Why aren't there more domes
Well, there are a lot of Domes
But why aren't there more
- The biggest reason there aren't more domes is that they are different.
- They look different so builders may be afraid a spec dome would be hard to sell.
- The construction techniques are somewhat different causing unfamiliar builders
or owners to be unsure of the time (and therefore the cost) needed to complete one.
- Foundation work is more involved (but a product like the BlueMaxx blocks can help there)
- Floor decking is about the same as a rectangular home.
- The dome shell kit is a simple to assemble. There are many complex angles, but the
kit manufacturer (in my case, Timberline) does all the hard stuff.
- Roofing will take longer. Plan extra expense here. You will get some back in the
fact that there is less surface area to cover, so your siding costs may be less.
- You can get weather tight before interior framing is done; a plus for domes.
- Interior framing is fairly conventional, although, depending on your floor plan,
you may have more angles that are other than 90 degrees, and walls that meet
the shell are different from typical wall starter construction techniques.
- Finding places to run piping and duct work can be a bit of a challenge.
My plumber said after getting all the pipe in place, that it wasn't as
difficult as he first thought it would be.
- Insulation is similar to a rectangular home. It may be a little harder to
reach the shell and cut triangles, but you will use less material. A product
like Icynene spray foam makes it a lot easier.
- Dry wall will be more difficult than for rectangular homes. I got quotes
of 2 to 3 times the cost of dry walling a rectangular home with similar
wall and ceiling area. But once again, with reduced surface area, you will save
on materials for dry wall and paint. (also better for the environment)
- Due to the fact that domes can be constructed inexpensively, many were
built in the 60's and 70's by members of the counter culture. In some areas, domes
gained an undeserved association with this culture.
A dome is not necessarily a "cheap" home.
Today domes are being built by members of all cultures, social classes, and many
countries. What is costs to build a dome is limited only by what you can afford and
wish to design in. On a given piece of land, you might build a dome for $80,000 or
$400,000. It is up to you.
There are lots of reasons why there should be more Domes
In addition to the material savings mentioned above, when it is all done and you are
living comfortably in it, you will be heating/cooling it for much less than a
rectangular home with the same floor space.
And many other reasons, not the least of which is how it feels to live in one.
This site created and maintained by Ted Horton
(ted at hortondome . com)
All information and photos in this site are Copyright © 1997, 1998 Ted Horton.