The barndominium craze is showing no signs of slowing down.

Ever since Chip and Joanna Gaines converted a barn into a home in an episode of “Fixer Upper,” search interest in the structures has risen dramatically over the last two years, reports CNET, citing Google Trends.

This proves two things: 1.) The Gaines effect is real and 2.) Beyond being trendy, barndominiums can be a practical housing choice. They tend to be faster to build than a traditional home and can be very energy-efficient.

“Barndos also offer benefits in terms of durability, since metal holds up against the elements better than wood — assuming the structure is well-constructed. They can be more energy efficient than traditional homes, depending on the type of insulation and windows used,” CNET reports.

A barndominium isn’t always the transformation of an aging barn into a contemporary home. With metal building kits and a variety of floorplans available, you can create a custom, rustic chic home from the ground up.

Because these structures tend to be built in rural areas without access to natural gas, propane is a viable option. For added energy efficiency, builders can incorporate hydronic floor heating into the slab foundation.

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