Horton Dome - Cost
Several people have asked for cost details on my project.
The overall cost not including the lot or site prep is between $65.00 and $75.00
per square foot. Determining the exact area of our floor plan has not been easy.
We have a lot of sweat equity in these numbers, see the labor breakdown below.
As you can see from the web details, we also have a highly customized floor plan (a split level home inside a dome shell
with non-standard dormers),
and some high end features like flooring and cabinets. A similar sized dome could
probably be done for less (or more).
The dome concept will save money on material and heating over a rectangular
home of the same area. But some of the components will cost more.
- It takes less roof area to cover the same floor area. This means
less plywood, less shingles, less dry wall and insulation on the inside.
- But because the roof
is a collection of triangles that have to be shingled and dry walled individually,
the labor to apply shingles and dry wall will be more.
- The roof took at least 3 times as long to shingle as a rectangular roof (although it was winter).
- The estimates I got for a complete dry wall job were 2 to 3 times a rectangular home.
(I ended up hanging the dry wall myself, and paying a taper by the hour. In the
end I spent on taping what I expected to pay for the whole job.)
- The foundation will have more corners. This usually raises the cost. Consider the
poured in place foam blocks to help here.
- Other trades are not much different. The plumber was initially concerned, but
after completion said it wasn't that bad. Electrical is no different.
In general, the building industry is set up to deal with rectangles. Angles
Labor we provided
We did the following ourselves, or with help from family and friends.
Increase the above budget if you hire these out.
- Design of the interior layout (with professional structural engineering assistance).
- Site clearing (it was tree covered)
- Stacking foundation blocks
- All framing (floor decking, shell, interior walls.)
- Door & window installation (except the garage door)
- Electrical wiring (ac, phone, tv coax, thermostats) & fixtures
- Plumbing & fixtures (but not the heating/hot water system)
- Dry wall installation (but not taping)
- Interior painting
- Laminate floor installation
Labor we hired out
We payed others to do the following and these cost are included in the above budget.
- Steel beam set up (they hold up the main floor)
- Basement slab
- Roofing (water proofing membrane, shingles)
- Heating system
- Dry wall tape only
- Exterior siding
- Carpet installation
Other costs to consider
None of these are included in the above budget because they are so site dependent.
- Blasting if needed (we kept the blaster busy for 5 days)
- Excavation and rubble removal
- Driveway installation
- Water (well or access to utility)
- Septic system (we put in a sand filter) or sewer connection
- Electricity (Access to grid, poles/trench, or on site generation equipment)
- Telephone (wired utility or is a cell phone cheaper?)
This is only one example of a dome cost. Your project could cost less
or more. It depends greatly on your interior design, and choice of
materials. The price of locally purchased items may also vary and change your cost.
This site created and maintained by Ted Horton
(ted at hortondome . com)
All information and photos in this site are Copyright © 1997, 1998 Ted Horton.