Here's a clip from an interview with our Chief Builder and Co-Founder of Dome Homes of Florida:
Whether you're a fan of his music as a hip hop artist or disagree with his outspoken attitude and political views (or both), there is no denying Kanye West’s impact on popular culture; or his willingness to break into completely new disciplines outside of music.
His newest venture is residential subdivision in Calabasas, California made of domes.
But what's so special about a few odd shaped houses in LA?
A dome's shape and inherent structural integrity make it both stronger and more energy-efficient than a conventional family home. Domes can withstand powerful winds and strong earthquakes. Concrete domes have been known to survive flying debris as big as cars and direct hits from bombs.
Domes, in varying designs, have been used for housing in the United States for over a century.
Mickey Lukens Sr., a geodesic dome home designer and builder with 35 years experience, in response to reading about Kanye's house project said "This could be the beginnings of a monumental shift in perception regarding dome homes in the United States."
He added "What's important about what Mr. West is doing is he is helping bring awareness to dome homes as a viable housing alternative."
In a recent profile from Forbes, West revealed that this is his attempt at creating affordable housing. “He tells me they could be used as living spaces for the homeless, perhaps sunk into the ground with light filtering in through the top,” the author wrote. However, recently it has been reported that there has been issues of the domes securing the correct building permits.
Regardless of whether or not this project will be a success, the takeaway is that dome homes are increasingly gaining public recognition. According to Google Ads, Americans are Google-searching the term "dome homes" over 7,000 times a month.
Mickey concludes "Anything that sparks interest and helps people learn more about how much better domes are for homeowners versus conventional homes, the better."
All homeowners want to improve the efficiency of their home. Making your home more energy efficient can improve home resale value, make your home safer, and - most importantly - save you money.
However, while replacing your HVAC system or adding insulation to your attic can impact your home's efficiency, these solutions can be expensive. According to Thumbtack the cost to install a whole-house HVAC system in 2019 can cost between $4,000 - $12,000 (based on the national average).
Instead, we recommend starting with these three simpler upgrades that can still significantly reduce heating and cooling costs quickly and without breaking the bank.
1. Replace Your Old Light bulbs with LEDs
You've probably heard that LEDs are more efficient, last longer, and give off less heat versus Incandescent or even Compact Fluorescent Bulbs.
Well, It's true.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), replacing just 5 of your home's most frequently used light bulbs can save a home $150 each year. That is based on just 4hrs/day usage at a rate of 11 cents per kilowatt-hour (many homes keep their lights on for much longer throughout the day).
2. Install a Smart Thermostat
Do you forget shut off you’re A/C when your house is empty? Wouldn’t it be cool (no pun intended) if your thermostat could know when you get home and adjust the temperature automatically? A smart thermostat can do all of this (and a lot more). Best of all using a smart thermostat can save homeowners between $130 - $150 on average per year on energy costs.
Our favorite is the Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat. At only $200 (and usual for less when it’s on sale) it can pay for itself in just 1 year of use!
Regardless which smart thermostat you buy it’s very easy to install yourself with no professional needed.
3. Weather Seal Your Doors and Windows
Can you feel a draft coming through any of your closed door or windows? If so, you should consider adding weather stripping or caulking to seal cracks which can make your home cheaper to heat and cool. If you live in a newer house your doors and windows probably do a better job at regulating indoor temperature, but that extra sealing can add an additional layer of insulation especially if you live in a cold climate.
However, if you live in an older home with single-pane windows weather sealing my not be enough in the long term where replacing your windows/doors would be best. However, any additional sealing now can have add significant improvements to your living space regardless of your living situation or budget.
Check out this easy do-it-yourself guide from Lowes on how to weather trip your windows.
What do you think? Do you miss anything? Do you have any other affordable ways to improve a home's energy efficiency? Let us know in the comments below ↓