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DW and I have been discussing purchasing a Geodesic dome home. One of the Concrete, pre-fab home kit especially if we move to Minnesota. DW has been reading up on them and believes that they would be a good way to go in a colder climate.

So, anyone here have any experience with dome homes? Please tell me the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to living in a dome home.

Thanks

Kenneth in NC

Oh yes the one we called about was at http://www.aidomes.com/ just in case you want to see a pic of what were looking into. :)
 

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I've always liked domes, and I have a cement fetish lately, so I like your ideas. The web site was interesting, thanks.

One thing I have picked up recently is that large domes are not as comfortable to live in as a series of small domes.

Most furnishings are designed for use in rectangles instead of circles or pie slices.

Sound can be a problem.

Small domes sized for function and connected to others adds the possibility of starting small and adding on as money is available.

Please update as you learn more.
 

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Not yet!

We've looked at Pacific Domes to use as a temporary structure for a few years. Ultimately we'd want to build a dome, most likely working with Natural Spaces Domes. Once the Natural Spaces dome is built we can switch the cover on the Pacific Dome for a greenhouse cover and continue to use the structure.

That's all for the future, though. We need to finish paying things off first.
 

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We have a pacific dome that we are selling if any one is interested.

We bought it for temporary housing/ things changed and did not need it . It was put up for 10 days and then put away.

Jill
 

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I personally wouldn't buy or build one. We've looked at a few of varying ages, from 7 years old to 15 or 20 years old, and they looked, well, pretty crappy. The all seemd to have some leaking in the roof structure. They also all had some cracking in the ceilings away from the leak areas, from settling perhaps?

My other concern would be if you ever want to sell. I don't about other areas, but the places we've looked, dome homes do not resell well at all. They have to be priced considerably less than similar properties with more conventional houses on them. And even when they are priced lower, they have been know to sit on the market for many months or years.
 

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jd Belanger, former editor of Countryside, had one in Waterloo. Said it was almost impossible to heat and cool properly in that you either swelthered or froze depending on what level you were on. Perhaps it needed better air circulation.
 

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Been there, done that and would not do it again!! As Ken pointed out, heating and cooling in the north country was a real issue. I agree that perhaps a series of small domes would be more comfortable. They leak......lots.......and we spent a fortune trying to get it to stop leaking. The resale was terrible.......took a loss. The people who bought it ended up building a roof over the top of it. This was built on the Buckmaster Fuller plans, cut by pros in a package deal. If you do it, be sure to budget a lot for roofing.
 
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I live in a 1600 sf dome at an altitude of 9800 feet in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and I have to say (quite gratefully) that I have not experienced any of these problems. I love my dome, which was built in 1978. I've had no problems with leaking despite the usual winter snow and endless rain this summer.

Sound is an issue, but since ours is configured with the downstairs living area completely open, and a loft with an enclosed bathroom covering about half of the downstairs area, that's to be expected. Furniture is an issue, as without any straight walls on the lower level decorating can be a challenge. My heating is solely with a wood stove, and despite cold temps at this altitude in the winter, often times a fire blazing for a couple of hours will keep it plenty warm for 12+ hours, with the loft area too warm. I don't have to bank the fire if I'm gone all day, since it heats up so quickly. In the summer despite the intense sun (although not this summer!), it is generally at leat 10-15 degrees cooler than outside.

I bought the dome two years ago, and the value of it had more than doubled since the previous owners bought it 10 years before. My dome is valued higher than any of the conventional mountain style homes in my immediate neighborhood, and a recent appraisal estimated the value to be $30K more than I paid for it two years ago. The dome about a mile from me with two stories, 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms recently sold in less than a month, and that's with at least 100 traditional homes for sale in the same area, many for less money. Of course that is most probably due to the real estate prices skyrocketing in the mountains near Denver. Just my two cents - but I don't think I could go back to a "traditional" house again!
 

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Unregistered points out the resale value can be very dependent on location. The Denver area is known for more 'free spirit' type people who would be more open to this type of housing.

Ken Scharabok
 
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Before settling on a dome perhaps you should take a look at the Pyramodule. Geodesic domes are said to cost more to construct, be more difficult to build and create more waste scrap during construction.

The large (20 foot X 20 foot) Pyramodule costs about $5000 for materials and can be constructed by one layperson in under 3 months. That $5000 figure includes everything (foundation, framing lumber, insulation, plumbing, electrical, interior drywall, and even roofing materials. You buy the plans from the designer and purchase building materials yourself locally.

You can use up to R-30 insulation so winter is no problem. In fact, the designer is in Canada and built two of them there.

Unfortunately the main web page appears to be down right now, but here is the link if it comes back up soon:

http://pyramodule.com

Until the main website is back up here is a good informational page:

http://www.energy-efficient-house-plans.com/pyramodule-house-plans.html
 

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Strawbale!!!!!!!!
 

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I don't believe the $5000 for everything price.
I think a foundation and slab would cost that much.
Flooring would almost cost that much.
Light fixtures, appliances, plumbing fixtures and doors would add as much.

Unless we're talking doghouse size here.
 
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Getting permits would be a hassle, too, depending on where you're building.

Unregistered, did you use ceiling fans and did that help at all?
 
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Yes, I have one ceiling fan that hangs about 3/4 of the way up to the cupola of the dome. It does help tremendousl, and runs almost 24/7. Also, my wood stove is located in the very center of the dome, with the pipe extending straight up into the cupola. That seems to distribute the heat quite well, and combined with the ceiling fan keeps the temp about 60-70 degrees throughout the year. My biggest problems are that it's easy to get the dome too warm inside in the winter and it's often a little too cool in the summer! Those, however, are problems I can live with - nothing like wearing shorts and a t-shirt when there's 4 feet of snow and temps below 0 outside!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So what exactly causes the dome homes to leak? Is it something that can be avoided at the beginning when putting it up?

The Geo Dome we called about is supposed to have some "extra" polymer stuff in the concrete mix to make it more durable. and the sealant is supposed to be good for 100 years. :confused:

Anyone remember the homes featured in Countryside magazine that were built in Chesenee SC? They were a different design and also guaranteed against severe winds and such.

Kenneth
 

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I built 2 domes out of Starplate connectors and covered them completely even the roof with concrete stucco. One is almost 4 years old and no leaks yet (knock 0n wood!) there are small cracks here and there in all concrete. I even dropped a 14 inch diamater tree on it before and not a crack! I think some sort of waterproof membrane under the concrete stucco is the key. I plan someday to add 3 more to my main cabin for more room. By the way it is in SE Ohio.
 
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Visited a dome house that got a glowing write up in the local paper, a year later. The owner has leaks everywhere, burns tons of wood to heat it and can't figure out how to keep it evenly heated/cooled without running noisy fans 24/7.

Got plenty of Pics, he's got plenty of regrets. Said it cost him about $90k to build a 45 foot diameter.
 
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