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The Dome Store > Dome Home Information > Dome School

Minnesota Dome School

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Dome School
         for owner builders and contractors
               (school tuition is credited to your dome purchase)

If you're ready for the comfort of dome home living, but you're not sure you're up to the challenge of building your own dream home, Natural Spaces has the answer: a Dome Home Construction Workshop for owner-builders, owner-contractors and dome-ophilies.

We have created a fact-filled, hands-on, 3 day workshop that will show you all the ins and outs of what it takes to build your own wood frame Natural Spaces dome home.

Did we mention how simple it is to build our dome shell? All you really need is a hammer. Our Super-Wal strut with our unique metal ends attached, fits into a special hub. You lock the two parts together by pounding a bolt / pin in place. No need to come back and tighten anything - you just move on to the next strut. Our dome framework is self-supporting as you build it.

See how it's done on this quick video. Click on photo.

Then it's on to the plywood skin. Our pre-cut 3/4" plywood exterior triangles are nailed onto the strut with your nail gun (or hammer) - we supply the nails with your kit. All the components are color coded.

Our custom engineered dome kit eliminates all of those old-fashioned 2x4 or 2x6 studs in between the triangle strut framework, saving you money and, more importantly, saving you lots of time up on the dome shell.

Now, you don't have to attend our dome school to learn how to put up our dome system. We supply a very extensive construction manual with each dome, but dome school eliminates the fear of the unknown. You gain experience making, handling, and constructing real size dome components in our shop and outside, when we erect a 20' high section of a dome.

You will also get a chance to build and install insulation, vapor barriers, interior triangles, skylights, dome venting systems, shingling systems, and other dome components. You'll see how riser walls and extensions are framed and finished.

We also go over dome terms - not too many, but enough for you to understand what we are talking about when we mention high, mid, and low profile, frequencies, and other terms.

You will be living and breathing domes for 3 days! You will come away with an enlightenment about domes and an enthusiasm that carries over to your dome building project.

  FREE DOME SCHOOL OFFER!

When you buy a dome shell system or dome connector system with a value over $6,000 from us, we will deduct the dome school fee (limit 2 per dome) you paid us.

    It's simple - Dome School is now free!

Here's Why You Should Attend

  • Because this is the first and still the only 3 day Dome School that takes you out of the lecture hall, puts you into the workshop, and onto our Dome School Dome, giving you hands-on construction site experience.

  • Because with today's higher building costs, the only way to afford a new home is to participate in the building process.

  • To learn how to keep your energy costs down by using our design techniques developed from planning and building hundreds and hundreds of domes.

  • To learn how to save money and time using our proven construction techniques developed from helping dome owner-builders for over 40 years.

  • The workshop is open to anyone who's interested in learning to build a dome or those who want to have control of their dome building project. Give us a weekend of your time and we'll give you the hands-on experience you need to get your dome started.

  • Learn the options and details about Natural Spaces domes by studying the 7 domes at our dome school headquarters.

We have been teaching dome school for over 42 years. It is fun, for us and for all those attending. The rewards are shown in the hundreds of domes built by dome school graduates. Have questions? Give us a call or email - or sign up by just clicking on the registration form below.

Click here to view the June dome school agenda.

Click here to view photos of a typical dome school.


June 9,10, and 11, 2017 Dome School

Title/DescriptionPriceShippingCheck to Order
Dome School Admission
June 9,10, and 11, 2017 - 1 person
$395
US: $0
Dome School Admission
June 9,10, and 11, 2017 - 2 people (2nd person @ $250)
$645
US: $0
Dome School Admission
June 9,10, and 11, 2017 - 3 people (2nd person @ $250, 3rd @ $195)
$840
US: $0
Dome School Admission
June 9,10, and 11, 2017 - 4 people (2nd person @ $250, 3rd @ $195 and 4th @ $160)
$1000
US: $0
Dome School non-participating partner
June 9,10, and 11, 2017 - 1 person - Partners and children over 5 not attending classes may participate in our dome tours and 5 group meals for an additional $65 / each. Quantity can be adjusted in shopping cart.
$65
US: $0

Please note : Individuals taking Dome School for a 2nd or subsequent time will not incur a cost for the class.  However; we ask that you pay for the meal cost (noted above).

August 11,12, and 13, 2017 Dome School

Title/DescriptionPriceShippingCheck to Order
Dome School Admission
August 11,12, and 13, 2017 - 1 person
$395
US: $0
Dome School Admission
August 11,12, and 13, 2017 - 2 people (2nd person @ $250)
$645
US: $0
Dome School Admission
August 11,12, and 13, 2017 - 3 people (2nd person @ $250, 3rd @ $195)
$840
US: $0
Dome School Admission
August 11,12, and 13, 2017 - 4 people (2nd person @ $250, 3rd @ $195 and 4th @ $160)
$1000
US: $0
Dome School non-participating partner
August 11,12, and 13, 2017 - 1 person - Partners and children over 5 not attending classes may participate in our dome tours and 5 group meals for an additional $65 / each. Quantity can be adjusted in shopping cart.
$65
US: $0

Please note : Individuals taking Dome School for a 2nd or subsequent time will not incur a cost for the class.  However; we ask that you pay for the meal cost (noted above).

 

Workshop Agenda

Our dome school agenda may vary from school to school.  Below is a general program of what we do in dome school. Bring your questions to the experts and share your dreams with other novice builders. You'll save time, money and future frustration on your dream dome.

Click here for a detailed agenda of a typical Natural Spaces Dome School.

Workshop Details

Friday: 3:00 - 8:00 p.m.
  • You will sit down with the other dome students, hear their reasons for attending school, talk about their dome plans and socialize over dinner in Bear Creek Dome, our award-winning, advanced technology dome and the home of Dennis and Tessa.  We'll explain about constructing a dome, the construction manual, and, in a short math session, learn about dome terms such as frequency and truncation. You will also tour our 7 domes:
    25' high profile screen dome, 30' low guest dome, 36' high office, 40' low shop, 45' low shop, 46' mid model home, and the 49' mid Bear Creek Dome.  New in 2016 is our MinneDome™, a 400 sf / 37 sm main floor with a loft bedroom with 7' to 8' ceiling.

Saturday: 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • We'll put tools in your hands. Learn to make your own Super-Wal struts and exterior panels. We'll discuss energy efficiency, building in different climate zones, why domes are stronger with less materials, and more dome related issues as we build during the day.  We'll then go outside of our shops and erect a large 20' high by 40' long 36' high profile dome section with floor and foundation, cut and install 16" fiberglass insulation, vapor barrier, and install skylights.  A large breakfast and lunch will be served at 10:30 AM and 2:45 PM respectively.

Saturday Evening: 6:30 PM - 9 PM
  • Private consultation times will be scheduled for those wishing to discuss their dome project.

Sunday 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
  • In our 45' diameter shop dome we will show you how to build your own dome components:  Cutting out exterior plywood triangles, cutting out Super-Wal strut components, drilling holes and installing our Super-Lok metal sleeves on struts, providing air ventilation notches.  We will also talk about climate zones in relation to insulation R-Values, vapor barriers, dome shell venting, dew points, etc.

Sunday 11:15 AM - 2:00 PM
  • We'll involve you with fabricating and installing our wood interior panels and extension arches.  You'll see how to ventilate domes and install a vent cupola. You'll get a chance to go up into a view cupola with a skyloft floor.  Then with Dan, our professional roofer, we'll show you how to install the base vent drip edge and then shingle a dome home to create a leak free dome for life.  We will also discuss our shop dome with the Reinke aluminum shake roofing system.

Sunday 3:30 PM - 5 PM Teaching Tour of Bear Creek Dome:
  • The tour will take you into our showcase Bear Creek Dome nearby where we will look at 2 story extensions, skylights, radiant floor heating, instantaneous water heaters, air-to-air exchangers, and other items needed to complete your dome. We'll go over all the green, energy efficient, healthy aspects of a Natural Spaces Dome.
  • Another scrumptious breakfast and lunch will be served at 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM respectively.
Sunday Evening:
  • Private consultation times will be scheduled for those wishing to discuss their dome project.

Our Dome School "campus" is about 1 hour North of the Minneapolis / St. Paul International Airport traveling on freeways.

There are motels in our town of North Branch (2 1/2 miles from our Dome School Site), AmericInn - 651-674-8627 or 800-634-3444 and Budget Host 651-243-5155. Be sure to mention that you are going to the Natural Spaces Dome School.

There are other motels in adjoining towns: Chisago City (12 miles south) has the Chisago GrandStay Hotel.  Their number is 651-213-3400.  Forest Lake (20 miles south), AmericInn Motel - 651-464-1930; Rush City (15 miles north) - Maple Knoll Inn B & B  is set on three acres and shares it's space with 125+ year old Maple trees, which provide the perfect, romantic, and quiet setting for you to enjoy your stay. 320-358-6280

Camping facilities are available at the Wild River State Park about 15 miles east of Dome School - 651-583-2125. It is a beautiful park with camper hook-ups and many nice sites for tent or trailer camping. A private campground 8 miles west is the Kozy Oaks campground - 651-674-8471.

Attendees from foreign countries may inquire about our special room rentals in the Forest Dome, which is part of our Dome School Campus. We can pick up foreign guests at the airport, eliminating the need for a car rental in America.  Check with us for nightly rates and transportation costs.

We suggest casual clothes and comfortable shoes as you will be in our shop and outside, joining in the work. Our beginning of June weather is usually very pleasant - from 55 to 70 (F) (13 to 21 C).  Mid-August is usually warmer, from 70 to 85 (F) (21 to 27 C).  It rarely rains during dome school.  We usually work around rain, being in and out of our 2 large shop domes.  We provide all tools and equipment needed for the class construction activities.

If you have any other questions, feel free to call us at 651-674-4292, out of area at 800-733-7107,  International 01-651-674-4292, or you can Skype call at  naturalspacesdomes (please email or call us to set up a Skype video call) where we can visually show you around our facilities. 

We look forward to meeting you and helping make your dome dreams come true.

Dome School

View Pictures of a Typical
Minnesota Dome School

Dome School

 

Dome School

View Pictures of a Dome School at our dealer in Spokane, Washington

Dome School

View Pictures from the June 2004
Dome School, and Framework Completion of a Screened-In Porch Dome


Food

Lots of great food served (mostly organic) during our 5 meals.

MinneDome

This 2016 Earth Day we are introducing our MinneDome at our North Branch, Minnesota headquarters.  We are featuring our small dome prototype that has 400 sq. ft. (37 sq. M) on the main floor and a loft you walk up into and stand up.

Click here for the latest progress photos.

Dome School Testimonials :

August 2015 - "I've been looking into this for years and only recently have my personal circumstances allowed me to begin designing and building... I found the Dome School class really interesting and it did inspire me.  I'm chomping at the bit!

Many thanks to you and the other staff members who made the experience such a good one.  Best to all. :)"John, Westminster, Maryland

August 2015 - "I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful Dome School workshop and for all of your hospitality during my stay at the Forest Dome.

What an inspiring weekend!  I really appreciated meeting all of you and having the opportunity to work with such a fun bunch of dome enthusiasts.  Thanks for the many delicious meals, for welcoming me into your lovely home and for taking so much time and care in answering all of our questions.

I was surprised how much we covered in the space of two days and came away with a  good handle on what is involved in building one of your dome kits.  I am confident that I will be able to build my own dome in the not too distant future.  All the best-"
Celia - Toronto, Canada

"Megathanks to Dennis and Tessa for the 2011 Dome School experience. Best practices information, learning by doing, and generous hospitality all contributed to a very productive and enjoyable weekend. I  began the informal classes unsure about building my own dome but left with the confidence that I can do it thanks to Dennis. Perhaps I could have done the same thing by simply reading the Dome manual - but nothing succeeds like the success of building the essentials of your own dome at the Dome School." Gene 2011

 

..."Dear NSD people, I wanted to say "THANKS" to everyone for a great dome school experience.  I loved every minute of the school.  For me, a construction novice, the school was very compelling.  No criticisms implied.  Dennis has so much experience and knowledge to impart that I was almost intimidated.  There IS a lot to know and if I ever get to raise a dome I'll be certain to attend another school beforehand.  We'll be thinking lots more about building a dome as we get closer to moving to Minnesota.  Thanks again to all: Tim, Nancy, Dennis, Tessa and the others who helped out to make this dome school a highlight for me." -Ed 2010

 

..."All of dome school was actually great.  The hands on stuff was very reassuring that we really can build a dome" -Joe & Julie 2010

 

Eaton
Aug. 1990 dome school class.

..."Thanks for your hospitality at the Dome School last week.  I found the school helpful and encouraging.  I feel more confident that I can manage a dome at our Texas site.  We'll proceed with planning.  Anne has enjoyed the pictures I took.  Here's a picture of the class.  I'll send copies to the other folk.  Thanks again for you interest and support!" - Dave and Diane 8-1990

Eaton Small
Diane and Dave's finished dome.

 

Natural Spaces Domes
37955 Bridge Road
North Branch, MN 55056, USA
Natural Spaces Domes Website
Copyright ©2017 Natural Spaces Domes
Local: 651-674-4292
Toll-Free: 1-800-733-7107
nsd@naturalspacesdomes.com