With the rise of alternative living styles, there have been a few new types of living quarters to choose from: Yurt homes, container homes, conventional homes, cabins, dome homes, and the list keeps going.
Between the many choices of alternative living, there’s a lot to look into because, who wants to invest into something that isn’t going to give them a beneficial return?
The cost of a conventional home already breaks the bank for many people. So if someone chooses to get a cheaper option, what would be the best choice?
Why so Many Different Habitation Choices?
Many people are searching for alternative living quarters to fit the niche they’d like to live in without breaking the bank.
On average, to build a conventional home nation wide a person can expect to spend about one hundred eighty eight thousand nine hundred dollars ($188, 900).
That’s just a four hundred (400) square foot home. That’s not very promising.
In the range of any of these alternative living spaces, people can look to spend as low as fourteen thousand four hundred ninety seven dollars ($14, 497) for a dome home that offers three hundred twelve (312) square feet with a ceiling that reaches 20-feet high.
That’s far easier on your wallet than a conventional home for over one hundred thousand ($100, 000) dollars that gets you just four hundred (400) square feet.
Where as a dome home mentioned is far less likely to break your bank.
A dome home sounds much more promising but lets take a peek at how someone could build a dome home and is it easy to complete a dome home build?
If you fancy a DIY project, there are many ways to go about building a dome home.
If not, there are some companies that can shape the walls and ship them for you to put together.
It’s as easy as 3 hours of your time to make this possible once you’ve got the walls in your possession.
But for those DIY project hungry consumers, lets look at what’s available to work with.
Aircrete also known as AAC or Autoclaved Concrete commonly used for commercial, residential and industrial construction. The materials used to create an aircrete are sand, concrete, lime, anhydride, and aluminum powder.
Aircrete is strong with structural properties. Some of the advantages of using aircrete is the final product before building is sustainable, light weight, strong, fire resistant, easily used for construction, offers natural insulation, sound proof, versatile, accurate and durable.
Since this material while mixing is still in a liquid/foam form, it can be easily manipulated into various shapes to use for building a structure.
Aircrete won’t rot, warp or corrode. It will also dry over night. It can be drilled into or screwed into easily and repaired if needed.
It’s also impervious to insects! How about that!
Now the only downside to using this material to build a dome home is it can be time consuming.
It takes 6-8 weeks just to get the air foam ready. Than it takes another 2-4 weeks to build a house sized dome. Other than that, everything is much cheaper to make and to put together.
Papercrete is another material used to create a dome home. It is made with recycled paper, clay or soil mixed into Portland concrete.
Since a lot of paper consists of chemicals, this material was invented to help use all of the paper that was thrown away such as news papers, junk mail, magazines and books.
Unfortunately, this material isn’t favorable to baring weight, as it is lightweight but insulates fairly well. This material is also cost friendly.
Another unfortunate fact about papercrete is that there isn’t much data available about it’s structural behavior and long-term life span.
Also getting a building permit is difficult as papercrete is a brittle material. It expands and contracts frequently which causes cracking and buckling since it has low stencil strength.
Some other materials that are used to build a dome home are:
Many of these materials are either used to combine with other substances or used to aid and strength something.
Now that we have an idea of what types of materials are used for building a structure, what methods can someone use to create a dome home?
Monolithic Domes are created through concrete, rebar to reinforce its walls and structure, spray insulation and tend to have an over-sized balloon shape. Many monolithic dome homes are strong enough to withstand hurricanes, earthquakes and even bombs.
Earth-ship tire domes is another method used to create a dome home. Tires filled with soil are used to fortify the strength of a tire, and offer more support when stacked. This option also is used to help protect a home from the weather. The south facing side of the home generally has more windows to allow for an in-home green house affect. It allows for someone to be able to grow his or her own foods and usually gives a lot of sunlight for the home.
The last method that will be used is called Foam domes. This method to build a dome home is primarily built by Styrofoam. This method is resistant to termites, also resistant to hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes.
These are the DIY ways of going about getting a dome home for you, but what about those who aren’t as skilled at building a structure. There are companies that are willing to make the structure for you and send the parts for you to assemble. As mentioned before, this might be preferable to some people, as it should only take about 3 hours to assemble.
Of course, every owner should do their research and make sure that they understand their county's building and zoning codes so they can avoid any complications when building their dome home.
A dome home's advantages out weigh any foreseen problems. Either way, you have the choice to DIY or to just assemble it from a prefabricated company. It’s that easy!