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Our Savannah Yurts

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Old 03-24-2014, 09:47 PM   #1
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Default Our Savannah Yurts

I figured after posting a few questions I should start a small thread to document the progress of our Yurt journey.

By trade I am a UH-60L Blackhawk pilot but I rarely fly. I enjoyed my time flying the dry open space of Afghanistan but flying in the states is a rather bore. I guess that is where the "Office" comes in for Officer. I am a husband, father to one and soon to be two. Currently stationed at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah GA.

With a recent raise in Basic Housing Allowance and the substandard quality of housing on post I was finally able to talk to the wife into making the move into a Yurt of which I have been dreaming about for years. The constant spraying of pesticides and the incessant sound of helicopters fling directly over our house at all hours of the day/night is wearing. We plan to depart the Military soon as part of our long term plan and are trying to make wise financial decisions and set our selves up to have freedom to make different choices about our career/schooling. The yurt is a major part of that plan.

We had originally planed to purchase one tall wall 30' yurt and create a loft but we found the following yurts for sale out in Colorado and decided to make a change in plans. I am flying out from GA and my father from OR and we will tear it down with the help of a local contractor in approx 3 days, throw it all in a 26' Penske and put it up here in GA after a long 3 days on the road.
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There has been a lot of planning going into this. We found a great land owner to lease us land that had all of the amenities we needed and as a benefit we get to share in the resources on the land, like the garden, fish ponds, and chicken pens. But here is the initial picture of the plot we picked out for our short 3ish year stint here.
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Two weekends ago I had a freind spend the Saturday afternoon helping me clear the land.
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Mid Way
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Last weekend I went out on my own for about 5 hours and finished it all off.
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Anyway I will have a lot more to post soon but hopefully this weekend goes well and I can get a lot of work done. All depends on how many friends (most of which have PCS'd recently) come out to help build our massive 66'X36' deck that will house one 30' and one 24' Yurt. The other 24' yurt will go to the land owner to use as a Jam space while we live there. The intent it to design this in line with LEED standards and so that we can easily take the entire thing with us when we move back to Oregon in 3ish years. If we decide to live in something different it will make a great lake house for a place the family has that is boat access only.

Let the adventures BEGIN.

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Last edited by addicted56; 03-24-2014 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Our Savannah Yurts

Wow, very ambitious plan. Too bad you couldn't just fly the parts back to GA lol! Definitely let us know how it goes!!!!
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:03 AM   #3
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Yes part of the deal was the purchaser dismantles the yurts. I am always a little over ambitious but I have very little time outside of work so I have to make the best of it. Combine that with family requirements and any other personal requirements and you run out of 24 hours in a day very quickly. I constantly remind myself of that song "I'm always running to get things done, and I'm rush'n rush'n till lifes no fun", hence the #1 reason the Army is getting the boot.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:13 PM   #4
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Not sure where I left off but 2 weekends ago I got to actually spend the entire weekend working on the platform. I started off the day by dropping a couple of trees that needed to go and leveled the ground where an old tree had fallen over. I rented a two person auger and we got the 28 6X6 posts (8' cut in half) in the ground in one day with two people. With a 10" auger and 2' deep it only took one 80lb bag of Quickcrete per hole. I had a small screw up and chalk it up to rookie mistake. At some points I measured on center and other points at the perimeter so my beams didn't line up perfect on the posts but nothing a few 3/8"X4" lag bolts couldn't help me correct in the strength department. The following day we got all of the beams in with about 10 of the joists. Here are a few pictures.

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End of the day last weekend.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:27 PM   #5
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Then this weekend I worked on Saturday and had a few buddies out to help keep things moving. We really needed about 4-5 people to make it efficient and that is exactly what we had. I drilled a few more lag screws to finish it up while I was waiting (those new little 20V lithium impact drills from Dewalt are amazing), and then we went to work. Sunday was a wash with rain and thunderstorms all day. Plus I needed to spend time with the wife and the little guy. With long nights/days at work and weekends on the construction site I was about to enter the dog house.

After a few trial and errors we decided to add the stiffeners in between all of the beams. We were bowing them out with every joist and it was making it difficult. This cured our problem immediately and we did it all with scrap lumber. Not to mention it had to be done so we would have something to screw to with our decking boards in those areas. 2 people hanging joists, one person measuring, one person moving boards and one person cutting. At the end after they all left I decided to try a few decking boards. I wish I had more 12' boards but Lowes was all out so I had to use a bunch of 16' boards and they are not that straight making it very difficult to lay them. But I got a few on and man is this thing solid. With 2 screws in each board on 16" on center it feels SOLID.

I needed another 2X10X12 and some Tyvek. Who says you need a truck when you have a Land Cruiser. Nice and quiet at 0600 in the morning.
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A few pano while we were working.
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End of the day results
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:29 PM   #6
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Looking good. April showers is gonna make it take hours, but from the looks of it, it will be worth it!
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:31 PM   #7
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So it is really late and after another whirl wind at the office and at home I am packed, hopefully within TSA guidelines and I am off to Colorado tomorrow morning to start the tear down of the yurts with my dad and a contractor we hired. If all goes well on the 12th we will be on our way back to Savannah for a 3 day trek across the country.

Here is to hoping and I will have an update for you all in about a week is my guess.
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:47 PM   #8
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So as usual I don't know where to start and am tired and ready to head to bed. But all went well and besides some delays at the airport we made it to Sante Fe NM with no issues. Grabbed the 26' Penske (really only 25' 2") and made it up to Arboles Colorado before dark. Slept in our camper provided by the contractor we hired and busted our nuts hard for two days and got everything taken down. Then made a hard 3 day trip across the country bucking a killer head wind the whole way. If finally stopped South of Atlanta at which point we set the cruiser control, maintained speed and picked up from approx 6.5 MPG to 9.5 MPG at a much faster pace. I passed everything but a fuel station.

The yurts were in worse condition than I thought and we ripped one roof/canvas portion due to UV rot. Everything was filthy as it has not been lived in for 4 years. Most everything was not custom built and was cheap crap they had hodge podged together and I could have purchased for cheap local here. But on a plus side the car port is very nice and whoever did the electrical sure did it right.

Found out there is no way to clean the

insulation

liners. I'm just going to have to find another way to cover them as I'm a clean freak and can not handle the soot and dirt that is rubbed in. Tried soap and a brush and even a little bleach and nothing will take out the dirt and scuffs.

So in the last 2 days I had to spend some time with my son and we had pouring rain all day so I am a bit behind schedule. Hopefully tomorrow brings more progress.
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:58 PM   #9
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:05 PM   #10
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