building permit

7th Step – Obtain Building Permit.  Every Building Department in each state and city and county within a state can vary as to what they require to issue a building permit for a new residential home.  As a result it is American Ingenuity’s philosophy that each Buyer pays for only what their building department requires.  Ai does not burden the price of the building kit for building plans pricing, engineer seal fees, ICC Structural Calculations or energy report fees. If we did, the Ai dome kit price would need to increase in price.

Some areas in Arkansas, Indiana, Vermont, Texas, Tennessee, Missouri and other states do not have building departments, so the property owner only obtains a septic tank permit and well permit if needed.  In the cases where no Building Plans are submitted to a building department, the building plans (17-23 blueprints) are utilized to build the foundation, dome kit and finish the interior of the dome home.

Some building departments can require not just building plans be submitted but they want the plans sealed by an engineer licensed for that state.   States vary as to what code they adopt and enforce.  The codes can be 2015 International Building Code, 2012 International Building Code, 2009 International Building Code, California Building Code and 2014 Florida Building Code 6th Edition, etc. The Ai dome building plans comply with all these codes, but the building officials do not know this.  The seal confirms that the plans comply with that state’s code.  Engineer seals are specific to each floor plan and to each state. The engineer’s seal can be purchased through American Ingenuity.  The cost for a seal for any state for one dome on a slab is $600.

For custom foundations other than slab – basement, stem wall, pilings, concrete columns, etc. engineer seal fees vary.  Please call Ai for pricing.  321-639-8777 Mon-Fri 9-5 ET.

Besides the sealed plans, the building department can require the following be submitted for a building permit to be issued.  At no cost to you if you give Ai your properties tax ID number or site address, we call the building department and find out if building plans and ICC compliant Structural Calculations sealed by an engineer licensed for your state and their other required paperwork are submitted will they issue a permit on the Aidome?  Of course we know under plans examination a checklist can come back of items to be revised. Ai and the engineer make those changes at no cost, with the plans buyer resubmitting the revised sealed plans per the building department requests.

  1. An Energy Report be completed on the envelope of the home including the exterior door and window U factors.  Ai can complete the REScheck Energy Report for all states; however California, Washington and Florida have their own energy programs. The price for an Energy Report for one dome on a slab is $190.  These three states have their own programs so companies specializing in their completion are hired. Ai has the name of CA firm that has completed a California Title 24 Energy Report.   For Florida, Washington & California, Ai can provide the company you hire the wall dimensions, R value to be entered in the report for a $100 fee.
  2. ICC Compliant Structural Calculations:  Wonderful news Ai is now utilizing an engineering firm who can seal the  Aidome building plans for all 50 states (including Washington DC), US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and all Canadian Provinces other than Quebec.  In order for the plans to be sealed by an engineer licensed for your state, the plans buyer pays for ICC (International Code Compliant) structural calculations to be performed on their exact size dome, exact number of openings at their site’s precise design criteria (wind speed & exposure class (seismic zone & snow load if required). These calculations show that the Aidome prefab panel and building system meets the International Code Council requirements and any codes beyond ICC requirements enforced  by Florida, California and Illinois.   Ai has been told these  ICC calcs sealed by an engineer licensed for your state mean that the Aidome can be built through out Florida (including Miami Dade, Broward, Indian River County, etc.)  and California if land is zoned correctly, etc.  Please call for ICC Structural Calc pricing.
  3. In Florida and California all new construction requires Engineer Sealed Building Plans, engineer sealed ICC Compliant Structural Calculations, passing Energy Report and other docs.
  4. Elevation Certificate – if your property is in a Flood Zone you will be required to hire a surveyor to determine the height of your finished floor to get it above the water surge or mean high water mark.  This height is entered on your building plans and you give the Certificate to your building department.
  5. Site Map – this is completed by you or a local company.  It shows outline/dimensions of your property, setbacks, driveway, location of the dome, well, septic drain field (or city sewer or city water lines), location of other out buildings, etc.  Ask your building department what they want included on your site map.
  6. Electrical Diagram, Plumbing Diagram and HVAC Diagram.  Ai does not include these diagrams in the 17-23 blueprints because Ai has found the electrical, plumbing and HVAC subcontractors prefer to design their own diagrams based on how they are going to layout your electrical, plumbing and HVAC (heating & air conditioning ducts or ductless units).
  7. If your building department requires the following, please hire your local HVAC subcontractor to complete: Manual S (Equipment Sizing Certification); Manual D (Duct Design & Layout Drawing); or Manual J for the Rescheck Energy Report (Residential Heat Load Calculation).
  8. If no city sewer or water, obtain permit to install well and septic tank and drain field based on number of bedrooms in the plan.
  9. Building Permit Fees are paid to the county or city.  In Florida impact fees are also paid.

3rd Step – Check with your Building & Zoning Dept.    

About obtaining a building permit:  See below for our property checklist and zoning checklist which lists questions to ask to see if the round concrete Aidome can be built on the property you own or want to purchase:

Here is a pdf to read and print out for the  Property Checklist to build an Aidome

Here is a pdf to read and print out for the  Zoning Checklist to build an Aidome

  1. First call the building department that governs the property who will issue the building permit, show them our web site (photos of domes) and explain you are wanting to build a round concrete dome that has no shingles.  Can you obtain a building permit if you submit Building Plans and structural calculations sealed by an engineer licensed for your state?  If live in the Caribbean and not in USVI: will they accept a USVI engineer seal or a Florida seal (or do they require engineer licensed for your country) and their other required documents (energy report, site map, survey, electrical/plumbing/hvac diagrams, window and door specification sheets, etc.)?  Of course we understand during plans review a check list may come back of items to be revised. Ai and the engineer will make the changes at no cost with the buyer of the plans resubmitting the plans per the building department’s requests.
  2. Get all relevant questions answered that are in the property checklist document
  3. Second call the zoning department and give them the property’s tax ID number you are considering buying or own and ask the questions in the zoning checklist that are listed below.
  4. Once you have obtained approval from the building department (and if needed preapproval loan to build the concrete dome), then order the building plans. Once plans have been ordered, if there is a question as to if the dome can be build, if you provide Ai with the property address or tax ID number (for the property you own or are considering purchasing) and the name and telephone number of the building department which issues the building permit. Ai will contact the building department, email them sample set of dome building plans and find out if they will accept the prefab panel as is.  We will not start the design of your plans, until we have verified what is required to issue a permit on the Aidome.

If so the building plans, engineer seal and REScheck Energy Report can be purchased from Ai.  In Florida, California and Washington private companies complete the required Energy Report after Ai emails them wall dimensions and you provide specific exterior door and window info. During Plans Design Ai emails elevation views of each entryway and dormer showing the rough opening size area with recommended door and window sizes. 

On our web site file building permit, we list most frequently asked questions about obtaining a building permit.

BUYING LAND/PROPERTY CHECKLIST & ZONING CHECKLIST

FROM AMERICAN INGENUITY – AIDOMES

Here is a pdf to read and print out for the  Property Checklist to build an Aidome

Here is a pdf to read and print out for the  Zoning Checklist to build an Aidome

American Ingenuity (Ai) is happy that you are considering our Geodesic Dome Building Kit for your future home. You have made a big decision to build your dream home, and building with an alternative housing structure whose prefab panels come with 225 mph wind and F4 tornado warranty that saves 50% to 60% on heating and cooling over conventional house is a smart decision. Below please find information to determine when budgeting for your home, financing alternative housing, and most important buying land.  At the end of this document is a checklist for you to use when considering properties.

Please paste this link in your browser to read about the Planning Process:  http://aidomes.com/planning-process/

This document covers things to look for, and ask about when considering building a new home. You can build our dome kits on any type of terrain, or climate…on a standard slab, basement, and pilings or stem wall, etc. At the bottom is a checklist for your convenience.

DETERMINING NEW HOME BUDGET: Prior to purchasing your land or if you own property, first determine the overall budget you can afford for your new home, land and land development.  It is sometimes best to purchase a small piece of affordable land instead of large acreageWhen determining your budget don’t lose site of the fact that our kits are not complete homes (we sell just the prefab panels for shell). Although you dream about a 3,000 sq. ft. home (48′ kit) it may not be affordable.  A quick way to determine what size home you can afford is to look on real estate websites and do a search in the area you are looking to build in (keep in mind that those prices include agent fees). Look at recent builds (5 years or under not built within a subdivision), for the size home you want. As an example if a 1800 sq. ft. home (comparable to a 40′ diameter kit) is selling for $300,000 (after real estate agent fees) and you can afford only $200,000, you may not be able to afford to build that size home, and will need to downsize.

Then to get a rough estimate on the cost to build a home in the area of your choice please view this cost to build link on my website. We have listed there a website that can give you a clearer idea on cost to build in your desired area. When using that website, enter the parameters given by Ai (please note the estimate provided will be for a conventional home with a standard shingle roof not at Dome). We have a video on our website that will provide you a general idea of an Approximate Cost to Build a 40′ kit on a basement If you will need financing for your home please review our Financing section on my website and also read the Financing Booklet

 DO YOUR HOMEWORK:

Ai’s culture is to be open and honest with our clients, we are committed to assisting our clients through the many steps involved with building their dream home. One of the major steps is procuring land.

For clients looking for land or own land,

Since for many of our clients this is a first time experience there is a lot to ask about and know when you go looking for property. It is not as easy as seeing a listing on web based real estate sites or having the realtor show it to you. Do not assume that all properties being sold are buildable! It is the proverbial buyers beware!

Recently we have clients looking for land that have come across many roadblocks on the properties they like. With the housing market now going back to full swing many people are selling land that they purchased years ago. What has happened is that zoning and environmental requirements have changed. What may have previously been a buildable lot is no longer doable, or may not be desirable.

Below are a few important things to ask about and determine when looking at property.  Examples when available are also shown on next page.

 1. Is the land within a homeowner’s association? If so, are there architectural design restrictions, house size restrictions, garage requirements, limit on number of structures?

Ask to see HOA documents it is usually within the first few pages.

  • Ex: we had a client who purchased property, and planned to build a 48’ dome (average 2700 sq. ft) with a garage dome (800 sq. ft). Only to find out that the minimum house size required was 5,000 sq. ft. plus a garage, this was way out of their budget, they ended up having to sell the land and start the process all over again.
  • Ex: HOA requires house to have a cedar shingled roof.

2. When was the lot platted? What is it zoned? If the property was platted years ago, has the zoning requirements changed? Is the lot considered conforming or has it become a non-conforming lot? Non-conforming lots do not match current lot standards, and are usually grandfathered in so they can be built upon. They may have different set back requirements than conforming lots with the same type zoning, but generally require the same land percentage restrictions as current zoning (% of land that is buildable). You may find that although homes surrounding the lot are of a certain size, with new percentages your home would be much smaller than you desire. In addition there may be architectural restrictions, such as homes built need to follow a certain style as to roofs and exteriors.

  • Ex: Lot was zoned Agricultural/Residential (AR), it was platted in the 1980’s and is ¼ acre in size, homes surrounding the lot are larger homes (with over a 2,000 sq. ft. footprint). Current AR zoning is for 1 acre and above. The older lot fell under non-conforming, and the setbacks adjusted to the lot size. However, the AR zoning allows only 15% of the land be built upon. Based upon the size of the property the client could only have a home with a footprint of 1,550 sq. ft. This would not allow him to build a 45’ dome (footprint over 1489 sq. ft.) and a garage unless he builds a garage below his home.

 What are the required setbacks?  Will you be able to build the size home you and your family want and need (see above)   Ex: A lot that is 60’ wide and 100’ deep with 7.5’ side setbacks will limit you to a 40’ dome, with only two entryways (front and back of home).

  • Is the property in a high fire hazard area?  In some areas like California, where fires occur, building code requires water sprinklers inside the house.  This means a water source needs to be near to fill an onsite water tank.  Is there a city or county maintained road adjacent to the property which allows for fire truck turn-around? Check building code to find out the requirements when building in a fire hazard area.
  • Does the property use a septic system? If so what are the current setbacks from the septic field to house? To the well? To the water line? To the road? To your neighbor’s house, or well? To a body of water (i.e. lake, river, canal etc.)? This will determine the location of the system and where and if a home can be built on the lot.
    • Contact the Health or Environmental Department and have them review what the setbacks are for that property, and where the septic tank and drain field is for the properties adjacent to your property.
    • If they are close to your property line, ask what the set back is from the adjacent properties septic system and find out where a septic tank and drain field can be installed on your property.
    • Ask what size tank and drain field is required for the number of bedrooms or bathrooms you are planning on building. Find out if the soil will perk for the installation of a septic tank system (sometimes the health department has knowledge of perking in an area).
    • Ex: Here are two examples of property issues regarding septic setbacks:
      • Property platted in the 1980’s: houses on each side on lots equal in size to the lot for sale. Problem the county changed the setbacks on septic, the required setback from septic to house was 100’. (no exceptions from county), the lot was 103’ deep by 73’ wide. This lot is UNBUILDABLE!
      • Property platted in the 1960’s, houses on each side on lots equal to, larger or double lots. Property Is Lakefront. Lot is odd shaped approximately 100’x60’. Septic setback from lake is 75’ leaving only 25’ for septic tank, possibly less due to surrounding houses. This lot is iffy on buildability.

Wetlands? Are there wetlands on the property? If so, will you need to bring in fill to build? How much of area is buildable? Will you need to build upon a foundation other than slab?   Ex: Client has 40 acres of land much of which is wetlands. Of the 40 acres, he is only able to build upon less than one acre.   Ex: Clients land is on wetland, to build he needs to bring in fill that is three times the amount normally used in non-wetland properties.

Flood Zone: Is the property in a flood zone? What zone? And how will this affect you building your home?  Does the building department require a certain type foundation – elevated?

Soil: What type of soil does the property sit on? This will determine if the land will require special treatment or foundation. You can then determine if the added expense is within your budget, or if you will need to forgo on the property (If your foundation is other than a monolithic slab Ai needs to hire a local Florida engineer to calculate load and give Ai design details).  This requires a Soil Report, which contains foundation recommendations for that type soil.)  If there is no soil report, Ai designs the foundation for 1,500 psf soil which is a 6” thick slab and 20”x20” footers versus 4” slab and 16”x20” footer for 2,000 psf soil.

    • Ex: Client bought land that contained high quantities of clay, this required expensive soil preparation and foundation type. They ended up selling the lot and bought another on which to build.
    • Ex: Clients land is in an area that has a frost line – (can be 24”, 36”, 48”, or more). To keep the footers below the frost line depth a stem wall was required.  A stem wall can be built with concrete blocks, Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF’s), or poured concrete.  Although this was an added expense, the client proceeded with the project since he was in love with the location.
    • Ex: Client bought land along the Atlantic shoreline. This land requires that the home be built upon pilings. The cost of building on pilings is very expensive ($100,000 to $150,000); this project is on hold until client can afford the foundation.
  • Access to maintained road: Many building departments will not issue a building permit for property that does not a butt a county/city maintained road. Find out if the property has access to a county maintained road.  Their logic is that the road needs to be maintained so a fire truck or ambulance can get to your residence if needed.
  •  Sinkholes: This is something you want to avoid at all costs. If it is known that sinkholes are prevalent in the area (you can google sinkhole map and your area i.e. sinkholes Brevard County Florida), has there been a geologic survey done? If not how much will it cost to have one done prior to purchase.    Several years ago, a sinkhole opened up beneath a home in the Tampa Florida area. This occurred quickly, and a resident of the home lost his life. His body was never recovered. More recently, a sinkhole occurred in San Antonio TX, an off duty sheriff was killed when her car tumbled into the fast occurring sinkhole.

 Below is a more detailed question list for you to follow.

If the building site is already owned by you,  use the below information to determine what will be needed to build on your property.  If purchasing land, and the information is not on the real estate listing sheet American Ingenuity highly recommends that prior to purchasing property obtain answers to the following:

  1. If not known: Call the Tax Collectors office that governs the various properties you are considering purchasing, to determine if the land falls within county or city boundaries. Who is the taxing authority for the property? Properties sometimes can be governed by different tax entities even when located close to each other.  Find out what the property tax rate are per each sq. ft. or assessed value per thousand for a house, per location.   Obtain an example of their property tax bill to see what all is on it. Comparing property tax rates from one city to another city or one county to another county may save you a lot of money on your annual property tax bills.
  2. If not known: Call the zoning department to find out what the zoning for the property is. If zoned residential Ai can email them an elevation view showing the dome with cupola roof pitch in degrees.  Sometimes zoning can also want the roof to have a traditional roof form and appearance. If roof form is one of their requirements, explain the roof is concrete reinforced with galvanized steel mesh that gets primed and painted light tan, light blue, light green, etc. and verify that they will allow a dome be built. See checklist list below.
  3. If not known: Impact fees: As an example in Florida, because there is no state income tax, government agencies get revenue by assessing impact fees. They figure new construction, brings more cars on the road, greater need for fire trucks, schools, etc.  As a result, they assess impact fees based on the square footage of the house.  What are the impact fees on that piece of property?  Impact Fees can be $5,000 to $20,000. Due to the recession, some cities and counties are waiving some or all of the impact fees, if the fees are waived when will they be going back into effect.
  4. Check the deed for any architectural restrictions (want the house to have shingles or be brick, etc.) or minimum new size house square footage, etc.
  5. Call the building department and obtain a list of what is required to obtain a building permit;
    • Will they accept buildng plans sealed by an engineer licensed for your state?
    • Site plan? Survey?  Fire Sprinklers are required in California.
    • What date do you have to receive your Certificate of Occupancy (CO) before impact fees will be assessed?
    • If you purchase a property, which has already been developed, that has a mobile home that will be removed or older building that will be torn down, are you still assessed impact fees to build your new home or are you exempt?
  1. Any Building permit application fees?  Once you get a permit, how long is the permit good for, can you get extensions on your building permit?
  2. Can you get electric to your property or does a neighbor have to sign an easement so you can connect electric? What is the cost to access closest electric poles?  Contact the local electric company for information.
  3. If you do not have city water available to hook up, what does it cost to drill a well? What is the fee for city water hookup (if available)?  What is set back from well to septic system and to house?
  4. Driveway, how long will the driveway need to be, culvert size and how much fill and rock will be needed to make it drivable?
  5. Contact the Natural Resources department – for that city and county.
    • Endangered plant and animal listing –determine if there are any on the perspective properties.
    • Are there any running streams on the property? If so, what are the setbacks as to how close you can build to the stream and how close a septic can be to a stream?
    • Flood plan maps, and make sure your property is high and dry.
    • * If your property is in a Flood Plain, the finished floor elevation has to be stated on your building plans.
    • * Call F.E.M.A. or local government offices to find out what the finished floor height has to be. This height will determine how much fill has to be brought in and the type foundation that has to be built; slab, pilings, stem wall, above ground concrete columns, etc.
    • * Are there any wet lands on your property?You may not be allowed to build on wetlands.  If you are determined to build on that property, talk to local gov’t natural resource department who handles wetlands. Land mitigation may be available.
    • Perk Test for Septic System if city or county water not available. Assure the soil will perk for a septic system. See above about calling the Health Department.
    • Soil – For standard foundation, Ai requires the soil be compacted to 98% density for a minimum of 2,000 PSF of bearing pressure. Compaction can be less if slab is thicker and footer enlarged.
      • Does any fill need to be brought in before foundation is installed, if so what height will the fill need to be? (foundations usually have to be built so many inches above the crown of the nearest county or city maintained road)
      • What type of soil? Clay soil is the most difficult to build on as it absorbs water and expands.  In the foundation area, the clay soil may need to be removed and replaced with a mixture of gravel and soil. Your building department will know what you need to do if you have clay soil. If you are building on a basement or columns or pilings, Ai needs to hire a local engineer to calculate load & provide design details. The Engineer requires a Geotechnical Study (soil report) which recommends the type foundations which can be built on that type soil.  Usually the soil criteria is – Soil compacted to 98% density for a minimum of 2,000 pounds per sq. ft. (p.s.f.) of load bearing pressure.  If there is no soil report then we design the slab and footer for 1,500 psf soil.
    • Zoning department: to determine if there are restrictions; e.
      • Minimum home size requirement?
      • If garage is required – minimum size – attached, detached?
      • If homeowner associations – get name. Contact asso. for covenants & restrictions
      • Setbacks front, rear, sides. If corner lot can be another set back. (which will determine the maximum size home you can put upon the lot) (Health Department determines setbacks from septic or well.)
      • What percentage of property can be covered with structures?
      • Height restrictions?
      • Accessibility to the land…is there a county maintained road to the property?
      • Zoning on property requiring certain roof pitch and requiring traditional roof appearance?
      • Is property in Flood zone? Are there wetlands?
      • LAND AND ARCHITECTURAL RESTRICTIONS: Over the last seventy plus years, it has become common for developers to buy up large tracks of land, plat it out and resell the individual lots to perspective homeowners. By doing so, they created subdivisions. These subdivisions may, by additional entities of a Homeowners Associations/ Property Owners Associations or Planned Unit Developments. All of these entities may have restrictions on size, style and materials for homes to be built within the subdivision. Before you buy your land, view the MLS MLS listing will show if the property is within a subdivision, HOA, POA or PUD. If there is, ask to review the governing documents to see what restrictions may be in place. Documents for the above are registered in the state located. If the agent or landowner is unable to provide you with the document, contact the Clerk of Courts for the county where the property is located. They will have on file documents that pertain to the subdivision. These documents are generally free to review; there may be a small fee to get a copy.
      • SUBDIVISONS: You may find a property that although not governed by a homeowners association, property-owners association or Planned Unit Development (P.U.D.) may still be within a Subdivision. Subdivisions are land that has been plotted by a developer, and have legal documents that have been submitted to the state. These documents cover RESTRICTIONS AND COVENANTS pertaining to the subdivision and contain information on what can or cannot be built upon the property (type of structure, rooflines, materials etc.). It also may contain the minimum/maximum size home that you can erect on the property.  Review the document and look for above restrictions, also look to see if you will need to contact the developer or agent to get approval for your home. Keep in mind that if the subdivision is older this may not be possible.  If so, and there is no restriction on the style of home or materials to be used listed within the document (other than size), as long as you receive an okay from the building department there should be no issue with building one of our dome kits..
      • PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT (PUD), is a type of building development and also a regulatory process. It may cover multiple Subdivisions. Meaning that there are covenants and bylaws regarding what can and cannot be built regarding size, style and materials. As a building development, it is a designed grouping of both varied and compatible land uses, such as housing, recreation, commercial centers, and industrial parks, all within one contained development or subdivision. Generally, there are building restrictions within a PUD although not as stringent as a HOA. As an example may require that all structures on property have the same style of architecture, so if a structure is Colonial in style any additional structures must also be in Colonial style. Documents will state if you need approval to build, if so get any approval in writing.
      • HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION In the United States, a homeowner association (or homeowners association) (HOA) is a corporation formed by a real estate developer for the purpose of marketing, managing, and selling of homes and lots in a residential subdivision. Elected board members govern HOA’s. Generally, there are building restrictions within a HOA, and HOA’s are usually the most restrictive. Within a HOA will be limitations on size, style and finishing materials. These restrictions may exceed the restrictions listed within the subdivision documents and PUD documents. Documents will state if you need approval to build. If granted approval, get it in writing so subsequent boards cannot reverse the approval.
      • PROPERTY OWNER ASSOCIATION: POA members may be residential homeowners, but they might also be property managers or business owners who contribute to the real estate industry. POAs do not necessarily have regulations the way HOAs do. Instead, their purpose is to support the local real estate industry and provide members with networking and education opportunities. Generally not part of building process in terms of what can be built.
      • Access to maintained road: Many building departments will not issue a building permit for property that does not a butt a county/city maintained road. Find out if the property has access to a county maintained road. Their logic is that the road needs to be maintained so a fire truck or ambulance can get to your residence if needed.

The zoning questions are not listed here.  Please print out the pdf above named Zoning Checklist to see the Zoning questions.   To print out the Property Checklist or can be called buying land checklist see the Property Checklist pdf at the top of this post. 

 

When planning the construction of your new dome home, best to consider this Planning Process and whether freezing temperatures could stop your kit assembly.  Do freezing temperatures occur in your area in November or December or January?  Once you know what cold weather dates you want to beat, calculate backwards and determine when your dome kit assembly needs to start.  If your freezing temperatures start in November then commence your kit assembly by mid September.   If your freezing temperatures start in December, then commence your kit assembly by mid October.

The Building industry moves slowly. We cannot stress enough the importance of starting your preparations early for all aspects of building. What you think may take two months can easily consume four or five months or more. To have any hope of beginning the actual construction on time you must at least double the time you think it will take to acquire blueprints, financing, building permits and contractors or subcontractors. Optimists should triple their expectations. Blueprints are usually the first step once your land has been acquired.

If you intend to begin building this fall, order your plans prior to May and accept delivery of your kit by August.

If you intend to begin building spring of 2017,  start the process by September of this year. Other expectant homeowners will be clogging the system during spring, so if you are the early bird they will be waiting behind you instead of vice versa.

Hummingbird in dome front yard.

Hummingbird enjoying spring time flowers. To accept delivery of your dome kit in the spring time, order your kit Nov – Feb.

 

18.17 second floor door & window P2260008

This dome owner completed his kit assembly before the cold, snow season occurred.

During the winter, he is living snug as a bug in his cozy, warm American Ingenuity Dome.

General Planning Timeline

Prior to purchasing Building Plans and an American Ingenuity Dome Building Kit,  assure you have answers to the following questions:

  1. Does the deed for your land have any restrictions on alternative housing such as domes?
  2. If there is a Home Owners Association governing your land, check with them and make sure you can build a dome.  Click on Association to learn more. 
  3. What is required from your building department to obtain a building permit….engineer seal, energy report, site map, survey, soil report, septic tank permit, well permit, etc.
  4. Ask your building department if there is a minimum size new house requirement.  Ask if they require a garage be built with the house. If so is there a minimum size garage requirement?
  5. Do you have your financing secured? Or will you build your dome with boot strap financing, meaning purchasing the dome kit and building as you have money?   Click on Financing Overview to learn more.
  6. Review 10 Steps to building an Aidome.
  7. Review Approx. Finished Price and determine which size dome fits your budget.

Owner builders can acquire their own building permit and do any of the work that they are capable of and that passes code.  To learn more about assembly click on Owner BuilderDome Kit Assembly and  Construction Overview.

ONE TO TWO YEARS OUT,  DETERMINE DOME SIZE, PURCHASE BUILDING PLANS AND PURCHASE LAND:

1. Determine Dome Size(s): because American Ingenuity’s dome kit is so reasonable in price, sometimes our clients forget that the major costs involved in building a home is the site preparation, utility hookups, permits and the interior finishing costs.

To determine the dome size, you need to estimate what it will cost to finish the dome. To view American Ingenuity’s stock plans which show square footage by floor and a to-scale ruler, click on Stock Plans and scroll down the page to the hyperlinks.

Reviewing the different floor plans will help you determine which size dome is the best size for you. To determine the approximate finished price, multiply that dome’s square footage times your area’s square footage construction cost.

  • If you do not know what a finished house costs per square foot to build in your area, contact a local builder or local real estate agent and ask them. To learn more about square footage costs click on Is the A.I. Dome Home cheaper to build than a regular stick built house?
  • For example if you chose a 2,000 sq.ft. dome and if the square footage cost is $100 for your area, then the estimated finished cost for your dome will be $200,000. Lenders tend to want 20% to 30%. So for a $200,000 house they will want $40,000 to $60,000 down. The lender will accept any equity you have in your land towards this down payment. If you cannot afford this down payment, then you may need to build a smaller dome first and later add a larger dome when you can afford it.
  • Figure Finances. Use American Ingenuity’s Financing Booklet for a financing overview.
  • Estimate Building Costs. The web site rsmeans sells Home Building Software for Owner Builders that assists in estimating your building costs.  For those who have never built a house we want to clarify that it is quite easy to make a mistake that will cost you $300 or more. The purchasing of Home Building Software can really help you get a handle on all your building costs and hopefully help eliminate estimating problems.
  • Decide on a floor plan. If you do not find a stock plan that fits your needs, American Ingenuity can modify a stock plan or design a custom plan from your sketches for a reasonable price.  Modified stock plans can take five weeks and custom designed plans can take 8 weeks to design from the date you place your plan order.  It all depends on what plan orders Ai has in queue when you place your plans order.
  • Call the Building Department and print out a list of what is required to obtain a building permit for a new Residential House….Engineer Sealed Building Plans? Energy Report? or just Building Plans?  Site map, survey, septic tank permit, well permit?  Are there impact fees?
  • Order building plans by returning the Plans Quote Form signed with payment in full for the building plans, the Energy Report and the Engineer seal if these two items are required by your building department. Request an exterior door and window chart from American Ingenuity so you can research your doors and windows.  If your building department requires an Energy Report, you can purchase this report thru Ai.  For Ai to complete your plans and Energy Report specific door and window info has to be provided to Ai.   Ai will email a questionaire that lists the info required. You do not need to purchase your doors and windows, but you must select them in order to give Ai specific heat transfer (U factor) and SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient) info from the vendor spec sheets.

2. Prior to purchasing your land: Give Ai your parcel ID number and building department name and Ai will call the plans examiner, email generic dome plans, etc. and ask what is required to issue a permit on the dome and will the dome panel be accepted as is under the Alternative Materials and Methods Building Code Section.

Please contact your building department and see if there is a minimum size new house requirement.  Ask if they require a garage be built with the house. If so is there a minimum size garage requirement? Also ask the building department what the front, back and side set backs are. Decide if you want to drive around your dome to access the back yard. Determine the largest size dome(s) that you want to build on the property; this will determine the width of the property that you will need. For example if you decide you want a 40’ dome home linked to a 27’ two car garage you will need at least 77’ plus the side sets and drive around space. {40 + 27 + 10 (Link); + side set backs + drive around space}.

Prior to purchasing your land check out these items to assure you can build your dome and review our buying land info.:

  • Assure there is no Home Owner’s Association governing the land and restricting what can be built on it.
  • Assure there are no Deed Restrictions stopping you from building an alternative type home such as a  dome.
  • Assure there are no environmental (Flood Zone or Wetlands or running streams) or rare animal or plant species concerns for the property.
  • Ask if your area has impact fees…fees to pay for new roads, schools, fire stations.  In Florida the impact fees to obtain a building permit can be as much as $10,000 or more depending on the area.
  • Ask the building department if you would have to build your home on pilings and a platform. This can drive up your costs up $60,000 to $80,000 or more. For example one of our Buyer’s soil report showed the soil on the barrier island where she wanted to build required wooden pilings to be driven forty feet into the ground!  Due to water surge, the home had to be built 11-12 feet off the ground.  As a result her foundation design also had to include a grade level concrete beam to connect the pilings together, pile caps to connect the piles to the above ground concrete block columns and 11′ tall concrete block columns with concrete beam to tie the columns together an.
  • Determine if the ground contains rock that has to be blasted out before your foundation can be built. This would drive up your excavation costs.
  • Determine if your soil is clay.  If it is clay, a local company will need to be hired to complete a soils report which will determine your site preparation, footer depth, etc.  If you are constructing a basement, different fill will need to be brought in to back fill your basement.
  • Ask the building department if any fill has to be brought in before you can form your foundation. Or whether you have to build on pilings and a platform.  Usually the foundation has to be so many inches above the crown of the nearest road. For protection from flooding, the building department knows what height the ground needs to be under your foundation. If it is low lying ground, you might have to bring in four feet of fill or more. This could amount to several truck loads of fill. You want to know about this possible expense before you purchase the property.  To view information about possible foundations, Concrete Slab, Pilings, Basements, click on Foundations.

Purchase your land under the following conditions (see buying land doc for all items):

  • If you do not have city sewer, assure the soil will perk for your septic drain field.
  • If you do not have city water, assure that water can be found on the property. If you have to drill a well, how many feet did your neighbors have to go before they found water…..100 feet, 200 feet, 300 feet. How much does it cost per foot in your area to drill a well?
  • Electricity is accessible to your property. Sometimes your neighbors have to sign easements to get electricity brought to your property.
  • There are no environmental concerns (wet lands, flood zone) or plant or tree or animal concerns.
  • Call Zoning and find out zoning on the property.  Some zoning requires certain pitch roof and roof conformity. Also find out side setbacks and front and back setbacks to assure they do not stop you from building the size dome(s) you want.  
  • That you can build on it. If there is a spring or flowing water sometimes building departments determine how close you can build to water. This might cause the property to not have enough buildable space left on it.  Check with your building department to find out how close you can build next to water.

3. Building Plan Items:

  • Decide on a floor plan. If you do not find a stock plan that fits your needs, American Ingenuity can modify a stock plan or design a custom plan from your sketches for a reasonable price. Allow 5 weeks for modified plans and 8 weeks for custom plans.  To view stock plans by dome diameter size, click on Stock Plans.
  • Call the Building Department and ask what is required to obtain a building permit for a Residential House….Engineer Sealed Building Plans? Energy Report? or just Building Plans, Site Map, Survey, Septic Tank Permit, Well Permit, Soil report, etc?
  • Order building plans by returning the Plans Quote Form signed with a check in full for the building plans and the Energy Report and the Engineer seal if these two items are required by your building department. If an Energy Report is required, Ai will email a list of specific technical data that Ai requires on your exterior doors, windows, water heater, AC/furnace, etc. in order to fill out the report.

SIX MONTHS TO ONE YEAR OUT:

  • Obtain a survey of the site
  • Obtain contractor bids (see two months out) on the foundation and finished dome. If your contractor has never assembled an Ai Dome Kit Shell, ask him to hire the Kit Assembly Consultant to supervise his workers to get the kit assembled. Then the Contractor’s subs apply the second layer of seam concrete, apply the finish layer of concrete on the entryways and dormers, prime and paint the exterior, install plumbing, electrical, framing, doors and windows, complete the interior finishing and wallboard finishing, etc.
  • Layout building location and driveway on your site
  • Obtain a site map (ask at the building department for names of companies that perform this function)
  • Apply for financing. Click on Financing Overview to learn more.
  • Obtain an appraisal. Mortgage lenders require an appraisal to help them determine how much your property will be worth once your new home is completed. The appraiser will make a judgement as to the value of your completed dome based on many factors including:
    • Market value of the homesite based on zoning and sales value of comparable properties in the neighborhood
    • Improvements to the property such as fencing, ponds, docks, outbuildings, or extensive landscaping
    • Advancements available to the homesite such as sidewalks, drainage, streetlights, or fire hydrants
    • Type of construction
    • Square footage of living and utility areas
    • Luxury fixtures included in construction
    • Quality of construction
    • Marketability and sales price of the completed home and property if the lender must take possession

If possible obtain one appraisal that is acceptable to all the lenders you are considering. A single appraisal will save you time and the extra expense of duplicate appraisals. An appraisal from a designated professional appraiser, such as an SRA or MAI, will be the most comprehensive and most widely accepted, but may also be the most expensive.

It is also very important that you select the appraiser and spend whatever time it takes until you get someone who has a positive attitude about domes. After you have paid your money, you don’t want to find out that they are as resourceful as a square house. A pessimistic appraiser can kill the whole deal. Ask what they will do about comparables and assist them in locating unique houses in your area.  Ai knows of an appraiser who visited a 15 year old Aidome and completed an appraisal for Wells Fargo.  This appraiser allows us to give out his name and number for other appraisers to call him. 

Many appraisers find it difficult to establish a market value on a dome house. They may also believe that it is necessary to have a “comparable” sale of another dome in your area. Fannie Mae (see Secondary Mortgage Market” page 22), the nations largest source of home mortgage funds, gives special consideration to unique housing.  Mr. Kang at Wells Fargo allows for appraisals of conventional houses with similar square footage without requiring dome home comparables.

Be sure your appraiser is aware of the Fannie Mae “Selling Guide” manual concerning unique housing. Chapter 4, Section 401.01, pages 755 and 756 explains this.

Geodesic domes, etc. are eligible if both the appraiser and the underwriter (lender) determine there is sufficient information to develop a reliable estimate of market value. It is not necessary to have comparable sales of other domes if the appraiser is able to determine sound adjustments for the difference in the homes used for comparison; he can demonstrate the marketability of the dome based on older sales. Sales in competing neighborhoods or the existence (without a sale) of similar homes in the area, or any other reliable data.

FOUR TO SIX MONTHS OUT:

  • Order your Dome Building Kit by returning the Building Kit Order Form signed and include a personal check to equal a 30% to 40% deposit based on the building kit size. Click on Special discount to see the deposit amount.  If your dome has upgraded insulation, the deposit will be increased to cover the thicker insulation costs. 
  • Place deposit with Kit Assembly Specialist to secure him coming to your site. Research where the Consultant/Specialist will stay. 
  • Obtain septic tank permit or sewer hookup
  • Obtain building permit. Click on Building Permit to learn more.

THREE TO FOUR MONTHS OUT:

Find Subs by asking your neighbors, asking your local home building association or looking in the yellow pages under subcontractor listings:

  • For site clearing, look under the sub listing: grading, hauling, site preparation.
  • If you are drilling a well, look under the sub listing: drinking water, pump and tank sales/service
  • To find slab or basement construction sub, look under the sub listing: slab on grade, carpentry formwork, foundations, patios. (If you are in Florida we know of a slab sub that will travel any where in Florida forming up and getting the slab poured.  Plus this person will talk to your slab subcontractor to explain about installing dome slab.
  • If you are installing a septic tank and system, look under the sub listing: tank, drain fields and filter beds new installation.
  • For an electrical subcontractor look under: residential, new construction
  • For a plumbing subcontractor look under: residential, new construction
  • For obtaining temporary electric hookup, find out who sets posts, installs fusible switch and meter can. Ask an electrical contractor, a neighbor or the power company. Be prepared to act as soon as you receive your building permit.
  •  Hire the laborers & concrete workers who will assist the Kit Assembly Specialist with the dome shell assembly.
  • For interior framing of walls, steps and floors look for a building contractor or a framing subcontractor. Click on Choosing a Contractor and Subcontractors and Assemblers/Builders to learn more.

ONE TO TWO MONTHS OUT:

  • Construct foundation.
  • Coordinate the rental of a fork lift to unload the dome kit from the semi truck. Depending upon the size building kit you order, you will need two to three people to assist the fork lift driver in the unloading of the truck. Assure that the semi-truck has enough space to drive to your site and exit from the site. If there is not enough space at your site for the semi-truck to turn around, you will have to figure out where you can off load the kit and then transport the panels to the site using a trailer or “bob cat”.
  • Research which type of hoisting mechanism you will use when erecting the dome shell. Coordinate the rental of the hoisting mechanism.
  • Determine where the building kit will sit on your site.  Prior to winter, the kit can sit outside 2 to 3 months before assembly.
  • Write out directions to your site from the nearest interstate and email to American Ingenuity
  • Take delivery of your Building Kit. (Before the kit shipment, pay the balance due on your kit in the form of a cashiers check or bank check.)

ONE TO TWO MONTHS OUT:

  • If you are using the Kit Assembly Specialist, coordinate his arrival.
  • Confirm that the Kit Assembly Specialist has a place to stay.
  • Confirm the concrete workers are available to assist the Specialist
  • Order supplies for the shell assembly: bags of Portland cement, sand, mortar mixer, wheel barrows, hoisting mechanism. Once you have paid the deposit on the dome kit and signed Kit Order Forms, Ai will mail an Assembly Manual.  It includes a list of items needed at the job site for kit assembly.  (If International Buyer, list can be emailed as Manual is shipped in the container.)

Planning Overview:

The Building industry is not only behind the times, it moves slowly. We cannot stress enough the importance of starting your preparations early for all aspects of building. What you think may take two months can easily consume four or five months or more. To have any hope of beginning the actual construction on time you must at least double the time you think it will take to acquire blueprints, financing, building permits and contractors or subcontractors. Optimists should triple their expectations. Blueprints are usually the first step once your land has been acquired.

If you intend to begin building next summer start the process before the end of this year. Other expectant homeowners will be clogging the system next spring, so if you are the early bird they will be waiting behind you instead of vice versa.

Items to be aware of:

  • Some Building Departments require that blueprints be sealed or approved by one of their state architects or engineers prior to giving permits, which takes more time.
  • Some Building Departments require an Energy Report. The dome buyer provides Ai with techical data on the exterior doors and windows…..U factor and SHGC number, etc. that is utilized to fill out the Energy Report – which can take 2-3 weeks to obtain from your window and door supplier.
  • A survey and site map takes time.
  • Mortgage lenders can take more time.
  • Remember to allow time for having the land cleared, prepped, and ready for the foundation.
  • All permits pertaining to electrical, water, septic tanks, sewer hookups, driveway, and building will take time.
  • Review our Stock Floor Plan Booklet in the Planning Kit and decide what size dome is the best for you and your budget.
  • Purchase your land, so you can determine which direction you want your dome to face, etc.
  • Choose a stock floor plan for the size dome you prefer or have us modify a stock plan or design a custom plan based on your sketches.
  • Take your building plans and obtain your building permit, septic permit, etc.

Conventional mortgage lenders tend to be ultra conservative when considering a dome. Mortgage brokers or indirect sources for financing may be more flexible and quicker for you. Refinancing other property or acquiring loans for other sources may be easier while avoiding the restrictions and requirements of conventional construction loans. Another popular option is the pay-as-you-go method. Combined with partial financing, this can get you into your new dome. For a helpful, in depth look at financing read our Financing Your Dome booklet.

If you obtain financing through a bank, etc. they may require you to have a contractor whom will sign a contract as to what he will charge to totally finish your dome. We know of some independent subs, which can work for the contractor and assemble the dome kit. The contractor can best provide local laborers to work on the dome shell. The contractor can also hire conventional subs to do the interior framing, plumbing, electrical, flooring, etc.

Construction Loans are difficult to acquire. An appraiser takes the Building Plans and determines a value for the finished house and will also appraise your land.

 

Plans & Building Permit FAQ on the American Ingenuity concrete dome home.

40' dome dining room with kitchen.

40′ dome dining room with kitchen. Any of American Ingenuity’s stock floor plan layouts can be revised to show your personal room arrangement desires.

 

Q: What is your Residential Dome Building Plan regular pricing?

A: All stock and custom residential dome plans are discounted 25% off the following regular plans pricing.  To view a chart listing the 25% discounted pricing for each stock plan and the kit sale pricing specific to each plan, click on Stock Plans & Kit Sale Pricing.   Ai designs plans as a service so that each client receives the exact floor plan arrangement to fit their lifestyle.   Plans for one dome are designed to be plotted on 18″x24″ “C” size paper. Plans for two dome complex or dome on a basement with a deck are plotted on 24″x 36″ “D” size paper.  Ai emails your finished building plans pdfs to you so that additional sets of blueprints can be plotted locally.

Regular Pricing for Residential Dome Building Plans

Dome Diameter15' or 18' 22′ or 27′30′34′36'40'45'48'
Stock Plans$994$1,134$1,198$1,261$1,294$1,333$1,427$1,514
Custom Link PlansBased on link design. Call for pricing.
Garage Plans FromN/A$971 $1,016$1,062$1,077$1,204$1,276$1,333
Modified Plans From$1,165$1,365$1,410$1,501$1,544$1,578$1,652$1,771
Custom Plans From$1,310$1,510$1,585$1,801$1,919$2,033$2,252$2,371
Basement Plans FromN/AN/A$1,016$1,062$1,077$1,204$1,276$1,343

American Ingenuity’s Building Plans are new & improved and contain 17-23 blueprints depending on type of entryways, foundation, etc.  Building Plan sets contain all the blueprints typically provided with any type of housing and include floor plans, concrete slab foundation with radius & angles, foundation details, two exterior elevation blueprints (dome shell section view, top view showing panel placement), floor joist framing plans, structural details, locations of plumbing and electrical fixtures, interior wall dimensions and second floor wood joist & edge beam dimensions.  See below for  listing of possible sheets within the set of Building Plans.

Electrical Diagram, Plumbing Diagram and HVAC Diagram are not included—Ai has found the electrical, plumbing and HVAC subcontractors prefer to design their own diagrams.   Please call our offices for commercial dome plans pricing – 321-639-8777.

Ai’s philosophy is that each Buyer pays for only what they need.  Ai does not burden the price of the building kit with plan’s pricing, engineer seal cost or energy report cost. Building plans are purchased three months to -1 1/2 years prior to kit shipment.  About 50% of the building departments require engineer sealed plans and an energy report to issue a permit. As a result, each customer pays for their plans separately from the building kit and pays for a seal and energy report only if their building department requires them.

Due to the complexity of the Florida Energy Gauge Report, Ai no longer completes the report, but provides the dome info the company needs to complete the report for $100.   All other states, except for California and Washington, can require a Rescheck enegy report. Ai can complete the REScheck Energy Report.  Call for pricing.

If your building department requires the following, please hire your local HVAC subcontractor to complete your Manual S (Equipment Sizing Certification); Manual D (Duct Design & Layout Drawing); or Manual J (Residential Heat Load Calculation) for the Florida Energy Report and the  REScheck Energy Report.

If your building department requires engineer sealed building plans the engineering firm who will seal your plans requires two items:

  1. A Geotechnical Soil Report in order for the foundation to be designed with the specific type footer required for your soil type and pressure.
  2. ICC (International Code Compliant) structural calculations be performed on your exact size dome, exact number of openings at your site’s precise design criteria (wind speed & exposure class (seismic zone & snow load if required). These calculations show if any additional rebar, etc. are needed in your shell. If needed the engineer and Ai make the changes to your plans.  This report is run using the Risa Program to show that the Adidome and its building system meets the International Code Council requirements and any codes beyond ICC requirements enforced  by Florida, California and Illinois.   Ai has been told these  ICC calcs sealed by an engineer licensed for your state mean that the Aidome can be built through out Florida (including Miami Dade, Broward, Indian River County, etc.)  and California if land is zoned correctly, etc.  Please call for ICC Structural Calcs pricing.

Q: What is the standard foundation included with the stock plans?

A: Concrete slab. For Ai to design a basement or concrete columns or stem wall or pilings, or elevated platform, etc.; the engineer requires a Geotechnical Soil Report and an engineer fee is added to the Plans Quote to cover the cost for an independent engineer to be hired to calculate the load of the dome and the load of the two floors within the dome and give joist/edge beam size/spacing and foundation design to our CAD department to incorporate within your plans. Please call for engineer pricing.

All of American Ingenuity’s stock plans are now on our web site.  To view the plans by dome diameter, click on Tiny Homes and  Larger Dome Stock Plans

Due to spam filters your email requests may not make it to American Ingenuity and our email replies may not make it back to you.  If you email Ai and do not receive a reply in one to two days, please call us.  While you are on the phone, we will send you a test email to assure you receive it. 

If you want stock floor plan layouts mailed, call Ai at 321-639-8777 for printing cost and mailing cost.

Building plans may be purchased with Master Card, Visa, Discover, check or money order.  Shipping cost and plotting cost are not included in the Plans Pricing.  Stock plans are shipped in 2 weeks. Allow at least 5 weeks for modified stock plans and 8 weeks for modified and custom plans.

If you do not have the time or do not want to assemble the dome shell kit, click on Kit Assembly Consultant to learn about this service. He will supervise your laborers or your contractor’s laborers to assemble the dome shell with the first layer of concrete in the seams and on the entryways and dormers.  To view photo gallery showing dome kit assembly, click on Kit Assembly.

Q: How do I know what my Building Department will require to issue a building permit on the American Ingenuity concrete dome building kit? Will your Building Plans comply with my areas building codes?

A: Ai has sold dome kits into 47 USA states and fifteen foreign areas. Our blueprints have been accepted by building departments, which use many different Building Codes including the 2009 & 2012 & 2015 International Residential Building Code, 2014 Florida Building Code 6th Edition, California Building Code and Universal Building Code.

At no cost to you, if you give Ai your construction site address or parcel ID number & your building department name, we will call and speak to your plan’s examiner. Ai will email him or her a drop box invitation which includes a sample set of plans. Ai will call the official, explain the dome prefabricated panel, review specific pages on our web site & discuss the drop box info.  Ai will ask if engineer sealed building plans, engineer sealed ICC Structural Calculations and an energy report are required to issue a permit.

If required in your area, your dome building plans can be sealed/certified by a PE engineer licensed for your state. The cost for an engineer seal for one dome built on a concrete slab is $600, $900 for two domes each built on a concrete slab. For the engineer to seal your plans, he requires a soil report and ICC structural calculations be performed on your exact size dome, exact number of openings and your site’s design criteria (wind speed, exposure class, seismic zone, snow load).   Call for seal pricing for basement plans, elevated platforms, stem wall, crawl space, etc. 

The cost for an Energy Report for states other than FL, WA & CA is $190 for one dome on a slab. Energy Reports for Florida, Washington and California are completed by your local FL, Wa or CA companies. Other paperwork such as a site map, exterior door & window spec sheets, etc. will probably be required prior to the issuance of the permit. Sometimes your building department will have a web site that lists the other paperwork that is required.

 

Q: Explain how to work with my building department.

A: Keep in mind that building departments are concerned with strength and safety. Domes excel in these areas. Building departments and building codes are not concerned with appearance although a plan examiner may be unfamiliar with the aspects of dome construction.

  • Prior to purchasing property, call Ai and ask for our Buying Land document that lists items to check before land purchase. If you own your property or have narrowed your property searches down to one parcel, please provide Ai the property address or tax ID number and the name and telephone number of the building plans department and Ai will call the department and show them our web site. We will confirm that they will accept American Ingenuity’s prefabricated panel as is, and what additional information and requirements are needed for a permit (i.e. engineer seal with engineer sealed ICC structural calculations, energy report). Each state, county and city building departments have specific requirements and requests.

Q: What is the sale pricing on your building plans?

A: To view the discounted plans pricing, click on Discount. Our building plans are very reasonable in price. As far as the building plans, if you went to a Florida engineer or architectural firm and asked them to design you building plans for a 2,000 sq.ft. house; they could charge $1.50 to $2.00 per sq.ft. So that would be $3,000 to $4,000 for a 2,000 sq.ft. house.  Currently the regular price for 40′ dome (2,000 sq.ft. house) is $1,333. Click on Sale to view current sale pricing on plans. Please scroll down the page to find the plans sale pricing.

Ai designs plans as a service to our clients so that each obtain the correct floor plan to fit your lifestyle.

Q: Prior to purchasing Building Plans, what do I need to consider?

A: Assure you have answers to the following questions and to all the questions on the buying land with zoning checklist you received from Ai:

  1. Does the deed for your land have any restrictions on domes or minimum new size house requirements?
  2. If there is a Home Owner’s Association governing your land, if so obtain a copy of the covenants and make sure a dome can be built.
  3. What is required from your building department to obtain a building permit?    Wonderful news Ai is now utilizing an engineering firm who can seal the  Aidome building plans for all 50 states (including Washington DC), US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and all Canadian Provinces other than Quebec.  In order for the plans to be sealed by an engineer licensed for your state or area, the plans buyer pays for ICC (International Code Compliant) structural calculations to be performed on their exact size dome, exact number of openings at their site’s precise design criteria (wind speed & exposure class (seismic zone & snow load if required). These calculations show that the Aidome prefab panel and building system meets the International Code Council requirements and any codes beyond ICC requirements enforced  by Florida, California and Illinois.   Ai has been told these  ICC calcs sealed by an engineer licensed for your state mean that the Aidome can be built through out Florida (including Miami Dade, Broward, Indian River County, etc.)  and California if land is zoned correctly, etc.  Please call for ICC Structural Calcs pricing.
  4. Do you have your financing secured?
  5. Are there minimum house square footage requirements or a garage requirement on your property?

Q: Can my zoning department stop me from building a dome?

A: Yes. Zoning can ask for roof conformity where all the roofs look the same in that area.   Besides zoning ordinances controlling the use of the land, they determine setbacks from property lines, minimum size new home requirements and height limits and similar things. Deed restrictions and homeowner associations can limit the type structure that can be built.

Q: Where can I build a dome?

A: Almost any place. Although, there are a few exceptions, some developments or communities control the size, cost and appearance of the homes. Before you buy the land, ask if there are any Deed restrictions or Homeowner Associations or zoning which will not allow the dome to be built. Ask Ai to email their latest buying land document with zoning checklist which contains an important list of questions to be asked about the property.   If there is a Homeowners Association, meet with the board and show them information about the dome. If they say you can build the dome, we recommend that you obtain a notarized statement from them stating this. Over time, members of the Board can change and the bylaws of the Association can change.

Besides assuring that your property has no deed restrictions or homeowners association regulating it, contact your building department and find out what they require to issue you a residential building permit.  To obtain a new house building permit in California and Florida, engineer sealed building plans and engineer sealed ICC Structural Calculations are submitted along with other required paperwork.

 

Q: When should we purchase our dome building plans?

A: Plans are purchased 3 months to two years prior to dome construction.

Q: When can I move into my dome?

A: If a building permit is needed to build, generally the building departments will not let you move in until they issue a Certificate of Occupancy – meaning the home is finished per the blueprints.  If there is no building permit is required,  a person could stay in the dome once the shell is weather tight.