you safely, undamaged, with fewer hassles.

One thing to keep in mind when shopping windows, a nailing fin is not optional — it’s necessary for mounting the window into the steel frame. Doesn’t matter what design of window it is, the nailing fin is a must-have. You might see it also called a “nailing flange” or “mounting flange,” and it is essentially thin strips of metal affixed around the outside of the window and used to mount the window.

Nailing fin for barndominium windows

Be warned that a “front flange” is not the same thing — it’s a decorative piece of trim and is not involved with securing the window.

Discuss each window style’s installation procedures with the window retailer and be sure they know you’re installing into a steel building.

But if you ask our engineering team, their first choice for clients to install are aluminum windows with vinyl being a close second, provided there’s a nailing fin.

Pedestrian Doors for Barndominiums

As for doorways, for everything from roll-up to walk-through pedestrian doors, there are all sorts of entryways you can install in our barndominium kits. Just like with windows. There are, of course, a couple considerations to keep in mind with both windows and doors.

With your pedestrian door, you can install the same type of door you would on a stick-built structure. You’ll just need to ensure they can be flush-mounted. This means nearly any door that works in a wood-frame house will also work in metal-frame buildings and barndominiums. Choices abound!

Pedestrian doors for barndominiums

When you’re designing your structure, any openings — doors and/or windows — need to be between support structures.  If there’s a steel support column, it cannot be cut or intersected. And for designs that are particularly window-heavy, that’s an important factor for us to know before we start engineering your building. We can do it, but we need to know before we start.

Roll Up Doors

Please read this article on roll up door considerations.

Still have questions? Talk to us. We’ve got answers.

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