Platform

Difficulty
Time Spent
12 Days
Approx Cost
$4000 - $10000

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

A more permanent yurt will require a more permanent base to sit on. Build one to last.


Mark footing locations

The first step is always the most important. Using your engineering drawings as a reference, you’ll need to find where each footing will be placed using stakes and string lines. SIPs will require fewer footings than a normal joisted deck platform. Extra consideration should be taken to accurate placement. Two people are better than one for this step.

  • Find the center point of the yurt

    By securing a string to a stake in the ground and cutting it to the length of your yurt’s radius, you’ll be able to walk around with an accurate representation of what space your yurt will occupy.

  • Create your compass lines

    By using the Pythagorean theorem (3-4-5 rule), you’ll be able to find two perpendicular lines that you can then build off. Secure the lines to batter boards that extend past the yurt’s perimeter. These lines need to be as accurate as possible.

  • Place your footing lines

    Using your compass lines and our old friend Pythagorean, you’ll be able to secure additional string lines that should line up exactly with adjacent footings.

  • Mark footing locations

    After measuring out the exact location of each footing on your string lines, use a plumb bob to find the corresponding point on the ground and drive a stake into its exact location.

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Dig footing holes

There are numerous methods for digging holes, each with varying degrees of strain. From digging by hand with a post hole to using an auger or toro dingo-style machine. They should all achieve the same thing: holes that are 18 inches below your site’s frost line and wide enough to fit the minimum required concrete form (reference local building codes). You’ll need to temporarily remove string lines to dig. Do not remove batter boards yet. Our holes were dug 18” wide and 36” deep.


Fill footings with concrete and rebar

Fill your holes with six inches of gravel. Place the concrete form in the hole and align to the string lines you’ve put back. Check that concrete form extends the proper height above the ground (typically 6 inches). Place final additional string lines that are offset half the width of your column bases. Fill concrete forms with high PSI concrete checking for proper consistency. Like Goldilocks’ bed, you don’t want your concrete mix to firm or too soft. Agitate concrete form by tapping and plunging rebar into form to remove air pockets. Place four bars of rebar cut to the proper length into the concrete to reinforce footing.




Place column bases

Submerge your column base into the center of your concrete. Measure its placement again and align with existing string lines. There is no moving it once the concrete sets. Once dry, sequentially number each column base with a sharpie.

One More Thing

Hot-dipped galvanized hardware is recommended. It comes with a heavier price tag but will last for decades. Additionally, local code required I use 4x6 lumber for my posts so I had to purchase the corresponding 4x6 column bases.


Determine your post heights

Your goal is that once cut and secured to your footings, each post will end on the exact same plane as all the others. This is what creates a level platform. The land you are building on will most likely not be perfectly flat thus requiring each of your posts to be a different height. The most accurate way to find these measurements is with a laser level (this can be rented).

  • Set your laser level to an approximate height

    This height is arbitrary as we’ll be doing some math later to find the exact height. Ensure the device is level and plumb.

  • Find your reference measurement for each post

    Place a piece of lumber into the column base and record the height of the laser that appears on the wood. Repeat for each footing.

  • Measure your “control post”

    Determine which post will likely be the shortest of them all. Figure out the desired height of your final post taking into account that your subframe lumber and platform will sit on top. Deduct this measurement from the height of the laser level you recorded on this post. The number you come up with is very important. We’ll call it the “difference number.”

  • Deduct the difference number from each laser level measurement

    By subtracting the “difference number” we got from our control post from the measurements we got from the laser level, we are able to deduce the exact measurement for every post.

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Cut and secure your posts

Using the measurements we calculated from our laser level, measure out each post and cut to the desired length. Secure to the column bases with the appropriate screws.

Caution!

All the wood used for the platform should be pressure-treated and rated for the outdoors. Non-pressure-treated wood will deteriorate quickly and risks structural failure.


Build rest of subframe

Using your engineering plans, determine the proper size and placement of the beams that will make up your subframe. Attach to your posts using post caps. Purchase the lumber that will become your end beams longer than required and cut down to size after installation. You are only looking for a six-inch gap between the end of your beam and the edge of your platform.




Place and secure SIP panels to the subframe

One by one and starting from the center pieces out, place your SIP panels on the subframe and secure to the beams underneath with lag screws. Ensure the first piece is properly placed as it will be what all other pieces are built off of. You’ll need to create splines that add rigidity to the edges of the SIPs and secure them to each other.

One More Thing

Make your SIP panels weather-resistant by painting them with exterior house paint.


Kerf and install perimeter boards

Using a circular saw, kerf 2×4 boards by cutting equally spaced cuts into the boards leaving ⅜” of wood with each cut. By doing so, the boards will have the ability to bend around the perimeter of the platform. Secure in place with deck screws.


Secure vapor barrier to platform

Staple plastic sheeting to the face of the platform, using Tyvek tape to seal any joints. Trim to the circular shape of the platform.


IMPORTANT: Place and secure final flooring on top of the platform

Here it comes. Despite the warnings, this is the step I failed to do properly and paid the price later on. Because the lattice walls sit on the finished floor of the yurt it is advised that the floor is finished completely before erecting the rest of the yurt. With my hands on 800 sq ft of salvaged flooring from Good Wood, I incorrectly estimated the amount of time it would take to install because of the additional work it takes to prep reclaimed material.
As the scheduled yurt build quickly approached, I resorted to just installing the boards that would make up the perimeter of the yurt’s flooring. My plan was to fill in the rest of the flooring at a later date. While this did work in theory, it also created a compounding collection of headaches when installing the rest of the flooring months later.
So please, learn from my mistakes. Install your flooring now before your yurt goes up. If you’re using salvaged flooring, plan on spending a lot more time installing. Trim the edge of the flooring by using a router and flush trim bit.