Frequently Asked Questions

ORDERING INFORMATION

Due to high demand, our lead time for custom orders is currently about 10-12 weeks. We try to keep the glamping packages coming, so some may be available sooner, however they often sell out before they are even finished production! So plan ahead and order early. If ordering a regular glamping package, please check for the next available date.

Patio domes and Zomes are usually in stock ready to ship.

We are able to deliver worldwide. 

For Canada and US, we will deliver to your door or building site. 

For other countries, we will ship to the nearest international sea port, in most cases for free or for a very reasonable price. You will need to have a broker lined up to help with customs clearance and freight forwarding. 

Shipping rates vary depending on the size and location of course. Shipping for 1 dome to Eastern Canada is typically around $500-700. We offer free shipping for 3 or more domes anywhere our freight forwarders go in Canada!

Please email us at contact@phoenixdomes.com for a shipping quote as the website is unable to calculate shipping rates automatically. 

After confirming your order, we require a 60% deposit. You can pay via a series of e-transfers, bank deposit, or credit card. We do charge a 3% credit card processing fee.

The remainder is due when your dome is ready to ship out from our Vancouver warehouse.

We offer a 5 year warranty against UV damage and deterioration of the cover. However it should last you for 10+ years. 

Our frames are Engineered for snow and wind loads and we will provide the report with your dome for peace of mind and permitting. 

Warranty Certificate

Availability for colours can fluctuate, as there are very high minimums for custom colours but sometimes some are left at the factory from other projects. 

Please inquire about current availability. 

Cover colours in stock can be used at no extra charge, some colours will be $500-1,000 more if sourced especially for your project. 

Common colours we have used are beige, tan, dark green, and grey. 

PLANNING AND BUILDING

  • 16’/5m – 210 sqft - suitable for short-term guest accommodation for a single or couple with little room for more, if outside facilities are existing for bathroom, kitchen, etc. Also a nice size for an art studio or massage space
  • 20’/6m – 300 sqft. - suitable for a couple with room to lounge/stretch out and a sink/kitchenette if outside bathroom facilities exist. A small bathroom cell can be added for short-term guest accommodation. Also a great size for a studio or yoga/ movement space.
  • 23’/7m – 400 sqft – suitable for a couple or family of 4 with a full bathroom, king size bed, loft bed or pullout couch, and plenty of room to lounge. Our most popular and versatile glamping size. A loft bed above the bathroom/kitchenette is possible.
  • 26’/8m – 540 sqft. – Luxury accommodation that can fit larger families. The height makes a loft area attractive, which can be above the bathroom/kitchen. A separate bedroom is also a possibility.
  • 30’/9m – 700 sqft – This size is great for a yoga studio, outdoor classroom, workshop space, or a long term residence for 2.
  • 33’/10m – 850 sqft – Yoga studio, circus arts, events, dance and workshop, a restaurant dining area, or full time residence for a small family – possibilities are endless!

Most of our customers choose to build wooden platforms – they can be elevated off the ground, erected on uneven or sloped terrain, are low-impact on the environment and ultimately removable. For year round use, we recommend insulating the platform.

We provide engineered platform plans for our common dome sizes with detailed cuts, measurements, and angles that you can use to build it yourself or give to a local contractor.

Other options for flooring are poured concrete slabs (potentially insulated with radiant heat), or earthen/ cob floors. For a temporary setup, we can provide heavy duty waterproof ground tarps that can be spread directly on the ground.

We have also built a sprung dancefloor in a dome with a plywood floor over recycled tires!

Please note that we recommend building the platform to our plans to fit the dome exactly – that way it is easy to seal the cover skirt around the edges with some trim to keep weather and critters out. An outside deck can be built off the side of it. If you want to put your dome on a larger, rectangular deck, you need to account for a drainage gap around the dome perimeter to ensure rainwater cannot run under the edge of the dome. Usually in this case, you will want to build up an insulated floor on the inside.

The dome frame has feet that can bolt into the platform - or into a concrete pad if needed. If setting up directly on the ground, you can also use ground screws or rebar to attach the feet. 

Then, the outer cover ideally extends past the edge of the platform if it is a close fit (use our Platform Plans that fit our domes exactly!), and can be fastened with staples or trim to keep weather and critters out. 

This type of trim works well and looks neat.  

A dome can be heated in all the ways a house can be heated.

For off-grid applications, a wood stove is best. However, if you are doing a commercial glamping rental, you may not want to teach all of your guests from the city how to safely and efficiently operate a wood stove. In this case, Pellet stoves, externally vented propane stoves, radiant infloor heat, electric heat or a combination thereof are all good options.

Please make sure to upsize your heat source as a dome does not have the same insulation as a house. If the dome is 400 sqft, use a stove that is good for 800-1000.

We supply chimney and vent flashing kits to fit any size – they can be installed wherever you need on the dome without a pre-determined hole. Just let us know what size you need!

Our insulation liner consists of 2 separate layers – a double reflective bubble wrap layer that is pulled over top of the frame, and underneath the outer cover – and an inner fabric liner that creates an additional air pocket to help with insulation. The way the reflective layer works is that it will reflect heat back into the space, aided by the spherical, very energy efficient shape of the dome. This will result in about an R5 overall. However, it will not hold heat for very long after the heat source is out – for this you would need several inches of insulation material.

Many of our customers operate year round with our insulation package and good stoves.

For a permanent structure, you can get the inside of your dome sprayfoamed by a local company to achieve a much higher R-Value more similar to a cabin or house while also eliminating any thermal bridging or condensation on the frame – but it means that the dome cannot be taken down easily anymore. The sprayfoam can then still be covered with the inner fabric liner.

Absolutely – many of our customers do so. You can install a partial or full wall, or enclosed space. We recommend an exhaust fan in any bathroom or kitchen to draw out excess moisture.

You can see some sample floorplans here

No – due to the myriad ways a dome can be used, styled and outfitted, we decided to leave the creativity up to the customer instead of trying to fit prefab units – you will be able to get much better quality and unique design by sourcing furniture, appliances and fixtures locally or online, hiring local contractors and going with your own style.

Geodesic domes are the strongest structure invented by man (in relation to the materials used) – just like nature invented the egg, Canadian visionary and Architekt Buckminster Fuller invented the Geodesic dome structure consisting of triangles that transfer loads on to the entire structure.

We have a few different frame sizes that have been engineered for various snow and wind loads (40-100 psf and up to 300 kmh winds) so you can rest assured that your dome with withstand any weather conditions you may encounter.

We are also able to provide Engineer reports (currently for NS, NB, ON and BC) for our most common sizes in order to assist our customers with obtaining building permits.

It depends. Our domes are technically tents, thus temporary structures that can be dismantled in a day.

Many of our customers living rurally decide to avoid the bureaucratic hassle and not apply for permits – as long as the neighbours don’t complain, it is usually fine.

However, if your use is more high profile or a commercial vacation rental business, you may need to obtain permits.

Every province, and every municipality, may have different rules and requirements. Our engineer reports for the load rating, as well as the engineered platform plans, are usually sufficient to satisfy the authorities. We will do our best to assist with the process, however we cannot guarantee that the building department will be open to these alternative structures. In some cases, additional engineering studies are required.

A dome can usually be set up in 1-3 days with a team of 3 people. You will need extra help, a winch or a truck to pull the heavy cover over. Domes up to 23’ can be set up with a couple of ladders alone, larger ones will require some scaffolding. Other than that, some wrenches, ideally an impact driver with a couple of long sockets (17mm and 19mm), a rope to pull the cover and some ratchet straps to get the tensioning hooks on are all you need.

You can download our installation instructions here.

Our domes are designed with an opening and attachment bars to accommodate a standard, 34'80x or 36x80” pre-hung exterior door which are available at any building supply. We recommend a metal door as they are affordable and very durable in the elements. You will be able to choose between a variety of window options and paint it the colour you like. To install it, you just need to create a simple 2x6 frame and bolt the dome frame attachment bars into it. This means 3 pieces of 2x6":

2 pieces of 82 1/4" for the sides

1 piece of for the top 39" for 34" door, 41" for 36" door, or . This piece goes on top of the other 2 pieces.

The door attachment bars of the dome frame are fastened into the 2x6 door frame with screws and washers or GRK fasteners.

Then the outer and inner cover layers are fastened to the door frame with trim.

If your door has a somewhat different size, you can accommodate for the difference with the wooden frame or some blocking - this is an easy and versatile solution that only requires some very basic carpentry skills. We recommend a 34" door for the 16' dome, the other sizes can accommodate both door sizes by simply angling the frame bars accordingly.

Ventilation is important since the dome covers are impermeable to air and water. We design our glamping package with plenty of ventilation in mind. 3 opening triangle windows with removable screens provide lots of natural airflow. You can add a solar fan, or an electric fan. In the summer, if the sun shines directly into the panorama window it can get quite hot. Rigging up some shade sails outside, closing the curtains, and opening all the windows will help.

In the winter, a dehumidifier can be very helpful for removing moisture from the air and preventing condensation issues that result from the temperature difference between inside and outside the dome.

CARE AND MAINTENANCE

The cover lifespan is about 10 years, possibly more depending on UV exposure. 

You can get a replacement cover and enjoy it for another 10+ years. 

The frame will last indefinitely as long as it is not exposed to excess moisture or salty air. 

You can use a sponge and soap, or easier yet, a pressure washer, to get any debris and algae off your dome. It will come nice and clean again even after years! 

Sometimes, there can be soot from the chimney that leaves grey streaks which are a bit harder to clean and may require some scrubbing with soap or bleach. 

Scrub the window with a non-abrasive sponge and soap or window cleaner. 

If you have the pleather liner, you can clean it with a damp cloth and soap if needed - make sure not to scrub too hard. 

Our new Oxford Fabric liner comes in multiple sections that can be machine washed. 

Holes or leaks are easily fixed with a specialized Vinyl Glue and a patch. Your dome will come with a patch kit, if you need more, just reach out to us!

Since the dome cover is impermeable and creates a moisture sealed space, it is important to remove excess moisture from the air in order to avoid any mold or mildew problems. 

If you have a kitchen or bathroom in the dome, install an exhaust fan to draw out the moist air. We can provide the flashing kit to install any vent pipe wherever you may need it. 

A solar fan will help keep airflow going year round while also helping with excess heat in the summer. 

We highly recommend using a dehumidifier regularly especially in the colder months to avoid any moisture buildup. 

It can be a good idea to spray some anti-mold-spray around the bottom edge of the inner cover especially behind furniture and appliances, and clean regularly.