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How to Build a Better Home
With an EconOdome Frame Kit,
Proven Building Methods,
And, Quality "Value Added" Products
Foundations & Floors-- Problem: Many foundations & floors are difficult to layout & build.
Solution: Position ten identically cut boards on the ground. All ten perimeter corners are aligned at the outside of each corner (using the radius) and leveled from a point in the center. Dig your perimeter footing ditch 6 inches to the outside and 6 inches to the inside of the aligned base boards that are laying on the ground. The ditch should extend below where the ground freezes. This frostline depth varies depending on the location of your building site. You will have to ask questions to find out the depth of your frostline.
The ends of sill plates
are cut 18 degrees away from 90 degrees as shown below.
All ten sides have the same lengths and end angles with our ten-sided buildings.
The ten identical treated sill plates will later be bolted
to the top of your concrete footing or cinderblock crawl space wall.
A crawl space will allow you to install pipes and wires under the main floor after the building above is enclosed and sealed.
The floor system drawn below uses economical 2x6 floor joists with 4x6 supporting beams.
The perimeter, above the concrete footing and below the main floor, can be supported with a short wall made of lumber or concrete block. It is important that any wood framing is at least 6 inches above the ground at the nearest point.
There are many ways to build a substantial foundation.
You can use a lot of concrete or not so much concrete. This is important to consider as a lot of redimix concrete can be expensive. Using telephone poles and securing with tamped gravel can zero the use of concrete. Below are some economical ways you can build a substantial foundation and floor.
More plans, photos, and construction details are elsewhere on this website and in the EconOdome Manual.
Node Connections-- Problem: Voids at the triangle tips with some dome hub connection systems where the triangular panels are most fragile. And, shifting between triangular panels with some other dome connection systems where adjacent triangular panels are bolted together. This shifting between panels causes cracks in the interior drywall.
Solution: EconOdome struts are precision double compound miter cut to form fitting pointed ends so that the strut ends can make physical contact and provide support at the triangle tips where the panels are fragile. Also, there is no shifting between triangular panels as adjacent triangular panels are joined to a single board on all edges. The EconOdome struts are stitched together at the ends with 3" long hi-tech stainless steel screws, then the ends of the struts are strapped together with stainless steel metal straps, and then the exterior triangular plywood panels are nailed on forming a compound curved shearwall. These three simultaneous methods of connection make the building very strong. We call this connection the "Synergetic Hub". The strong and areodynamic EconOdome building can withstand high winds, deep snows, and earthquakes.
|To Place Secure Order for
one box of 3" ss screws
with credit card or PayPay account
Click "Buy Now" button at right.
To securely purchase:|
One 50# box (1,150 nails) of 7 gauge
5.5 inch long Hot Dip Galv. Ring Shank Nails
Click on the "Buy Now" button on the right.
Your credit card will be charged $150.
The nails cost $100 per box and shipping is $50 per box.
You may view these nails and see comparitive pricing at
Maze Nails Catalog
You will need to click on Part 2.
Then scroll down until you see
Stock# R-1595-A for Ring Shank Nails.
Riser Wall-- Problem: Many dome home kits are tilted on the bottom which makes connection to a riser wall difficult and unstable.
Solution: The hemispherical Econ-O-Dome is flat (not tilted) on the bottom for easy and balanced attachment to a riser wall or directly to a flat floor.
Interior Walls-- Problem: Partitioning the interior of a round building without wasting any space & while retaining the elegant feeling inside the dome home. Or, how do I divide the interior of a home without creating boxes and narrow confining spaces?
Solution: Use the "Honeycomb Floorplan" which works ideally with the ten equal sided Econ-O-Dome building. The "Honeycomb Floorplan" has a central five sided livingroom with five six-sided rooms around the perimeter. With this floorplan layout, all inside corners are 90 degrees and more. And, partition walls intersect the perimeter where the vertical wall height is greater than 8 feet. Also, you can arrange walls as shown in the floorplan below. You will notice that most walls intersecting the perimeter, do so at right angles, near the middle of a perimeter wall. This avoids the problem of corners that are less than 90 degrees.
Installing conventional doors and windows-- Problem: It is difficult to install conventional doors and windows in the sloping surface of a dome.
Solution: Vertical surfaces are integrated into the shape of the EconOdome building which allow the framing of conventional doors & windows without the need for "extensions." And, with an EconOdome Frame kit all openings for doors, conventional windows, and skylights are pre-framed as part of your kit at "no extra charge". And, EconOdome frame kits include measurements for all exterior doors, windows, & skylights so you may easily order these items in advance so you have them when you are ready for them.
Sealing the Exterior--.
There are many ways to weatherseal the roofs of all types of buildings.
And there are many considerations with each waterproofing system.
All roof sealing systems require regular inspections and maintenance.
There are three distinctively different waterproofing methods:
Shingles (composition, metal, tile, slate),
Roll roofing (composition, TPO, EPDM), and
Elastomeric (paint-on sealers).
There are many products and manufacturers to choose from in each catagory.
Some of the considerations are:
Shingles are installed from the bottom upward.
Shingles are recommended where the slope of the roof is steep enough
so that the shingles shed water.
This means that if you use shingles on a dome roof,
you will need to consider a different waterproofing method
on the low slope portion at the top of a dome home.
At the top of the dome you could consider using roll roofing
that is lapped over the shingles a distance away from the top.
Or you could consider sealing the top or even the entire dome roof
using any of many available commercial waterproofing systems
that are commonly used on large low slope nearly flat roofs.
Using a proven commercial waterproofing system
to seal the top, or,the entire dome,
will allow you to install panels and seal your dome home
from the top downward. This will allow you to keep the sheeting materials dry.
You can keep the sheeting materials dry by installing and sealing panels in
a process where each level of triangle panels is sealed before installing and
sealing more panels at a lower level. Keeping building sheeting materials dry
will help to avoid problems with mold, condensation, and expansion and contraction.
You may wish seal the roof of your dome home with elastomeric waterproofing materials.
We have found that the saturant/primer/sealer "Vap-R-Loc" works
well in conjunctions with Pol-E-Force seam tape, however,
Vap-R-Loc must be topcoated with two or three coats of tinted Product 2200, and
either Densdeck or AC-Foam IV must be used a substrate under the waterproofing.
If you decide to use another type of roll roofing such as TPO or EPDM,
you will need to order those products from other roofing products suppliers.
If you wish, we can assist you with choosing the type of waterproofing.
We, and other folks who have already built dome homes
have done the work of testing and comparing prices and quality.
We, and other folks who have already built dome homes
have also done the work of testing waterproofing systems that work and don't work.
This knowledge base has taken over 30 years of dome home building to accumulate.
We want to make sure that you purchase the best possible products to ensure
that your home will be waterproofed properly at the lowest possible cost.
However, you must understand that
you may choose to waterproof your dome home using the method you wish.
We at Faze Change Produx are primarily in the business of manufacturing
EconOdome kits and helping to advise clients concerning design options
and procedures for building custom dome homes using many different foundation
sysems, many different interior and exterior layouts, and many different
waterproofing systems/methods. All water proofing materials will be purchased
from manufacturers and distributors of waterproofing supplies. It will be
important to read directions and consult with the waterproofing suppliers,
to ensure that your home will be as waterproofed and maintained properly.
First I will discuss Elastomeric Coatings, even though the base sheet for
Elastomeric Coatings is often same as for Thermoplastic Membranes (TPO) and EDPM.
Briefly, TPO is melted together at the laps and EDPM is solvent sealed with a tape.
Elastomeric Coatings, done properly, look more like real stucco, but require multiple coats and diligent maintenance.
The exterior surface may be sealed by applying a proven waterproofing system
over a base sheet material called DensDeck Prime Roof Board.
The secret to successful waterproofing with either elastomerics, TPO, or EDPM
membrane (skin) coverings is to put a well designed "base sheet" or substrate
under the membrane covering. DensDeck Prime Roof Board is one such substrate.
Now to describe the sealing process when using spec-chem.com elastomeric products:
After the insulated panels are attached and the gaps are filled with foam,
The seams are positively sealed by brushing on a flexible spun woven polyester tape
using a liquid elastomeric sealer that dries to form a tough rubbery skin.
This sealing method is called, "a saturated seal".
This sealing method has many advantages.
Skylights are easy to install and seal.
You can complete the sealing process "one level at a time" from top to bottom
while standing on the sturdy framework. And, after a storm, you can
"detect a possible leak" by just looking at the exterior surface for a damaged area.
The damaged area can then be easily repaired with a paint brush, seam cloth and elastomeric sealer.
What is just as important as the outside covering
is the material that is just under the outside covering.
I am refering to DensDeck Prime Roof Board by Georgia Pacific
and also distributed by Firestone.
Both Georgia Pacific and Firestone are industry leaders in
UL approved roof coverings and recommend the use of DensDeck.
DensDeck Prime Roof Board is UL approved to be both puncture and fire resistant.
DensDeck Prime Roof Board is also the ideal product to
laminate to rigid foam insulation sheeting.
DensDeck Prime Roof Board is also the ideal substrate to
create a tenacious bond with exterior elastomeric and thermoplastic (TPO) waterproof membranes.
DensDeck is inorganic in that there are no additives that will support mold growth.
The gypsum base is mixed with silicone to inhibit the absorption of moisture.
The factory bonded woven fiberglass matting on both sides
is designed to bond to waterproofings or contact adhesives.
See detailed info on DensDeck Prime Roof Board.
Also see general info on TPO membrane and similar type roof coverings.
DensDeck Prime Roof Board is UL approved for use on sloping roof surfaces.
DensDeck Prime Roof Board is made by Georgia Pacific.
View info and specifications on DensDeck Prime Roof Board.
We recommend using 1/4" or 1/2" thick DensDeck Prime Roof Board
as a cover/cladding surface over insulation sheeting
DensDeck Prime Roof Board is economical and can be cut with a utility blade knife.
If you are installing DensDeck Prime Roof Board glued over rigid insulation,
you may attach the panels with screws and large flat washers as shown below.
Or, you may wish to use hot dip galvanized ring shank nails with the washers.
You may wish to order these washers and screws from www.demandproducts.com .
Click on "EFIS" then on fastners. You are looking for plaster repair washers.
We do recommend use of smooth surfaced or stucco textured Hardipanel cement composite
siding for use on the vertical walls at the lower perimeter of the dome home.
DensDeck Prime Roof Board may also be installed on the vertical surfaces at the
lower perimeter of the dome, however, it is not as durable as composite cement siding.
DensDeck Prime Roof Board panels are normally used on the
sloping upper surfaces of the dome.
Hardipanel composite cement siding panels are normally used on the
lower vertical perimeter of the dome.
A minimum of one and one half inches of polyiso insulation board is
normally glued to the underside of the DensDeck and Hardipanel.
Or, you may want to use AC-Foam IV by Atlas, which has a
fiberglass mat facing that is already attached to the foam sheeting.
Fill any cracks between the panels with Enerfoam 42 filler and adhesive from www.demandproducts.com .
Click on "EFIS" at www.demandproducts.com and then on "adhesives" to find Enerfoam 42.
If you order a case of 12 cans you get a "free" dispenser gun.
After the expanding foam has cured (about 15 minutes),
saw off any excess with a bread knife or hack saw blade.
You are now ready to begin the sealing process.
After the first five triangles are taped and roll coated with Vap-R-Lok
you may then install and seal 15 more triangles at
the level just below the top five triangles.
Do not put any texture on surfaces that will be taped.
The texture coat is used to hide the taped seams and nail heads.
You must seal each level of triangles before moving to a lower level.
Basically, you will be making an umbrella that will get closer to the ground
as you install and seal more exterior panels.
The reason for this method of enclosing the dome is to
keep your building materials dry under the sealed dome umbrella.
The "tape coat" is most efficiently, effectively, and economically
done using 4 inch wide Pol-E-Force spun woven polyester cloth tape
that is saturated with Vap-R-Loc using a three inch wide paint brush.
The strechy cloth tape will seal over all panel joints and all nail heads.
After all the seams and fasteners have be covered, the entire surface should be
roll painted with Vap-R-Loc primer/saturant to create a complete base coat.
These waterproofing products are manufactured by
Specifications Chemicals who developed the "saturated seal".
This development allows us to create invisible expansion joints
that allow building movement and are waterproof.
Contractor pricing for Vap-R-Lok saturant and primer is $121.75 for a 5 gallon pail.
Cost of 4 inch wide Pol-E-Force cloth tape is $5.19 per 100 foot roll
One box of 27 rolls will do most dome homes at a cost of $140.13.
Extra rolls of Pol-E-Force seam tape can also be ordered
or purchased at a Menards Home Improvement Store.
To create a very excellent and more durable finish, you may want to cover
all flat surfaces with a cut-to-fit scrim material that will lap over the
Pol-E-Force tape at the corners. I mention this as lapping the very shear scrim
material over the tape at the corners helps to hide the tape and also provides
a more durable and leak resistant surface. If you wish to use the scrim material,
each 3ft. wide x 100ft. long roll of Pol-E-Scrim costs $50.
If you wish to order waterproofing materials from elastomeric products
from Specifications Chemicals,
talk to Susie, and, mention EconOdome to get the special low price
we have negotiated for our customers.
We recommend that you add a minimum of two "final coats" of tinted Product #2200.
Product #2200 goes on thicker than most elastomeric sealing paints,
so, it will take fewer final coats to achieve the required 50 mil thickness. Product #2200 may be tinted to your desired color.
If you have been careful to ensure that all seams and fasteners have been taped,
and if you have applied each coat as thick and complete as possible,
Then your roof will be more durable and leakproof.
To ensure that you get the correct products and apply the products properly,
please direct waterproofing questions to Susie or Clarence at Specifications Chemicals.
The cost of the final coats of elastomeric, Product #2200,
is reduced by about 6.35 dollars per gallon for our clients.
Please talk to Susie at Specifications Chemicals and say
you were referred by Faze Change Produx to get this price reduction
. Cost for tintable #2200 topcoat elastomeric is $124.25 per 5 gallon pail.
Untinted Product #2200 has a very high reflectance.
White Plastic has received a cool roof rating by the State of California.
Experience as show that rolling on #2200 elastomeric with a thick nap paint roller provides the best final coating of elastomeric. You may choose from the 12 standard colors offered on the color chart below.
Custom colors are available, if, you can provide a sample or color from another color chart.
Cost of color tinting for custom colors or colors from the chart is one dollar per gallon.
Specifications Chemicals has obtained Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Approval for the use of their
See #5 below. We recommend the use of a spun woven polyester material called Pol-E-Force manufactured by Specifications Chemicals Inc.. The recommended polyester material is standardly manufactured in 4 inch wide rolls. This polyester mat/tape is embedded into Vap-R-Loc Saturant/Primer and applied over all seams and fasteners per #5.
Insurance companies estimate that about 40% of claims due to storm damage
are caused by hail. Rubber membrane roofing can prevent hail damage.
We reccommend recycled rubber elastomeric roofing and other
rubber roofing products as they are effectively used on nearly flat
commercial roofs that protect hotels, office buildings, factories, and warehouses.
The same sealing methods and roofing products can be used on residential dome homes.
Click here to see detailed info about hail resistant roof products.
Sheetrocking a High Ceiling-- Problem: Working upsidedown on ladders & scaffolding is difficult & time consuming.
Solution: Enlist the help of gravity, Expose the beautiful geodesic patterning, and eliminate working up-side-down with the Econ-O-Dome T-Beam/Drop-In-Panel building system.
The photo above shows how the exterior of a dome can be accessed
with an extension ladder. Both the interior insulated triangular panels and
the exterior triangular panels are installed from the outside of the framework.
The surface is sealed as the panels are installed so that the panels can be kept dry.
A tarp may sometimes
be used over the dome to create shade or protect panels that have not been sealed from rainwater.
However, if you want to order the more economical "Basic" frame kit, we have also figured out how to make that as easy as possible. The triangles are smaller on the EconOdome frame kit, and, we have positioned blocking where it should be so that you can use smaller pieces of sheetrock on the interior ceiling.
Room Additions-- Problem:
With many types of homes it is more difficult to build and seal room additions.
Vertical surfaces are
designed into the EconOdome shape to make building a room addition easier.
There is the possibility of extending the ten-sided home in ten directions.
Sealing the Hardipanel seams with elastomeric saturated into polyester cloth makes it easy to seal additions that may be added at both the wall and roof intersections.
This "saturated seal" method of waterproofing the surface allows you to be more creative with arches, dormers, and additions on the exterior of the building without having to worry about leaks when the surface is not flat. The polyester cloth seam tape is very flexible and easily conforms to any shape when "wet brushed" in place with elastomeric sealing paint. When the waterbase elastomeric sealing paint dries, it remains flexible and forms a rubbery skin on the surface of the dome. The polyester cloth allows the elastomeric sealing paint to bridge over seams and nail heads. This combination of materials forms an almost invisible and flexible expansion joint that will not leak if brushed on with care.
Your purchase of each casement style roof window
will include flashing and a roll-up screen per pricing listed above.
After you have ordered your Fakro roof window,
we will email you a billing for the exact shipping cost to your location.
You may then pay the shipping cost billing securely
with a credit card or PayPal account.
Please phone or email our office if you have any questions.
Fakro skylights will ship from a warehouse in Chicago, IL.
Shipping cost within the USA
for each skylight, flashing kit, and roll-up mosquito screen
will be approximately 45 dollars.
Roll-up screening units will ship separately.
If you live in the state of Illinois, 6.75% state sales tax will be added.
Without state tax cost of each unit including flashing & screen is $657.
If you wish to purchase a 24"x38" casement style egress window sized
to fit within the triangles of a 38.5 ft. dia.EconOdome frame kit,
push the BUY NOW button below these words.
Another value added product is insulated and folding attic stairs that can be used for
fold-up-and-away access to the second floor of a garage dome.
Please see info at www.atticstairsus.com
Insulation, Ventilation, and Condensation--
1. Building frames conduct heat and cold causing a loss of energy efficiency.
2. Also, unventilated air space behind the sheathing in high humidity climates can support mold growth.
3. Insulation systems must have ways of either controlling the condensation dew point or evaporating any accumulated condensation.
The exterior edges of the 2x6
frame of our T-Beam frame kit are notched 1/2 inch deep on
the outside edges.
We notch the edges of the 2x6 frame to allow panel to panel
the insulating triangular panels. Moist, stale air
that migrates into the ventilation cavity
to flow up and out a flashed opening near the top of the dome roof.
feature allows the entire building to be cooler in the summer and
to have healthier
interior air all year long. There is a very small amount of air
flow around the edges
of the triangular panels.
This slow outward migration of interior air expels humidity and
stale, toxic air while having
a negligible effect on energy efficiency.
Most homes have maintenance problems that are very expensive to fix. We have found that covering the exterior with Hardipanel and then sealing with elastomeric sealers as described below, solves many problems. The exterior surface is durable, fireproof, and easy to maintain for many years. Covering the exterior with Hardipanel and then sealing with elastomeric paint also helps to keep bugs out of the building and provides an exterior that does not deteriorate with time. Basically, using Hardipanel allows you to cover your home with durable cement panels that can be reliably sealed using technologies that have been developed to seal large commercial buildings where each seam is treated as a building expansion joint.
In addition to either conventional insulation or radiant heat barrier insulation, an additional one inch of rigid insulation board or, an additional air space may be installed under the Hardipanel to help make the building even more energy efficient. From both a practical and a mathematical point of view, the dome is the most energy efficient building shape possible. This is because the dome shape has the smallest surface area for a given amount of internal volume. And the roof shape makes it possible to have two floors of living space. One floor is just above ground level and another floor level is just under to dome roof. There are no boards in the way to inhibit full use of the upper floor that is under the dome roof. Many insulation possibilities exist.
If you are building where it drops below freezing in the winter, then you may want to consider our standard 2x6 frame with an additional inch of insulation board just under Hardipanel. This extra inch of insulation insulates the entire building, including the framing. This additional one inch thickness of rigid insulation board stops condensation from forming inside the cavity space. In effect, a layer of continuous insulation just under the siding/roofing controls the dew point and also greatly increases energy efficiency.
Or, you may want to consider building a double dome with two 2x4 EconOdome frames. One dome is built about a foot inside a second dome. The large space between the inside and outside dome frames is used for both insulation and ventilation. The cost of a double 2x4 EconOdome frame is the same as our standard 2x6 "T-Beam" frame kit. With either choice, you will have a very energy efficient building.
If you want to use our more economical "Basic" EconOdome frame kit here is one way to use radiant barrier insulation (layers of foil stapled into place) that is easy and economical. Holes are drilled along the center of the struts, allowing cavity ventilation air to flow from panel to panel.
Then, two layers of half inch thick spacers and two layers of foil are installed to the inside of the frame.
Now, here is how to install the foil:
Step One: A layer of foil is stapled flat over the inside edges of the EconOdome frame.
Step Two: Spacer strips are attached over the inside of the foil where there is support under the foil.
Step Three: A second layer of foil is stapled over the spacer strips.
Step Four: A second layer of spacer strips is attached above the second layer of foil.
Step Five: The drywall is glued and screwed to the spacer strips.
The spacer strips are made from the plywood scrap leftover from cutting the plywood for the roof. This method is highly effective. The air spaces combined with the layers of foil reflect and insulate extremely well. A rough estimate is that about 95% of the heat is reflected out in the summer and 95% of the heat is reflected in during the winter. The space shuttle uses this technology. We did this on a dome home in Ann Arbor, Michigan for an architect who wanted to ensure that any moisture that accumulated in the shell cavity for whatever reason, was able to evaporate and go up and out thru a vent near the top of the dome. Using this method also helps to isolate the dome building frame from the interior environment. Isolating (insulating) the EconOdome building frame reduces heat and cold conduction which increases energy efficiency.
Radiant barrier insulation is the latest technology and allows one to build a very energy efficient building using a single "Basic" 2x4 EconOdome building frame kit. A "Basic" 2x4 EconOdome kit costs 25% less than our standard "Basic" 2x6 kit. For example, the cost of a "Basic" 30 foot diameter 2x4 EconOdome building kit is $6,750 plus shipping.
Click on the word PRICES on our home page to see pricing of "Basic" 2x6 EconOdome frame kits.
Advanced Technology and Optional Construction Method
The drawing below shows a section view of an advanced technology T-Beam assembly method using thicker 3/4 inch cdx sheathing, radiant barrier panels, and a more economical 2x4 on 2x4 T-Beam frame construction. If you order your T-Beam frame with all 2x4 construction, the cost will be 10% less than our standard T-Beam Kit having 2x6 with 2x4 trim construction. Please contact us if you have any questions about this advanced technology or questions about our standard 2x6 frame and panel kits.
Cost-- Problem: Often too high due to too much custom work & tacked on contingency costs when work is "contracted" after receiving "bids".
Solution: Faze Change Produx has eliminated or streamlined many of the costly steps required to build an elegant dome home. The EconOdome Planning & Building Manual includes detailed building instructions. Also, when you purchase a plan set you will be supplied with a detailed material list and step-by step building instructions. This will allow you to hire help "by-the hour" and eliminate contingency costs. Even some contractors will work on a "time & materials" basis. This eliminates stress for the contractor and the EconOdome design reduces on-site building costs.
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