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My Dream House

Updated on October 24, 2013

My Dream of a Round House

So I've got this idea that I'm going to build a house someday, and it's going to be a round house.  I've been investigating dome houses, EarthShips, yurts and tipis as part of my research, and thought I'd share it with you.

My latest interests include mobile micro-houses, sometimes just called "tiny houses" but I'm also fascinated by cob and Earthbag houses not to mention the various uses for converted shipping containers. My family is working on finding some land, and as the kid who spent way too much time with two chairs and a blanket playing "fort," I really feel like it's up to me to put some of my childhood enthusiasm to a more practical use.

What Type Of Round House Do You Like?

I sort of think that there might be a spot for each type of structure on my land eventually. Each one has certain structural uses for which it is best. What do you think about round houses? Do you have a favorite?

My favorite type of round house is...

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Books about Round Houses - Domes, tipis, yurts and other round shelters

Before you build a house you have to have someplace to build it. I don't yet know where I'm going to build my house, but I'm contemplating that as I do my research on design and construction. I have to decide how severe a winter and summer I really want. What my friends get in Chicago is too much of each extreme for my tastes. After living in California, I have to consider whether I want a fire season as part of my weather range too. Living in Seattle is teaching me a lot about rain. I wonder if a dome house can have a green roof?

I'd like to incorporate independent power resources for this house if I can to handle its electricity and heating needs.

Dome Living : A Creative Guide For Planning Your Monolithic Dream Home
Dome Living : A Creative Guide For Planning Your Monolithic Dream Home

These types of houses are made from concrete shells and are noted for their abilities to withstand really bad weather and natural disasters.

Tipis & Yurts: Authentic Design for Circular Shelters
Tipis & Yurts: Authentic Design for Circular Shelters

Yurts adapt to a lot of situations and are often good if you need temporary housing, but they can also be adapted to permanent shelter.

Small Eco-Houses  (German, English and French Edition)
Small Eco-Houses (German, English and French Edition)

The trick with building a house is to get beyond the "green hype" and make sure what you are doing is sustainable.

Earthship: How to Build Your Own, Vol. 1
Earthship: How to Build Your Own, Vol. 1

These homes are meant to be off-the-grid and are often made from a lot of recycled and reused materials that would otherwise become trash.


A Round House Compound

I'd also like to have a moss garden, a koi pond and an apiary as part of my round house homestead. Over time, expanding the structure to be a partial ring of domes around a courtyard or garden could be good for expansion of space or extended family. I've also seen an Earthbag design that is like a doughnut, with the house being a ring around a garden/courtyard.

Build Your Own Dome - Designs, kits, plans, builders

The idea of building my own home really appeals to me. I'm really drawn to the idea of a round home. I remember loving Native American tipis a lot as a kid, and being inside things that aren't square just really has always felt good to me.

I really played with Legos, erector sets, and TinkerToys as a kid, and I'm really good at assembling my own IKEA furniture. The idea that I could build a house from a kit is really attractive to me.

I'm also working on what I'd like the inside of my dome to look like too!

A dome with a Squid window

A dome with a Squid window
A dome with a Squid window

About Yurts

I love yurts. When it comes to temporary shelter, I think they are one of my most favorite designs. But I'm not sure they would hold up as well as a proper dome structure especially for wetter and colder weather, nor do I think they would be as climate-controlled/comfortable.

I wish I could have a yurt to take to my various gatherings instead of just a tent. Maybe Calyxa and I can do one of these one year for our Nevada adventures.

D.I.Y. - Folks who've made web pages about their alternative housing

Also on this list is a bunch of architects and designers who make smaller or alternative housing.

Videos of Round Houses - domes, yurts and tipis

Tipis, Teepees and Tepees

I have some friends in CA who have a really large tipi on their land, and it's a wonderful ritual space, shelter, whatever you want space. I think having a tipi for ritual use and containing guests would be great. With a wooden deck floor, a tipi can even be a great shelter in full winter.


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