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  1. #101
    New Member 1reddog48's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
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    Colorado 8000'
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    Varies from time to time

    Default Re: Terra-Dome Earth Shelter Build

    Not to coattail too excessively on this thread, but I don't know where else to start. I'm trying to help a friend sell some Terra-Dome forms. They are the arched roof forms, hydraulic operated and trailer mounted. I don't know if Terra-Dome sells these, rents these, gives them away with a build or exactly how it works. All I know is these have been left on site for 8 years and the home owner considers them his to sell. He nor I can get Terra-Dome to contact us, so up for sale they go! The home owner loves his house and the system is awesome, but he is not going to build another house. Any and all help with this is greatly appreciated. The forms are in Colorado and he is asking 4000 or make an offer for both forms. Great site and really nice thread on the Terra-Dome project. Doug

  2. #102
    New Member
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    Default Re: Terra-Dome Earth Shelter Build

    Hey guys. I joined this forum because I too am looking to build an Earth Shelter as my first house (probably not for a few years though)... and have so many questions about the process. Would you guys mind answering some if you can?

  3. #103
    Platinum Member SamWalton's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    Location
    Sallisaw Oklahoma
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    Kubota B26 TBL

    Default Re: Terra-Dome Earth Shelter Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaster View Post
    Hey guys. I joined this forum because I too am looking to build an Earth Shelter as my first house (probably not for a few years though)... and have so many questions about the process. Would you guys mind answering some if you can?
    Ask away! I think you may want to get started before our economy tanks.
    Kubota B26 w\Thumb, Quick Attach Pallet Forks, Land Pride PD15 auger, RBT1572 3-Way Position Rear Grading Blade, BB0554 Box Scraper and RCR1872 Rotary Cutter

  4. #104
    Silver Member sajurcaju's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
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    Maine

    Default Re: Terra-Dome Earth Shelter Build

    Property Insurance

    I thought it might be useful to detail some of our experience with insurers. A construction project like this needs two sorts of insurance (at least if you have a construction loan/mortgage): builder's risk (covers theft and damage) and (after completion) property insurance.

    The first thing I found out in looking for insurance was that most companies won't consider non-conventional construction. I think I tried at least half a dozen independent agents and they all came up with no-bids from their insurance companies. I switched to actual insurers (like Farmer's, State Farm, Liberty Mutual) and had some luck. Liberty Mutual came through with a pretty decent price (lower than we're paying now in our 1970's log home), a builder's risk policy convertible to homeowner's. I went over it with them in detail to make sure we weren't going to get a surprise down the road.

    The issue that has come up is we are approaching 12 months on the builder's risk. No way will LM's underwriters extend the builder's risk any further (and the bank requires it). It looks like we will have to pick up a 'high risk' policy, about $1k to cover the 1.5 month gap from when LM runs out to when we move in. LM has no problem insuring the finished house, but they have firm limits on builder's risk. I've heard the same 12 month limit from other agents.

    So set up your insurance, but don't activate it until it is really needed. You don't need to insure digging a hole in the ground, for instance.

    Steve
    Maine

  5. #105
    Super Star Member
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    nowhere, md
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    Hanomag

    Default Re: Terra-Dome Earth Shelter Build

    sajurcaju,

    I can't say about the water temps for your radiant heat. But the R values that went with it are considered minimums these days for our Maine climate.

    While you don't want to buy a bigger capacity boiler than you need, it is much better to super insulate and run the boiler less, than the other way around. You will be more comfortable and save on fuel.

    Nice project! I just drove through C. Lovell on my way to E. Conway a couple weeks back.

    Dave.

  6. #106
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Terra-Dome Earth Shelter Build

    Earth sheltered?

    A couple of weeks ago I saw a reproduction of some early earth shelters!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Terra-Dome Earth Shelter Build-viking-lodge-jpg  
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  7. #107
    Super Star Member
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    nowhere, md
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    Hanomag

    Default Re: Terra-Dome Earth Shelter Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Egon View Post
    Earth sheltered?

    A couple of weeks ago I saw a reproduction of some early earth shelters!
    Hi Egon,

    Of what age and location is this reproduction? I am always fascinated by old homes that people actually lived in, they tell us a lot.

    Dave.

  8. #108
    Elite Member
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    Jul 2006
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    Location
    South Central OK
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    Kubota Grand L-4610HSTC

    Default Re: Terra-Dome Earth Shelter Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Egon View Post
    Earth sheltered?

    A couple of weeks ago I saw a reproduction of some early earth shelters!
    Egon, China is one of the world leaders in earth sheltered residences. There are literally millions of people living in caves and homes underground. A popular design for underground homes is an excavated central courtyard open to the sky with the various living areas radiating out from there. This design keeps everything below the natural grade and virtually eliminates exposure to the cold winds. One detail I am not aware of is how or if they drain the recessed central courtyard.
    Here in Oklahoma as in Kansas and other venues, there used to be lots of half dugout homes, some with sod walls and roofs. When I was in high school I only knew of one family living in a half dugout. They had a wind generator and 12 volt lighting. Sort of ahead of their time, eh?

    Pat
    Never wrestle with a pig (however titled) as you just get dirty and the pig has all the fun.

  9. #109
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Terra-Dome Earth Shelter Build

    L'Anse aux Meadows - Goggle Images

    One site with pictures. [ lots of goggle hits ]
    I took some pictures but the truly interested will find much more on goggle.

    The Vikings In Newfoundland
    This site gives a very brief history. Note that these Vikings had been expelled from their homeland for behavior not sanctioned by their communities.

    Up here on the prairies there were many "Soddies" built that sheltered the early settlers. I never did see one as they were all gone by my time.

    I did see quite a few log houses that had survived. These were wattle and mud covered inside and out so walls were very thick. Many had home built clay stoves for heating.

    I've always been intrigued by dwellings underground or or dug into cliffs. I do believe there are quite a few sites like this around the world but do have problems locating them.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  10. #110
    Silver Member sajurcaju's Avatar
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    Maine

    Default Re: Terra-Dome Earth Shelter Build

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1949 View Post
    sajurcaju,

    I can't say about the water temps for your radiant heat. But the R values that went with it are considered minimums these days for our Maine climate.

    While you don't want to buy a bigger capacity boiler than you need, it is much better to super insulate and run the boiler less, than the other way around. You will be more comfortable and save on fuel.

    Nice project! I just drove through C. Lovell on my way to E. Conway a couple weeks back.

    Dave.
    Hi Dave,

    Talking with our heat guy further, the company always says 150F. He agrees, we'll start a lot lower. It turns out the boiler adjusts how many btu it uses, so we will be ok on both fuel consumption and max capability.

    If you're interested in a tour, I'll be happy to oblige. Nothing against the list, but I'd just as soon not post my email address for the bots. Contact me privately. Anyone else in the area is welcome also.

    Steve

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