Window Bucks 
Following inflation, the next step was to build and install the vinyl window bucks.

The bucks themselves were easy enough to cut and assemble. However, the process had to be repeated after the first installation attempt -- as they were just a bit too big all around to fit with full pressure on the airform.

It was especially hard to get the bucks level and plumb. The biggest issue was keeping them vertical under full pressure without breaking anything. The two largest bucks actually started to bend, and required adjustment and extra bracing.

This shot shows some of the straps and ground anchors used to keep the window areas as flat as possible vertically. Will did a nice job of working this out, and using a 4:1 pulley system to make his adjustments.

While monitoring the pressure in the airform, it was decided the many area leaves were a nuisance. Several times they built up on the fan and reduced the pressure, so an axtra cage was attached to keep it from plugging.

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Inflation Day 
The big day finally arrived. This was the moment the house went from a funny shaped concrete slab to a full size home in the round.

Will is attaching the inflator fan to the airform. We did this using metal strapping and self tapping screws. This was followed by attaching the airlock in a similar manner.

After a final check, the fan was finally plugged in and we inflated the airform. It went remarkably fast. For those of you with broadband, you can watch the video here .

The feeling inside is terrific. At nearly 13 feet high, the vaulted ceilings will make this little retirement house feel open and airy. Everyone is excited to move ahead.

Here's the view from the street. Now the "What is it?" questions have really picked up. You can't stop by without somebody asking about the house. And everyone has been pleased to hear the answer -- "It's a house." Many kudos to the residents of Vermillion for their open minds and desire to see something different being built!

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Preparing to Inflate 
When the weather finally cleared, we were able to prepare for inflation in earnest. By the end of the week we were ready to go.

The first step was to dry out the lot a little and get the area workable. A couple loads of gravel were brought into the back and spread out. These were needed to raise the pad for the driveway eventually anyway.

Next we had to reapply the plastic over the foundation floor. This was a repeat of our prior performance complicated by having to dry out several 25x100' sheets of plastic. We learned if you stretch then in the wind of an open field it is like the biggest kite in the world.

Once dried back out, we were were able to roll-out the airform and begin fitting it over the footing. This sounds much simpler than it is, and can be quite a workout for your shoulders and back.

Finally, the airform was attached to the foundation using metal strapping and Tapcon concrete screws. This was a fairly long process given the amount of perimeter Trinity Dome has. Part of this process included setting up the wooden contrictions around the saddle intersections between the domes.

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Bending Plywood 
One of (OK, the only) positive aspect of the wet weather is it makes it a lot easier to bend plywood into a curve. In order to keep the saddle intersections of the airform from coming too far out, the folks at Monolithic recommended we reinforce the areas with bent plywood -- which is easier said than done.

The lumber yard folks were skeptical we could get 1/4 inch plywood to bend into a three foot radius. So were were. Much to our surprise however, if given enough weight and plenty of water, it will eventually take on quite a nice curve.

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Rain, Rain, Go Away! 
Rain delays and other obligations conspired to keep things on a slow pace for the last week. While shooting for the goal of inflating the airform, several setback occurred. Despite this there were some accomplishments to help prepare for inflation.

After covering the footing with plastic and positioning the airform, everything got pretty wet. There was a nice little poind forming to the rear of the lot.

Even the skid steer was of little use in this weather. Not much was accomplished other than rolling out the plastic -- which had to be dried and rolled out again anyway. So much for getting a head start on things...

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