Framing

Difficulty
Time Spent
1 Day

Main specs for American yurt companies (organized alphabetically). Updated September 2019. Pacific Yurts declined to provide information for this website.

Company Details

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Company Location Year First Yurt Sold Tour Available?
BRBlue Ridge Yurts Floyd, VA 2004
CYColorado Yurt Montrose, CO 1980
GLGreat Lakes Yurt Co Grass Lake, MI 2017
LILiving Intent Yurt Co Grass Valley, CA 2015
NSNomad Shelter Homer, AK 1987
RORainier Outdoor Tukwila, WA 2004
SDShelter Designs Missoula, MT 2005
YAYurts of America Indianapolis, IN 1986

Yurt Info

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Company Available Sizes Max Snow Load* Base Cost of 30' Base Cost of 16'
BRBlue Ridge Yurts 16', 20', 24', 30' 60 psf | 60 psf $13,047 $7,299
CYColorado Yurt 16', 20', 24', 27', 30' 15 psf | 95 psf† $12,240 $7,090
GLGreat Lakes Yurt Co 16', 20', 24', 27', 30' 75 psf | 75 psf $11,000 $5,000
LILiving Intent Yurt Co 12', 14', 16', 20' $6,000
NSNomad Shelter 12', 16', 20', 24', 30', 34', 40', 50' 60 psf | 60 psf $15,500 $8,000
RORainier Outdoor 16', 18', 21', 24', 27', 30', 33' 100 psf | 105 psf† Eagle: $18,820, Raven: $13,358 Eagle: $9,466, Raven $7,426
SDShelter Designs 12', 16', 20', 24', 30', 35', 40' 40 psf | 150 psf $12,480 $6,760
YAYurts of America 12', 14', 16', 20', 30' 60 psf | 95 psf $12,000 $6,499

*(30' yurt without upgrades | 30' yurt with all upgrades), †Site specific engineering available for higher snow loads

Rafter Details

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Company Wood Species Base Rafter Size for 30'
BRBlue Ridge Yurts Spruce 2x6
CYColorado Yurt Doug Fir 2x4
GLGreat Lakes Yurt Co Doug Fir 2x6
LILiving Intent Yurt Co Doug Fir
NSNomad Shelter Spruce 2x6
RORainier Outdoor Doug Fir 2x6
SDShelter Designs Western Tamarack (Larch) 2x6
YAYurts of America Southern Yellow Pine 2x6

Lattice Details

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Company Wood Species Lattice Thickness Base Height of Wall
BRBlue Ridge Yurts Poplar 3/4" 7' 4"
CYColorado Yurt Doug Fir 1/2" 7' 2"
GLGreat Lakes Yurt Co Doug Fir 1/2" 7' 4"
LILiving Intent Yurt Co Bamboo 1/2" 6' 9"
NSNomad Shelter Spruce 7/8" 7'
RORainier Outdoor Doug Fir 3/4" 7' 4"
SDShelter Designs Doug Fir 7/16" 7' 2"
YAYurts of America Poplar 3/4" 7'

Available Upgrades

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Company
Insulation
Thick Roof Cover
French Doors
SIP Panels
Glass Windows
Awnings
Rain Diverter
Opening Dome
Tinted Dome
Water Catchment
Wind & Snow Package
10ft Walls
Swappable Walls
BRBlue Ridge Yurts
CYColorado Yurt
GLGreat Lakes Yurt Co
LILiving Intent Yurt Co
NSNomad Shelter
RORainier Outdoor
SDShelter Designs
YAYurts of America

Final Details

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Company Lead Time Shipping Available Financing Available On-site Construction Services International Purchasing
BRBlue Ridge Yurts 3-4 weeks
CYColorado Yurt 5-8 weeks
GLGreat Lakes Yurt Co 6-8 weeks
LILiving Intent Yurt Co 7 weeks
NSNomad Shelter 6-12 weeks
RORainier Outdoor 3-7 weeks
SDShelter Designs 6-8 weeks
YAYurts of America 2-5 weeks

This is when the yurt takes shape. It requires true collaboration and coordination.


Materials check

Before you begin, open up your crates and check to ensure you have all your materials. With the number of different pieces, there’s a possibility that something may have been misplaced during packing or transit. You’ll want to know that well in advance of your build so you can receive a replacement if necessary.


Attach story strip

The story strip is your North Star. It’ll show you exactly where your doors should be installed and will allow you to double-check your lattice placement. You’ll also use it in later steps when attaching wall panels. Secure it to the perimeter of your platform with staples. This is exclusive to Rainier Outdoor.


Secure doors

Most yurts will only have a door but some may have several. For each door, you’ll attach a thin piece of vinyl called a threshold cover underneath the door that drapes over the platform. This will prevent water from entering into the platform. Use your story strip for proper door placement and ensure the doors are plumb by using a level. Secure doors to the platform with the nuts and long bolts provided.


Assemble lattice sections

Because of their size, most lattice is not able to be shipped in one large piece. They’ll come in sections that will need to be attached together with a mixture of rivets and bolts. You’ll attach metal strap ties to the bottom of the lattice which will secure the lattice to the platform below.




Stretch lattice and secure

Finally! Something goes vertical. Move your collapsed lattice to the center of the desired wall location. Lift up and have people slowly stretch the lattice on both sides along the perimeter of the platform ensuring it doesn’t fall off. Once the lattice reaches the door(s), slip the door tang into the end pieces of lattice. Bolts and nuts will hold the ends in place. Make minor adjustments to the lattice placement with the help of the story strip. Secure screws through the strap ties and into the platform.


Place tension cable

Place tension cable into the tops of the lattice starting clockwise from the right side of your primary door. Try to have as little sag as possible as you place it in. Ensure the lock pin on the cable is secure.


Construct scaffolding

In order to install the roof, you will need some height. Because of the weight of the ring and the number of people required, ladders won’t cut it. You’ll need scaffolding with enough surface area for the required amount of people. The size of the scaffolding needed will depend on the size yurt being constructed.


Prep rafters, ring, and lattice

Your rafters will most likely have hardware that will need to be attached that will adjoin the rafters to the ring. Over at the lattice, place a piece of painters tape on every other gap of lattice and the slots on the doors. These are where your rafters will be placed. Number each one sequentially. For a 30 foot Rainier yurt, you will have 50 rafters with 50 pieces of blue tape. A smaller yurt will have less.
Unpack your ring and number each of the rafter holes coordinated them with the numbered gaps in the lattice. If you have a dome that will open pay special attention to how your ring is oriented. You don’t want your dome to open into the direction of the prevailing wind as you risk having your dome being ripped off.




Bring up ring

With a rope tied to the ring, pull the ring onto the scaffolding. Orient it so that the numbers on the ring line up with the numbers on the lattice.


Secure first four rafters

The first ones are always the hardest. Ideally, you’ll have two to three people up on the scaffolding holding the ring as someone down below hands one end of the rafter up to the ring. You will start with the slot on the primary door. Someone on the scaffolding will insert the rafter’s pin into the corresponding hole in the ring. The person down below will slip the bottom of the rafter into the tension cable slot and secure it in place by tightening the set screw. Repeat on the opposite side of the primary door and twice more at a 90-degree angle from the first two rafters.
If your yurt is a compass, you should now have a rafter on the North, South, East and West section of the yurt. At this point—if done properly—your ring should be self-supported and you can let go.


Install remaining rafters in an opposite pattern

Now it’s time to install the rest of the rafters. Start with any rafters that are over door frames. Insert rafter pin into compression ring. Slip rafter end notch onto cable and tighten screw. Use the 3/16th drill bit to pre-drill three inches in the ring where the rafter-to-ring hardware will be secured. Attach rafter brackets to ring with the provided screw.

Caution!

Tighten each set screw AND compression ring screws for each rafter before proceeding to the next.


Secure any additional support between rafters

If your yurt requires a higher snow load or wind resistance, additional materials will need to be installed. There are blocks that can be installed within in between rafters. These will be installed perpendicular to the floor with the help of a level or jig. There are also perimeter posts that can be installed next to the lattice walls that provide vertical support for the rafters. In extreme cases, a center column can be installed into the ground, through the platform and attaching to the ring to provide additional vertical support.