Horton Dome - Job Calendar

Purchased the lot.
Began clearing trees on site
Walked land with surveyor.
Began blasting of cellar hole and drive way
Blasting complete
73 loads of stone removed from cellar/driveway hole.
Footings poured
Foundation blocks delivered
Foundation walls poured
Steel beams delivered and erected.
First load of lumber for floor decking delivered.
Basement slab poured & sealed
Timberline Dome Kit Arrives
Completed installation of TJI floor joists.
Main floor deck complete
Riser walls erected
first row of triangles
Second & Third rows up
Hub & strut assembly complete
T-Blocking & Stud installation started
Cupola pipes and connectors installed
Electric power connected
My first stairs
The Garage door is installed
The Plywood goes on the roof
Mezzanine floor joists installed
Mezzanine floor decking installed
Septic tank installed
Cupola roof framed. Tree placed on top. (why do people do this?)
Skylight framing kits installed
The Extension roofs are framed and sheeted
Finally get the Cupola roof on
Our Intermittent Sand Filter septic system is installed
Framed in the Extension wall faces
Plywood sheeting on the Extension wall faces
Ground covered with snow.(We wouldn't see the ground again till April)
First windows installed
Front dormer completed
Started installing exterior doors
Mezzanine floor (level 5) completed
Sewing room dormer completed
Roofing started
This view also shows the kitchen/sewing room extension with dormer and to the far left, the mezzanine extension out the back.
Front and mezzanine sliding doors installed. Roof is progressing too.
Cupola window openings framed in.
Pause for:
Began wiring in the outside walls in preparation for insulation.
Ice and water shield roof coating complete.
Another foot of snow.
Gas fireplace installed.
Installed the skylites in the group of 4 over the mezzanine.
Gas connected to fire place. (Without insulation and cupola windows, it doesn't warm the house much.)
11 degrees below zero F. (-24 C)
Roof complete, Yeah!
Cupola windows installed
Remaining 3 skylite windows installed
2/10/98 Banner day!
Icynene spray foam insulation installation completed - perfect product for a dome.
Boiler installation complete - we have heat
Heat means we can turn on the water - and flush a toilet!
Garage door opener connected, so we can lock the door.
Moved in
Hot water
Temperature outside drops to -18 degrees F (-28 degrees C)
Inside temp holds at 60 degrees F (15 degrees C) with just the gas fire place for heat on the main level. (and a 30,000 btu hot water fan/radiator unit in the basement)
Appliances functional
We have a working shower - all the comforts of home are in place. The Icynene foam is useful too.
Began interior partitions on the main level - foyer & main floor wash/powder room framed in.
Main floor partitions complete That is the master bath shower unit in the background. The floor in the foreground is a storage loft over the washer/dryer area of the main floor powder room. The window to the right is above the garage door. There will be a claw foot bath tub in front of it. The window to the left is over the bed in the master bed room.
Ledger beams hung in the Timberline Ledger Hangers.
(completed beams)
Micro lam beams installed to support the free span sections of the second floor over the conversation pit, kitchen, and living room.
Relaxing after completion of the second floor (level 6) joists.

This floor includes:

This is the floor that is suspended from the hubs of the dome shell using the Timberline "Ledger Hangers". (Of course the other ends of the joists rest on interior partitions.)

Second floor plywood decking complete.
The picture window over the front door is finally here (intact ?) and installed. We were pleased with the view thru it.
Here is the interior view from the second floor balcony looking down into the mezzanine area.
Completed trimming the excess Icynene foam (back to flush with the studs). This took 2 full weekend days and several evenings.
Began installing second floor partitions. These are trickier because the tops meet the shell at odd and varying angles.
The duct work for the heat recovery ventilator is installed.
Majority of interior partitions studded in. We are beginning to get a feel for the room layouts and how open the design really will be. (Pictures soon)
Majority of the plumbing is roughed in (PVC soil pipe 90%, copper supply pipe 60%)

Most of the electric wiring is in place too (My son, Adam, has pulled over 3000 feet of wire). Living in the house under construction allows you to realize where you need another switch or outlet before you can't add it any more.

Cupola floor installed. Although we installed the perimeter boards when we put up the shell struts and studs, we had held off on installing the floor until we decided where the spiral stair case that would lead up it would land. Looks like it will work out. Spiral stair is on order. More to come.
First sheets of sheet rock hung. Lots left to do inside walls, but we needed the psychological boost.
Plumbing rough in complete for 2 bath rooms and powder room / laundry.
We have a second working toilet, in the main floor powder room. (Walls around it would be nice.)
Put the walls up around the toilet.
Dry wall installed on under side of cupola floor. Staging is a must because the space below is open down to the main floor.
First coat of joint compound on the under side of the cupola floor.
- Holes dug for the three decks (Front porch, kitchen, and Mezzanine). Used an excavator due to the rocky soil.
- Sheet rock installed on the dining room walls.
- Sink installed in the main floor powder room (next to the toilet with the walls around it).
Three decks framed in. Now we can back fill around the posts and start final grading.
First bedroom (the one above the front door) completely enclosed in sheet rock. (We have to use the door now.)
- Second bedroom (on level 2) completely enclosed in sheet rock.
- Back fill around deck post complete.
- Final grading started outside
Dry wall complete in main floor powder room/laundry.
Stone walls (boulders actually) built on either side of the garage to hold back the dirt.
Top soil complete.
Weekend off for the Balloon Festival
Driveway top coat installed. It is like driving on carpet compared to the rocky ledge rubble we have been driving on.
Dry wall complete in Kitchen, Dining, Living room & Foyer.
First coat of taping completed in bedroom over the front door. Between the dormer and the 3 hubs (where 6 sheets of dry wall come together) in that room, it took a professional taper a whole day. The "Strait Flex" tape is working well. It produces nice straight joints where the triangles meet (and come together at the hubs).
Dry wall complete in the bath room near the lower level bedroom. (We had to cut off the tooth brush holder)
Dry wall complete in the master closet.
Taping complete in two bedrooms and the kitchen/dining/living rooms. We continue to hang drywall, trying to stay ahead of the taper.
Painted a coat of primer in the upstairs bedroom. Actually looks like a room now. But step out the door of the room and you see studs and insulation.

Hanging drywall outside that upstairs bedroom. We put up a few sheets that we didn't have to cut.

Paddle fan hung from the bottom of the cupola floor. Hope we don't have to change the bulbs any time soon. (Put in compact fluorescents to extend that time)
Hung 4 doors and put jambs around 2 closets to get ready for carpet installation.
Major smile day!
- Carpet installed in the kids bedrooms. They finally have a permanent home that looks like a real room.
- The siding installation started. It is beginning to look like a real house. (Although friends of mine dispute that it will ever look like a real house.)
Weekend off for a balloon festival (I am a balloon pilot).
Completed drywall in the master bedroom. It was a challenge with the 22 foot high wall meeting the shell.
Completed drywall in the master bathroom. When you hang the last sheet in a high tight place, there are no more studs to hang on to.
Completed drywall in the mezzanine area. We are finished all the verticle walls. Only shell triangles left (about 10 of them).
Completed drywall on the dome shell. Just a few pieces left but no more to be hung from staging.
- Two windows in the cupola motorized and controlled from the main floor.
- Second shower functional.
- Door installed in the upper level bathroom.
- Light fixture and mirror installed over the sink in the main floor powder room. I can SEE to shave now!
Paint completed in the master bedroom. We can finally get the staging down and put our bed back in.
Finished drywall in the cupola.
Begin installing the kitchen cabinets.
Siding complete on the outside.
Last piece of dry wall tape applied. Just a little more joint compound and sanding left.
Kitchen sink installed. What a convenience.
Dry wall complete. Hopefully the end of white dust.
All the remaining carpet was installed (this is the conversation pit floor). Just the wood flooring left to install.
Interior painting complete. I believe we have taken the staging down for the last time. Here is the master bedroom. And looking up the wall over the gas fireplace; the view laying in bed.
Vinyl flooring and toilet installed in the upper level bathroom. The toilet is a "Western Toilet"; a 1.6 gallon toilet that actually flushes. We now have 3 of them.
Massive monolithic maple staircase installed. Had to call some friends for this one.
Last kitchen cabinets (on hand) installed. Looks like we need to order one more. One cabinet, a 42 inch wide double door unit, was hung on the shell wall. Yes, you can do that. I had to build a tapered cleat to hang it from. The cabinet touches the shell wall on the upper left and the lower right corners. The other corners are about 1 and 1/4 inch away from the wall. It straddles a diagonal seam between shell triangles. We will be installing a filler strip that matches the cabinet wood to fill the gap.
We have been installing closet shelving a little at a time. This shows where we put some on an outside corner at the shell/extension joint.

The closet in the lower level bed room is complete. Some hanging space is now functional in the two other bed rooms. We are using the Closet Maid wire shelving. It is a little more intricate with non 90 degree corners and, in some cases, non verticle walls (yes, we are putting some on the exterior shell walls).

Replaced the staircase from the main floor to the mezzanine with the finish unit. It is a maple tread over southern yellow pine stringer unit to match the massive monolithic above. They are really striking. The old temporary staircase moved out doors to become the stairs up to the front door deck. We can now use the front door as an entry, not just as a balcony any more.
Washer & Dryer moved to main floor laundry room. Bordering on luxury.
Last kitchen cabinet installed; knobs too. If only we had a counter top.
Cupola interior painted. Thanks to Amanda.

One year anniversary of the hub and strut erection. It is amazing how much we have done in one year. At the same time, it is surprising that it has taken this long. There are a lot of details; large and small.

Master bath vanity cabinets installed.
Laundry cabinets installed over the washer & dryer. The one on the left is a laundry chute receiver. To the left of that in the wall is a laundry pass thru from the master bedroom closet.
Dishwasher connected. (Today, I was a plumber)
Shower door in master bath. That puts another shower in operation. Don't have to wake up the kids to use theirs anymore.
Kitchen counter installed (and kitchen sink re-installed). I had hoped we were done with that much saw dust. Fitting a counter to the curves of the (straight) wall creates a mess.
Completed installation of the spiral staircase to the cupola. That is the last of the stairs to be installed. It is now 51 steps from the floor of the basement/garage to the cupola. (Guess I won't need to buy that stair stepper)
Installed the sinks in the master bath. We used kitchen cabinets so we wouldn't have to bend over so far to use the sinks.
Built a desk into a corner cubby in Amanda's room. One less cardboard box used as a piece of furniture.
Finally vented the dryer outside. The basement should be dryer now.
Started installation of the Formica flooring planks. This is a long story so I put it on it's own page.
Completed installation of the Formica flooring on the mezzanine level. We finally got the knack of it. It turned out great.
We moved a sofa, end tables, and 3 bookshelf/entertainment units to the mezzanine level. A living room all of a sudden. Another major livability step. We even unpacked some boxes.
Installed the vanity top and sink in Adam's bath lower level.
Installed the vanity top and sink in Amanda's bath upper level. This is the last of the sinks, 8 total, and completes my role as plumber.
A heat zone from the boiler connected to radiators in the lower level bed room. This room is insulated on all 6 sides. It heats up quick.
- Formica flooring all but complete in the foyer/living room/kitchen. That leaves just the master bath floor.
- More furniture moved in from storage.
- We had supper on a real dining room table and chairs.
- Formica flooring complete in the master bath. That is the last of the flooring.
- A heat zone from the boiler connected to the upper level bed room. With the house now cut up into rooms, the heat from the gas fire place doesn't reach everywhere as well as it did last winter. I guess the boiler was a wise investment We have 2 more zones to connect; the main living area, and the master suite.
First snow of the season. Not much, but it was enough to cause me to reflect on where we were at this time last year. And to appreciate all we have accomplished. A year ago, we were framing extensions in freezing weather. This year we are working on interior trim, and moving in, in heated comfort. Thank you to all who helped make this possible. It is quite humbling.
Home energy Audit. The house is very tight. Without the power ventilator, there are 0.12 air changes per hour. I believe a typical house is 0.5 to 1.0 changes per hour. This tells me that the Icynene has sealed us up very well, and that the heat recovery ventilator is definitely necessary.
December 98
Beginning to wrap things up. It really feels like home now. Check out the interior photo tour.

- Lots of detail work this month. Things like doors and door knobs (level handles actually), balcony nosing and railings, a few light fixtures and outlets, door bell, wall paper, pictures on the wall, and general settling in.

- We even put up a Christmas tree.

Hosted an extended family Christmas party with 56 people. The comments we received were great. I believe we can safely say WE DID IT! Thank you to all those that have helped us along the way. It was definitely a team effort.
Rested. Tried to remember how to relax.

Now we begin experiencing what it is like to "live" in our new home.

There are still many projects to complete, but the pace will be a little slower.

Winter 99
We succeded in building a home smaller than our last. We spent some time organizing our "stuff". Fortunately, our high basement walls allowed for storage lofts. We built 2 of those to get stuff off the floor so we could get the cars in. (Just before the blizard).
Spring 99
We are finally comfortable enough with the inside, to begin to work outside. We cleaned up some of the fallen trees left from site clearing, and Juliette has done a great job with the landscaping and perenial gardens. Some of them show in the new arial photos.

Lost some space in the garage to Adam's next project, restoring a 1972 VW Beetle.

Summer 99
The original plan called for two smaller doormer windows either side of the front doormer. One in Amanda's room, and one in her bathroom. I started those on 7/15/99. (Just for old time sake, I took some vacation and built a doormer.)
Fall 99/Winter 2000/Spring 2000
When I was working on the house, which is less of the time now, I was working on details like door and window trim and base board moulding. Also put in the backsplash on the kitchen counters. There were interesting angles in a few places, mostly along shell walls. It sure looks finished now.
Summer 2000
The original plan also called for a roof over the front deck/porch. We put that up in August. Also finished laying the stone walk/steps up to the front deck.
Fall 2000
Back inside, we had also planned for an in-door space for the hot tub. An alcove off the garage in the basement. This fall, we framed that in and decorated it, so we wouldn't have to look at open floor joists, basement clutter, and un-finished projects as we relaxed. This project was completed with left-overs, drywall, studs, paint, salvaged doors, etc. I did have to buy one bucket of joint compound (you use a lot with smaller pieces of drywall).

Thank you to all who have read this far. Your interest and comments have been greatly appreciated. It is nice to know that what we have done here has helped and inspired others. Good luck with your future endeavors.

Now that you have seen the details, here is a page on cost summary.

This site created and maintained by Ted Horton (ted at hortondome . com)

All information and photos in this site are Copyright © 1997, 1998. 1999, 2000 Ted Horton.