How to Build a Geodesic Dome

Edit Article These energy efficient and cool looking homes were quite popular in the 1970s... and are still available to the ecologically minded home builder. Here are some pointers to help you build your own, if you are so inclined.

Steps

  • How to Build a Geodesic Dome

    Consider the following:
    • Size of home you want/need.
    • Permissibility to build dome in area
    • Cost of land.
    • Cost of materials.
    • Cost of dual housing during the building period.
    • Costs of site preparation, Foundation laying, Septic connections/drain fields, etc.
  • How to Build a Geodesic Dome
    Prepare your land for building by:
    • Conducting "Perc" tests, drainage tests, local building inspections and permitting processes.
  • How to Build a Geodesic Dome
    Use the above information to help you decide how you will procure materials for building.
    • Note: You can purchase pre-cut/pre-fab units or cut/assemble everything yourself. Your choice will depend on how handy you are with tools, what your budget is, and how much money you have to throw at this very major project.
  • How to Build a Geodesic Dome
    Obtain your building materials.
  • How to Build a Geodesic Dome
    Determine where your electric hook up will be.
  • How to Build a Geodesic Dome
    Determine where your plumbing fixtures/pipes will need to run.
  • How to Build a Geodesic Dome
    Prepare the foundation for pouring.Set conduit and pipes in place and cap their ends during the pour.
  • How to Build a Geodesic Dome
    Pour the foundation.It is best to contract this out to professionals if you are not versed in the construction industry.
  • How to Build a Geodesic Dome
    Follow your manufacturer's instructions for the model you have chosen.

Tips

  • While a dome is an efficient shape to heat, you may find that building a dome is less efficient than building a standard "stick frame" home, due to the odd angled cuts and partial use of boards/plywood that was manufactured with a stick builder in mind.
  • Your space efficiency will help with utility costs after construction, but not necessarily lower construction costs.
  • Choose windows which will give you the most versatility. Often creating a dormer and placing a standard vertical window will make more efficiency and construction sense than to place a skylight type window on a sloping section of roof.

Warnings

  • Consult local building codes and get all applicable permits BEFORE construction!
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