Top Ten Reasons to have a dome

Reason #1: You’ll Love Living in a Dome Home!
Ample cupboard space.

Creative design spaces…Loving the curve!
Creative use of space…thinking out of the box. Living in a round house may sound like a decorating challenge. Yes most furniture is designed for square or rectangular spaces how does that work in the round? In the sculptural monolithic dome the three foot footing wall lifts the curve of the dome structure, that combined with the gradual curve of the 38′ diameter allows for easy placement of square backed furnishings. There is a gap at the bottom ( extra storage ) however it is not visually obvious. I love the curved surfaces in my kitchen, eighteen linear feet of counter top provides sturdy under counter drawers for storage. I have yet to build the kitchen island but am planning to use an angled wedge shape with a curved front. The windows are deep set and offer deep sills for plants and decoration.

In the bedroom the straight wall between the bedroom and kitchen provides a resting place for my four poster bed. The 30′ sweeping curve of the bedrooms outer wall creates a large and interesting space, there was even enough space for a corner walk in closet. My next mission is to take some up to date pictures in the house. I installed 15 kitchen counter cabinets upstairs in the dome this summer. Check back in May for pictures of the many brilliant storage solutions available in dome design. Happy spring
to you and yours…stay creative.

Reason #2: You’ll Love Living in a Dome Home!
Heating the Dome is Easy

The brilliance of the wire form on the ‘Sculptural Monolithic Dome” is how easy it was to wire everything in before the shot-crete. We used a 10″ sleeve with 6″ collars welded on either end; this pipe had tabs welded in the middle so we could wire it into the metal form. I love that our chimney is so secure. Once we installed the 3500 Quadra Fire airtight stove we used a solid 20’ pipe which we lifted down through the 10″sleeve. The top was insulated with mineral wool and clad with aluminum, this gives the stove incredible draw. The Quadra Fire comes in three sizes, the one I have is made to heat 1400 to 1900 sq. ft. and it is all I need to keep my 1850 sq. ft. dome toasty warm.Airtight stoves are very efficient and the Quadra Fire is the best wood stove I’ve ever had the pleasure to use. It burns its smoke and its ash putting out a mere 1.5 mils of particulate an hour (most wood stoves but out 5 to 8 mils per hr.) I rarely have to re-light the stove as it holds coals easily over night. Perhaps it is the excellent draft I get from the stove pipe…whatever it is I use only 6 to 8 pieces of wood a day. In an area where using 6 cords is common, I burn less than 3 per winter. The parged concrete over shot-crete walls provide ample thermal mass so once the dome is heated it stays heated for weeks. If I am going away for less than a month I don’t even turn on the base board heaters, between the heated walls and the insulation of the foam & berming I’m not even sure if the house would ever freeze.
Yes heating with wood couldn’t be easier, using the airtight makes me feel more self-sufficient as I can cut and stack my own wood. Electric is my back up but I am extremely happy with how sweet heating the dome with wood really is. I even like chopping wood…the six pound splitting maul really helps. Energy efficient self sufficiency that’s cozy warm and fun….I’m loving it!

Reason #3: You’ll Love Living in a Dome Home!
Go big…you can in the dome!

Christmas in the dome is spectacular…every year my tree is 12′ to 15′ tall. The upstairs of the dome is 750 sq. ft. with one fifth of the space open over the living room; the vaulted ceiling allows me to go for a very tall tree. I know many of us have rejected the Christmas season with its pressure, stress and consumerism. I like to keep it simple … good friends, good food, hand crafted gifts and a bunch of decorative eye candy. I began collecting glass ornaments at second hand stores years ago and have found many treasures, beautiful glass balls from the 40’s and 50’s these delicate antiques bring back fond childhood memories.
The dome is heated with wood which provides an atmosphere of cozy warmth, watching the fire through the glass, having an eggnog in the rocking chair. With the thermal mass of the thick cement walls covered in foam the dome once heated stays warm for literally days. We go out for long snowshoeing or skiing ventures and come home to slow cooked stew and a warm house, the more I live in this wonderful house the more I love it. Every season here in the Okanagan have its special gifts … so far Christmas in the dome has become a favourite holiday.
Living in the round makes arranging furniture surprisingly flexible, I can easily add two leaves to the dining room table and seat 10, I come from a large family so I appreciate how easily the space accommodates change. I am also blessed to live just over the mountain from an organic farming valley so I pick up my turkey fresh from the farm. Those of you who have had the experience can appreciate how delicious fresh roasted turkey is. Country living in a dome home…simply the best!

Reason #4: You’ll Love Living in a Dome Home!
Summer canning is a breeze!

I canned 250 lbs of fruit and vegetables inside the dome this summer and it was cool and comfortable the entire time. Living in the Okanagan valley I am surrounded by fresh fruits and vegetables so this year I decided to can instead of gardening. Last year I did some canning but this year I went all out. What I love about the dome is that it stays so incredibly cool inside, the foam insulation makes the house like a cooler. Even when it’s super hot outside its cool in the dome so my kitchen was a fantastic place to can.
I had always planned to build an outdoor canning kitchen but with the dome there’s no need, I may not have to can again after this year’s efforts. It gets really hot here in Canada’s desert so to have a place where you can stay cool and even cook inside without air conditioning is a real pleasure.

Reason #5: You’ll Love Living in a Dome Home!
Fabulous Lighting

There are so many delicious features to the dome and playing with lighting is one of them. Since water can be a problem with some dome designs, I certainly did not want the problems associated with sky lights. In Oliver it is alternately hot in summer and cold in winter, the sun tunnels bring in an amazing amount of light without bringing in the heat. Manufactured sky lights for 6″ of shot-crete were $630.00 dollars apiece so I chose to have them fabricated from 18 gauge steel for a total of $480.00 for all five. I used half inch plexi tops and have had zero water problems not even condensation in winter.
The lower walls of the dome are parged with cement and painted with a liquid limestone/marble but as you can see from the photo I have yet to parge the upstairs. It is my plan to have the ceiling hoppered with paper-crete this fall. This will add a further R rating to my currently R43 house. Amazing lighting and snugly warm….what’s not to love.

Reason #6: You’ll Love Living in a Dome Home!
Berm Gardening is a Delight!

Gardening in the berms around the dome has been and is an ongoing project. Each spring I conquer more area and beat back the native weeds that sprung out of nowhere once the berming was completed. Berming the dome keeps the floor of the dome at an ambient 58 degrees Celsius…very comfortable. I’ve been in many a house where the tile floors are freezing in winter. My dome has smooth cement floors acid etched with colormaker dyes so they look like ocean, beautiful and practical in country living.
The peonies have already bloomed but will post pictures of the crimson lilies when they reach full flower. There are three berms around the dome and it is buried 12 feet in the back, heating the 1850 sq. ft. of the dome is incredibly easy.

Reason #7: You’ll Love Living in a Dome Home!
Round is beautiful….

Floor joists in the round….beautiful! Check out this month’s edition of ‘ Cottage Magazine’ (July/August) and read there excellent article on the ‘Sculptural Monolithic Dome’. The article offers a pictorial montage showing the progression of this style of dome building. The exterior of the dome was completed in 2009; the interior is a labour of love that is ongoing.

Reason #8: You’ll Love Living in a Dome Home!
Polished Concrete Floor

The Best Way To Go Green
By Marcos Shaw
If you are an environmentalist, then here is the best option for your home or business center. It does not matter whether you have concrete in your home or in your office, these floors can be extremely low maintenance and environmental friendly. Concrete is used not only for flooring today, but are also used as counter-top solutions. Polished concrete has distinct benefits over other common materials and the best part is that they are extremely cheap.

Unlike other flooring, polished concrete is durable and allergen free. These flooring options have better benefits than carpets and have become a staple in many homes. Unlike carpets which can accumulate dust, termites, pet dander and other undesirable elements, polished concrete allows you to have a smooth and clean surface.

Concrete is said to be organic because it does not involve harm to any living organisms. Moreover, the reflective material inside the polish reflects the natural light and illuminates your home to an extent that you need no artificial lights at all. This saves you a considerable amount of money on your energy bills, and is the best way to save your environment.

Concrete floor is less slippery unlike a typical tile floor, so you can be free to move around and be sure that your kids will be safe too.

Concrete is also used for counter tops today, what started as a cool trend has become a total necessity in most urban homes. Polished concrete counter tops are extremely beautiful and functional. Concrete counter tops are sturdy and can withstand extreme temperature and weight. A custom concrete counter top costs $55 per square foot and can go up to $65 per square foot for granite tops.

Hence, you can say no to expensive wooden counter tops that do not endure the test of time like concrete. Polishing concrete creates a shine that will remain beautiful for years to come. Polishing concrete do not cost much, and if you would like to do it yourself, then there are numerous DIY kits available in the market that can allow you to accomplish this technique.

Choosing concrete flooring and counter tops is one of the best ideas to contribute to the environment and keep your indoor temperature moderate. Polished concrete flooring also reduces pollution, as unpolished flooring can release dust particles into the air which can circulate and contaminate the air. This is the reason why people today choose this flooring option.

Professional in all areas of polished concrete products. From flooring and bench tops to walls and furniture. Anything that can be formed and set in concrete can be polished to a full shine.

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Reason #9: You’ll Love Living in a Dome Home!
Domes are low to no maintenance

With no exterior maintenance this is as complicated as your maintenances issues may ever be.
Forget roof replacement, gutter cleaning, repainting, wood rot, these issues don’t exist with a dome home.
Everyone wants a concrete foundation, condos made of steel and concrete sell for more; imagine a fully concrete structure as your home. In a Sculptural Monolithic Dome once you’re done there is little maintenance required.
A simple formula that is rock solid, rebar, road mesh, metal lathe, concrete, polyurethane foam, elastomeric paint and a final coat of ceramic insular paint provide unparalleled durability. Eliminate expenses and anxiety in a dome you don’t have to worry about getting old and being less able to do the exterior maintenance work …there isn’t any.
My heart goes out to the people of Japan. We are one world and to my brothers and sisters I send my condolences and my focus on a speedy recovery.

Reason #10: You’ll Love Living in a Dome Home!
Dome homes are weather and disaster proof!

Impressive! If the dome shape does that much to stabilize a wooden structure just imagine a Sculptural Monolithic Dome. We have seen how shocking earth’s weather and natural pressures can be, living in a 8″ to 10″ thick walled concrete dome can go a long way to protecting your family. In a monolithic dome it is possible to control the quality of air flow, there are in – out air pipes that can be hepa filtered. A sculptural monolithic dome is quake proof, fire proof, impervious to high winds and water indeed even in these extraordinary times I have yet to wittness anything that the dome would not survive.

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