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Incorporating a Dome into Your Home Design

by PSE Consulting Engineers, Inc.

The dome has been a staple of architectural design since prehistory—as far back as ancient Mesopotamia. They come in a variety of designs and forms and each has a specialized name and associated terms. Domes can be found in the architecture of almost every culture including Roman, Chinese, Indigenous, and Persian peoples. Historically, domes have been made with everything from glass and metal to mud and sticks. Yet, domes remain one of the strongest architectural elements to add to a home. Whether it’s an entire monolithic dome house or a simple geodesic dome skylight, there are plenty of ways to incorporate a dome into your custom home design or remodel.

Dome Home

The most comprehensive way to incorporate a dome into your custom home plan is to make your entire house a dome. Dome homes are created as large, open interior spaces which are then divided into smaller sections or rooms by partitions and walls. Another option is to build multiple small domes that each function as an individual room but are connected. Dome homes are beautiful, sturdy, and energy-efficient. A dome home is the perfect option if you want to build a green custom home.

Roof Accents

Domes are also perfect as roof caps and accents. Add a glass dome above the main entryway and walk into your home to be greeted by light and air. Cap a cupula with a small dome to add style to your roofline. Use multiple small domes as skylights in any room. Domes can also be used playfully and artfully to show personality. From towering buildings to single-story homes, every house can use an accent dome gracing the roof.

Specialty Dome

If you want to go all out, you could get a specialty dome, such as one with a retractable roof for stargazing or opening your home up to the great outdoors while entertaining. Domes can also be made of specialty materials and have unique designs, such as stained and leaded glass in a pattern or motif. You’ll need a structural engineer for these custom home projects.


Greenhouses are perfect structures to build as domes. Specialty glass can be used to create domed winter greenhouses in colder climates. Large and flexible domes can also be used to create indoor spaces around outdoor events or even pools. There are plenty of ways to incorporate a dome into your custom home design or renovation. Whether it’s an entire dome home or just a little aesthetic decoration, domes are an architectural staple sure to add beauty and function to your home. If you’re ready to start your designing your dream home, contact us for more information from a top structural engineering firm.