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Yurt On The Ground

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Old 09-01-2015, 10:03 AM   #11
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Default Re: Yurt on the Ground

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Originally Posted by tboulden View Post
Not to sound callous, I appreciate the generalized concern, but I would be weighing the risks inherent with any particular implementation against the benefits, so unless a specific concern is being raised, I'm not interested in "don't do it just because". I don't have a problem with re-nestling since the turn-around time between putting up the yurt and when the re-nestling would occur is >12-24 months, and as I said, I may prefer it on the ground after having experienced it.

I'm in the coastal plain of NC.
Well, the thing is, this is not a simple project. When you take down something of this size/weight, you stand a chance of breaking things. A 30' PY is not a nomadic structure like a 16' Groovy Yurt. It is a building.

While they CAN be moved, you are taking a serious risk of damaging the yurt.

I certainly would not have paid over $15,000 for a yurt, just to take a chance on ruining it because I had to wait to build a $5,000-$8,000 platform, but that is me.

If you are hell bent on such a reckless move, you may want to consider a straw bale platform. Cheap, long lasting and green. At least then you won't be sitting in a potentially large round bath tub.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:22 AM   #12
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Default Re: Yurt on the Ground

I think the internet is working against me in conveying that this is not me being snide or dismissive, I just don't find it helpful.

Jafo, duly noted, same refrain applies: if I like it on the ground, it may stay there, all risks assumed are my own, and only after much consideration. I'm not hell bent on any particular strategy, I'm exploring options. I bought my yurt used off CL at a deep discount, so I don't stand to lose as much if something catastrophic happens, but that in no way insinuates that I'm being reckless. Being that is was up before, taken down, stored, and the lath in one of the sidewalls damaged during transport to my location, I understand it is heavy and not a nomadic structure. If I were reckless, my post would be more like "help, I put up my 30' yurt on the ground with no planning or forethought and now <insert emergency here>, whatdoido!!?!?".

Once again, I'm appreciative of suggestions and comments, but the risks will be valued appropriately.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:27 AM   #13
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Default Re: Yurt on the Ground

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you may want to consider a straw bale platform. Cheap, long lasting and green.
This idea is something I had considered, but will research further. Any specific success stories in mind for this?? Thanks again.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:11 PM   #14
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Default Re: Yurt on the Ground

Another thing to consider--modern yurts often like to be connected to a platform. Most setups I've seen have little L-brackets screwed to the floor and the lathe. Can't do that into dirt so well... Don't know how much their structural integrity requires this though. Might contact your yurt maker about that.

There have been several straw platforms. Yves of

Groovy Yurts

made one in a day that sounded like it turned out well (used it for a few years, no problems). I made my 20'

yurt platform

out of straw bales & 3/4" OSB, but I messed up the details a bit originally, fixed them & resetup my yurt. Then I took down the yurt in the spring and didn't protect the platform at all--the rain weathered the OSB & soaked into the bales, rotting a good bunch. Great mulch for the garden now Moral of the story: straw bales work well, but don't let them get rained on; also make your platform round to match the yurt. See here for a basic layout. PM me for more details or search the forums.

My cost for the straw was ~$200 and the OSB was about the same. A 30 footer has close to twice the area as a 20', so double those numbers (of course, NC material costs may be very different from the Inland Northwest). Tongue & groove wasn't terribly helpful. Plywood might be better.

Hmm, still looking like a small chunk of change. I'd be tempted by a slightly elevated (for drainage) flat area with tamped gravel, then maybe put down some sheeting to simulate a platform. As long as you aren't remote, gravel should be relatively cheap ($50-200? for 5-10 yds); renting a plate compactor shouldn't be much; sheeting might still be a few hundred though--could probably save by using thinner stuff or just neglecting it altogether :P

I have my yurt directly on the ground right now. The lathe and bottom of the door are elm though, so I'm not too worried about

moisture

rotting them in the short term. My current place has lots of earwigs; I once stayed in a tipi for a week, too--lots of bugs there. I'd be worried about bugs getting in--the outer canvas will often seal against the platform in some way, keeping out bugs & vermin. Also, make very certain that no water pools under the yurt.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: Yurt on the Ground

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the rain weathered the OSB & soaked into the bales, rotting a good bunch. Great mulch for the garden now Moral of the story: straw bales work well, but don't let them get rained on
Indeed, my two years of playing with straw bale gardening concur with this assessment, haha!

Quote:
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I'd be worried about bugs getting in--the outer canvas will often seal against the platform in some way, keeping out bugs & vermin.
We had quite a collection of stink bugs and other innocuous arthropods decide to winter over in our yurt last year, though it isn't sealed up as well as it should have been; will not be neglected on the next one.

Thanks, hierony, all very useful things to consider, much appreciated.
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:14 PM   #16
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Default Re: Yurt on the Ground

I got no bugs in my yurt. A few mice have cruised through there. The garden hose makes quick work of really cleaning the floor. Roll up the cover and have at it.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:36 AM   #17
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I wouldn't opt to set my yurt on hay or any other bug harboring/nesting material. Even camping I'd set it on a cheap tarp and tub the floor.

There's a <6" gap between the ground and the bottom of my floor framing. I've had a couple rabbits under there. Don't have it in me to shoot them anymore they're just trying to get by same as everything else. But I would under tougher circumstances. If something dies under there and the stench comes out I'll chicken wire the perimeter.

I gotta agree with Jafo aout the 30' yurt on the ground comments. A 30' yurt isn't nomadic by any stretch. You could set it on the ground sure but really a simple platform is so much better than the earth. Even Mongolians have their large yurts on platforms. Just sayin. I built my 16' d platform for under $700 paint and all. If you are handy you could build one over flate ground for a few grand.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:57 AM   #18
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I've had a couple rabbits under there.
We've got some rabbits on pasture, but who will retire from breeding soon, and they've got really good personalities and will likely become house/yurt rabbits. Only issues we've had with anything under our current yurt was a skunk very briefly being chased by a feral dog. Thankfully it wasn't injured and did not die under there, I would hate to have to burn the whole thing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Rowlands View Post
You could set it on the ground sure but really a simple platform is so much better than the earth. Even Mongolians have their large yurts on platforms.
To a large degree, if I do set it up "on the ground" I intend engineer the ground below it to function as much like a platform as possible. Perhaps I should've developed that thought more initially to avoid any confusion. I've looked at maybe doing something similar to an earthbag foundation ala Owen Geiger's outline, but my intention is to have something elevating the yurt itself, have it as flat as possible while still disallowing water pooling underneath, and using the EPDM/etc. to prevent any

moisture

wicking into the interior.

As always, thanks Bob!
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:04 AM   #19
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I'm unfamiliar with earthbags but I've worked with a few dirtbags over the last four decades. Wish I could give you better advice but I know you'll get it figured out. Good luck with your endeavour.
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:35 PM   #20
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Default Re: Yurt on the Ground

I have thrown this out here before, but I don't know if anyone here has tried it. Soil-crete or maybe dirtcrete? I heard it was from the Mother Earth News sometime in the 70's but I'm not sure if that is true.

Here is a you-tube of someone else's version of doing it:

We added about 2 inches of sand on top of the tilled ground, and about an inch or so of some concrete product, maybe even portland cement on top of that and mixed and levelled it and then misted it well. I know there was a big water filled roller there, about the size of a 55 gallon drum, but I don't remember if they rolled it before it was misted, or after it had been wetted.

After it was wet it was covered with wet burlap bags. The owner said he would keep it wet for about a week.

It was all about helping a guy prepare for a strawbale house raising. It was in Western Montana more than 20 years ago, hmmm, maybe more than 30 years ago when we did this. It filled the area inside a concrete foundation that was poured to support the straw bales.

It wasn't my idea, and it was a friend of a friend kind of deal, but I had a tiller, and that made me part of the crew. We did two floors, I can't remember if it was the dirtcrete or the concrete one that I helped pour that we put pipe in the floor to allow for radiant heat, and then I got a job and was back to work.

I have no idea if this held up for the long haul. I haven't been back to the site since, but it is an idea that you could explore.

Rod
rodyurtlocker.com
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