A reader's General Construction question: Round House?

Stuart   from   Melbourne Australia   had this round House question.

I want to build a very simple house on flat land. I am thinking of making it round...spent my life in square rooms. Would like to spend the remainder of it in something different..with a radius of about 6 to 7 metres.

Planning on having the inside more or less open plan, maybe a couple of walls for a bedroom and bathroom.

Bill's reply

There are numerous archaeological sites around the world that more or less prove that the very first house were circular in shape.

They consisted of shallow circular pits in the ground, lined with stones and roofed with timber in a conical form and then covered with earth or hides etc.

From snow igloos to Mongolian yurts, the circular form is still being used today.

However, things have changed in most parts of the world since the neolithic age.

Stuart, the reason that you have spent all of your life in rectangular rooms is that they are what the building industry is geared up for. Wall sheets, roof sheets, bricks, blocks, etc all come in rectangular shapes. Concrete formwork, timber, steel sections, roof trusses etc are mostly in long straight sections.

They can of course be bent for architectural effect, but here is the catch!


Any house that is well outside the norm will almost certainly be harder to sell. YOUR RESALE VALUE WILL SUFFER.

An architect that I know built a three story round house out of steel tanks salvaged from a mine that had closed down. Half inch steel plate! Imagine the work cutting in windows and doors. The heat build up and the A/C costs. When rust set in it looked terrible. I think it lasted about ten years before it got carted away.

If you want to go this way do a compromise and go for a polygon shape. Straight sections that combined give an overall effect of a circular design.

Cheers Bill.

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