Feb 25, 2021 / Barb / Stauton, Illinois
Hi Dennis, I was on your Zoom meeting last night and thought it was very well done. It was quite enjoyable for me to relive our dome building adventure with Natural Spaces…….and good to see you looking well. I doubt you’ll remember my husband and me since it seems like you’re continuing to do a great business with lots of customers.
My husband, Bill Brown, and I and our 15 year-old son visited your office in November of 1999 to see an actual dome home and talk to you about the feasibility of our dream of building one. It was a great visit, you and the staff were most cordial and we really liked what we saw. After living on a sailboat for 7 years and then in a 12 X 60 trailer, we were ready. We attended dome school in April of 2000, came home and built a 3 car detached garage for a workshop and got started. It was a wonderful experience for our family and we got every bit of support we needed from you and your staff.
We’ve loved this dome ever since we finally moved in, in Sept. 2001. I’m sorry we didn’t keep in touch afterwards and participate in your offers to share information about dome living, etc. with others. In 2009 Bill was diagnosed with prostate cancer, underwent treatment, and did well for a few years, but he gradually declined, the cancer metastasized and he died in the fall of 2018. I am several years younger, and hope to live here for the rest of my time. Our son is co-owner with me now but currently lives 40 miles away; he loves the place he helped build.
Bill was such a competent do-it-yourselfer, engineering type and I was the “go-fer”many years, so I have some basic knowledge about upkeep and maintenance on the place but of course, I often feel at a loss on decision making on things. This past November I contacted your office in a bit of a panic the day I walked into the living room and saw that one of the skylights had a visible leakage problem at the top. All kinds of guilt rushed in as I thought about the non-maintenance the skylights had received. But with discussions with Debbie and Nancy on your staff, a tube of caulk and instructions for the prep work and caulking, two great carpenters who helped Bill on the roofing of the dome came out and cheerfully did the work just before a heavy rainstorm. Besides the cleaning and re-caulking, they tightened any loose screws they found on the remaining skylights, but none of the others appeared to need caulking. No leaks this winter.
I was ready to leave the Dome Talk Zoom Room last night just as you appeared onscreen with a cut-away sample of your skylights. Wow, was I tickled to listen to your explanation of the installation and maintenance on the skylights.
I had not submitted any questions, but I was planning on consulting you this spring to ask about catching up on the maintenance of all five of the skylights, and I have some questions about roof maintenance and replacement. I hope to talk with you in a few months about the skylights. Regarding the roof, we bought quality Architectural shingles and they have served us well. The 21 year old roof looks quite good. Seven years ago we had a leak around the flashing on a vent collar which was repaired by a roofer. Everything remains tight on the roof, but there is one spot just below the loft Velux egress window where a short row of shingles appears slightly lifted now, no leaks yet. I’ll get that repaired and will probably want to consult with NS with my questions about roof replacement. Hopefully not for a few more years, but I’d like information ahead of time (Unlike my husband, I am a worrier and a planner, LOL) I do have the construction manual.
Thank you for your time and attention. I am so very glad we settled on NS domes, it’s been a great experience.
BTW, we’ve shown our home to many curious passers-by and we should have at least signed up to be available to show it to interested potential dome homeowners. Shortly before we began construction, we were able to visit a Natural Spaces dome built about 15 miles from us in Holiday Shores on St. James Road; the owners were quite nice to us and seeing another dome gave us more ideas too. The space inside a dome is hard to imagine until you actually walk inside. So, if you would like to add my name and address to your database for potential lookers, I would participate in encouraging others to look to Natural Spaces for quality homes.
October 2019 | Scott | DePere, WI
Yes, the renovations look great so far and we are all disappointed by the condition it was found in. All the more reason I’m so thankful to have your outstanding crew completing this job. At our old house my neighbor was a construction contractor. We had him do any work that I couldn’t handle. I told him often I only want two people working on my house, him or me. Well, now it still is only two but due to the uniqueness of this new house its either you or me. However, if I have to do the work it will be twice as slow and ½ as nice as the NSD crew but as long as water doesn’t come in, all is good!”
September 2019 | Joyce | Arden Hills, MN
“Good morning. The Natural Spaces crew did a great job yesterday. I can’t believe they got done as quickly as they did. I am very pleased. When you send me an invoice could you mention the individual tasks that they did. Hopefully that will satisfy the buyers. Thank you for all your help in my endeavor to sell my house. I hope the dome tour will result in future business for you.”
Spring 2018 Dome Tour | Adam
“We came up for our first dome tour. Upon seeing the Bear Creek Dome, my wife said she found her upstairs.
We bought matching T-shirts. Upon leaving, my wife said that this place alone is worth the two-hour drive to get here. The reason I mostly agree with her and not completely is because I did not go upstairs at the Bear Creek Dome, my breathing trouble was giving me some trouble by then. But the stairs in the other domes were worth the climbs. Would we come back again? My wife says ‘Yea I would’.”
Fall 2017 Dome Tour | Jerry
“We thoroughly enjoyed the tour. The homeowners were very friendly, knowledgeable, and happy to show their homes. We had wonderful conversations with the homeowners. We only were able to see 5 homes, we ran out of time to see the rest of them. It seems like the tour day either has to be longer, or it needs to be two days. We didn’t even have time to stop for lunch. A friend who lives in Delaware was jealous of us going as they don’t have a dome home tour in their area to attend. I gave her the dates for your 2018 tours.”
August 2015 Dome School | John | Westminster, MD
“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. :)”
August 2015 Dome School | Celia | Toronto, Canada
“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 our 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-“
April 2014 | Besty & Bruce | Holyoke, MA
I believe it was in year 2000 that myself and my wife Betsy visited you at your office. at that time you showed us how the interior wooden panels looked. Subsequently, we ordered them for our 39′ diameter dome home with 5 extensions in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
We are extremely pleased with them. I have attached a picture below showing the panels.
2011 Dome School | Gene
“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.”
August 2010 | Mike | Monticello, MN
This is just a short note to tell you how grateful I am for your quick response to my recent dome repair. You guys were on time and quickly diagnosed the extent of the damage. The repair itself was, (luckily) much less extensive than I feared and they were able to have everything fixed and buttoned up within a few hours.
You have my permission to use me as a reference anytime. My experience with you and your company has been overwhelmingly positive and I would not hesitate to recommend you to anyone. It’s a pleasure doing business with you.”
2010 Dome School | Ed
”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 who helped out to make this dome school a highlight for me.”
April 2006 | Mark | Canton, GA
You cannot imagine how much these e-mails mean to us. My wife and I were in a head-on collision with a big truck, on March 4, 2000. We are both disabled, but she more than I. I have been a Construction Supt. for a Arvida builder, and know why, more than ever, we want to build a dome home. I have researched geodesic domes, and solar/off-grid constructions for over thirty years. We have looked at MANY domes and many manufacturer’s domes. Without question–your’s is the best. We must wait for a few more years unless our property sells sooner before we can purchase one. But, rest assured, it will be from you.
I have shown your site to at least a hundred people. They are all amazed. It is a great pleasure that I explain to them your commitment to quality, and detail which make your homes the best. We just don’t know what our schedule will be, but we will get there–eventually. Bucky Fuller probably never imagined how important his dome will come to be. Keep up the good work.
May 2003 Dome Tour | Annie and Bill | New York State
“Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for being who you are and doing what you do. We just got back from your Dome Tour and all we can say is WOW! We visited eight of eleven sites on the tour. The people/owners were all really informative and open to sharing their homes and ideas with all who visited. We learned so much, it was almost overwhelming for just one day. We took so many pictures we had to go and buy another memory card for our camera. Now we have even more incentive to pursue our own dome dream. Please thank all of the tour participants for us. They really made the day, so to speak.”
May 2002 | Betsy and Bruce | Holyoke, MA
“I just realized that you would probably like to see some completed pictures of our panel ceiling that you shipped us last April or May. As you look them over, you’ll see that we departed from the usual choice of white stain and instead choose a beige color that I call Baja Beige (based on a Sherwin Williams custom blend). We spent about two weeks sampling all different types of white and the beige color that I had in the back of my mind. Since our home is furnished in a southwestern motif we thought the beige would compliment our furnishings. Last summer during the tail end of the project we took a vacation to Arizona and ordered an assortment of furniture to compliment our new ceilings. We finished everything early last fall.
I’d like to thank everyone at Natural Spaces for making the whole experience very pleasurable. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance as a reference to any future customers.”
August 2002 | Carole and Bruce | Arlington, WA
“Yes we are still under construction, we are hoping to complete some time this fall. We are shingling now and preparing the in floor heat system to pour the basement floor. We are expecting the last of the windows some time next week and then can complete the roof.
We are happy to show our home to anyone interested. We are constantly promoting Natural Spaces any time someone mentions thinking about a dome. We are so happy with how easy and sturdy it is. It has been a lot of fun and quite a learning experience for us. Sometimes you just have to see it for it to come together in your mind. We have given some thought to becoming more involved with promoting Natural Spaces or building when we are finished with ours.
September 2002 | Deb and Kristy | Jackson, TN
“Kristy and I wanted to thank you properly for the time you took to show us around the model domes back in late August. We learned so much, and the photos turned out wonderfully, although nothing properly conveys the warmth and spaciousness of the domes.
Although we have looked into other dome manufacturers, we continue to be most impressed with Natural Spaces, more so than with any other. How we wish we were close enough to attend the Dome Tour! When we are ready, we feel sure that we’ll look to Natural Spaces for our dream dome. (This can’t happen for us soon enough!)”
August 1990 Dome School | Diane and Dave
”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 your interest and support!”
The following comments were taken from a survey by Natural Spaces Domes sent out to our list of dome owners. We asked them to fill out a questionnaire with data relating to energy costs, mortgage info, building costs, etc. Two of the questions were “how do you feel about living in a dome” and “what are your domes most important features”.
Every one of the several hundred responses were positive. A few owners had some minor complaints mixed in with the positives. It shows us that our dome home, as a housing style, has a remarkably positive owner, enjoying and excited to be living in their Natural Spaces Dome.
We know the dome concept generates positive comments. However, a Natural Spaces Dome is not your ordinary dome. We know that many of the following comments are because of our special expertise in creating enjoyable interior spaces, our triangle skylight windows which we use to create panoramic view and our use of natural wood interior triangle panels. These and our other unique features help create that warm “fuzzy” Natural Spaces Dome.
Marion and Dick – Payson, AZ – 40′ high profile
A note to the most wonderful dome architect in the world! If we had it to do over, we would hire Natural Spaces as our architect and Blue Moon Construction in Pine as our builder! We could not be happier with our home, where it is built, the design, the views, the air flow, etc., etc. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
We always welcome any interested visitors to our home. We would prefer that they would call in advance.
Light and Love,
Marion & Dick
Patty & Barry – Effie, MN – 36′ high profile
How did you know we would live so happily inside this space? Why didn’t you prepare us for the feeling of complete union between our living room windows and the river view? The dining room is completely separate from the living room, but they’re joined so organically by a warm curved wall and warm fireplace. The patterns the moonlight makes on the inside are breathtaking. It’s a three dimensional showplace and nest, rolled into one. It’s a joy to live here.
Ruth – Maiden Rock, WI – 40′ high profile
It’s a large dome, but feels cozy. People are awestruck entering the living room where they see the ceiling and the view from the windows. Watching thunderstorms in the summer is great, you feel in the midst of the lightning, but safe inside.
Jim – Minneapolis, MN – 36′ high profile
It makes me want to come home and stay there. It doesn’t nickel and dime me to death. Don’t have to worry about the elements.
I went with Natural Spaces because I liked their approach to energy efficiency and efficient use of materials. Also, I was able to buy their connector system and build the kit myself. I went with Natural Spaces Domes standard strut thickness – 2×6 external/structural struts with a 2×4 inner strut attached by plywood gussets to make a 15″ thick shell in which I placed 12″ of fiberglass batt insulation. It has given me an energy efficient home that stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I also like the deep window sills that I got with my lower level skylight windows.
They offered a “Dome School” that I was able to attend where I recieved a lot of good information and tips that made the building process less daunting and saved me time and frustration when I got into the project.
Diane and John – Ludington, Mich – 40′ High Profile
We are just weeks away from moving into our new dome. This project was so much bigger than I ever anticipated. It was a very difficult year for me without John to help, but somehow we made it. My son learned how to wire receptacles and lights, so he was a big help. And both kids have helped insulate, paint, and do whatever we requested of them. With over 6,000 square feet now between 2 domes, I sometimes wonder what in the world we have created. It is beautiful, though, and attracts a lot of attention. The builder and I came up with ideas as we went along, so it is truly unique and our own. In September I will begin working to help pay for this luxury!
All the best to you and the crew at NSD.
Nanci and Gar, VA – 40′ high profile
Overwhelming cerebral buzz. Nothing compares to living in a dome.
Best features: Styling, abundant openness, woodwork, efficiency, secluded wooded lot.
Marilyn and Ted, MN
We love having done something different. The whole experience of designing our own dome and building the interior was exciting. Now we enjoy everyday. All the windows bring the outdoors inside, minus mosquitoes.
Best features: Seeing the views from each window; different types of spaces inside.
A middle school class in Greenbush, New York did a project about Geodesic domes.
They sent us pictures of the project and we’ve posted a letter below.
Dear Natural Spaces Domes,
Thank you for the pamphlets that you sent. It helped us learn a lot about Geodesic domes.
We took some photos of the domes we built and painted. It was very fun doing this project.
and Ms. Yonkers Class