Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Inspections going well

I don't have a new picture to include with this post, because not a whole lot has visually changed. There are a lot more wires strung throughout the house and things look a bit tidier. There are three main panels installed with, again, a lot of wires running to them. One more panel has to be installed, but the inspectors approved it today without the panel in place. The main things that have happened (or are about to happen) are:
  • Plumbing and HVAC inspections are approved
  • We have found a supplier for the propane tank and will be getting that installed soon
  • After a bit of worry, we have determined that the Jacuzzi we wanted will indeed fit in the space we had reserved for it in the bathroom, but only by putting it at an angle. I actually think it will make a nice effect that way.
  • The design of the water feature is almost done. We just need to size the pumps and give it final approval.
  • The dormers will get their wrapping tomorrow!!!!
  • We will be meeting on Friday to sign paperwork for the pool

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Kids will be Kids

Kids, Kids will be Kids
Went to the dome site a few days ago and the workers were soaking some boards to make them more bendable. Our kids saw the water in the ditch with the boards floating in it and had to stop and play for a while. If you look closely, there is a 4x4 sitting as a balance beam across the ditch in the background. We did not put that there, but our daughter certainly used it.

Things are starting to happen more quickly now. It seems that some of the sub-contractors were a bit baffled about how to handle a round dome and when they actually got onsite they stopped, looked around, and said "It's round?!?!?". Given this, they had to take more time to figure out how they were going to deal with a round house and this took longer than expected. Anyway, the rough electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and fire suppression are almost done. We are hoping for a final inspection of these early next week (Tuesday is the day the General Contractor is aiming at). Once we have this inspection they can begin to put drywall up and make it start looking more like a real house and less like a construction site.

Monolithic Domes should be down this week to install the wraps around the dormer and weld them onto the vinyl shell that was the original airform. Once this is done the front door will be installed and we will be fully weathered in. At that point we should be able to get a revised timeline, but the move in date will probably be pushed at least to the third week of December if not early January:(

We did get a sample (~10 square feet) of the rock exterior we hope to use. Looking at it we want to see another sample as well. This one is a bit too neutral and blah, so we're hoping Calaveris may look a bit better. It has a bit more color based on the pictures online.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dome open house

OpenHouse, Our table at the 2012 Domes tour
Today we opened our dome house to the public as part of the Monolithic Domes home tour. In addition to several of our friends we had a few interesting visitors. One was a local realtor who was watching TV last night (HGTV I think) and they did a special where they went to Italy Texas and looked at many of the domes there and included an interview with David South. He saw this and went to the web site and found our dome on the dome tour. My wife took he and his wife through our dome and they seemed very interested.

We also had a couple drive in from Georgetown Texas to look. They are seriously considering building one up in New York and maybe another here in the Austin area. A second couple drove up from Conroe with their two children. He has been interested in domes for about 10 years, but they have been unsure. I think that after seeing our home, they (as a couple and kids) think highly of domes and will probably seriously consider one in the next few (maybe 5-10) years.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Monolithic Dome Home Tour

Monolithic Domes is having their annual dome tour this coming weekend and our dome, under construction, will be available for the tour. The link to the tour page is:


I'm not sure who will be available to talk to any visitors about the home, but we are at least on the list and next year we'll be living there and have a lot of data and pictures of the process to show off.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Air Conditioners In

Living Room AC
All the various air handling units have been installed in the house as of now. That is three units in the main dome and one in the pool house. Most of the duct work is in place and the return air plenums are in place. Now all we need are the condensers outside and we'll have air conditioning.

Front Door
However, before getting the air conditioning turned on, it would be nice to have a front door on the dome (otherwise it just seems sort of pointless). While we don't actually have the front doors yet, the framing work for the front doors is in place and it looks nice.

Big oak
Now for some sad news. This tree is the BIG oak tree out behind the house. This limb is the limb where Veronica's tree house was scheduled to be built. Something happened to it and the whole limb split off. That limb is almost a big as my waist (and I have a big waist). Maybe it was a lightning strike, maybe it was a construction accident, maybe it was the drought catching up with the tree, we don't know. The Arborist is gong out this weekend to take care of the tree, trim off the limb as best be done, and then doctor the wound to the tree. I hope this problem is not systemic to the whole tree. It would be a shame to lose the whole tree.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Start of Air Conditioning

AC_Arch, Air Conditoning
This week saw the workers start to run the air conditioning duct work through the first floor. The interior units are coming in soon and then the framers will make the closets around them. This is the last of the real framing that needs to be done. you can also see, in the above picture, the archway from the Foyer into the Kitchen.

First Pool Image, Pool
We have also been talking to the pool guy in town and seeing about putting in a pool. This is the first design he sent us, so this is far from the final design, but I wanted to put this image out there to float the idea of a pool.

Garage_Door, Garage Door framed
Finally we see a better picture of the garage with its two single garage doors framed in place. I presume that soon the exterior person door will be installed in the rectangle you can see through the garage doors.

Finally the monolithic dome people were onsite today to measure the dormers so they can fabricate the covers which will be fused to the existing airform to ensure a water tight seal before the rock exterior is applied. I have no time scale on this, but it should happen fairly soon, maybe a few weeks or so.