A little extra cash from my return from active duty overseas saw me buying my first telescope. Aperture fever took over and by the time I had left the military and bought my own house, I was well ready to house my astronomy pursuits under one roof.
A very special roof, one that rotates and opens up to the sky to view it in any direction. An observatory.
I built two, the first as a testament to what could be achieved with creative scrounging and re-purposing of recycled materials.
The second build was a more serious attempt, engineered and built with a bigger budget and imagination. This two-storey dome has a comfortable man-cave downstairs and the observation deck above. The dome hosts community youth groups and other interested parties, educating and outreach free of charge.
All of this was achieved with no formal trades, using the expert tradies only where needed for legal and safety factors.
A two-storey building valued at over $80K, owner built for a little over $13k.
Here are some examples of what the observatory produces.