Three tornadoes too many
Most folks just don’t associate Florida with tornadoes. Most think of Florida as hurricane country.
But Harrilyn and Rudy Watts know better. They live 21 miles south of Chipley. It has a population of about 3600, a motto that describes it as “A small town with a proud heritage and a bright future” – and tornadoes.
In fact, tornado activity in the Chipley area is slightly above Florida’s state average and 95% greater than the overall U.S. average.
Before they built their Monolithic Dome home in 2008, the Watts had a house on the water, where they operated a marine service that offered commercial diving, bridge inspections and salvage work. That home got hit by a hurricane. So the Watts moved inland. But that proved to be like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire!
Harrilyn said, “We were in a camper. We had two tornadoes and nowhere to run and then we built our shop and had another tornado. We decided then and there: it’s gonna hit us!”
A wise decision
Rudy and Harrilyn began thinking in terms of building something they would feel safe in. They remembered a small ad they saw on the back cover of a magazine about Monolithic Domes.
Harrilyn said, “At the time, I thought ‘Oh how ugly!’ But then I decided to look it up on the Internet. And I really liked what I read about Monolithic Domes. I called Rudy over and had him read and he really liked it too.”
The Watts contacted Monolithic and began planning their home. They now have a floor area of 2600 square feet in a dome with a 50-foot diameter, that’s next to a dome with a 20-foot diameter, that connects to a dome with a 30-foot diameter.
The large dome encompasses master bedroom and bath, guest bedroom and bath, exercise room, office/library, family area, dining area and kitchen. Pantry, laundry and utilities are in the smallest dome, and the third dome is a two-car garage.
Hands off the thermostat!
The Watts are very pleased with the internal temperature their Monolithic Domes maintain. Harrilyn said, "When people come in to look at our domes, they are really surprised about the temperature. We keep the thermostat at 78 – that’s not low at all for Florida.
“In the summer, we keep the windows closed and the blinds down. And I’m loving this winter because we can have the blinds up and the sun heats the inside. We turn the heat on only if we have a drastic temperature drop.”