This document lists things to consider prior to selecting stock plan and prior to designing a modified or custom floor plan. To review American Ingenuity’s stock plans in order to get a feel for how rooms are arranged in a dome, please view our Geodesic Dome Home Plans web site file. On this file are all the stock plans for each size dome.
While determining the scope and size of your project be sure it is not only livable but also affordable. All of your efforts and dreams will be for naught if you design a house that you can not afford to build. To learn about finished cost per square foot, click on Finished Cost.
If you will need financing to build your dome, please view our Financing Your Dome booklet which will help determine your budget, explain the financing steps and prepare you to visit the lenders.
SIZE OF THE HOME:
Domes are sized by their diameter but you will probably use the available square footage for a comparison and size determination. Knowing the size of your current or previous homes will allow you to compare them with a dome home. The number of bedrooms and other rooms needed will also guide you to the correct size. If you are designing a dream home for the future, cost doesn’t matter. But if this home is to become a reality it must be affordable. Many of our dome owners have started with a smaller dome & added another dome later or converted it into a garage after they built their larger dome home.
You will need to make considerations for the characteristics of your property early in the planning process. If you own your property or are buying property, please call Ai (321-639-8777) and request our Buying Land Checklist. Prior to purchasing property or if you own your property, if you give Ai the parcel ID number and building department name, at no cost to you Ai will call the building department, email generic plans, engineering statement, structural calcs, etc. and find out what is required for a building permit to be issued on Ai’s prefabricated home dome kit.
You will develop the design of your home and its surrounding outdoor area at the same time. Your dome home will be more satisfying when it is incorporated into the site and united with it. Think of such things as:
• Where is the best view? Where do the windows need to be?
• Where should the entrances be located?
• Does the property have a slope? What is the best way to take advantage of it?
• What are the building setbacks from the property lines? What is the widest you can make your home?
• Are there zoning requirements like minimum square footages, height limitations and garage requirements?
• Where will the driveway and utilities be located?
Domes are built on the typical foundations used with conventional houses:
• Ai standard Plans are a concrete slab & footings. If poured at the same time is the least expensive and easiest to construct foundation type.
• Raised concrete slab on a block stem wall is used when the ground is not level or the frost level is deep.
• Raised wood floor with a crawl space is common when a concrete slab is not acceptable.
• Full or partial basements utilizing concrete block or poured concrete walls or ICF.
• Pilings are the most expensive foundation but may be required in coastal regions or when the soil is not suitable.
If you are planning to have enclosed parking there are two usual choices: a separate dome or a basement garage. A garage dome can be unattached or linked to the home. All but the 22’ garage dome offers additional space with a second floor. Placing the garage in the same dome as the house makes it difficult to design a floor plan around the garage space.
Basements can be completely below ground level, partially exposed, exposed on one side, or be completely above ground. Keep in mind when the basement is above ground level, doorways will require either a deck or a landing and stairway. If the entrance to your home is not at ground level you and your guests will always climb a flight of stairs to enter the house.
With a full basement the exterior walls will align with the shape of the dome and complete the structure down to the foundation. A partial basement can be of any size and shape by utilizing a separate foundation to support the dome.
Basement walls are made the same as in conventional houses. Ai can design basements built from concrete block, ICF foam blocks and solid poured concrete walls.
We have included a few Stock Plans with basements to show you how they may be utilized; although, they are not interchangeable. Each floor plan has load bearing walls in different locations; therefore, adding a basement will require individual basement plans designed to support the walls and floors above.
A basement can best be utilized for a garage when the land is sloped allowing the garage and entrance doors to be at ground level. If the ground does not have a sufficient slope you and your guests will always climb a flight of stairs to enter the house.
If you are planning to link domes together, you can join the domes at entryways or door dormers. Notice the examples utilized with each size dome. The link will vary in width according to the size of the dome and can vary in length from 2 feet to 10 feet.
While many dome companies offer the alternatives of room extensions to the dome, American Ingenuity feels they are not in your best interest. The exposed surface area and the materials required to gain floor space in an extension are much greater than that of the dome. The result is a less energy efficient dome and a higher cost per square foot. Also the construction is more involved and the visual impact of the dome design is lessened.
We recommend simply moving up to the next larger size dome or arranging your space differently to increase the efficiency of your design. This will save you time, energy and money.
American Ingenuity. 8777 Holiday Springs Rd. Rockledge Florida 32955
321-639-8777 Monday – Friday 9-5 Eastern Time