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How to Build a Deck for Your Dome

  • 6 min read

Before you assemble your geodome, it’s important to consider what you want the foundation of the dome to be. While it’s possible to assemble these domes directly on the ground, if you want to use them as a full-time dwelling, we recommend having some sort of sturdy foundation underneath. You can look at traditional concrete foundations, but we hear a lot of great feedback from our clients who decide to go with a wooden deck.

Wooden decks are fairly simple to build, can offer added insulation and sturdiness to your dome, and can also be extended to create an amazing outdoor seating area. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about building a deck for your Ekodome.

5 Things to Think About

Before you dive into the building process, you’ll need to consider some factors so you can come up with the best approach for your needs, as well as for the space you’re building the deck.

Deck Location 

Before starting any construction, take a look at the land where you’re planning on building a deck and assembling a geodome. Consider things like how close you are to utility hookups if that’s important, any slopes or other terrain considerations, as well as the positioning of the space in terms of privacy.

Surrounding Land Area

In an effort to be environmentally friendly, survey the land to understand where sensitive vegetation is, how the soil looks that you plan to build on, and how sturdy the land is if you have to build on a slope. Building a deck on a flat surface is ideal, and if you’re doing it DIY, that’s what we would recommend, but sometimes, dealing with a slope or two is unavoidable.

Climate and Sunlight 

Your dome is meant to work with the weather, so consider how that will play into your living situation. If you want more shade for your outside sitting area, extend the deck in the most desirable direction for your needs. There’s nothing more upsetting than building an entire structure, only to realize that your porch won’t get any shady hours and will simply bake all day in the sun.

Budget

The costs of building a deck can vary greatly. If you have a large budget and not a lot of time, it might be better to work with a contractor. However, if you want to save money and do it yourself, that’s completely doable, too. You know what works best for your needs.

Local Building Codes 

Building codes are different in different places, so while we can’t advise our clients on their specific codes, we like to remind you that it’s important to look into the rules and regulations you’ll need to consider. Since our domes are considered semi-permanent, they themselves are often exempt from these codes, but with a permanent foundation such as a deck, you’ll need to look into local ordinances in your area.

5 Steps in the Process

Building a deck probably isn’t the first woodworking project you should take on, but if that’s the case, we’ll break down some of the larger steps in the process.

1) Sketch Your Approach

You’ll want to sketch out your deck plans with measurements included. This isn’t meant to be a back-of-the-napkin brainstorm, but rather, an opportunity to truly measure out your target deck and get an understanding of the materials you’ll need along the way.

2) Gather Materials

When considering the materials you’ll use for your deck, remember that you’ll need very sturdy wood. Our Terra frame itself weighs roughly 900 lbs., and that’s before the cover panels are put on. Additionally, you’ll need to consider the weight of the furniture and other items that will go inside the dome once it’s constructed. Cedar and Redwood are two strong, sturdy woods that are popular for decks. They are resistant to rot and warping, making them a long-lasting solution.

3) Begin Framing

Before assembling the frame, you’ll need to set up post footers, that will act as anchors for the rest of the build. Once those are in the right place, you can begin attaching support beams to each of the anchors, which is officially the start of your frame.

4) Fill in Deck

After your frame is ready, start taking the pieces of wood that have been cut properly for your design, and begin assembly. Work slow and steady, making sure that each place is secure and level. This isn’t work that you want to go quickly through. Instead, take your time to get it right the first time so your deck lasts as long as you need it to.

5) Seal Your Deck

Once the construction process is finished, it’s a good idea to apply a deck sealant, which will help your deck stay weatherproof and resistant to changing conditions. These sealants will also help protect the wood from UV rays, which are especially potent to the excess deck area that goes beyond the shape of the Ekodome itself.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race 

Building a deck for your Ekodome will probably be the hardest part of the entire process, but it’s worth it. Decks make it so your Ekodome can be more easily insulated, withstand harsh weather conditions, and feel a bit more like home. Don’t rush this process and seek out expert guidance if you need it.

Remember, there’s no shame in working with a contractor for your deck building needs. While DIY can seem fun, it can also get old quickly. This is the foundation of your home, a space that needs to be as pristine as possible, so invest in it the right way. Avoid cutting corners or going the cheap route if you can; find what works for you and what will last. Then, when it’s all said and done, enjoy a nice cold glass of iced tea on your new deck – this step is mandatory. :)))))

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