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Yurt From Scratch Or Buy A Kit?

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Old 03-16-2016, 12:18 PM   #1
psy
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Default Yurt from scratch or buy a kit?

Hey! I'm new to this forum. {:

I have absolutely no carpentry or construction experience. However, I am frugal so I'm considering building my own yurt from scratch. Would you advise I go ahead and buy a kit and spend the approximate $15,000? Building one would be a learning experience but I plan on making this my full time home, so I don't have a lot of room for big time messups. What is your educated opinion?
Please excuse any of my ignorance.

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Old 03-16-2016, 02:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Yurt from scratch or buy a kit?

Well, if it was just going to be a small thing that you visit once in a while I would say sure, but not as a residence.

A yurt built wrong will leave a bad taste in your mouth. You will know what I mean if you know what the taste of rafters and roof fabric taste like. That is probably the flavor you get when a yurt roof collapses on top of you. You just hope it isn't in the middle of winter while your wood stove is on!

If you had some experience, I would be more positive, but this is a rather serious project.

By the time you purchase all the materials and tools you will need, plus the manpower you are most likely going to require, you will spend the same, if not more than a prefab yurt.
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Old 03-19-2016, 10:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Yurt from scratch or buy a kit?

Hi psy, welcome to the yurt forum. You might be interested in reading how a simple basic yurt is built from scratch.

Google: Clan Yama Kaminari Yurt

Once on the front page, scroll down and click on yurt build. I built two of those yurts, a 14' and a 16', and found them very easy to build. -However- I am a pro carpenter. Enjoy the read.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: Yurt from scratch or buy a kit?

It is an awesome read ! I'm not a pro carpenter but I'm confident I can make it happen hope u do too !!!
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Old 03-21-2016, 03:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Yurt from scratch or buy a kit?

One thing to consider when making your decision: a yurt kit from a reputable manufacturer is often an engineered structure. It will have snow and wind loads certified. If you're living in it, that strength might be a consideration.
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: Yurt from scratch or buy a kit?

To be perfectly clear, the yama kaminari design is a simple to build, easily erected and dismantled camping yurt. It isn't at all designed to be used as a primary residence. The yurts from the sponsors on this forum are designed as alternative housing. They are not

camping yurts

. There is a substantial difference between the two.
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Yurt from scratch or buy a kit?

I'm someone who's currently living in a yurt he built himself. The biggest problem with building from scratch is that there aren't many really great designs online or in books for exactly how to build the complex parts, like the doorway. If you make a mistake, especially building something hard to fix after it's erected like the platform, it can be very difficult to fix if you've already moved in. I would say that it's worth getting a reputable pre-fab for at least the Hard Parts if you want to move in at any point in the next 6-12 months. I'm not knocking the adventure of building your own in any way, obviously it's what I've chosen to do. Another great way to handle it is to buy a prefab yurt the same size as the one you want, then live in that while you build your own. Yurts hold their value pretty well, and you would have a reputable model to copy and improve upon. You could then sell your purchased yurt once you were sure yours was livable. And the more people you how your fabulous yurt to, the more buyers you'll have when you're ready to switch.

My long-term goal is to have an Open Source Yurt design that's being improved from all over the world in the same way that Open Source software is. I don't think it would take long for that design to become as good as most of the commercial ones, especially if they were willing to contribute to it. And I think they would be in the long term, because for every sale they loose because someone built their own yurt, they'd get at least two from people who loved the idea but don't have time to make their own. And since the plan would be free to anyone, they'd be able to adopt improvements into their own designs as they were proven in the field.

Until that happens, I recommend either buying a kit, *or* a set of plans that are well known to have survived well in a climate similar to yours. I can't make recommendations myself, but I'm sure others on this list can.

Scott
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Yurt from scratch or buy a kit?

Having built three yurts from scratch myself I would say go for it.it's not rocket science. Just go online find you a set of plans. Buy a table saw and drill guide.or drill press and have at it.. the plan I started with was construction of a yurt by Monica cello. This is a good plan for a beginner.because the roof ring uses 3/4 inch plywood with a firing strip sandwiched in between making slots for the trusses. A simple internet search will find the plans for this yurt.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Yurt from scratch or buy a kit?

Typically an aspect of a kit is that the hard part, the ring, is prebuilt for you. The rafters will be sized. The lattice needs to be assembled. The door will be made and hung, or not, depending on how much you want to spend. The door frame maight be knocked down, or completely finished. The cover will be fabricated and no modifications shoyld be needed. The

dome

should be built ready to install. Etc etc.

If you aren't handy, it would be a big advantage having a carpenter guide you through yurt assembly. Good carpenters are very good at figuring things out. Really good carpenters make tough assembly procedures seem like a walk through the park. While a yurt isn't rocket science, it IS tough enough to understand that a begineer could be completely bewildered without guidance.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:33 PM   #10
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Default Re: Yurt from scratch or buy a kit?

The Monica Cello yurt is the same one I started with, although the current plans online have been updated since I made mine. It was a good starting design, and although I've upgraded it in many ways, it's still essentially the main design for my roof ring, rafters, and wall. Here's one link to it:

The Construction of a Yurt

The biggest issue I've had with the design is that the doorway is simply too simple and small for full-time living, especially when placed on a platform. The doorframe design is by far the hardest part.

I just recently altered the ends of the roof rafters away from the notched design and instead added rope loops like many more traditional designs use. I found it a worthwhile upgrade, as that connection was both stronger *and* more flexible, making it much less likely to pop off when the roof is loaded with

insulation

. You might want to consider that instead of the notches at the end. It's not much more work and a pretty substantial improvement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall Eppley View Post
Having built three yurts from scratch myself I would say go for it.it's not rocket science. Just go online find you a set of plans. Buy a table saw and drill guide.or drill press and have at it.. the plan I started with was construction of a yurt by Monica cello. This is a good plan for a beginner.because the roof ring uses 3/4 inch plywood with a firing strip sandwiched in between making slots for the trusses. A simple internet search will find the plans for this yurt.
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