Geodesic dome houses are efficient and easy to build, but a major obstacle in their construction is the roofing process. The roof, while comprised of many sections of triangles, creates a sloped surface with an extreme pitch. The average backyard geodesic dome builder can roof a dome using common materials in about a day.
Things You'll Need
- Motor grade concrete
- Concrete mixer
- Tight wire mesh
- Wire ties (length of solid wire)
- Concrete sealer
Cover the geodesic dome framework with the fine wire mesh by securing the mesh to the struts with zip-ties or wire ties. The mesh can be cut beforehand into the correct size triangles (slightly larger than the triangles on the dome), then tied up one at a time. Layer the mesh two or three layers thick, if cost allows.
Mix up the mortar cement in a motorized mixer and carefully spread it around the bottom of the dome. Taper the concrete so that it can be cured and layered, moving up the sides of the dome as more concrete is added. Complete the bottom "ring" of concrete from the ground to about a foot up the side of the dome. Let it cure for about an hour, then add another foot-high ring. This prevents cracking as the concrete dries, and creates a solid barrier. Continue to spread the concrete, avoiding the openings for windows, until the top of the dome is reached. Let the structure cure for a minimum of 48 hours and check it for cracks.
Apply another layer of concrete, if desired, or seal the roof with several gallons of concrete sealer. Spread the sealer like paint onto the concrete surface and allow it to dry completely. Add several more coats until there is no more sealer. This added step of sealing the concrete will make the home much more resistant to weathering and pitting.
Tips & Warnings
- Use slow-curing mortar grade concrete to allow for mistake correction or spills.
- Use extreme caution when working with a ladder, especially on a curved dome surface.
How to Build a Concrete Geodesic Dome
The geodesic dome, designed by Buckminster Fuller in the early twentieth century, is one of the most efficient homes ever devised. Construction...
How to Calculate Geodesic Domes
Geodesic domes were popularized by Buckminster Fuller in the 1950s. Since their introduction, geodesic domes have been constructed for many uses, including...
How to Replace Skylight Domes
Skylights bring in natural light and can even create a variety of ambient colors at different times of the day to a...
How to Frame a Dome Roof
A dome roof can make an attractive topper for a patio or backyard gazebo. It doesn't take a master craftsman to make...
What Are the Disadvantages in Geodesic Domes?
A geodesic dome is made out of triangular or geometric shaped supports. These domes use less material and are as structurally as...
Ways to Cover a Geodesic Dome
Geodesic domes are strong, geometric structures made up of a wood or metal frame and a covering. They come in all sizes,...
What Are Different Types of Domes?
Domes are curved architectonic structures with no angles or corners, similar to the upper half of a sphere. Despite their apparent fragility,...
Basics in Parabolic Roof Design
A parabola is a kind of conic section. Imagine, for example, holding an ice cream cone with its opening straight downward, and...
Do it Yourself: Dome Houses
Dome houses are energy efficient, easy to build and environmentally friendly. When they are designed properly, domes can cost much less per...
Homemade Dome Homes
With the big push for renewable energy and inexpensive housing, more and more consumers are looking to the dome home as a...