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Building Yurt To Permit In Los Angeles

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Old 12-30-2015, 01:14 AM   #1
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Default Building Yurt to Permit in Los Angeles

Hello,

My husband and I would like to build a yurt in Los Angeles, CA and if anyone could be so kind as to provide any help/info on how you successfully gained permits and met building codes in LA, we would so appreciate it. We prefer a wooden yurt but are not opposed to fabric ones if that's what you have successfully been able to build and permit.

Thanks! ~ Mabel

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Old 12-30-2015, 10:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Building Yurt to Permit in Los Angeles

You will have much more luck permitting a wooden yurt, just because you can meet

insulation

codes a lot easier.
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Old 01-01-2016, 06:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Building Yurt to Permit in Los Angeles

we built a fully permitted fabric yurt in Montana in 2014. the biggest challenge, by far, was the

insulation

. the only way to do it is to change the design slightly so that there is space b/t the inner and outer fabric. same for the roof. from a quick look at the regs, i think you will need R30 in the roof and R13 in the walls. (we had to get R38 and R25) we were able to convince the bldg dept that the bubble wrap/foil was worth R4. it is very doable. a bit trickier in the roof but doable.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: Building Yurt to Permit in Los Angeles

Off topic rant. IMO the government has no business sticking their nose into yurts, which are tents after all. Houses yes, yurts no. Permiting a yurt and building the insulation level to r38 and r19 is absurd. The thinking behind this is yet another example of typical government idiocy. You get to pay the bill for yet more worthless bureaucratic service that insures money for salaries and retirement of gov't employees. Fee, tax call it what you like.

It's like paying license plate tags ever year on the same vehicle you've owned for ten years. All it does is pay salaries and retirement for gov't employees shuffling paper.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Building Yurt to Permit in Los Angeles

Can you imagine the Mongolian gov't mandating yurt specs? Or installs? What a joke. I'd like to hear what a herdsman yurt owner would think of some gov't employee cruising around checking yurts in a gov't paid for vehicle, whipping out his ipad ticket book and issuing code violation for lack of insulation. Or aiming an air flow monitor at the the wall cover, or checking that the platform floor has boards with acceptable cracks using a gauge, or other nonsense. But that kind of goofy bs happens here on ALL gov't jobsites. Layer after layer of bureaucratic garbage.

Rant over. Have a good year. lol
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: Building Yurt to Permit in Los Angeles

hi bob -

i think it is a bit more complicated than "the government has no right in my yurt!" having just jumped through all the hoops (as far as i know, we are the only fully permitted yurt for full time living in a cold climate in the US), i can appreciate the sentiment that there seem to be many arbitrary regs.

however, our yurt IS our house. we live here year round - through the long and cold montana winters. i am very grateful for the warmth and the efficient use of fuel. (we have a propane boiler and radiant floor heat). i am also very glad for the guard against the very hot august sun.

more than the comfort level and ease on my purse, i had no problem getting fully insured with the COO in hand. Plus, if and when we get too old to live on the mountain in the woods and want to move to town (missoula - 25 minute drive), we have a great house to sell. it is an investment.

that said, the problem, in general, with building codes is that the building industry controls them and the deck is stacked in the favor of their profit. for insulation, that means that b/c the industry is invested in the R value paradigm, which may not really be the best way to measure how heat stays in a building envelop. and it hinders alternative approaches. and may not be the best anyway. we are very tight in our yurt (actually, we have 3 connected yurts), and need to crack a window or two to make sure we get air exchange. (the building official overlooked our lack of a mechanical devise for that purpose - he should have made us put one in).

you want to differentiate between a house and a yurt in terms of building code applicability. my measure of that difference is not the design or materials used, but the function of the building. our yurts function as a house. it doesn't matter that it is made with fabric.

and i say all of this in support of codes after serious challenges faced with our building officer. i was the GC - and had no experience at all in buildings. i worked on it half time for 6 months and full time (during construction) for 3 months. not for the faint of heart.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Building Yurt to Permit in Los Angeles

bob, we are not in mongolia. and our yurt does not look anything like one made by herdsmen on the steppe. perhaps, if you are planning to build soemthing like that (and many people do - it is cool and i love them), then building codes are kinda ridiculous. but that is not what our yurt is. seems it is a semantic issue. "yurt" in the modern sense can mean many different things.
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: Building Yurt to Permit in Los Angeles

I see the modern American type yurt (as well as Mongolian trad yurt) as an affordable alternative to a house. Being in debt for fifteen to forty years isn't for some, and small and affordable no debt housing is non existant. Plugging a yurt-a tent for heavens sake! -into 'the system' blows, imo. Gov't meddling where there shouldn't be any at all. Just where can someone in this country try to live on the cheap with low impact and yet not be homeless? In a yurt. Sorry, the gov't needs to get it's blasted inefficient self serving taxing bureaucratic nose out of every nook and cranny of the citizens. There needs to be an 'out' for those choosing alternative housing and avoid the hellacious debt of modern life. imo
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:29 PM   #9
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Why do Mongolians live in yurts? They have little money and the economy is largely agricultural rural and hand to mouth, even today. A tough people with very little, and a history of being tough because life is tough and there are no handouts. Sink or swim baby. Ain't no gov't handouts and a history of nobody expecting such either.

I'm for leaving people alone and letting them get by to the best of their ability. In fact nature rolls that way, it's part the the grand design imo. Sheeple expecting gubmint got cha covered is the polar opposite of my view. I don't like bureaucrats. Period.
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:31 PM   #10
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I'm done. I'll rant no more on this here.
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