Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dome Homes Dot the Landscape

While dome homes may be odd-looking to some people, to a growing set of home buyers, they are now the only way to go.
According to Dennis Johnson of Natural Space Domes in Minnesota, the housing crisis and recent devastating tornadoes have increased awareness and interest in building, or buying dome homes.
“We’ve had domes go through hurricanes,” Johnson said. “The three domes by New Orleans, had no damage around them at all even though the trees were decimated. [A] fourth one had shingles torn off, but no structural damage to the dome.”

Missouri’s Romain Morgan is a believer. In 2004, Morgan’s Halfway, MO, dome home withstood a tornado that swept over her home and left nary a trace of destruction. “I had no damage,” Morgan reported. “Just one piece of trim on a side window was torn off. I had a realtor ask me how much I would take for my house. I said ‘nothing.’ I won’t sell it. The feeling of security is incredible.”
Because dome homes are energy-efficient, easy to build and are able to better withstand hurricanes and tornadoes due to its round, aerodynamic shape, the dome home is becoming more popular — especially in areas that are prone to tornadoes and hurricanes.
The geodesic dome was first made popular by inventor Buckminster Fuller who wanted to revolutionize housing in the 1940s. Lightweight, cost-effective, easy to assemble, and built to withstand even the harshest of weather conditions, domes can be found across the U.S. and a number of companies sell dome kits.
“A bathroom would be a bathroom, and the kitchen would be a kitchen but the dome shell part of it is going to be less cost than a traditional box house,” Johnson said. “The safety factor is a big concern and I think this year a lot of people have been asking questions in regards to tornadoes."
Dome home kits range in cost; the basic frame starts at around $5,000 and the full kit, including siding, ranges more toward $75,000.
Interested in buying a dome home? Here are some for sale in the U.S.:
A 20-foot diameter dome home in Taos, NM.
Photo: Zillow
This teeny-tiny dome — measuring 20 feet in diameter — sits on a whopping ten acres in Taos, New Mexico. Like many other dome homes, it was built with a kit and an additional kit is also available for sale with the property. Located twenty minutes outside of town, this dome is better suited as a little getaway home rather than a primary residence.

Interior of dome home in Conifer, CO.
Photo: Zillow
Like the Taos dome, this Conifer home for sale is a monolithic dome. Completely off the grid, this built-green 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath home relies on solar power for utilities. The property includes a little over 38 acres and is surrounded by mountain and forest views.

9157 Hwy 42 S, Coquille, OR
For Sale: $350,000
A three-bedroom dome home in Coquille, OR.
Photo: Zillow
Located on the southern portion of the Oregon Coast, this geodesic dome home sits on over seven acres of land with pasture, nut and fruit trees. The 2,060-square-foot home has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and includes a private dock and river views. The home is a few minutes from the small town of Bandon, OR as well as nearby parks and beaches.

35 Aprils Way, El Prado, NM
For Sale: $225,000
A two-bedroom dome home in El Prado, NM.
Photo: Zillow
This piece of Taos real estate is a monolithic dome. Like a geodesic dome, monolithic domes are built using kits and can withstand extreme weather. While a geodesic dome is made up of several triangles to craft a dome shape, a monolithic dome is made from a one-piece form — most often concrete. This 2-bed, 2-bath home has 1,017 square feet of living area and sits on nearly one acre of land with views of the surrounding mountains.

A four-bedroom dome home in Albany, LA.
Photo: Zillow
The only geodesic dome home on the Albany real estate market, this home sits on over two acres and has a wide open floor plan typical of most dome homes with soaring ceilings and large rooms. The 4-bedroom, 2.5 bath home has 3,144 square feet of living space.

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