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Written by Jessica Saggio, FLORIDA TODAY and Published Aug. 2, 2017. Also this video and article can be viewed on FaceBook.  Below is the actual article and because the print is small, below the article we have copied the words in a larger font.


The Schoonovers built their geodesic home in Canaveral Groves in 1992. Watch the progress of its construction. The house is now for sale as the couple reaches retirement and looks to move out west. Video by Jessica Saggio and Tim Shortt Wochit

 

There’s no place like dome.

That’s the sentiment Terry and Ramona Schoonover echoed when talking about their unique geodesic dome house in Canaveral Groves.

It’s an unexpected sight among sprawling acres of wooded land in the semi-rural neighborhood just outside Cocoa. Three white bubbles peek through the trees, revealing what looks like something you’d read about in a Sci-Fi novel.

It’s a home they built themselves in 1992 from a kit. Yes, a kit, with pieces and instructions from Rockledge-based dome manufacturer American Ingenuity.

Terry flipped page by page through a photo album showing the building process, something he accomplished over a 9-month span with just the help of a friend, a few contractors and a lot of geometry. He beamed, telling stories of positioning panels to create his home, a structure that looks like three miniature versions of the Epcot ball.

And perhaps that’s what makes it difficult to leave behind. The couple listed the house for sale last week.

“At first I hated it,” said Ramona of the house, recalling that initially she was skeptical she’d be living in some kind of conservatory. “But I’ll miss this house. I got to love it.”

The couple is reaching retirement and has plans to move out west to New Mexico, said Ramona, whose love of the desert is apparent in her southwestern decor.

What they have to offer is truly unique, said Joel Rhodes, a real estate agent with the Jason Shinpaugh Team. The home is listed for $219,900 and features three bedrooms and two bathrooms, spread over 1,765 square feet. The largest dome is the main living quarters, which connects to another dome, a two-car garage. A third dome sits adjacent to the structure and serves as a workshop.

There’s already been a lot of interest in the home in just the few days it’s been listed, said Rhodes.

Skylights and tall ceilings greet guests when they enter the home, which is light and airy inside despite its hard concrete exterior. Furniture conforms with the circular design, something the Schoonovers admitted might be a bit of a challenge, depending on taste.

“People might think you’re a little limited, but you can do a few things,” said Ramona.

The downstairs features two bedrooms, a great room, a dining area and a kitchen, which connects to a laundry room and the garage. The upstairs includes a master bedroom, a walk-in closet and a master bath. A custom-made boat ladder-style staircase leads to the second floor.

Sounds echo throughout the house, as the round shape also makes for unique acoustics. You can whisper downstairs and still hear what’s said in the loft master bedroom, the couple explained, but “it’s a really good energy,” said Ramona.

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But perhaps one the best selling points, the couple added, is the home’s safety features. Terry explained that the geodesic home is built to endure up to 225 mph winds, and is energy efficient. The couple said they have not paid more than an $80 electric bill since living in the home.

“We’ve never had to evacuate (during a hurricane),” said Terry. “And we’ve never had any hurricane damage.”

It’s one of 50 dome houses in Brevard County, said Glenda Busick, owner of American Ingenuity. The company keeps a log of all the kits it sells. American Ingenuity, also known as Ai Domes, debuted with its design and kits in 1976, and made the cover of Popular Science in March 1987. Terry said it was this magazine cover that inspired him to build the house.

Domes come in multiple sizes and floor plans, and diameter sizes range from 15 feet to 48 feet.

The company calls its domes “the building design of the future available today.” American Ingenuity touts that the houses can withstand F4 tornadoes and the design reduces the impact of falling trees. During Hurricane Andrew, the domes were put to the test.

“On Key Largo, just 20 miles south of the eye of the storm, an Ai 40′ dome faced the brunt of the storm,” the company’s website states. “Built on pilings near the Atlantic Ocean, it was exposed to relentless high winds and driving rain. Unlike houses and commercial buildings in the surrounding area, it sustained absolutely no damage.”

The company is headquartered on Holiday Springs Road in Rockledge.

As for the Schoonovers, this will likely be their last dome house. The two already inquired about building a dome on their new property in New Mexico, but were denied.

“It’s going to be weird going to a regular house,” said Ramona

For those of you wanting to compare the Aidome Building Kit vs Deltec Home Kit, please take time to read and analyze info listed below.  Please compare kit costs and contents of each kit.  Instead of building a home from a Deltec wood kit,  consider building an Ai prefabricated concrete home dome kit.  To warm up the exterior & interior of the American Ingenuity (Ai) concrete dome; 1) paint the dome exterior light green or light tan.  2) install rock or wood on the framed walls under dormers & entryways and on the riser panels. 3) Install wood decks off the first floor entryways.  4) Install trellis with vines to conceal the fire resistant concrete. On the interior adhere oak to the dome shell drywall and install wood flooring, wood cabinetry.

We understand that it is important to compare various companies when it comes to designing and building your home, and that you may want to compare our concrete kit to Deltec homes.

Ai would like to do a comparison between both of our companies, so you can determine which home would be best for you. We want to offer you a comparison showing that Aidome building kits will offer you more for your money, be more energy efficient, offer better defense from the elements and have lower maintenance costs over time.

Please be aware that both AiDomes and Deltec do not install a foundation. That work is completed by a local foundation subcontractor near you. In Ai’s building plans are foundation pdfs detailing foundation dimensions.

Please note in the information below we are simply pointing out the differences in our products.  Deltec makes a fine product, but we at Ai feel we have superior home product.

Let us start with the kit:

DELTEC HOMES AMERICAN INGENUITY (AiDomes)
Standard Shell Kit Standard Shell kit
Wood Frame home, w/shingled roof

No mention of insulation, or drywall for home’s exterior walls

Does not include exterior

siding and shingles

Exterior Concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh & fibers;

7” thick R-28 Value expanded polystyrene insulation

throughout the exterior walls & roof of the home;

½” Georgia Pacific DensArmor – moisture resistant/mold resistant Gypsum Drywall

 

·         2” x 6” x 8’ wall panels

·         Double 2” x 10” headers in all wall panels

·         5/8” CDX plywood sheathing

·         Complete half scissor truss roof system

·         Typar House Wrap

·         Pre-cut roof sheathing & Typar surround

·         Fascia / pre-cut soffit materials

·         1’-9” overhang (3′-9” shown)

·         9 Upper level steel floor support pole (two story)

·         Web-tec floor system for upper level (two story)

·         Compression ring and tension collar

 

Each wall & roof prefab panel consists of a

·         Outer covering of ¾” concrete reinforced w’ galvanized steel mesh & fibers

·         7” thick EPS insulation

(w/a R-28 value)

·         ½” interior DensArmor drywall

by Georgia Pacific (meets 2014 building code)

·        Galvanized Steel Cables are included with the kit (for standard riser panel height design)

 

*Rods & Z plates for second floor are at a nominal charge per plan

 

The Deltec kit: As you can see their system is wood frame, it requires that the house exterior be finished with some sort of siding, and the roof shingled. Per their website, there is no mention of the inclusion of insulation, or drywall for the shell and attic area (there is mentioned as one of the top upgrades (i.e. additional cost) some sort of energy barrier for north & south facing areas of the home, not throughout the home).  Being wood, the wood exterior is subject to fire, rot and termites. 

With an Ai dome Kit:  When assembled, the prefabricated panels produce all the structural components, the concrete roof, all the insulation and all the interior drywall for the dome shell’s exterior walls and roof.  In addition, the dome shell carries a 225 mph wind and F4 tornado guarantee.  Ai’s panelized system does not contain wood or steel framing (ribs) to interrupt our standard R28 insulation. There is no exterior wood to burn or rot or for termites to eat.  As an added bonus, there is no roof to blow off in high winds, and has a noncombustible fire resistant concrete exterior.  (Pressure Treated wood is used to frame the walls under the entryways and dormers to accept your locally purchased doors and windows.  During Kit Assembly a temporary wooden rib system is installed to support the panels. However once the seam areas between the panels and the entryways and dormers are concreted, the Aidome is self-supporting and the rib system is removed.)

  • Although all homes require exterior maintenance, an Ai dome (when erected), simply requires painting – there are no shingles to replace. Whereas a traditional home, as well as the Deltec kit would require repair and/or  replacement of the roof, as well as maintenance/repair and/or replacement of the siding.
  • In regards to the cost to build, both Deltec and Ai are kits, they are not complete houses, they are the shell of the structure,  this is done by local contractors (Ai knows of an  Independent Kit Consultant to assist your contractors with shell assembly).

Please give us a call so we can provide information and answer questions for you – 321-639-8777 Mon – Fri 9-5 eastern time.

Oregon Dome Interior Construction pictures of Willis Concrete dome.

This dome was owner built.

7 report

American Ingenuity Concrete Dome Home Kit
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7 report

1. Why concrete is the absolute best way to build a dome.

2. What you need to know about local building codes.

3. What can be done locally and when to call in an expert.

4. The ins and out of bank loans on dome homes.

5. What you need to know about the land. 

6. When is the best time of year to build a dome for certain locations.

7. Why AiDome exterior can have 225 mph wind and F4 tornado warranty

Also from time to time you will be receiving Ai’s Newsletter

 

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4. Receive updates on new Stock Floor Plan layouts






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Staff at American Ingenuity

GlendaB.Aidomes@gmail.com

American Ingenuity Inc, 8777 Holiday Springs Rd.  Rockledge, Florida 32955
Telephone 321-639-8777. Office Hours Mon-Fri 9-5 Eastern Time

How Can I View Ai Domes?

American Ingenuity’s Florida office domes (45′ & 34′ of 3,700 sq.ft.) are open for viewing by appointment on Tuesday and Thursday.  And once a month  a Saturday tour is available. Call 321-639-8777 for details. Click on Tour for info. View pictures of beautiful dome interior designed by international artist Electros, To view pictures of a 45′ dome on full basement review Stroupe page. For other dome pictures, check out the left menu bar on this home page for fourteen picture files and view pics.  American Ingenuity has sold over 800 dome kits into 47 USA states and 13 foreign areas.

The dome kits American Ingenuity sell become private homes. Ai would like to have model homes throughout the country but it is not economically possible. If Ai did have models, we would need to double the price of the building kit to pay for the model construction, the staff to man them and the annual costs to run, pay property taxes, etc. Ai has sold over 800 dome kits throughout the country. The assembled domes don’t belong to us and we can’t extend invitations to see them. However we are very happy that a few dome owners allow us to give out their name and number. So a referral could be a few states away from you.

Our referrals love their domes and are very happy to speak with potential owners. However, since they are not dome sales associates, we promise them that we will speak with each perspective buyer to answer their basic questions and walk them through significant pages on our web site. Ai tries to answer the multitude of potential buyer questions so as to not take up hours of the referral’s time with basic and in depth questions. As a result, please call our office and our friendly staff will be happy to talk with you and later provide a referral.To view free info, click on Info.  To view pictures of different America Ingenuity dome homes, look at the left side Menu Bar and scroll down to category pictures and click on the picture submenu items.

To view the DVD, click on New DVD.  To view stock floor plans, click on Stock Plans and scroll down the page to click on the hyperlinks. At no cost to you, Ai will email other stock plans that are not on our web site.  If stock plans are mailed, call Ai at  321-639-8777 for printing costs and mailing costs.

To view a Youtube video showing the interior and exterior of an Ai two dome complex for sale in Albuquerque New Mexico, click on Domes.  To view photo gallery of domes in Tornado Alley, click on Oklahoma

Davy Dome 1

The following contains New Mexico Davy 22ft Pics & info about Tiny Homes.

Floor Plan below is in PDF format.  Open by clicking on the PDF below
or download to your computer by right clicking and saving to your computer.

(your browser may allow you to rotate the picture
by right clicking in the picture after it’s open and selecting rotate)

Tiny Home Kits

American Ingenuity has six sizes of dome kits that can be consider Tiny Homes – 15′, 18′, 22′, 27′, 30′ and 34′. From 172 sq.ft. to 1,278 sq.ft.  To view stock plans for each of these Tiny Homes, click on Stock Plans. To view regular and sale pricing on the concrete dome kits, click on Reg – Sale Tiny Kits.   Please call us at 321-639-8777 – Monday -Friday 9-5 eastern time.  We are happy to answer your questions.

 

American Ingenuity is happy to have a detailed Dome Video giving information
about Ai’s prefabricated  component panel system.

The dome kit can be a Do It Yourself project built by owner builders
or hire a contractor that hires the independent Kit Assembly Consultant
to supervise the kit assembly.  To view video, click arrow in the middle.

 

 

This article covers Dome Overview Glenda Giving Narrative
& Inside Edition TV segment that aired on the American Ingenuity concrete dome.

1st Video is on the 22ft Dome Kit.

 

2nd Video

Inside Edition Report on an American Ingenuity (Ai)concrete dome dome that went through a hurricane Andrew.
Excellent explanation on how concrete dome homes are perfect for
bad weather conditions like hurricanes and tornadoes.

Due to the dome’s prefabricated panel, the kit can be owner built or built by a contractor. Either the owner builder or the contractor can hire the Kit Assembly Consultant to supervise kit assembly.

 

The following covers Video Radio Interview of Glenda answering questions about the Ai dome.  To view photos of beautiful Oklahoma domes, click on tornado alley.  To view beautiful dome built in Connecticut, click on Owner Built dome. On the left hand side of our home page are fourteen menu items showing dome photos.

 

To view a video Ai Dome Overview please click on Overview.  The American Ingenuity prefab concrete dome kit can be assembled by Owner Builders or hire a Contractor. Either the owner builder or the contractor can hire the independent Kit Assembly Consultant to supervise kit assembly.  To view special discount on the dome kit, click on Discount.

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Please view the following YouTube Videos of American Ingenuity domes:

a.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wslB1TQ2nUE (Dome in Oregon)

b.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eYk2C0LL1k (Dome in New York)

c.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1ehbwJXEgo (Interior of North Carolina dome)

d.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dohe8repuDQ (Exterior of North Carolina dome)

 

The following is video CNBC interview on the American Ingenuity Concrete Dome Home Kit.  To view the video, please click on the center triangle.  To view stock plan layouts on each of the ten dome kit sizes, click on Stock Plans.