The initial cost of a Monolithic Dome is usually the same as a custom-built, conventional home of equal interior finish. If you planned on buying a $100,000 house, you will probably have to pay $100,000 for your dome home.
However, the long-term, day-to-day costs of a Monolithic Dome will always be lower. And the true cost of owning a dome home is substantially less.
There are two parties when a home is built: the contractor and the owner. The contractor’s primary goal when building the home is to make a profit. If it were otherwise, s/he could not stay in business. The home owner’s primary goal is to build the best home for the least amount of money.
These two goals, profit and value, are at odds with each other. The profit a contractor wishes to make on a home is usually higher than the actual profit gained. And the owner’s expectations of a home are always much greater than his or her ability to buy one.
Compromises must be made
Home owners, wishing to get the most for their money, will coax builders to create the maximum amount of space and apparent quality for their money. The pressure to build as large as possible means that contractors must build using the minimum requirements for the home. Only just enough insulation, siding, wallboard, plumbing to meet the needs of the owners and the building codes.
This will lower the initial cost of the home to the minimum possible for the space created.
But the initial cost is only part of the total cost of the home. Over the life of the home there will be insurance payments, property taxes, utility bills and maintenance. Add it all up and the total cost of a home is substantially more than the original cost of the home.
In an effort to meet the demands of the builders and the owners, each will inadvertently push the total cost of the home into the future. Yes, the initial price is lower, but the ongoing costs are higher. For example, by using the minimum amount of insulation, there will be higher energy bills, every single month.
Home owners who do not take into account the total cost of their home will end up paying dearly in the long run.
What does this have to do with the true cost of a Monolithic Dome home?
Monolithic Domes are built to high standards. All standard US homes are built as Type V fire-rated structures. That means they are built entirely of combustible materials. One match and it’s gone. A dome is fire rated at Type II or better. It just doesn’t burn. The contents inside may, but the overall fire safety is incredibly high. This can save money in the long term by lowering the homeowners’ insurance premiums.
Using three inches of polyurethane foam on the outside of three inches of concrete makes the dome extremely energy efficient. Monolithic Domes require only half or less energy to heat and cool. One homeowner moved from a 1400-square-foot conventional home to a 2700-square-foot Monolithic Dome. His energy bill remained the same although the dome was twice as big.
A Monolithic Dome is not susceptible to termites and other creatures. It won’t rot. It won’t get blown away or knocked down. Mold is not a serious problem. These are only some examples of the Monolithic Dome’s advantages.
Compared to a conventional home, the ongoing costs of a dome are substantially lower.
Initial cost versus long-term costs
But what about the initial cost? To build a square home with the same materials as a Monolithic Dome would cost substantially more. It is the efficient shape, simple construction process, and low material waste that keeps the dome affordable. I said affordable, not cheap. These are superior structures, built at conventional prices.
If the cost of a home is divided by its years of useful life, nothing can compare to a Monolithic Dome.