FAQ

Which kit is right for you…and your budget?

Most kit companies believe theirs is the only way or type of kit to use. We know better, because we have built most of them and can certainly help you find the correct style and profile for your application.

Can you manufacture the right kit FOR me?

Certainly we can and we’re not regimented to any specific style. We’ll build what is right for your site and budget. Our kits are “state of the art” with the latest and most upgraded components available in the dome industry today. Our custom built kit costs are inclusive of many others’ extras. The value will also surprise you.

Is a consultant expense justified in the do-it-yourself world of geodesic domes and at what point can I as an owner/builder take over?

Small mistakes can have BIG implications both immediately and down the road. We pull the resources of decades of building domes into play on each and every dome we are involved in. We can advise you on products and finishmethods that well meaning and experienced in “regular construction” contractors simply don’t know about. We can turn it over to you or your local people at the appropriate time with constant supervision and information until the completion of the project. We save our clients much more than we ever charge. You’ll be surprised how having this peace of mind helps the process.

What are the different types of domes and how do they stand up over time?
Who has the best kit?
And how much does one dome kit really differ from another?

Every kit builder with few exceptions has his favorite type or profile dome to sell. They are usually the easiest to produce or a pattern they have used before. A dome is NOT a “red herring” or “leaky” if built correctly. The roofing lasts LONGER than on a rectilinear home if applied properly. The “hub and strut” vs “panelized” vs “monolithic” domes are variations on a theme. They all produce the same strong energy efficient building, if the characterisitics of each is applied to the project in the best manner. We understand the math that creates them and have one of the most experienced “dome specific” engineers in the country available for our clients. This includes repair of existing domes as well as new construction in all 50 states.

What profile dome do I need?
High..low…mid…How does a second floor work in each?

A lot is dependant on floor plan. The lower profile dome will close off the edges of some second floors designs, which creates interesting headboard entertainment center or closet options. A cantilever can add extra space to a second floor very easily. The key is to plan furniture and closets to take advantage of this.

What type of foundation is best for my dome and how do I make it more storm resistant?

Our engineering, manufacturing,and building experience means we will custom design into your dome the structural elelments that allow the most economical, yet strongest elements on everything from pilings to slabs.We design structural elements into each dome to match the circumstances. Our experience in building in high wind areas or heavy snow loads insures the proper fasteners and materials for any application.

Why do banks and lenders keep throwing the “lack of comps” as an excuse to not loan money or to make it more difficult to borrow money for a dome?
Is it a realistic objection?
Can this be overcome? 

A bank’s previous experience/or perception may be of an owner built, stretched loan term, non eye-pleasing, “hippie “dome. The do-it-yourself aspect of dome marketing has been the culprit.This used to be more problematic in the past than today. A dome is seldom sold as a “flipped” building. Once a person builds one and lives in it for a while they pay the mortgage in full and will not go back to rectilinear construction. Lower energy bills makes this easier to do. Domes are frequently only sold on a forced sale basis. Death, or divorce being the two largest factors. This leads to a shortage of “comps” in some areas. The “green” aspect of dome construction is now known and lenders are waking up to this fact. They usually however, require an experienced dome builder or consultant such as us, to keep “owner builders” from making the mistakes that affect property values after completion.

What about existing domes?
Is there an inspection procedure available to insure we don’t buy a damaged or unsound dome?

We inspect domes for insurance companies on a regular basis. We also repair domes worldwide.

How do we know if there is a problem, and what remodeling options do I have with a dome vs. rectilinear construction?

We will always try to find the most economical way to affect any repairs. Remodeling a dome is so much easier with a free standing structure to work in. Out of the weather for interior remodeling!. Sagging of dome panels is not always a “death sentence”. We’ve brought dozens back from the brink of demolition from owner /builders mistakes.

Are domes any more likely to leak than rectilinear homes?
Can’t anybody roof one?

A properly roofed dome is NOT a leaky dome. The problem lies in roofers with many years experience in standard roofing practices trying to apply those methods to a dome roof. It is NOT problematic if done properly. The proper shingle is another important factor in roofing a dome. Architectural shingles work best. We have a couple of manufacturers whose shingles work better on a dome than others because of their ability to mold themselves to the cuts and facets that we require. We also have a “captive” roofing company to perform this ultra important job worldwide.

Am I maximizing my energy efficiency on my existing dome?
What’s new and effective?
Is solar the answer?

Lots of new energy choices are appearing these days. A dome is passive solar by it’s design. Orienting it properly along with a custom designed HVAC system based on the floor plan, is a key factor in this energy efficiency. Our domes use HALF the energy of a comparable rectinear home, and our domes in particular are continuously surprising meter readers.

Why does everybody who works on my home automatically try to charge me double just because it’s a dome?

Greed…. combined with padding enough into the numbers to cover any possible mistakes.

Can I add a cupola do my existing dome?

A cupola is a very effective way of ventilating the skin of the dome to prevent moisture from condensing into the top five panels of a dome without one. Adding standard roof vents is NOT the answer, yet it is the method most used by folks to whom logic dictates this is the correct solution. A cupola adds light and passive ventilation to the inside of the structure during temperate weather. Air moving though the house due to the natural process of warm air rising will create a nice breeze though the home with no power being used at all. A special engineering requirement is required to retrofit to any dome, and we have the experience as well as an engineer, to determine which method works best for yours . We ALWAYS add a cupola to new construction and have pulled roofing of 25 years to find decking that looked as good as the day it was installed.

 

We have been very well received by clients’ contractors, inspectors, and appraisers who have no practical dome experience. We can answer questions and provide real soutions to your remodeling or repair dilemnas. Give us a call or email!

I have a fond saying, “The only DUMB question you may have is one you don’t ask.”