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Most Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is your Building Plan regular pricing?

A: All stock and custom plans are discounted 50% off the following regular plans pricing.  To view a chart listing the 50% discounted pricing, click on Plans Discount.

Regular Pricing for Building Plans (2 large sets & 1 small set)

Dome Diameter

22' or 27'

30'

34'

 36'

40'

45'

48'

60'

Stock Plans

$820

$865

$910

 $925

$950

$1,025

$1,095

N/A

Modified Plans From

$1,050

$1,075

$1,150

 $1,175

$1,195

$1,250

$1,350

N/A

Custom Plans From

$1,195

$1,250

$1,450

 $1,550

$1,650

$1,850

$1,950

$3,500

Basement Plans From

$450

$500

$550

 $570

$650

$750

$850

$1,500


Building Plan sets contain all the blueprints typically provided with any type of housing and include floor plans, exterior elevations, dome shell section view, top view showing panel placement, floor joist framing plans, structural details, and locations of plumbing and electrical fixtures.

Some of Ai's stock plans are on our web site in PDF format.  To view and print out the plans, click on Plans PDF.   In the Planning Kit is a 60 page Stock Floor Plan Booklet that contains stock plans for the 22' thru 48' domes. All 60' dome plans are custom. If you do not see a plan that fits your lifestyle we can modify our stock plans or we design custom plans for a reasonable fee. To order the Planning Kit/Stock Floor Plan Booklet click on Visit Our Store.  Or call our office at 321-639-8777 and we will email all of Ai's stock plans at no cost.

Building plans may be purchased with Master Card, Visa, Discover, check, or money orders. Plans are shipped free of charge within the continental USA via the post office. Stock plans are shipped in 2 weeks. Allow at least 5 weeks for modified stock plans and 8 weeks for modified and custom plans.

If you do not have the time or do not want to assemble the dome shell kit, click on Kit Assembly Consultant to learn about this service. He will supervise your laborers or your contractor's laborers and get the shell assembled.

Q: Will your Building Plans comply with my area's building codes?

A: Ai has sold dome building kits into 47 USA states and thirteen foreign areas. Our blueprints have been accepted by building departments which use many different Building Codes including the Universal Building Code, the Standard Building Code and the B.O.C.A. Code. Ai's personal service may include communication with your area building officials to assure the acceptance of your blueprints for issuance of a permit. If required in your area, blueprints can be certified by a registered engineering firm. Professional fees vary state by state.

Q: Tell me how to work with my building department.

A: Keep in mind that building departments are concerned with strength and safety. Domes excel in these areas. Building departments and building codes are not concerned with appearance although a plan examiner may be unfamiliar with the aspects of dome construction.

If you are building in Florida, your building department will require engineer sealed Building Plans and a Florida Energy Report.   These items can be purchased through Ai.  To obtain a building permit in Florida, you will need to give us your exact window and exterior door sizes, frame type, double or single pane, U factor, SHGC number, etc.  When you submit the paperwork to obtain your permit, you will be required to give the actual model number and manufacturer, along with a Florida Product Approval spec sheet for each exterior door and window.

When working with building departments, Ai recommends the following:

  • Start by asking your building department a few questions such as: “What are the requirements for a residential building permit? Are there any additional requirements to build a geodesic dome? Is an Architect’s or Engineer’s seal required on the plans?
  • Building departments are unpredictable. No nationwide standard exists for what is required to receive a building permit and as such what is required in the building plans. Each individual building department adopts and implements their individual policies. Since each department will ask for different items, expect that your first visit may only garner a list of what is required as to the building plans and further documentation (e.g. deed, survey, septic tank location, permits.)

Q: Can I purchase my Dome Building Plans for a lower cost than you publish?

A: To view the discounted pricing click on Plans Discount. Our business philosophy is to treat our clients equally. As a result we do not offer lower prices to one person and not another. Our building plans are very reasonable in price. As far as the building plans, if you went to a Florida engineer or architectural firm and asked them to design you building plans for a 2,000 sq.ft. house; they could charge $1.50 to $2.00 per sq.ft. So that would be $3,000 to $4,000 for a 2,000 sq.ft. house.  Currently the plans for a 40' dome (2,000 sq.ft. house)  are discounted to $475.  Engineers and architectural firms have to make a profit because that is their only business. However Ai's design department is not a profit center for us. Ai designs plans as a service to our clients so that you obtain the correct floor plan to fit your lifestyle.

Q: Prior to purchasing Building Plans, what do I need to consider?

A: You need to assure you have answers to the following questions:

  1. Does the deed for your land have any restrictions on domes?
  2. If there is a Home Owner's Association governing your land, you will need to check with them and make sure you can build a dome.
  3. What is required from your building department to obtain a building permit?  
  4. If you are in California, does your building department require the Building Kit be certified?
  5. If you are building in Florida, be aware that the counties of Dade, Broward, West Palm Beach, Orange and Seminole  require product approval.  It is not economical for Ai to pay for such certification, so the Ai dome kit cannot be built in these counties. 
  6. Do you have your financing secured?
If the answers to the above questions are positive then purchase building plans for your dome.

Q: Can my zoning department stop me from building a dome?

A: No. Zoning pertains to whether a residential, commercial or industrial building can be constructed on any given piece of property. Besides zoning ordinances controlling the use of the land, they determine setbacks from property lines, size and height limits and similar things, but we have never heard of a zoning restriction on domes.

Deed restrictions and homeowner associations can limit the type structure that can be built.

Q: Where can I build a dome?

A: Almost any place. Although, there are a few exceptions, some developments or communities control the size, cost and appearance of the homes. Before you buy the land, ask if there are any Deed restrictions or Homeowner Associations. To learn more about this click on Planning Process. If there is a Homeowners Association, meet with the board and show them information about the dome. If they say you can build the dome, we recommend that you get a notarized statement from them stating this. Over time, members of the Board can change and the by laws of the Association can change.

Besides assuring that your property has no deed restrictions or homeowners association regulating it, contact your building department and find out what they require to issue you a residential building permit.

Building departments are basically concerned about safety and structure, not appearance.

To obtain a new house building permit in California and Florida, the building plans have to be sealed by a licensed engineer certified for that state.  We know of California licensed engineers that have sealed our plans.  We can contact them for a quote, but typically a California seal is $600 to 1,500 per dome. A Florida engineer seal for one dome (22’ through 48’ sizes) is $400.  In California, the seal cost varies based on the size of the dome and the complexity of the floor plan.

In California, some building departments require building kits be certified that they comply with California's building kit requirements. Due to the high cost of this certification, it is not economical for American Ingenuity to purchase the certification.  So if your building department requires that the Kit be certified, then you will not be able to build the American Ingenuity Dome.  As a result you would not want to purchase the engineer sealed building plans. 

Q: Do your Building Plans come with an Engineer Seal on them?

A: No, because most of our clients do not need engineered sealed building plans to obtain a building permit.

Our dome design has proved itself by withstanding hurricane Andrew's 200 mph winds, sub zero temperatures and heavy snow loads of Canada and the Northwest Territory, a large tree impact and many other conditions since 1976.

Although our Building Plans have been reviewed by over 30 different engineers the plans do not come with an engineer's seal for the following reasons. Less than half of our dome owners needed engineer sealed Building Plans to obtain a building permit and rather than adding the cost to all plans it is more economical to have the plans sealed as needed. As the designer and manufacturer we would not hesitate to guarantee the structural integrity of our dome and we do just that with our guarantee. Each state only accepts a seal from an engineer who is registered in that state which prevents us from applying any seal that would be universally accepted. When an engineer seals a set of plans he is taking responsibility for the structural design for a single dome in the location intended and the seal would not apply to other projects.

Q: If I purchase Building Plans for one size dome and later change my mind, can I get a refund?

A: No. We design Building Plans as a service to our customers as a result there is no profit margin on the Building Plans. We cannot transfer the money spent on one set of completed plans to another.

Q: When should we purchase our dome building plans?

A: Ai recommends that our clients design their floor plan when they are about one to two years from building. If you design your plan before then, you may see model homes or get ideas from other plans that may cause you to want to change your original floor plan ideas.

Q: When can I move into my dome?

A: If you have to obtain a building permit before you can build, then you have to submit a set of Building Plans. If you do not have to obtain a building permit then you can move into the dome once the shell is weather tight. But typically the building department will not allow you to live in the dome until the interior and exterior are finished per the building plans and you have received a Certificate of Occupancy.




 
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