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Geodesic dome home built on $18k budget combines wood and windows for fairytale getaway
This geodesic home was built in the 80s long before it became the trend that it is now and it's as breathtaking as ever.
Jaclyn Abergas
08.31.22

John used to be a banker in London, England, and was about to be transferred to Asia when he decided he was tired of this corporate life.

He got a job at BBC, where he met his wife, Linda.

But they soon realized they were also tired of the city life, commuting in the city, rain or shine.

Nothing to lose

John and Linda decided they had nothing to lose. So, they decided to pack everything up and moved from London to Vancouver, Canada.

In Canada, they worked in a pulp and paper business. And it was living in Canada where they had the idea to build a geodesic home.

YouTube - FLORB
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YouTube - FLORB

John went to World Expo 1967 in Montreal, Canada, and saw a dome in the middle of the exhibition.

“They had a big dome there, which was one of the firsts. In the 70s, the idea of domes was kind of exciting,” John shared.

YouTube - FLORB
Source:
YouTube - FLORB

They wanted their own dome home.

They drove down to South Vancouver Island and they found the perfect spot. It was also the last piece of property that was still unsold at that time.

Because it was an untouched piece of land, John and Linda did most of the work, clearing the space.

“I cut the trees down myself. We took the trees to a local sawmill and had them cut into lumber,” John recalled. “We brought it back and made the foundation ourselves… We bought some two by fours here and there and some plywood but mostly it’s from my own trees.”

YouTube - FLORB
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YouTube - FLORB

You could tell John was very DIY with the whole house because he had a notebook with all the details.

He wrote down all the pieces of wood and wire he bought, even noting the date they were bought in a small notebook.

Beautifully budgeted

That’s how he was able to figure out that he spent around $18,000 on the house.

YouTube - FLORB
Source:
YouTube - FLORB

And it’s because they did most of the work themselves. What they built was a 32-feet diameter dome, sitting on top of a post and beam platform.

They added 10 sides so it would be as round as possible and the dome would fit on top. It’s made up of interlocking triangles to give it the strength it needs.

Tracking the sun

Before they added windows, they watched where the sun rose and set. And that helped them decide which struts would have windows.

They checked which ones will have glass and which ones will be boarded up.

YouTube - FLORB
Source:
YouTube - FLORB

Because geodesic domes were pretty new at that time, they were just constructing and making decisions as they went.

And it looks like it was a good plan because they were able to add more to the house.

In fact, they were even able to add different parts to their home over the next few years.

And now, since it’s just the two of them living permanently in the dome (their children are now adults with their own families), they’ve added a portion that they can rent out to vacationers.

YouTube - FLORB
Source:
YouTube - FLORB

Although geodesic homes have their own share of pros and cons, the pros really outweigh the cons for those who decide to build their own dome.

They’re made with purpose.

Domes are durable and can protect you from extreme weather. Temperatures are also even and air can circulate freely.

Domes use less artificial lighting and utilize sunlight. Granted, creating geodesic homes now is not as low cost as John and Linda’s, but it’ll still pay off in the end.

YouTube - FLORB
Source:
YouTube - FLORB

The inside is just as stunning as the outside.

Take the full, breathtaking tour in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Jaclyn Abergas
hi@sbly.com
Jaclyn Abergas is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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