Archive for the Tiny House Category

How To Buy And Finance Your Tiny House While Helping Your Wallet

How To Buy And Finance Your Tiny House While Helping Your Wallet

how to buy a tiny house


If you’re wondering how to buy a tiny house, it probably means you are looking for some kind of change in your life. There are so many reasons people start to look into the tiny life for the first time!

Maybe you are looking to buy a tiny house to live in full time and travel the world with loved ones. You might also want to buy a tiny house if need an accessory dwelling unit to use as your creative backyard studio.

You could be building a living space for your mom who’s moving in, or even hoping to enjoy retirement in a brand-new way. There are so many reasons people get the bug to go tiny.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

Over a decade ago I started to dream about the tiny life and later moved into my tiny home full time. Buying a tiny house is a big decision and there is a lot that goes into it. Here’s what I’ve learned.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

How To Buy A Tiny Home: What To Know Before You Buy

What To Know Before You Buy A ATiny Home

Understanding the buying process of a tiny home is the first step to making your dreams a reality. The process is not for the faint of heart and there are a lot of decisions that need to be made in the process.

There are plenty of sellers out there who will try to sell you less than the best, so I want to give you some advice on the best way to make sure you are ready to buy a tiny house of your own.

What Types Of Tiny Houses Can You Buy?

What Types Of Tiny Houses Can You Buy

First things first — if you want to buy a tiny house, you’ll need to know what you actually want. The tiny house category can stretch pretty wide, and there are many versions of alternative living that people often lump in with the tiny house category.

In addition to figuring out the type of tiny house that fits your lifestyle, you’ll also need to think through the extra assets that will be needed to make a life for yourself in your tiny home. You may need to purchase a trailer, utility hookups, tiny house plans, or other additional assets to make your house complete.

How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Tiny House?

How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Tiny House

With all of that considered, how much will buying a tiny house actually cost? Cost estimates are always tricky because there are so many factors that go into the cost breakdown, like the cost of living in your state, the features that your tiny house has, whether your house is new or used, the size of the house, and much more.

On average, buying a prefabricated tiny house can typically range anywhere from $30,000 to $150,000. It just depends on what makes up the specific home you’re looking at.

how much does a tiny house cost cta

What To Consider Before You Buy A Tiny House

What To Consider Before You Buy A Tiny House

Buying a tiny house can be for anyone who wants to experience the tiny lifestyle. That said, as someone who has paid attention to the tiny house world for over a decade, I often see people get a tad ahead of themselves when getting ready to buy a tiny house.

It’s easy to dream big and forget about all the tiny details that go into such a big purchase. There are certainly things to think about before committing to buying your own tiny house. You want to make sure you know what you’re getting into.

Before You Buy A Tiny House

  • How much money can I afford to spend?
  • Will I need to take out a loan?
  • What ways can I save money?
  • Will I need to hire a builder?
  • What is the cost of utilities?
  • Will I need a hook up to the grid?
  • Will power cost more?
  • Will water cost more?
  • Are tiny homes legal in my city?
  • What else will I need to buy?
before buying a tiny house

Where Can I Buy A Tiny House?

Where Can I Buy A Tiny House

When you’re ready to buy your tiny house, where should you look? There are many sources out there to find tiny homes, but each method has its pros and cons.

In today’s fast-paced, chaotic world, many are craving the simple life. This means that there are many sellers out there trying to sway you into tiny living, so you want to make sure you buy from a trusted, high-quality source.

Tiny Homes On Amazon, Facebook, Cragslist, And More

Tiny Homes On Amazon Facebook Cragslist And More

With the tiny house craze getting more and more popular, big-name websites now have them for sale. Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist are just a few that I can name that have tiny houses for sale at the ready.

tiny houses for saleThe thing with these websites is that they sell a little bit of everything and don’t have specializations. This isn’t necessarily a disadvantage if you are looking for a basic tiny house kit, a used cargo trailer that you plan to refurbish, or a basic trailer to get you started.

These websites are awesome for buying the basics from others and getting a good bang for your buck. They are a fast and affordable option.

However, if you’re looking for a more high-quality tiny house with all the bells, whistles, and fancy features, I would suggest starting with a real estate website or builder that specializes in tiny homes specifically.

Another thing to keep in mind with these websites is that it’s easier to be tricked. Keep an eye out for listings without pictures of the house, extremely cheap prices, or pictures that are identical to or duplicates of other listings. Don’t give anyone your credit card information without confirming that they are a real, trustworthy human being.

Prefabricated Tiny Homes From A Manufacturer

Prefabricated Tiny Homes From A Manufacturer

Buying a prefabricated tiny house from a builder is a great way to go when buying a tiny house. From my own experience, I would say that buying directly from a build and design company is the most trustworthy method to use.

tiny house building companyThat being said, there are still builders out there who don’t have your best interest in mind. My team and I have put together a builder’s guide with tiny house builders in each state if you’re having trouble finding a trustworthy builder near you.

With most tiny house building companies, they have prefabricated designs that you can buy and have shipped straight to you. Additionally, you can choose to partner with the building company to create a custom design that fits all of your specific needs. However, this is a longer process.

If you do go the building company route, also make sure the company you select is reputable and nearby or ships to your area. It would be the worst thing for you to find the tiny house of your dreams only to have to drive across multiple states to pick it up.

Sometimes companies will ship outside of the state that their warehouse is located, but sometimes they only sell locally. Check out our builder’s directory for more information.

Buy A Tiny House From Tiny House Real Estate Websites

Buy A Tiny House From Tiny House Real Estate Websites

There are several real estate websites that were specifically created to buy and sell tiny houses and other alternative housing options. Think of it like a virtual marketplace for tiny house enthusiasts only.

On most of these websites, you have the option of being a buyer or a seller, and can message buyers and sellers in the same way you would on a website like Facebook or Craigslist. Some of the real estate websites are limited to the continental United States, while others have listings in Latin America, Europe, and even Canada.

Tiny House Loans: What To Know

What To Know About Tiny House Loans

Financing a tiny house honestly isn’t all that different from any other type of personal loan you would need to take out. You can apply for a tiny house loan through your traditional bank, a lending company, or sometimes directly from the building company you’ve used for your tiny house.

There are several lending companies that specialize in loans for things like tiny homes, accessory dwelling units, recreational vehicles, boats, or even an island timeshare. However, there are definitely elements of your own financial standing you will want to consider before taking out a loan like this, just to ensure you are ready.

Can You Take Out A Loan For Your Tiny House?

Can You Take Out A Loan For Your Tiny House

The short answer is yes — you definitely can. In a basic sense, taking out a loan for a tiny house is virtually the same as many other loan types.

To get a loan from a lender or a bank, you have to apply for the loan and go through a typical screening process in which your credit score, value of collateral, liquid assets, and employment history are evaluated, and are then approved or denied for the loan.

It’s a pretty black-and-white process, but can take a long time and involve many forms and exchanges with your lender. Additionally, you might run into some unwanted hurdles when trying to finance your tiny home specifically, especially if trying to take out a loan like this from your traditional bank.

It’s important to know what you need and what options are out there so you can make the entire process as easy as it can be on yourself and your wallet.

tiny house contracts

How Are Tiny Homes On Wheels Financed?

How Are Tiny Homes On Wheels Financed

This is probably the most common question when it comes to buying a tiny house. This is because the answer isn’t only dependent on the type of loan or group you use, but the tiny house laws in your state that put your THOW into a category.

Some lenders have categories specifically for tiny houses that cover all types of tiny houses, both on wheels and on foundation. Some lenders have a personal section for park model homes and tiny homes on foundation, while tiny homes on wheels are considered Recreational Vehicles (RVs) and are under a different loan category.

However, RV loans will need to fulfill requirements set by the RV Industry Association or else you’ll be ineligible for this financing.

How to categorize your tiny house on wheels is going to be dependent on where you get your loan, which type of loan you are applying for (which I explain further down in the post), and the housing laws and regulations in your state and city.

how to buy a tiny house pro tip

How Does Interest Work For Tiny House Loans?

How Does Interest Work For Tiny House Loans

The interest rate on your tiny house loan will depend on the group you use or type of loan you use. Interest rates on a tiny house loan work very similarly to any other loan.

You can usually discover your interest rates by talking with a representative from your lending company or by browsing on their website to see what your personal rate might be.

My biggest piece of advice is finding a lender where your interest rates are locked in from the very beginning and aren’t going to increase as time goes on. This is the best way to secure your finances as you pay your loan off.

What To Consider Before Taking Out A Loan For A Tiny Home

What To Consider Before Taking Out A Loan For A Tiny Home

Especially in today’s economic climate, it’s important to make sure you are ready for a loan before diving in. Ask yourself these questions before deciding to finance your tiny house.

Questions To Ask Yourself

  • Is my credit score in good standing?
  • Am I in a stage of life with steady income?
  • What need am I filling with this purchase?
  • Should I wait longer before making this purchase?
  • Could a smaller purchase serve the same purpose?
  • Can I afford the monthly payments for this loan?
  • How much will the loan be with interest?
  • How fast will I be able to pay this off?
  • What repercussions will I face if I can’t pay this off?
  • Does the loan I have chosen have extra fees?
filling out loan application to buy tiny house

One of my favorite aspects of minimalism and simple living is the wisdom behind spending, saving, and the pursuit of financial freedom. Money isn’t our purpose, but being smart with it gives us power to achieve freedom, independence, and a higher quality of life.

Take it from a guy who has learned the value of being intentional with his finances: the last thing you want to do is get yourself into debt you can’t get out of.

Don’t get me wrong — loans can be a great tool to get you where you want to be in life. However, the practice of caution and thoughtfulness when deciding to take out a loan of any kind can be a lifesaver in the long run.

Options For Financing A Tiny House

Options For Financing A Tiny House

To walk you through the process of financing a tiny house, let’s start with the two basic questions you need to consider:

Where is the loan coming from?

What type of loan will I need?

There are definitely pros and cons to each of these routes, and a lot of what goes into your decision will depend on your personal financial situation, where you’ve purchased your tiny house from, and what type of loan works best for your life.

Tiny House Loans From A Lending Company Or Bank

Tiny House Loans From A Lending Company Or Bank

I got the chance to speak with Julie Olian, a representative from Lighstream lending company. Julie explained the benefits of going through lending companies with these kinds of loans.

Lighstream lending company specializes in providing personal loans for large purchases that may not be as easy to get approval for if going through a traditional bank, like weddings, time shares, and tiny houses.

how to buy a tiny house pro tip

“Traditional banks don’t quite know how to handle tiny houses because they are often too small to qualify for mortgages.”

– Julie Olian,

A huge advantage to using a lending company and the reason so many tiny house enthusiasts gravitate towards this option that it really streamlines the process of getting the actual money in your hands. It’s just simpler — there is less paperwork, less back and forth, and less confusion than there would be with a traditional bank.

borrowing money to buy a tiny houseAnother reason homeowners gravitate toward this route is that there aren’t typically fees placed on top of the price of the loan itself, which tends to be attractive to customers. The cost of your loan is made clear from the beginning.

Lending companies also rarely require a down payment, which also helps out tiny homeowners significantly. Lastly, lending companies tend to have more of an understanding of the fact that the makeup of every lifestyle is different.

If you’re buying a tiny house, it’s likely that you may not have a typical employment history and may have different types of paperwork to prove your stability. Lenders who specialize in more Avant Garde loans tend to get this more than a bank might.

However, like anything else, do your homework when deciding if this is the route for you. Calculate the total a loan from a lender would cost you, and don’t forget interest rates. Evaluate what you can comfortably afford.

pro tip how to buy a tiny house

“Every situation is different. All we have to determine is that the funds we are giving to you will come back to us, month to month, in a timely manner. Other than that, it’s simple.”

– Julie Olian,

Loans From Tiny House Build And Design Company

Loans From Tiny House Build And Design Company

Taking out a loan from a building company directly is a different ballgame, because the financing process is often embedded into your partnership with the build and design company itself.

new tiny house for saleFor example, Tumbleweed Houses advertises a 15-year loan at a 6.09% interest rate. However, you have to be able to put 20% down on one of their specific tiny house designs. With almost all building company loans, you can’t take out the loan without buying one of their tiny homes.

The major upside to taking out a loan with your building company is all the hoops come from one source. You don’t have to spend extra time seeking out a lending company after you’ve already found your dream builder.

The downside is there is less freedom or fluctuation in what type of loan you can get, how much you can borrow, and developing a plan that works for you. Building companies usually have standard plans worked into the entire process.

Rent To Own Your Tiny Home

Rent To Own Your Tiny Home

In today’s tight economy, renting to own is becoming a much more popular option for people who want a change quickly but can’t quite afford to move out and buy property right away.

rent to own a tiny houseA major advantage of renting to own is that you don’t have to pay back a loan overtime. Instead, you pay on the property like a renter until your lease is up and you are able to buy the tiny house from its current owner.

There are two basic types of Lease Purchase agreements. Some agreements give the renter the option to buy the property at the end of their lease, while others lock you into buying the house at the end of your lease from the beginning of the lease agreement.

For tiny homes, you will typically see a monthly payment between $120 per month up to $460 per month, depending on terms and cost of the house. You’ll also be required to pay a down payment.

The down payment on a tiny house rent-to-own agreement is usually between 2% to 5% of the loan, so plan to put down at least $500 up to $3,000 as your down payment.

Should I Buy Or Build My Tiny House?

Should I Buy Or Build My Tiny House

You can’t really go wrong with buying or building your tiny house. Both options are awesome and have pros and cons to them. At the end of the day, people who buy a tiny house over building one are typically concerned about two things: money and turnaround rate.

Buying your tiny home pre-built is typically going to be cheaper than building one because labor is a cost of its own. While the cost of labor is built into the cost of your house, it doesn’t fair with builder costs.

The exception to this is if you build your tiny house entirely yourself and use a budget-friendly tiny house floorplan. There are many floorplan options out there for two-bedroom, three-bedroom, or even four-bedroom tiny homes.

buying a tiny house pro tip

“Consider the auxiliary costs that go with tiny houses. Do you need to purchase land? Will you need a trailer? Will there be travel costs? Don’t just budget for the house alone.”

– Julie Olian,

If you are hoping to have your tiny house ready to move into quickly, it might not be the best option to build it. Buying your tiny home expedites the process and will have you ready to move in much faster. Both options work, but buying does tend to be faster and cheaper.

Your Turn!

  • Where you will buy your tiny house from?
  • Will you need a loan for your tiny home?

How Much Does A 4×4 Weigh

How Much Does A 4x4 Weigh

How Much Does a 4x4 Weigh

How Much Does A 4×4 Weigh?

how much does a 4x4 board weighWhen you’re planning your next construction project, lumber weight may not be the first on your list of details to hammer out. As soon as you go to load your 4x4s in your truck, though, knowing the factors that affect the weight of your boards is going to be crucial for safe and efficient transportation.

On average, a 4×4 weighs 29.3 lbs. for an 8-foot-long board. However, that number can change depending on a variety of important elements.

Why Does 4×4 Weight Vary?

why does 4x4 weight varyThere are several properties of lumber that you need to consider when picking out the type of wood you’re using for a project. These properties vary depending on tree species, treatment, and moisture content.

These elements along with length don’t just affect your project, but also the weight of your 4x4s. Calculating the weight per foot and multiplying that number by the length is the most reliable way to determine your overall lumber weight.

Weight Difference Based On Tree Species

Weight Difference Based On Tree Species

Hardness, shock resistance and strength are all important lumber properties that vary based on tree species. Weight is also different depending on the type of tree your 4×4 comes from, and some species can be significantly heavier than others.

weight of treated and untreated lumber

Weight Of 4x4s: Treated Vs Untreated

If you’re building outside, chances are you may want treated lumber. These boards are soaked in chemicals that are absorbed into the porous cells of the wood. This process protects the lumber from pests and weather, but also increases its weight.

4x4s Weight Based On Moisture Content

4x4s Weight Based On Moisture Content

Green wood, raw lumber with a high moisture content, is heavier than kiln-dried wood. Kiln-dried boards have been baked at a high temperature so that the moisture is evaporated from the wood.

Weight Difference Of 4x4s Based on Length

Weight Difference Of 4x4s By Length

This last one may seem a little obvious, but it’s an easy detail to overlook. Length affects the overall weight of your 4×4, so use the weight per foot multiplied by the length to determine the total weight of each board.

tiny house tools

Weight Of A 4x4x8

weight of a 4x4x8Below are the 4x4x8 weights of four tree species commonly used for commercial lumber. The weights per foot vary depending on the properties of each tree.

Weight Of A Ponderosa Pine 4x4x8

Ponderosa Pine is typically used indoors unless specifically treated for outdoor use. The untreated weight per foot is 3.14 lbs., resulting in a 4x4x8 weight of 25.1 lbs.

Weight Of A Douglas Fir 4x4x8

Douglas Firs are moderate in weight but are still very stiff and strong. This makes them a popular choice for construction. A 4x4x8 board weighs approximately 30.1 lbs.

Weight Of A Western Hemlock 4x4x8

Western Hemlock is commonly sold under the label HEM-FIR and is one of two commercially distributed species of hemlock. A Western Hemlock 4x4x8 board weighs around 27.9 lbs.

Weight Of A Southern Yellow Pine 4x4x8

Southern Yellow Pine is one of the heaviest of the commercial softwoods. With an untreated weight per foot of 4.26 lbs., a 4x4x8 board weighs about 34.1 lbs.

Weight Of A 4x4x10

weight of a 4x4x10Weight per foot is determined based on the treatment, moisture content, and species of lumber. Once these details have been acquired, the easy element to consider is length. Below are the calculated weights of a 4x4x10 board for each species.

Weight Of A Ponderosa Pine 4x4x10

According to the IUCN, the Ponderosa Pine is a species of least concern. This makes it a sustainable construction option, and it is widely distributed throughout western North America. A 4x4x10 board weighs approximately 31.4 lbs.

Weight Of A Douglas Fir 4x4x10

A 4x4x10 Douglas Fir board, untreated, weighs about 37.6 lbs. While Douglas Fir typically machines well, this type of lumber has been known to have a blunting effect on cutters.

Weight Of A Western Hemlock 4x4x10

I’ve calculated the untreated weight of a Western Hemlock 4x4x10 which is around 34.9 lbs. However, it is often necessary to treat Western Hemlock since this lumber is susceptible to insect attacks.

Weight Of A Southern Yellow Pine 4x4x10

Southern Yellow Pine is a preferred species for treatment because of unique properties of its cells. The untreated weight of a 4x4x10 board, though, is about 42.6 lbs.

Weight Of A 4x4x12

weight of a 4x4x12Find below the calculations for the weight of 4x4x12 boards for four commercial species. These are the untreated weights, so treated boards of the same species will be heavier.

Weight Of A Ponderosa Pine 4x4x12

Ponderosa Pine is relatively low in strength, but its knotty wood is often used for aesthetic appeal in interior woodwork. A 4x4x12 board weighs approximately 37.7 lbs.

Weight Of A Douglas Fir 4x4x12

Due to its strength, Douglas fir is commonly found in boxes, pallets, railroad construction and general millwork. A 4x4x12 Douglas Fir board weighs around 45.1 lbs.

Weight Of A Western Hemlock 4x4x12

Western Hemlocks can hold a significantly large amount of water. This means green hemlock wood is fairly heavy, and it takes a while to kiln-dry. A 4x4x12 hemlock board with a low moisture content weighs about 41.9 lbs.

Weight Of A Southern Yellow Pine 4x4x12

Southern Yellow Pine can be used untreated, but it does make up 85% of commercially treated wood. An untreated Southern Yellow Pine 4x4x12 weighs about 51.1 lbs.

Weight Of A 4x4x16

weight of a 4x4x16Remember to check if you’re using treated or untreated wood. A treated 4x4x16 will be significantly heavier. Below are the untreated calculations for a 4x4x16 based on several species.

Weight Of A Ponderosa Pine 4x4x16

Although it is low in strength and stiffness, Ponderosa Pine is a valuable lumber because it has a uniform grain and is unlikely to warp and twist. A Ponderosa 4x4x16 weighs about 50.2 lbs.

Weight Of A Douglas Fir 4x4x16

Douglas Fir does not hold stain well and has relatively little grain. However, it is a good option for projects you plan to paint. A 4x4x16 board weighs approximately 60.2 lbs.

Weight Of A Western Hemlock 4x4x16

While it is moderately workable, the disparity between soft early hemlock wood and late hardwood can cause uneven surfaces on your boards. A 16-ft. 4×4 board weighs about 55.8 lbs.

Weight Of A Southern Yellow Pine 4x4x16

Southern Yellow Pine is actually a group of pines consisting of Loblolly, Shortleaf, Longleaf and Slash pines. The average Yellow Pine 4x4x16 board weighs about 68.2 lbs.

How Many 4x4s Will Fit In My Pickup Truck?

how many 4x4s will fit in my truckToo many boards will cause damage to your truck, but too few will cause unnecessary trips back and forth. Calculating how many boards you can carry based on their weight is the most efficient way to transport your lumber. Below are the calculations for three standard truck models.

Ford F-150 Pickup Truck

A Ford F-150 pickup truck can hold about 1,300 lbs. in the bed. Since the average 8-ft. 4×4 board weighs about 29.3 lbs., an F-150 can carry 44 boards.

Ford F-150 Pickup Truck

Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup

The bed capacity of a standard model Dodge Ram is 1,240 lbs. At 29.3 lbs. per board, this truck can handle 42 4×4 boards.

Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup

Chevy Silverado 1500 Pickup Truck

The Chevy Silverado can handle 56 boards. With a bed capacity of 1,650 lbs., the Silverado is the best of these three trucks for transporting large amounts of lumber.

Chevy Silverado 1500 Pickup Truck

towing a tiny house

How Much Does A 6×6 Weigh

How Much Does A 6x6 Weigh

How Much Does A 6x6 Weigh

How Much Does A 6×6 Weigh?

How Much Does A 6x6 board WeighCalculating the weight of a 6×6 may seem straight forward, but not all 6×6 boards weigh the same. There are several factors that affect the overall weight of your lumber.

On average, a 6×6 weighs 65.9 lbs. for an 8-foot-long board. This can change, however, and understanding the weight variations of your 6x6s can come in handy when it’s time to transport your wood.

Why Does 6×6 Weight Vary?

Why Does 6x6 Weight VaryLumber properties vary, and so does weight. The species, moisture content, treatment, and length of your 6x6s don’t just affect the project you’re planning, but the total weight of your cargo.

Weight Difference Based On Tree Species

Weight Difference Based On Tree Species

Different types of trees have different properties, and the type of lumber you want may depend on your project. Some trees are hard and dense, while others are lightweight but shock resistant. These properties also affect the weight per foot of the 6x6s you choose.

weight of treated and untreated lumber

Weight Of 6x6s: Treated Vs Untreated

You may or may not want treated wood for your construction task. Treated wood has been soaked in chemicals to withstand weather and resist pests. This also means that treated wood is significantly heavier than untreated wood.

6x6s Weight Based On Moisture Content

6x6s Weight Based On Moisture Content

The moisture content also affects the weight of your lumber. Treated wood has more moisture, as does green wood. Kiln-dried lumber has been baked so it is drier and lighter than wood with more moisture.

Weight Difference Of 6x6s Based on Length

Weight Difference Of 6x6s By Length

The longer the board, the heavier it is. This detail may be a no-brainer, but it’s the last thing you want to forget when you have everything else meticulously planned. Multiplying the weight per foot by the length of the board is a quick way to get the total weight of your 6×6.

tiny house tools

Weight Of A 6x6x8

weight of a 6x6x8Calculating the total weight of a 6×6 board can be tedious. To make things easier, I’ve calculated the untreated weight of a 6x6x8 board for four commonly found species of commercial wood.

Weight Of A Ponderosa Pine 6x6x8

Ponderosa Pine is the lightest of the four tree species I’ve included. With an untreated weight per foot of 7.07 lbs., a 6x6x8 board weighs approximately 56.6 lbs.

Weight Of A Douglas Fir 6x6x8

Douglas Fir is a popular construction wood due to its strength. It can often be found used in railroad ties, fence poles, and mine timbers. The weight of a 6x6x8 Douglas Fir board is about 67.8 lbs.

Weight Of A Western Hemlock 6x6x8

Western Hemlock is sold both treated and untreated. Untreated hemlock is best used indoors, however, as it can be prone to insect attacks. The untreated weight of a 6x6x8 board is around 62.9 lbs.

Weight Of A Southern Yellow Pine 6x6x8

Southern Yellow Pine is actually a pine group consisting of four different trees. Their properties are so similar, however, that they are grouped together. An 8-ft. Southern Yellow Pine 6×6 weighs approximately 76.7 lbs.

Weight Of A 6x6x10

weight of a 6x6x8For your convenience, find below the calculations of a 6x6x10 board for each of the four species. These four tree types are widely available and distributed throughout the United States.

Weight Of A Ponderosa Pine 6x6x10

A 6x6x10 Ponderosa board weighs about 70.7 lbs. Ponderosa Pine has a uniform grain pattern that, combined with its golden color, makes it a popular choice for indoor aesthetic projects.

Weight Of A Douglas Fir 6x6x10

Because of its very tight grain, Douglas Fir is stronger and more stable than other types of commercial timber. A 10-ft. Douglas Fir 6×6 weighs approximately 84.7 lbs.

Weight Of A Western Hemlock 6x6x10

Western Hemlock is an essentially tasteless and odorless wood. This makes it a good choice for bowls, cupboards, and other food containers. A 6x6x10 board weighs around 78.6 lbs.

Weight Of A Southern Yellow Pine 6x6x10

Southern Yellow Pine has uniquely porous cells. Because of this, it makes up 85% of commercially treated lumber. The untreated weight of a 6x6x10 board is 95.9 lbs.

Weight Of A 6x6x12

weight of a 6x6x12To calculate the weight of the following 6x6x12 boards, I multiplied the weight per foot of each species by 12 to find the total lumber weight. This can later be used to determine how many boards can fit in a standard model truck.

Weight Of A Ponderosa Pine 6x6x12

Ponderosas can grow to be some of the largest pines in the world. “Ponderosa,” comes from the Spanish word for weighty. Ironically, Ponderosa is on the lighter end of the commercial lumber spectrum. A 6x6x12 Ponderosa Pine board weighs about 84.8 lbs.

Weight Of A Douglas Fir 6x6x12

The color of the heartwood of Douglas Fir depends on the age of the tree. Young heartwood is red in color and grows more and more yellow with age. A 12-ft. Douglas Fir 6×6 weighs around 101.6 lbs.

Weight Of A Western Hemlock 6x6x12

Western and Mountain Hemlock both grow along the Pacific Coast and in the Rocky Mountains. Despite the fact that they share a location, they are treated as separate species when assigning lumber properties. A Western Hemlock 6x6x12 weighs approximately 94.3 lbs.

Weight Of A Southern Yellow Pine 6x6x12

Southern Yellow Pine is the heaviest of the commercial lumbers I’ve listed here and is a dense, strong species of pine. A Southern Yellow Pine 6x6x12 weighs about 115.1 lbs.

Weight Of A 6x6x16

weight of a 6x6x16The last calculations I’ve made for you are for 6x6x16 boards. Once you have determined the species, treatment, and moisture content that will work best for your project, you can use this and the length to calculate how much lumber you’re able to bring home in one trip.

Weight Of A Ponderosa Pine 6x6x16

In construction, Ponderosa Pine is only occasionally used for poles, posts, or crossties. More often it is used for blinds and crates due to its light weight and low strength. A 16-ft. Ponderosa 6×6 weighs approximately 113.1 lbs.

Weight Of A Douglas Fir 6x6x16

An untreated Douglas Fir 6x6x16 board weighs around 135.5 lbs. Although Douglas Fir is used in a wide variety of applications, it’s used less commonly in flooring and furniture than other wood.

Weight Of A Western Hemlock 6x6x16

It is not unusual to see small, black knots in hemlock wood as well as dark streaks from hemlock bark maggots. Neither of these flaws affect the strength or stability of the timber. A 6x6x16 Western Hemlock board weighs 125.8 lbs.

Weight Of A Southern Yellow Pine 6x6x16

A 16-ft. Southern Yellow Pine board weighs approximately 153.4 lbs. Because it is not only strong but also stiff and shock resistant, Southern Yellow Pine can commonly be found in warehouses, bridges, trestles, and docks.

How Many 6x6s Will Fit In My Pickup Truck?

how many 6x6s will fit in my pickup truckAs I mentioned before, knowing the weight of a 6×6 board comes in handy when it comes time to transport your lumber. Calculating how many boards your truck can handle based on weight prevents damage to the suspension of your vehicle.

Ford F-150 Pickup Truck

A Ford F-150 has a cargo load capacity of 1,300 lbs. Using the weight of 65.9 lbs. for an average 8-ft. 6×6 board, this truck can transport 19 boards.

Ford F-150 Pickup Truck

Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup

You can fit 18 boards in the bed of a Dodge Ram. This number came from dividing 1,240 lbs., the weigh capacity of a standard model, by the average weight of a 6×6.

Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup

Chevy Silverado 1500 Pickup Truck

The Chevy Silverado has the largest cargo capacity. Since it can handle 1,650 lbs., the Silverado can carry about 25 6×6 boards.

Chevy Silverado 1500 Pickup Truck

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How Much Does A 2×12 Weigh

How Much Does A 2x12 Weigh

how much does a 2x12 weigh

How Much Does A 2×12 Weigh?

how much does a 2x12 board weighOf course, you want your next construction project to go smoothly, that’s why you plan out all of the tiny details carefully. Don’t let your perfect planning get derailed by a missing number. Knowing how much your boards weigh is important to know when transporting building materials to your job site.

On average, a 2×12 weighs 44 lbs. for an 8-foot-long board. That’s a rule of thumb, but the final number you’ll need depends on a few different specifications.

Why Does 2×12 Weight Vary?

why does 2x12 weight varyThere are four major elements that affect the weight of a 2×12. Tree species, treatment, moisture content, and length all contribute to the overall weight of your lumber. All of these factors vary with the size, shape, and location of your project, so be sure to adjust your weight calculations accordingly.

Weight Difference Based On Tree Species

Weight Difference Based On Tree Species

Each species of tree has its own unique properties that affect the lumber they produce. Denser trees produce heavier lumber, so the type of 2×12 you have will affect its weight.

weight of treated and untreated lumber

Weight Of 2x12s: Treated Vs Untreated

Treated lumber has been soaked in chemicals to prevent damage from weather and insects. When the porous cells of the wood soak up the treatment, the resulting 2x12s become heavier than their untreated counterparts.

2x12s Weight Based On Moisture Content

2x12s Weight Based On Moisture Content

Moisture in the wood of a 2×12 affects its weight. Treatment is one reason for a higher moisture content, but whether or not the wood has been kiln-dried can also impact the moisture and weight.

Weight Difference Of 2x12s Based on Length

Weight Difference Of 2x12s By Length

The above factors impact the weight per foot of a 2×12, but what about length? The last little detail you need to remember is to multiply the weight per foot of your lumber by the total length of the board. This way you will have the most accurate measurement possible when it comes time to load your truck.

tiny house tools

Weight Of A 2x12x8

weight of a 2x12x8Once you’ve used the moisture content, treatment, and species to calculate your weight per foot, the last factor affecting the overall weight of your lumber is length. Below are the weight calculations for four common tree species based on length.

Weight Of A Ponderosa Pine 2x12x8

Of the four commonly used tree species for lumber listed here, Ponderosa Pine is the lightest. A 2x12x8 Ponderosa board weighs approximately 37.7 lbs.

Weight Of A Douglas Fir 2x12x8

Douglas Fir is often used in construction and for railroad ties, fence posts, and mine timbers because of its strength and stiffness. An 8 ft. Douglas Fir 2×12 weighs approximately 45.2 lbs.

Weight Of A Western Hemlock 2x12x8

Western Hemlock is one of two commercial species of hemlock used in lumber. With an untreated weight per foot of 5.24 lbs., a 2x12x8 weighs about 41.9 lbs.

Weight Of A Southern Yellow Pine 2x12x8

Southern Yellow Pine has cells that are especially porous, making it a popular choice for treated lumber. Based on its untreated weight per foot, however, a Yellow Pine 2x12x8 weighs about 51.2 lbs.

Weight Of A 2x12x10

weight of a 2x12x10The most accurate way to calculate the weight of your lumber is to multiply the weight per foot by the length of the board. Below, I’ve calculated the weight of a 10-foot board for Ponderosa Pine, Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock, and Southern Yellow Pine.

Weight Of A Ponderosa Pine 2x12x10

The relatively low weight of Ponderosa Pine comes with low strength and shock resistance. It is medium in stiffness, and weighs approximately 47.1 lbs. for an 8-ft. 2×12 board.

Weight Of A Douglas Fir 2x12x10

Douglas Fir has very little wood grain, making it a good choice for painting but a less popular option for staining. A 2x12x10 Douglas Fir board weighs about 56.5 lbs.

Weight Of A Western Hemlock 2x12x10

Western Hemlock is one of the most abundant trees on the Pacific Coast. This makes it an excellent choice for commercial lumber. A 2x12x10 board weighs approximately 52.4 lbs.

Weight Of A Southern Yellow Pine 2x12x10

Due to its golden color and distinct grain pattern, Southern Yellow Pine is often used for indoor home improvement projects. A 2x12x10 board weighs around 64 lbs.

Weight Of A 2x12x12

weight of a 2x12x12The four species I’ve used for these 2x12x12 calculations are all common woods you may encounter when buying lumber. They are all widely distributed commercial softwoods.

Weight Of A Ponderosa Pine 2x12x12

The lumber from a Ponderosa Pine is lightweight, but the trees themselves can grow to be some of the world’s largest pine trees. A 2×12 board measuring 12 ft. long weighs about 56.5 lbs.

Weight Of A Douglas Fir 2x12x12

The properties of a Douglas Fir are very similar to a hemlock. In fact, this is not technically a true fir. Its genus name is Pseudotsuga menziesii meaning “false hemlock.” A 2x12x12 Douglas Fir board weighs around 67.8 lbs.

Weight Of A Western Hemlock 2x12x12

Although lumber from the Western Hemlock is relatively hard and strong, it has little resistance to decay and is prone to shrinkage. A 12-ft. 2×12 board weighs approximately 62.9 lbs.

Weight Of A Southern Yellow Pine 2x12x12

Despite its hard and stiff properties, Southern Yellow Pine is fairly easy to work with. It also holds nails and fasteners very well. A 2x12x12 board weighs about 76.8 lbs.

Weight Of A 2x12x16

weight of a 2x12x16The most difficult part of calculating lumber weight is gathering all of the necessary information to determine the weight per foot. Once that’s been accomplished, all you need to do is multiply by the length to get your final number.

Weight Of A Ponderosa Pine 2x12x16

Other names you may encounter for Ponderosa Pine are Western Yellow, Bull, and Blackjack Pine. It is commonly found in the states of Oregon, California, and Washington. A 2x12x16 board weighs approximately 75.4 lbs.

Weight Of A Douglas Fir 2x12x16

Since the color of their heartwood changes with age, Douglas Firs are locally known as Red or Yellow firs depending on their stage of life. Usually, a Douglas Fir 2x12x16 weighs 90.4 lbs.

Weight Of A Western Hemlock 2x12x16

Although Western and Mountain Hemlock both grow along the Pacific Coast, they are treated as separate species when assigning lumber properties. A 16-ft. Western Hemlock 2×12 weighs about 83.8 lbs.

Weight Of A Southern Yellow Pine 2x12x16

Southern Yellow Pine is actually a pine group that includes Longleaf, Shortleaf, Slash and Loblolly Pine. On average, a Southern Yellow Pine 2x12x16 board weighs 102.4 lbs.

How Many 2x12s Will Fit In My Pickup Truck?

how many 2x12s will fit in my pickupNow you know the weight per foot of your lumber and you’ve multiplied it by the length of your board. The last step is to determine how many boards can fit in your truck altogether. Too many boards will damage your vehicle, but too few will mean you have to take more trips back and forth.

Ford F-150 Pickup Truck

A standard model Ford F-150 can hold up to 1,300 lbs. of cargo. Using 44 lbs. as the average weight of an 8-ft. 2×12, an F-150 can handle a maximum of 29 2×12 boards.

Ford F-150 Pickup Truck

Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup

The pickup bed of a Dodge Ram can hold 1,240 lbs. More than that could seriously harm the truck. At 44 lbs. per board, the Dodge Ram can carry 28 2×12 boards.

Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup

Chevy Silverado 1500 Pickup Truck

At 1,650 lbs., the Chevy Silverado can hold the most cargo of these three standard model trucks. The Silverado can carry 37 boards measuring 2x12x8 using the weight of 44 lbs. per board.

Chevy Silverado 1500 Pickup Truck

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There’s No Place Like Dome: Living In A Geodesic Dome House

There’s No Place Like Dome: Living In A Geodesic Dome House

living in a geodesic home


Geodesic dome houses are a bit nostalgic for me — an interesting story in optimism around a man named Buckminster Fuller. As of late, they’re having a bit of a resurgence as people are falling in love with these curious structures all over again.

Geodesic dome homes are spherical-shaped houses built from struts set on large circles with walls that curve around the base, and they have many uses.

Some people live in dome homes full time to be more connected to the earth and involved in an eco-friendlier life. Others have them in their yards as ADUs that they repurpose as personal art studios, greenhouses, guest homes, or Airbnbs. The possibilities are endless.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I’m all about living a life apart from the status quo and making your own way. While I love the life I’ve created in my own tiny house, I have definitely considered what it would be like to live my life in a geodesic dome!

ryan mitchell simple living expert

What Is A Geodesic Dome House?

What Is A Geodesic Dome House

It may seem a little eclectic to build a dome house, but there are actually many reasons people gravitate towards this house shape and, oftentimes, end up falling in love with it.

Dome homes aren’t just aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Their shape brings about many benefits to those who live in them. There are several types of dome houses, but geodesic domes are specifically created in the shape of polyhedrons, meaning the entire dome is made up of interwoven triangles.

What’s intriguing about geodome houses is that they use a third less surface area to maintain the same amount of volume as a traditional home thanks to their unique shape. Geodome houses are also extremely durable, thanks to the strength of the connected triangles.

geodesic home foundation frame

However, along with the advantages, there are some major drawbacks to the dome dwelling design that are worth taking into account before you break ground on your geodesic home.


  • Low cost
  • Energy efficient
  • Durable
  • Withstands storms
  • Requires fewer building materials


  • Creating rooms is challenging
  • Hard to hang things on walls
  • Sound echoes
  • Prone to leaks
  • Difficult to roof

Geodesic Dome Home Features

Geodesic Dome Home Features

As with any house, there is a great deal of variability within the way each geodesic dome house is made and what features it includes.

Most geodesic domes are energy efficient and eco-friendly. They’re often built out of concrete over an air form, and tend to embody the half sphere shape. There is, however, a great deal of variability amongst materials used to build different sections of a dome house.

Geodesic Dome Home Foundation

Geodesic Dome Home Foundation

If I’ve learned one thing from building so many tiny homes for myself and my friends, its that the foundation of your house is one of the most important parts. Your foundation is what everything stands on, so it’s super important to make it sturdy!

One misconception about dome houses is that they are built on top of a circular base. In actuality, the base of your geodesic dome house is created by a number of short walls that line the edges of your geodome house foundation, forming a kind of polygon.

Your dome home can form a hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, or decagon. Its walls are commonly made of either wood or steel, and are then filled in with poured concrete.

If you want to build your geodesic dome house above ground, you can use wooden beams, called riser walls, to lift the base of your dome dwelling off the ground. Then, bolt the foundation walls to the riser walls to secure your geodesic dome in the air.

There are many ways to build out your foundation, but high-quality, durable geodome foundations are commonly layered like this:

Geodesic Dome Foundation Layers

  • Ground layer
  • Layer of sand
  • Wire mesh or reinforcing rebar
  • Concrete slab
  • Floor joists
  • Hardwood frame
geodesic dome foundations

Dome House Frames

Dome House Frames

When building my own tiny home, I learned a lot about how to make sure the frame of your house is strong and supportive of your interior. The frame is the bones of your home and is extremely important in ensuring a sturdy build.

You have two main options when it comes to framing for your dome home: wood or metal. There are pros and cons to both, but while wood framing is convenient, you’re still going to need to use metal brackets to join them. Those brackets can cost quite a bit unless you’re particularly good at fabricating metal.

geodesic dome house metal framingFor this reason, I lean towards using all metal framework from a reputable manufacturer. Galvanized steel or another highly durable metal is the best way to go with geodesic dome homes because they hold the shape of the house and don’t allow outside factors to mess with it.

Powder coated beams are essential to increase the life of your framing. With powder coating, you can also change the color of your frame. I would probably paint my dome house a darker color to contrast with a lighter color cover, but the world is your oyster when it comes to choosing a color.

Another important thing to consider when choosing a dome frame if whether or not you want your dome house to be transportable. I know many families who build their geodesic houses with struts that can be disassembled. That way, if they want to take their dome house to the middle of a state park somewhere like a tent, they can!

However, there are perks to building your dome home with a permanent frame, too. Permanent geodesic houses are more resistant to bad weather and are easier and safer to live in. It all depends on what your personal dreams are for the space.

Geodesic Dome House Covers

Geodesic Dome House Covers

Geodesic dome home covers are one of the most customizable features of a dome home. Like I said before, I’ve never actually built a dome home, but I love the idea of creating my dome home cover with glass that allows natural light to pour into the structure.

However, choosing a clear dome house cover definitely sacrifices privacy. I also love the idea of building a cover out of a smooth, maple-colored hardwood. There are so many options for geodome cover materials, and each comes with its own set of pros and cons.

pros and cons of each cover material type

Cover Materials Material Types Advantages Disadvantages
Wood Plywood, hardwood, wooden shingles, oriented strand board, masonite Durable, can withstand inclement weather, increased structure longevity Permanent, impossible to transport, poor ventilation
Metal Galvanized steel, metal cladding, aluminum panels Durable, can withstand inclement weather, increased structure longevity Makes dome home feel small / increased claustrophobia, cannot transport, poorest ventilation
Glass Toughed glass, tempered glass, fiberglass, laminated glass, thermal glass Best natural light Clear walls limit privacy, mediocre ventilation and insulation
Plastic Polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene plastic, ETFE foil Can easily remove cover / transport structure, best insulation (especially for a greenhouse) More easily torn or damaged due to weather, less durable
Fabric Vinyl fabric, ripstop nylon, parachute silk, polyester Can easily remove cover / transport structure, good insulation, great ventilation More easily torn or damaged due to weather, less durable
Concrete Shotcrete, gunite, airform concrete Durable, weather resistant, increases structure longevity Permanent, impossible to transport, poor ventilation
Foam Expanded polyurethane Quality insulation, protected from sun damage, weather resistant Permanent, difficult to transport

Dome Home Doors

Dome Home Doors

When it comes to geodesic dome house doors, there are two basic structural options you can choose from: pre-hung doors and zip-doors. Pre-hung doors are what most homes use and can be picked up at virtually any hardware store.

If you’re going with a solid cover material, you’ll obviously have to go the pre-hung door route. However, contrary to common belief, if you go with a malleable cover material like fabric, plastic, or even fiberglass, you can also use a pre-hung door.

Zip-doors are the perfect option if you want your geodesic dome house to be fully mobile. They’re great for camping or off-gridding in your geodome.

Geodesic Dome Home Windows

Geodesic Dome Home Windows

Geodesic dome windows can be broken down into three basic types. The common windows choices for dome houses are:

  • Round windows
  • Bay windows
  • Skylight windows

Round windows on a geodesic dome house are usually nestled into the exterior triangles on the dome house. They are commonly made of vinyl materials. Bay windows circle around the entire dome and are the better option if you want an entire wall of window. This lets in a lot of natural light, but won’t give you as much privacy as other options.

In many geodesic dome homes, skylights are an extremely popular option. Skylight windows typically range from 18 to 24 inches and are designed especially for sloped roofs.

Most geodesic dome houses integrate all three of these window types into one single dome house to let in as much natural light as possible!

geodesic dome house windows

Geodesic Dome House Insulation

Geodesic Dome House Insulation

As far as insulation is concerned, the most common method for heating a geodesic dome house is by using a wooden stove. However, any modern heating method that works on a traditional dwelling can be manipulated to work as well.

Ways to heat a dome dwelling

heating a tiny house

Having lived in my tiny house for seven winters now, I know a little bit about how to stay warm in a cold climate and trap heat where needed. The last thing you want to experience is being freezing cold inside your own home, especially if you live in a colder climate.

I have certainly come face to face with the challenges of heating a tiny house, and geodesic dome homes can be even harder to keep warm! Even if you choose a cover material which isn’t removeable, the general shape of a dome house makes it a lot more challenging to trap heat within the structure.

Some people use insulation liners inside their dome, which is a practical approach, but many people don’t like the look of them. The upshot here is that you can add them in just the winter if you need more insulation in a pinch.

tiny house insulation

Geodesic Dome House Plans

Geodesic Dome House Plans

Creating the perfect dome house is all about the design. Depending on what you use your own geodesic dome house for, you’ll want to design it in a way that works for you and your lifestyle.

If I was building a dome house, I know I’d want room in the home for my book collection, as well as a little extra space for when my family comes to visit. There are a few popular dome homes designs and dimensions that stand out.

tiny house design ideas

18’ Geodesic Dome Home Floorplan

Geodesic Dome Home 18 foot Floorplan

18 feet across is a common size for dome houses, but can feel a little small. This is a wise option for a floorplan if you’re looking to make your geodesic dome home into a studio or a small work space, but might be more challenging to use as a full-time home unless you’re already accustomed to the tiny life. This floorplan could also serve as a guesthouse or ADU with a fold-out sofabed.

24’ Dome House Floorplan

Geodesic Dome Home 24 foot Floorplan

24’ is the ideal size dome house for 1-2 people while keeping the cost lower. This floorplan has room for one master bedroom. The main room could be used as a shared living room, kitchen, library, or anything else you may need! You can choose to connect your dome home as an accessory to your main home, or detach the geodesic house entirely.

Floorplan For 30’ Geodesic Dome

Geodesic Dome Home 30 foot Floorplan

This 30-foot geodesic dome floorplan is outfitted with two master bedrooms, living room, dining area, bathroom, and possibly an additional story. This size of dome home is ideal for housing guests as well as your family full time.

36’ Geodesic Dome House Plan

Geodesic Dome Home 36 foot Floorplan

At 36 feet across, this floorplan works well for families. With two bedrooms, a laundry room, kitchen, and plenty of storage space. There’s room to pursue eco-living in your dome home full time.

42’ Geodesic Dome Home Plans

Geodesic Dome Home 42 foot Floorplan

A 42-foot dome home will have more than enough room to live in full time, plus have extended family over to stay awhile! This floorplan has space for a dining area, second bedroom, kitchen with walk-in pantry and washer/dryer, full bathroom, and an entire second story could be added for more space.

Geodesic Dome Home Uses

Geodesic Dome Home Uses

Geodesic dome homeowners use their domes in vastly different ways. Living in a dome does not always mean making it your full-time house — there are many ways to enjoy your gorgeous structure.

Eco-Living In A Geodesic Dome

Eco-Living In A Geodesic Dome

Living an eco-friendly life in a dome house is a wonderful way to feel close to the earth. The “one with the earth” approach to life is a little too hippy-esque for me, but I do love the idea of living a less-waste lifestyle to protect the earth that provides for us.

A huge aspect of living simply is being energy efficient, and geodesic dome homes are an awesome way to implement this into your daily life. While geodesic dome homes do present their challenges, like creating individual rooms or hanging things on walls, the energy efficiency, abundant natural life, and zany design can make them well worth it.

Geodesic Dome Glamping

Geodesic Dome Glamping

Airbnb is extremely popular in 2022. If there is one thing that the 2020’s have given our world, it’s the desire to escape.

Geodesic dome houses make awesome glamping Airbnbs, and are extremely popular to use for large groups. You can easily throw down several dome houses in a line with a fabric covering and use them as luxurious glamping spaces for your guests and loved ones.

Glamping in a Geodesic Dome

Using A Geodesic Dome As A Studio

Using A Geodesic Dome As A Studio

Imagine being able to paint, draw, write, make music, or create anything your heart desires in a beautiful, eco-friendly space flooded with natural light. Studio spaces are an increasingly popular way that owners choose to use their geodesic spaces. It’s very common for domes to be integrated as an attachment to the main house and used as an art or yoga studio.

Geodesic Dome House As Emergency Shelter

Geodesic Dome House As Emergency Shelter

Dome houses can also be used as emergency shelters for those in need. Due to the fact that they are easy and quick to assemble, geodesic dome homes make ideal encampments for those seeking refuge.

They are quicker and easier to build than traditional homes, and, if made with fabric or plastic covering and malleable struts, can easily be taken down and transported like a camping tent. This makes them perfect as makeshift shelters.

Geodesic Dome Emergency Shelter Examples

  • Medical centers
  • Classrooms
  • Supplies distributions
  • Warehouse
  • Kitchen
  • Refugee encampment
Geodesic Domes As Emergency Shelters

How Much Does A Geodesic Dome Home Cost?

How Much Does A Geodesic Dome Home Cost

If you were like me when I first started out in the alternative housing craze, I had one big question: How much will this project actually cost me? Dreams are one thing, but bringing your dreams to life is another, and it can make a bigger dent in your pocketbook than you think.

How do you make sure building a geodesic dome house will be worth the investment? It all depends on the direction you take. The cost of your dome home will greatly depend on whether or not you decide to build it on your own, purchase a dome house kit, or hire a builder to create your dream dome.

As a general rule, dome houses typically cost between $100 and $250 per square foot if you partner with a builder. This price includes finishing the home and labor costs, but does not include buying or preparing your land for the building process, which you should certainly not neglect in your budget.

finding land for a house

On the other hand, you could build a tiny dome house as a permanent shelter for under $10,000 if you do it yourself and are extremely frugal with your material costs and design choices. The overall cost breakdown of your geodesic dome home will heavily depend on whether or not you choose to buy or build your dome.

Geodesic Dome Home: Build or Buy

Geodesic Dome Home Build or Buy

My choice to build my tiny house myself was honestly one of the best choices I could have made. It gave me a real sense of purpose in life and control over my dream home, as well as that satisfying feeling of accomplishment once you have created something you’re truly proud of.

Dome houses can be a little more architecturally complex than tiny homes, though, so you want to make sure you’re prepared if you build it yourself. If you build your geodesic dome home yourself, you’re looking at a year of time dedicated to the project at the very minimum.

At the end of the day, there are many factors to consider when making the decision to buy or build. You’ll want to consider cost, freedom in design, turn-around time, your building skills, and whether you want to hire a builder.

build or buy a tiny house

DIY Geodesic Dome Kits

DIY Geodesic Dome Kits

Kits are a pretty brilliant middle ground option between buying and building. They give you the joy of building your dream dome home on your own without forcing you to navigate every step of the way without guidance.

Geodesic Dome Foundation LayersA dome house kit includes the bones of what you will need to build your dome house, but you provide the actual labor. Dome house kits are the easiest, cheapest, and quickest way to create a dome home that is ready for you to live in — score!

However, I’m honestly not a huge fan of kits because I like to have more of a say over each piece that goes into my home. If you don’t feel the need to be in total control of your own design, they are a great option for reducing labor, time, and decision fatigue.

You can purchase geodesic dome home kits from many different designers. The most popular geodesic dome home kit company is Timberline. Timberline offers a hub-and-strut framework which allows homeowners with little to no building experience to build a full-size dome house. Their kit includes everything you will need except socket wrenches, hammers, and a ladder.

Another company worth trying is Hypedome. Hypedome’s many different dome house kit styles can be assembled easily in your own yard. Design styles include clear, wooden, and mirrored dome homes.

You can purchase a geodesic dome home kit for as little as $200 for a playpen or small garden, and as much as $15,000 for a full-sized geodesic dome home.

Dome kits typically include

  • Plywood triangles (if using wood covering)
  • Canvas material (if using cloth covering)
  • T-beam struts (base and side struts)
  • Screws
  • Stainless steel straps
  • Basic how-to assemble instructions
geodesic dome home kits

Geodesic dome homes can be a challenge to assemble. Most experts recommend having at least three or four friends with you when setting up your first dome house.

Additionally, it is important to note that most dome kits are built atop concrete foundation slabs that you will either have to hire someone to help you pour or pour on your own. The rest, however, you can assemble yourself using your own tools.

Assembling Dome House Frame With Geodesic Dome Kits

Each kit should come with its own specific set of instructions, but most of them will start the same way. Your kit will come with T-beam metal struts that you can use to assemble the frame of your geodesic dome house. When you assemble your struts, you will work from the outside in, getting closer and closer to the center of the dome house foundation.

Lay your base struts around the perimeter of row one, connecting them to one another at an acute angle and attaching them together with screws. Next, lay out row one of your side struts in a triangular shape on the inside of your base struts, and attach these with screws as well.

Finally, lay out the base of row two in the same way you laid out the base of row one, and attach your struts. You now have the first row of your dome house assembled and are ready to raise it to height. With the help of friends, stand up row one, and bolt the base of row two to row one.

Now, you should have the beginnings of a circular wall surrounding your foundation. Repeat this process until the frame of your dome has been assembled. Once complete, use stainless-steel ties to secure the nodes between each of the metal struts.

geodesic dome construction framing kit details

Assembling Dome House Cover With Geodesic Dome Kit

Some dome kits will include a cloth, plastic, or fabric covering. The process of attaching the covering will look like unraveling the mesh or canvas cover and tying it to the inside and outside of the struts with ties.

When attaching your cover to your geodesic dome house, pull your cover material upwards from the ground instead of rolling it out from the top of the structure. Be sure to tie your cover material to your frame as you go so it doesn’t fall off as you assemble it.

Other dome kits will include triangular plywood panels or shingles to use as the cover for your geodesic dome home. With these kits, make sure you attach each panel with screws and washers, surrounding the entire structure.

How To Build A DIY Geodesic Dome Home

How To Build A DIY Geodesic Dome Home

If you’re feeling like the ultimate do-it-yourselfer, you can undergo the process of building your own geodesic dome house without buying a geodesic dome house kit to assemble. Kits are definitely the easier route, but it doesn’t mean it’s the only way to go!

Going the DIY route, you’re looking at cutting a lot of material, buying a lot of individual pieces, doing lots of additional labor, and doing a lot of math all on your own. It’s hard work, but can be well worth it.

The main advantage to building your dome house on your own is that you have a lot more freedom to edit the design and layout of your dome home so it turns out exactly how you want it to instead of the way the kit company designed it. When I built my own tiny house from scratch, I loved that I had control over each element of my home.

How to build a geodesic dome house with no kit

  1. Cut metal struts to your needed size
  2. Cut geodesic covering from choice material
  3. Pour the concrete slab
  4. Use wooden beams to raise base, if desired
  5. Build out your wooden deck
  6. Attach metal struts to deck with screws
  7. Use stainless steel ties to secure nodes
  8. Attach cover to metal struts
  9. Paint inside of geodesic dome house
  10. Paint outside of geodesic dome house
DIY Geodesic Dome Home

Geodesic Dome Home Builders

Geodesic Dome Home Builders

Of course, there is nothing wrong with buying your geodesic dome house from a design and build company. The geodesic dome homes that building companies create are gorgeous, and save you a lot of hard work and room for error.

You don’t have to go through the tedious process on your own if you don’t want to — that’s what awesome building companies are here for!

Geodesic dome house builders to try:

tiny house builders

When I think about everything that a dome house could add to my life, I definitely wonder if it’s the next tiny structure I’ll build. I imagine myself inside a dome structure, surrounded by books and nature, totally at peace.

Your Turn!

  • How will you design your geodesic dome home?
  • What purpose would a geodesic dome serve in your life?