I was just looking at the solar dome website, as I,ve not been there in a while. I was thinking that I could save some money by building my own dome rather than buying one from Solardome: my question would be how much would it cost to build a glass covered dome if I did it myself?...what do you think?
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Just a quick post to give you an idea of the "realistic" minimum cost/effort for building a geodesic dome frame here in the uk.
You can build a sturdy 3m dia x 1.8m high, 3v 5/8 steel dome for about £65 in materials, with minimal effort.
It would be a good size for kids but probably not too useful for adults.
I`m pretty sure you could build a 4m dia x 2.5m tall (4v) dome for around £150 in materials.
If you ask a dome firm why they charge so much, the chances are they`ll blame it on "overheads"
More likely to be smoke and mirrors :)
Would that include some sort of covering material Colin, or is it just the frame?
I'm guessing that it would be just for the frame, which is great if your making a geodesic climber but if you want a green house or any other under cover structure you would need to factor that in. I find covering geodesic structures quite a challange, what do you think?
They are just the frame material cost prices.
It would be very hard to build one including the covering for those prices, especially considering there are 165 struts and 310 struts respectively in those models.
I think there can be lot of hidden costs if you`re not very careful in the planning stages.
If you build to make economical use of timber or steel length, the chances are you`ll be wasteful in the covering (and vice versa)
Additional costs of sealing joints can add up too so it pays to think every aspect through carefully before firing up the saw :)
Another example, the added expense of hotspot tape will be pretty high for a steel framed, poly covered greenhouse and should be considered in the design stages.
You`ll need a length thats equal to the combined strut length..several hundred meters in some cases.
With flexible coverings probably the best bet is to use geodesic patches as it helps keep joints to a minimum.
Fitting them from the bottom up gives a shingling effect which sheds water better.
Greenhouses pose problems for adding top ventilation while ensuring a rainproof seal.
A cupola is the simplest way but tend to look out of place.
Half the attraction is the challenge itself ;)