38.5'  Dome Kits & Others

   The 38.5' diameter dome is a good choice for a home or other purposes. This is the size I built on the River in Tennessee. Even with no heat on the house will maintain 58 degrees on a 15 degree night. Of course the house will eventually loose that factor if there is no sunshine during the day. None the less an excellent choice to withstand storms, earthquakes and bad weather. I can produce the 38.5{the size that makes the most efficient use of 8' lumber] in two types. The completed triangle dome or a pre- cut version [easier to ship] that you can assemble with a screw drill. The best assembly method is to use drywall screws.

   Plan your dome to include openings between pentagon base walls for large openings {doors or window arrays]. You loose 3 triangles for each large opening. possible of 5 or -15 triangles from the 75 as a complete 3/8 sphere dome. Go to 105 triangles and you have a 5/8 sphere. I opted for a 3/8 sphere with a 4' base wall for furniture's sake. All in all each triangle in a 38.5' is worth about $150.00,$300.00 in the 50' , $75.00 in the 19.25' and $ 25.00 in the 12'. So a 5/8 dome complete would cost around  $15,750.00 plus 10% for design, management and handling in the 38.5'. A 3/8 with all 5 openings left open for windows and doors would only cost $8250.00 plus 10%. This is an estimate and the actual cost may be more or less. Shipping can vary according to the type and partial listing on the freight boards. 

   Base walls are also needed in many cases and I prefer to use 4 x 4's top and bottom [treated lumber] and charge by the shop hour [$17.50/hr.]. I think my prices beat all others of the bolt together method.

   A pre- cut kit  cost material and shop time plus 10% and shipping.


   Strapping is extra and involves Machine shop time at $25.00 / hour. You'd be surprised how fast an assembly line can produce like parts. All work is calculated as time + material + 10% management and expenses. I have to pay the bills .

  If there is a better deal on the market I'd like to know. I will tell you that the method I use of a central inner brace is time consuming but makes the structural integrity of the dome twice that of other models I've seen. I also include vertex plates that keep the joints from spreading. Don't be tricked by cheap construction in some dome factories work no matter how elaborate the advertising.

   I've studied these models for over 20 years and I guarantee there isn't much about domes under 50' I haven't thought over.


I'd suggest you get the Domebook and 3.5" Disc and work out your design before ordering a kit of either kind, it's worth it in the long run, in fact I would refund the price of the book and disc if you buy a kit.