Domes as Homes II

If you’ve been following my blog, you probably read my musings about building a geodesic dome as a house. If you read the comments section, you know that there’s been some discussion going on. Inventive told me that he grew up living in a dome house that his dad built. I asked for pics and description, and he posted a blog entry of his own with current pictures of his parents’ home. It looks pretty good, especially after the remodel. My favorite is the last picture, where you can see the new furniture on the new floor, with freshly painted triangle panels in the wall behind, with the script “When you can’t see God’s hand, trust His heart” painted on the wall. Words to live by! Please do go check out his pics and commentary.

I think this cockamamie scheme of ours might actually be doable! I showed my scribbles of brainstormed floor plans to my parents on Saturday and they seemed pretty excited about it. We discussed location, and we’re pretty sure where we’re going to build it – for now anyway. There’s still plenty of time to change our minds. With the kit that we’re looking at and the floor plan we’re thinking towards, we’ll have lots of space for house guests. That will be a first for us, and we’re pretty excited about the prospect! Of course, I’ll publish more when I have more to report.

7 thoughts on “Domes as Homes II

  1. I’ve always thought these were weird but in a very cool way. I think with today’s technology the design could be incredible. You said this was going to be in your backyard?

    • To answer your question properly, we will not be building such a thing behind the house that we currently occupy. My original thought was to build a greenhouse behind our current house in this manner. After looking through the interwebtron at all that it would entail to erect such a structure, it suddenly occurred to me that this may be the answer to the question of that house in the woods that we’ve wanted to build for like, forever.

  2. Just a quick note of practicality: Domes are round. So you can’t get a square cabinet to fit in a corner, and every piece must be custom cut. Flooring, walls, doors, windows, skylights, everything that is off the shelf is rectangular, and will need to be custom fit. Home Depot and Lowe’s don’t carry stuff that is curved (well, some of it is warped, but it was supposed to be straight), which increases the waste of the whole project – there is actually a fudge factor that contractors use for rooms that are not square (or rectangular).

    I guess if you buy a complete kit, that is taken care of, but that is why the kit costs so much.

    My cousin’s ex husband started a dome, and the marriage didn’t last as long as the construction project – and they had two kids. She lived in it for years after the divorce, and had to hire a contractor to finish it to a salable condition.

    • “well, some of it is warped, but it was supposed to be straight” LOL!

      You do bring up some excellent points. I’ve actually been thinking a lot about this exactly. Cabinets and countertops are the big ones that come to mind. The panels of the kit we’re looking at should be big enough that we can simply mount a window in the flat, and combining a couple/three of the triangular panels should produce plenty of space for a doorway. I think, anyway. These are things to keep in mind to be sure!

  3. You might want to consider a monolithic dome house. There’s a thread on arfcom on them a year or so ago. How it’s done is they use an inflatable mold; called an airform, using a blower to keep it inflated. They then spray foam in an even layer on the inside of the airform. Then they put rebar in place and shotcrete it. Supposedly, they’re ridiculously energy efficient in terms of heating and cooling. A monodome with a masonry fireplace would just about be the best thing for heating with wood. The downside is cost and finding somebody to build one(the first is caused by the second) and the difficulties involving banks – you often have to put up more due to “nontraditional construction”.

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