MARIETTA - When looking to build a new house, Marietta resident Judy Baker wanted something that stood out from the traditional, circa-1900 Third Street home she and husband, Joe, have shared for the last 20 years.
"I was just kind of balking at the idea of putting up a square house," said Judy Baker, 63. That's why a two-story round structure - with a basement and a main floor - is now taking shape on Glendale Road, just above the intersection with Colegate Drive. Baker said she got the idea from a friend who was building a round house manufactured by North Carolina-based Deltec in West Virginia's Canaan Valley.
"She brought me a brochure, and I was instantly hooked by the concept," she said.
In addition to standing out from other homes in the area, the Bakers' new house will be more energy efficient than their current residence.
"We have two furnaces, lots of windows. ... It's just not energy efficient at all. The gas bills are really high," Baker said. "Nowadays there's so much you can do with roofing, insulation, using less energy."
The shape of the house is one of the main factors in its energy efficiency, said Joseph Schlenk, director of sales and marketing for Deltec. A traditional square or rectangular structure results in differing pressure on different sides of the house, which causes drafting, "the primary robber of efficiency," he said.
With a round structure, "wind cannot build up any significant pressure on any particular side of the house," Schlenk said.
Pieces for Deltec homes are manufactured in North Carolina and shipped around the world, Schlenk said. The company is confident the pieces will fit together tightly, and an exterior skin of 1-inch foam around the outside cuts down on heat transfer by the wood, he said. The result is a structure that is 25 to 40 percent more energy efficient than a comparably built and sized square home, Schlenk said. The price is also comparable, he said.
"You shouldn't pay a premium for this style of home," Schlenk said.
Depending on the size of the home and the various features, the basic components for the building's shell can run $30 to $60 per square foot. Finished parts are in the $125- to $300-per-square-foot range.
The Deltec-manufactured shell is being assembled by Marietta-based Gillard Construction, which will finish the project by installing windows and other features.
"That's what we specialize in is (unique) stuff, houses that are different," said owner John Gillard.
This is the first round structure the company has tackled, but Gillard said other than the design itself, the process won't be significantly different from their other work.
"It's just building stuff ... different ways," he said.
The main floor and basement of the Bakers' new house will each have 2,070 square feet. The main floor will include a kitchen, great room, dining area, two full bathrooms and three bedrooms. The basement will be primarily used for storage, although it will have a full bathroom as well. An attached two-car garage will stand beside the round structure.
Baker said the couple's current home served them well in raising children and allowed her to have a home office from which she works as a financial planner. But the two main stories plus a basement and attic are more than they wanted as they contemplated retirement.
"Just looking to the future, we were thinking that a one-floor house would be easier to maintain," Baker said.