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What can Stop me from building an

American Ingenuity Dome?

Q: Prior to purchasing Dome 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 Owners 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. Do you have your financing secured?
  5. If the answers to the above questions are positive then you can proceed with purchasing your dome building plans.

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 your land ask if there are any Deed restrictions or Homeowner Associations.

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.

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

Q: Are there any areas in the United States where an American Ingenuity Dome cannot be built?

A: Yes, in Redding California. That city’s building department required that the A.I. dome building kit be certified that it complied with the State of California’s building kit regulations. Due to the cost and complexity of the tests, we concluded it is not economical for American Ingenuity to pay for this test. If the California building department will accept a California registered engineer’s assertion that our buildings pass this test, this documentation can be provided at a reasonable fee.

We had three clients assemble A.I.’s dome kit in remote, rural areas in California without the building kit needing to be certified. For information about California please contact our office Monday thru Friday 9 to 5 eastern time at 321-639-8777.

If you would be building within city limits in California, you would want to check with your building department to see if the building kit needs to be certified before you purchase the building plans.

Q: Are there any counties in the United States that will not allow the American Ingenuity dome to be built in their area?

A: Yes, Dade and Broward Counties in southern Florida. Even though our building complies with the new 2002 Florida Building Code and one of our domes survived Hurricane Andrew with no structural damage, we have been informed that Dade and Broward Counties require additional testing to verify that the wall segments are capable of withstanding missile impact. Due to the cost and complexity of the tests, we have concluded it is not economical for us to perform this test.

If the building departments will accept a Florida registered engineer’s assertion that our buildings pass this test, this documentation can be provided at a reasonable fee.

Q: Is it difficult to obtain financing on a dome home?

A: Yes. For example, a 40’ dome can have 1,800 sq.ft. In your area if the finished price per sq.ft. for a conventional house is running $100 a square foot. Then the finished price of the 40’ dome will be around $180,000 not including the price of the land, utility hook ups, and the cost for the building plans and engineer seal.

Typically lenders want 20% to 30% down based on the finished price of the dome; which in this case would be $36,000 to $60,000. How does this fit in your budget? Lenders will accept equity you have in your land towards this down payment.

Why do lenders not like domes? Lenders determine how much they will loan based on what houses in each neighborhood sell for. The lender can usually get within three to four per cent of the value of a conventional house. But because American Ingenuity does not have resale statistics on domes the lender does not know what the dome resale price is. The lender has to be concerned with the worst case sinario. If the homeowner dies, they will have to resale the dome. So the lender is reluctant to loan as much money on a dome project.

If you obtain financing through a bank, etc. they may require you to have a contractor who will sign a contract as to what he will charge to totally finish your dome. We know of some independent subs, which can work for the contractor and supervise the assembly of the dome shell kit. Click on Kit Assembly Consultant to learn more about this service. The contractor can best provide local laborers to work on the dome shell. And the contractor should hire local conventional subs to do the interior framing, plumbing, electrical, flooring, etc.

Construction Loans are difficult to acquire. An appraiser takes the Building Plans and determines a value for the finished house and will also appraise your land.

To view a list of possible lenders for the A.I. Dome, click on the Financing. Plus to view or print out the American Ingenuity Financing Booklet click on Financing Booklet. Please read this booklet prior to calling any of the lenders.


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