Below is information about
Concrete Geodesic Dome Home finished cost
vs wood dome and photos of Ai dome house interiors.

(To view more dome home photos, see the left hand menu bar with fourteen photo items.)


Kitchen in California 45′ Dome Home

Is the American Ingenuity steel reinforced concrete geodesic dome kit (meaning dome exterior walls) less expensive than the materials cost for the exterior walls and roof of a conventional house or wood dome?   Yes.   American Ingenuity’s dome shell kit sale price (not the finished home cost) is about one third to one half less in cost than what the materials cost for the exterior walls and roof of a wood dome, gunited concrete dome or conventional house (exterior walls, roof trusses, plywood, tar paper, shingles, 3 1/2″ thick insulation, siding, soffits, gutters, drywall for exterior walls & the ceiling, etc.).

However when you build Ai’s concrete house, there is no wood in the exterior walls to burn, no wood to rot, no wood for termites to eat and no wood to interrupt the insulation. (Prior to panel assembly a temporary wooden rib system put up to support the panels; but it comes down after the seam areas are concreted and the entryways and dormer panels are concreted. Most of the rib system wood can be recycled for interior framing.)

Just because the dome kit that contains the exterior walls costs less than the exterior walls for wood dome or conventional framed house this does not mean that the entire finished cost to complete the foundation and all the interior will be less.  The American Ingenuity dome interior and exterior can be finished for about the same price per sq.ft. as a conventional house but you receive more….

  1. greater strength (225 mph wind and F4 tornado guarantee)
  2. greater energy efficiency due to the reduced exterior surface area and thick R28 insulation not interrupted with wood (the EPS insulation is comparable to 11″ of fiberglass batting)
  3. and greater exterior fire resistance because the exterior is concrete

Building a dome from prefabricated concrete panels reinforced with galvanized steel mesh instead of building a wood dome results in many advantages. 1) no shingles to blow off in high winds; 2) no wood in the dome exterior walls to burn; 3) no wood in the panels for termites to eat; 4) no wood to interrupt the R28 insulation and 5) easier panel assembly.  The assembly process of stacking the panels in place, overlapping/locking the steel mesh of adjacent panels and filling the seams with special formulated concrete produces the home’s structural components, completes the finished exterior service, installs the insulation and the interior 1/2′ drywall.

  • The interior of the dome is finished just like a conventional house using your own labor or hiring local framers, plumbers, electricians, dry wall finishers, cabinet installers, etc. You or your subcontractors follow the dome home plans which show the room arrangement and complete the interior.
  • The inside materials cost is the same whether you build a dome or a conventional house.  Locally you purchase the flooring, framing, kitchen cabinets, windows, doors, lighting fixtures, bathroom fixtures, kitchen appliances, etc. that you or your subs install.


16.43 Wallace kitchen custom IMG_1679


Henderson domes  flash 2a
45′ Dome Linked to 40′ Garage Dome


Henderson dome flash picture 2
45′ Dome High Profile Entryway


Hamilton two entrys interior DSCN7895 3
45′ Dome Living Room with two standard entryways.

If you desire a 2,000 sq.ft. house then the American Ingenuity 40′ dome might be the right size for you.   The Ai 40′ Dome Kit with entryways and dormers (places where your locally purchased doors and windows are installed) is about $47,000.  This pricing does not include any discounts.  To view discounts, please view Save.

The exact pricing of the 40′ dome kit is determined by your geodesic dome floor plan selection.  Your floor plan determines the number of entryways and dormers that will be included with your Building Kit.  To learn more about entryways, view pictures at Entryways and view Building Options.  To view Ai’s web site file that lists the plans regular pricing and kit regular pricing with options pricing for each of Ai’s web site stock plans, please view Stock Plan & Kit Pricing  To view stock plans listed on our web site, view Stock Plans. When on the page scroll down to find the blue hyperlinks.  To receive geodesic dome home floor plans via email that are not on Ai’s web site, please call our office at 321-639-8777 Monday thru Friday 9-5 eastern time.
A 2,000 sq.ft. conventional house shell’s materials cost (exterior walls, trusses, plywood, roofing, siding, insulation, shell & ceiling wall board, soffits, gutters, etc.) could be about $63,000. The savings on the American Ingenuity 40′ dome shell (cost of about $47,000) versus the shell materials cost for a conventional house is about $16,000 and you receive a super-insulated, super-strong dome home.  To be more precise, you could ask a builder in your neighborhood what the shell materials cost is for a conventional 2,000 sq.ft. house and compare that cost to the American Ingenuity shell kit cost.

All the money you save by purchasing the Ai Dome Shell Kit can go towards the costs for shipping, fork lift rental to unload the truck, temporary supports to hold the panels during assembly, the renting of a hoisting mechanism to lift the panels into place,etc. 

To view pictures: select Ai Exteriors and Ai Interiors and Connecticut 40′ dome pics plus check out the left hand menu bar that has fourteen menu items showing  various dome home pictures.

Q: Do you have an engineering statement about your dome panels that can be reviewed.   A:  Yes, to view the statement click on Engineering.


FINANCING UPDATE – Sovann Kang has moved back to Wells Fargo Bank and can now offer construction loans on domes, new home loans on domes, buyouts and refinancing on existing domes for those who qualify. Sovann told us that Wells Fargo will now accept appraisals on comparables based on square footage, bedrooms and interior finishing qualities. Comparables no longer have to be based on domes  being built in that area! This is a huge advantage when trying to obtain any form of dome financing.

To qualify your credit score has to be 680 or better.  If your credit score is 680 they require 25% down with 10% Post Closing Liquidity (PCL). If your credit score is 700+ they will require 20% down with 15% PCL. He is a Home Mortgage Consultant and a Construction/Perm Specialist - NMLS #  275454. His contact info is:  Sovann Kang: Cell:  253-376-0991;   [email protected]

Why do you not see hundreds of Ai domes in your area?  Financing is the single biggest hurdle to owning a dome.  Lenders want 25% to 40% down based on the finished price of the house.  If the square foot cost to build a conventional house in your neighborhood is $85 and you want to build a 36′ dome (two bedroom, two bath) with about 1,500 sq.ft. then your finished cost is $127,500.  (This price does not include the land or utilities hook ups.)  The lender will want $32,000 to $51,000 down.  They will accept some of the equity you have in your land towards the down payment….but they want a large cash down payment. 

As a result of this financing issue, many of Ai’s clients purchase a smaller piece of land and build a small 22′ or 27′ dome and live on their property in a super energy efficient, super strong home…saving money and later add on a larger dome and convert the smaller dome to a garage or bedroom suite or study or work area.

To view a web site where your can enter your zip code to learn what the estimated per square foot cost is to complete a 2,500 sq.ft. house in your area, please view Square Foot Cost.

To learn more view:

Financing Booklet

Financing Overview

Construction Overview

Kit Assembly Consultant  

Dome Kit Assembly

Materials Cost-Finished Cost

Total Materials Cost:  If you select standard items to finish the interior of your dome, the materials cost for your dome might be $50 or more per square foot. So the minimum materials cost (no labor costs) for a 40′ dome of 2,000 sq.ft. could be $100,000 (this includes the kit cost of $47,000).

Finished Cost of the house:  This price is more than the materials cost because it includes the labor costs plus the materials cost. So how does dome finishing costs compare to conventional house finishing costs?  If the finished price per square foot to build a conventional house in your area is $100 per square foot and you desire a 2,000 square foot house then the finished price for the conventional house would be about $200,000, if you do no labor yourself.  The finished price of the dome would be the same about $200,000 less the savings on the dome shell materials….. But you end up with more with the American Ingenuity dome. You receive a super-insulated, super-strong house whose exterior dome walls have 225 mph wind and F4 Tornado warranty. The warranty covers the dome shell not exterior doors, windows, contents or life; so if you are asked to evacuate then do so.  To view info on cooling costs on 34′ dome home, please click on 1,200 sq.ft. home.

Your interior materials cost varies depending on your selection of locally purchased interior items such as:

  • Formica counter tops versus granite
  • Oak kitchen cabinets versus cherry or mahogany
  • Vinyl flooring versus ceramic tile versus hard wood floors
  • Ceramic tile versus marble
  • Plastic shower stalls versus tiled showers
  • Plastic tubs versus Jacuzzi tubs
  • Vinyl clad windows versus Pella or Anderson windows
  • Standard light fixtures versus speciality
  • Standard kitchen appliances versus Thermador or Dacor appliances
  • Standard bathroom fixtures versus Aquaware or Boffi

A helpful web site is It has construction manuals, construction estimating CD’s, etc.

Estimating Costs

The following information came from the book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Building Your Own Home by Dan Ramsey.  

Can you afford to build the house you want? In Chapter 9 it states:  I’ll help you get a comprehensive estimate of your construction costs. For now, though, let’s make a rough estimate.  First, understand that whatever house you build will probably cost as much or more than that of your neighbors — unless you plan to do it all yourself. Based on this fact, let’s look at your neighbor’s houses.

As mentioned in Chapter 1, the typical house built today is about 2,300 square feet in size, and sells for around $225,000 depending on where you live. The actual price in your area may be half of that or 10 times that amount.

So, how can you get a good rule-of-thumb for your area? Of course, you can talk with contractors who will throw out numbers like $100 or $200 per square foot. That’s a wide range. What does it include? House only? House and land? Landscaping, too?

It’s smarter for you to get your own local building costs. Here’s how. Talk with a local real estate agent about new construction. It’s best if you can compare apples to apples, so ask about new homes and lots in the area you want to build. The agent should be able to tell you the lot cost, the asking price, and the square foot size of a few comparable homes. You can figure things from there.

For example, a $250,000 new home (comparable to what you want) on a lot costing $60,000 means the house is valued at $190,000. It’s a 2,200 sq.ft. home, so you calculate the value at just over $86 sq.ft. You do calculations on a few other comparable new homes and come up with a local rule of thumb of $90 sq.ft.

You now have a base from which to guesstimate the approximate cost of your new house. Then you can factor in the following:

  • If you want a nicer view lot, add to the land costs.
  • If you will be your own general contractor, reduce the total by 10 to 20 percent.
  • If you will be a subcontractor, reduce the total by the sub’s fees.
  • If you want to enhance the design, tack on the additional costs or get a square-footage cost for better quality homes.

    In Summary, Price for A Turn Key Dome (FINISHED DOME)

So what about the finished price of a conventional house compared to the costs to finish a dome? If the finished price per square foot to build a conventional house in your area is $84 per square foot and you want a 2,000 square foot house then the finished price for the conventional house would be about $168,000, if you do no labor yourself. If you want a one bedroom/one bath 22′ dome of 373 sq.ft. then then the finished cost without land and utility hook ups is around $32,000.  The finished price of the dome will be about the same as a conventional house…. but you end up with more with the American Ingenuity dome. You end up with a super-insulated, super-strong house with no wood in or on the exterior walls and no shingles on the roof. The routine exterior maintenance is to paint the exterior with two coats of good quality exterior concrete paint. every 4-6 years.

Ai’s standard 7″ thick insulation is comparable to 11 inches of fiberglass batting. So if you really want to compare apples to apples, ask a conventional house builder how much more it will cost to have 11 inch thick fiberglass batting in the exterior walls and in the roof of a conventional house. And then ask the builder how much more it will cost to construct the conventional house with a hurricane, tornado guarantee. This analysis will really give you a true pricing comparison of the American Ingenuity dome kit to a conventional house shell.

The Ai Dome Shell Kit consists of triangular and riser panels that contain a core of seven inch thick expanded bead polystyrene insulation (E.P.S.) with steel reinforced concrete on the exterior of the insulation and wall board on the interior of the insulation and all the panels for one entryway.  Your floor plan selection determines how many more entryways, dormers, etc. you will need to complete the shell for that floor plan.

By placing the component panels, locking the steel mesh, and concreting the seams you complete the structural framework, the exterior finish, the insulation and most of the interior shell wall board for your home’s shell.

Normally most people do not know how to set roof trusses, install shingles, etc. the American Ingenuity Dome Shell Kit was specifically designed for the do-it-yourselfer to assemble; thus, if you assemble the shell you save additional money.

Once the dome kit is assembled, your local framers, plumbers, electricians, etc. finish the interior of the dome per the building plans which show your room arrangements.

The following are some general appearance and construction questions with their answers.

I am interested in the dome house concept but also want to know if you provide one in wood as in the Timberline Product series in California? Sorry our dome kits do not contain any wood or shingles, the exterior of the American Ingenuity Dome Home is concrete that is primed and painted on site. To make the exterior of the dome appear more warm and friendly:

  • Install stone, cedar, or wood on the vertical walls around the doors and windows in the entryways and dormers.
  • Install a wooden deck off a second floor balcony. Or you could connect two balconies in the 36′ or larger domes by a continuous deck.
  • Paint the dome a warm tan or soft moss green color.
  • Landscape with trees around the dome. Or install trellis with roses, vines, etc that can climb up to the second floor deck concealing the first floor of the dome.
  • Build a porch or deck off the first floor.
  • Install canopies off the top of the entryways and dormers.
What are the advantages with the concrete style over the wood style? The American Ingenuity Dome Shell Kit contains no wood to burn and no wood for termites to eat. There are no shingles to blow off in high winds. The American Ingenuity dome kit was also designed for owner builder assembly.  The exterior concrete gets painted with two coats of good quality exterior concrete paint. Repaint every four to five years to six years.   View Low Exterior Maintenance to learn more.
Can someone like myself with general construction experience, build the kit with the assistance of a contractor? Yes, but if you feel uncomfortable supervising the assembly of your kit instead of hiring a contractor, hire the Kit Assembly Consultant. He will supervise your concrete workers and get the shell assembled. Then hire local typical subs to do the plumbing, electrical, heating/air conditioning, framing, etc.  To learn more about hiring subcontractors and contractors, view Choosing a Contractor and Assemblers/Builders and Determining Contractor Pricing

Calculating Finished Cost

Please compare apples to apples when trying to calculate finished cost of an American Ingenuity dome.  A conventional house would need walls greater than 2×10 with exterior reinforced with rebar and super thick concrete and still not come close to the advantages of an American Ingenuity dome.  As a result an Ai dome can cost more to build than a “Traditional Shape Home” however  when you factor in the storm resistance and energy efficiency, a traditional home would need to have 11″ of insulation requiring over 10″ thick insulated walls (this is with our standard 7″ EPS R-28 value insulation) as well as additional roof strapping, rebar and concrete against storms, and still not be equal to one our structure’s insulation and strength. So please compare apples to apples! Our kit comes with all the interior shell 1/2″ gypsum drywall installed, all the R28 insulation installed and 80% of the finished roof….and no wood to interrupt the insulation to rot, burn or be eaten by termites.  No shingles to blow off in high winds. Exterior concrete is primed and painted.

That being said, the closest approximate website program (that does not charge) that we have found is Below we have outlined the parameters for a rough approximate cost to build. This website narrows it down to the nearest large city to your property. You may also wish to review Kit Assembly Consultant on our website, within that article is an approximate cost to erect the dome shell. You can also contact contractors in the area where you will be building, and without advising them about a dome structure, and based upon your finishing requirements (i.e. wood floors as opposed to vinyl), get an approximate cost to build.

To learn more on the cost to build in your area, please visit the website shown below and use the parameters given to estimate for one of our structures.

Go to click on start calculator, and enter the following parameters.

*Number of corners 8
*Square footage of home to be built
*Quality level information
1. Foundation class 3*
2. Wall type (Masonry) 3*
3. Exterior Finish 5*
4. Windows and Doors 4
5. Roof and soffit 6 (domes do not have traditional roof)*
6. Interior finish 5
7. Flooring 4
8. Bathrooms 5 (6 on 22’)
9. Kitchen- 6 on 22’, 5 on 27’ & 30’, 4 on 34’ & 36’, and 3 on 40’ and above.
10. Electric 5 (6 on 22)
11. Page 2 skip
12. Page 3 Housing Track NO, and Metropolitan Area (we used Yes) will depend upon location of your land. *
13. Pg. 4 cooling/heating, we used forced ducted air/heat choose your method*
14 Pg. 6 is fireplaces, we did not enter info in that category
15. Pg. 7 is state, Pg. 8 is nearest zip code.

*Quality information marked with an * remain with those values. Other Items such as flooring can be upgraded or downgraded per your style and budget.