In our 40 years of building yurts, we have found that some of our potential customers are concerned about the idea of setting up a yurt on their own. We completely understand! Yurts are unique, which can be wonderful when it comes to design and location options; but, their uniqueness can also be a little intimidating.
It’s easy to see all of the beams and lattice work when building a yurt and finding yourself wondering if perhaps an engineering degree might be required. Please allow us to put your mind at ease. Building a yurt is very straightforward. And, with the easy-to-use instructions that come with every Pacific Yurt kit, the steps are clearly laid out. Here are the major milestones to building your yurt:
Yurt Planning – Location, Location, Location
The first thing to do when planning your yurt build is to choose an area that will work. You will need a clearing wide enough for your yurt floor plan and the space you desire around it. (Check out our easy-to-use Yurt 3D Builder to explore yurt sizes.) Ideally, you would want a spot protected from high winds, away from overhanging tree limbs that could cause damage in a storm, and one where the yurt would get morning sun and afternoon shade.
The location you pick to build your yurt will also need good enough road access to either have the yurt delivered on site or to have it brought in your own truck or trailer from the delivery point. You may need to make some phone calls to local utility companies to ask about water, sewer, and power options as well if you will not be off grid.
You’ll also need to explore the building codes in your area, which can vary from place to place, when building your yurt. You can find what to expect with shipping and what you need to know on our website. And, keep in mind, we are only a phone call or email away if you have questions.
To Hire or Not to Hire?
The yurt platform is the one part of the yurt that you’ll need to build yourself or contract out. And, it’s best if the platform is in place before the yurt is delivered. We provide suggested platform plans for every size yurt, so this too is made clear.
The platform of the yurt is the least portable part of a yurt build, but this depends on the materials used when constructing the platform and the floor plan size. Many people simply have the platform built on site, because they don’t intend to move their yurt once it is constructed. Yurt platforms can be made of any number of materials, from poured concrete to wood.
Depending on the site conditions, it should only take a good carpenter and a couple helpers a day or two to build the platform. Many of our customers will use the same contractor for both the platform build and the inside building projects, such as partition walls for bathrooms or kitchen areas or lofts within their yurt.
If you choose to bring in a contractor, we recommend the following:
- Get Clear on What you Want: Go over the platform plans and figure out what inside work you want done before talking to a contractor. The average contractor might not be familiar with building yurts, but they are welcome to call us with any specific questions. As usual, we can offer some ideas for what others have done. You can even use our sample floor plans for ideas.
- Get Recommendations: To avoid any problems, ask your friends, family, and coworkers for recommendations of contractors they’ve worked with in the past and trust. You can also get recommendations at local building or hardware stores and search review sites for good contractors.
- Get it in Writing: Hiring a contractor is a business transaction, so you’ll want to make sure there are written components to the transaction, including the bid and the contract.
Follow the Manual
An important step to building a new yurt is to open the easy-to-read instructions. We provide manuals for every size yurt that are simple but complete. All the needed tools (there are fewer than you might think), materials, and recommendations are clearly outlined for you. The Set Up Manual can also be downloaded from our website, so that prior to purchasing your yurt, you can feel completely prepared for the yurt assembly.
Assembling a yurt can be a very fun occasion. Many of our customers have made their “Yurt Set Up Day” into an enjoyable gathering. They invite their friends and family, order food, blast the tunes, and get to work. There should be a good, knowledgeable team leader or contractor in charge, who has read the manual thoroughly and can direct the rest of the crew. Depending on the floor plan of the yurt, a team of 3-6 people is usually plenty for the job of unloading and erecting the yurt kit.
Building a small to mid-sized yurt can be done in one day, while larger yurts usually take no more than two. Plan your ‘yurt assembly day’ in advance, and time it with the shipping and delivery of your yurt, but keep in mind that shipping delays can occur when the product is in transit.
Check out this quick time lapse video of a 30′ Pacific Yurt assembly, including the platform build, and this even quicker view of 4 men setting up a 24′ yurt over 7 hours, which is condensed into a minute and a half.
View our helpful infographic below, or download it here: Planning for Your Pacific Yurt.