When Don and Julie Woodard set out to build a home, a Monolithic Dome was not in their plans. But a Monolithic Dome home is what stands on their property today.
The couple was first looking at building a log hogan, an octagon-shaped log home. However, they found that structure to be expensive. Their first exposure to Monolithic Domes was through an ad in a newspaper or magazine. They visited Monolithic headquarters in Italy, Texas in 2011. “We looked around and got the DVD, then went home and watched it,” Don Woodard said.
From there the couple had many visits to Italy and other dome homes. “Every year for the next five years we went down there,” Woodard stated. “We really think they got tired of us coming.” During those years they also visited several dome homes during successive dome home tours.
At this point they were still debating on whether they wanted a dome home. Then one event in December 2015 made up their mind. That month a tornado came through the area and Woodard described it as “relatively close to home.” They woke up the next morning and saw news coverage of the storm. “It was just a mess of twisted up lumber.” Right then was the moment that changed their plans. “My wife and I looked at each other and said, ‘That is why we are going to build a dome home.’”
The couple purchased their property in December 2015, about ten miles east of Denison, Texas, helping to create a path for them to build a Monolithic Dome home. “Everything came together,” Woodard said.
In 2016 the couple moved full steam ahead with building a dome home. They readied the home they were living in for sale. They had a place to stay near the property during the dome construction.
August 1, 2016 their house was sold and they moved all in the same day. “It was a horrible day,” Woodard joked. “But it was a good day as well.” The sale of their home was essential because of their goal to build a dome as debt-free as possible. By the end of the year they had things lined up with their house plans.
Monolithic built and inflated the dome. A crew from Italy came to do the work, while a local contractor did the interior work. Work went on in 2017 and the couple was able to move in near the end of the year.
October 27, 2017 was the first night they spent in the home and have been in for two months. There was a small issue with the cork flooring that was installed, which went on for a month, but was resolved on December 30th. “We’ve really only been moved in where it felt like home for the last week,” Woodard said. “Now we feel we can place things where we want.”
As for living in their dome home, Woodard reported they enjoy it. “I think the utilities will be less than if we built a regular house,” he stated. The moment he and his wife will feel best about their new home is when the tornadoes come. “We’ll feel perfectly calm about not having to go and hide somewhere and worrying what is going to be left.”
As for the future, they want to add concrete over the Airform. The plan is to cover the dome all the way down to the rock to create a stucco look. Their home is still a place in progress.