Photo by Thomas Kirchen
When Ray pushed out the exposed face of the house by 8 feet, he used tile roofing because he preferred its looks to metal and it was fireproof. Juli beautified things by terracing and planting the hillside leading up to the sod roof.

At first glance, a concrete dome seems like it would be an unappealing place to live. Juli and Ray’s Terra-Dome house is one of several designs on the market. Terra-Domes are sold in modules—24 by 24 feet or 28 by 28 feet—and buyers choose the configuration they desire. Here are some of the advantages of dome construction that the company highlights.

1. Free up some space. There are no support walls or posts within a module, which gives the owner some design freedom.

2. The dome roof made of concrete is 20 times stronger than a flat roof.

3. Concrete domes are more fire-, storm-, tornado- and hurricane-resistant than traditionallly constructed homes.

4. You can put them up in any terrain and climate and on any soil.

5. The exterior can be whatever the owner desires—brick, stucco, wood, etc.

6. The interior has an open, airy feeling.

7. Get ’er done! One module can be poured every two to three days, meaning that construction usually goes quickly.

8. A concrete dome is a very durable structure.

9. The earth serves as an insulating blanket, keeping the structure warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, making a dome more energy efficient than a conventional dwelling.

10. The interior is quiet.

11. Dome homes are very low maintenance. There are few wood surfaces to maintain and roof repairs are minimal.

This article was originally published in The NEW PIONEER™ Winter 2016 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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