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-   -   I think we have found the yurt we want (https://www.yurtforum.com/forums/buying-a-yurt-f1/i-think-we-have-found-the-yurt-we-want-260.html)

willovic 02-04-2013 07:02 PM

I think we have found the yurt we want
After about a month of research and contacting at least three companies I think we have decided to buy from Shelter designs .. I am not sure how to go about checking on the credibility of a company. They were so quick to respond and so willing to work with us. My husband is an amazing cabinet maker and I would like him to make my door and windows. The bigger companies did not really like this idea but shelter design had no problem with it. They will just provide us with the frames. Just wondering if anyone here has had any experience with them.

Jafo 02-04-2013 07:40 PM

I have yet to hear anything bad about them. I don't recall if anyone here has ever done business with them. I do know that they are a member here at the forum.

I wish I could be more helpful.

- Jeff

willovic 02-04-2013 08:15 PM

Not hearing anything bad is good.

willovic 02-10-2013 10:22 AM

we did it. Just ordered a 24 ft yurt from shelter design. We may make a trip from vancouver island to montana to pick it up.

Jafo 02-10-2013 12:14 PM

Oh that is AWESOME! PLEASE PLEASE take a lot of pics and post here often on how your experience goes. Any details you add will help the next person who is thinking about taking the plunge! I can't wait to see your yurt when it is up and ready to go! :)


Shelter Designs 02-11-2013 01:13 PM

Greetings from Shelter Designs! It is always surprising to me that with our long list of satisfied customers how little feedback we get posted online about us, so allow me to introduce ourselves. We have supplied yurts all over the globe to both commercial and residential customers and generally get the same response - "we love our yurt, thank you so much!"

Again, we have supplied both commercial and residential yurts all over the world. Most of our business is regional in the Inland NW and Northern Rockies and has included multiple ski areas, glamping and rental yurts, yoga facilities, backcountry ski yurts, and residential use among others. We have also had full engineering specs done on our structures and will work closely with you to design the best yurt for your situation and budget. We are a small company not intent on being the biggest, but on handcrafting quality yurts at competitive pricing to the big companies. Our guiding mantra here is to be the kind of company that we would want to do business with. That means open, courteous and clear communication throughout the purchase, installation and life of the yurt; building high quality products using the best materials available today, and offering our yurts at affordable prices. Not to say we are not human and have never made a mistake or had a problem, because we have. I don't know of any manufacturer who hasn't. The few times there has been issue with a component we respond quickly and efficiently to remedy it.

We are always pleased to supply potential customers with contact info of former customers to get their feedback directly. We also can put you in touch with customers, if there is one near you, to set up a visit and see our yurts firsthand. We have two display models set up, one at our facility in NW Montana and one in Billings, MT (Southeast MT), and love for people to come by, meet our team and tour our facility. Just give us a call at (406)295-4661 to set up a time.

Thanks to Jafo for starting and hosting this forum, the more public yurt forums like this the better! Thanks also to willovic for or latest sale, we are glad we could do business and look forward to pictures and comments througout! Foe more info visit our website at Shelter Designs Yurts, Montana & Idaho Yurt Company (Shelter Designs Yurts, Montana & Idaho Yurt Company) our FB page at Shelter Designs - Yurts - Troy, MT - Engineering/Construction | Facebook or give us a call at 406-295-4661

Hays Daniel

Jafo 02-17-2013 04:44 PM

By the way, here is an article about Shelter Yurts:


Clean Air Yurts 02-18-2013 07:16 PM

First off I see that Shelter Designs is making a quality yurt product and their round rafters are a great design. I do have some issues that apply to nearly every commercial yurt designer, however.

I would like to ask Shelter Designs about the Eco-friendly aspects of their Eco-Yurt. I see that you use a zero-VOC oil finish for the wooden components. That is great. I personally use both Tried and True brand finishes as well as the new Penofin Verde non-toxic oil finishes.

However, I have been researching fabric materials for many years and have personally come the conclusion that vinyl fabrics are very harmful to both the environment and human health. Looking at their website, I see that all of the fabrics that are used by Shelter Designs and all other yurt companies (except for Clean Air Yurts, Laurel Nest and Yurta) are strictly vinyl coated fabrics.

I would urge all yurt enthusiasts and yurt company owners to research the effects of vinyl on human health to decide for yourself if you want to live inside a building made of this material. I do not want to be around an PVC or Vinyl and will not use it in any of my products, including clear vinyl for windows. Check out a sample of links below or doa search yourself for more information.

Toxicity of vinyl chloride and poly(vinyl chloride): a critical review.
That 'new shower curtain smell'? It's toxic, study says - Los Angeles Times
Pro/Con: Is Vinyl Green? | GreenBuildingAdvisor.com
How to Find and Avoid Toxic Vinyl (PVC) in Your Home | Greenpeace

Jafo 02-18-2013 07:36 PM

Most of the information I have read on PVC toxicity relates to those in the industry. I don't see much credible information about its hazards in every day use. PVC is everywhere and if there was a real danger, I think you would see massive reactions. I am usually more wary of the chemicals used to bond pieces together such as in piping.

I did a little bit of research in this a while back and just about everything I found that withstood the smell test, related to mostly production of these materials. Geez, many things are dangerous during production but are virtually inert in the final product.

On a personal anecdotal level, I know more people who have gotten sick from damp mildewy materials that contained mold, than anyone getting ill from the materials themselves. That's just me though. :)

By the way, welcome to the forum! I used to live near New Paltz not that long ago. I lived in Gardiner and Modena. :)

Clean Air Yurts 02-18-2013 08:03 PM

I only wanted to ask Shelter Designs their position on the issue of vinyl in yurt cover fabrics, so this will be my last post in this thread, but I will open another thread to discuss this issue.

Again, Shelter Designs is doing a good job of making yurt frames and covers and their quality seems to be high. I only question the choice of cover fabric and if they have searched for alternatives to vinyls and Durolast.

One of the issues that I have with PVC and Vinyls are the high levels of Phalates and other plasticizers found in the soft vinyl used to coat fabrics. One common phalate used in vinyl fabrics is BPA or Bisphenol-A. This chemical was deemed to be harmful enough to small children and adults that it was removed for nearly all children's products as well as the lining of cans as was widely reported over the past several years. BPA has been found in the blood of nearly humans ever tested. Many companies are touting their newly-redesigned products as BPA-free, so why would yurt companies not want to be BPA-free as well?

The other issue with vinyls is the high levels of fire-retardants particularly brominated fire retardants found in vinyl fabrics. These are another class of chemicals that is coming under enhanced scrutiny in recent months. These chemicals are banned in Europe already.
EFSA Topic: Brominated Flame Retardants

Most chemicals have had no research into their possible health effects because big companies want to sell more products, not protect the health of the public. That is the fault of the close ties between big business and the government.
This is from the EPA website at HPV Chemical Hazard Data Availability Study | OPPT | US EPA

I personally don't want to take the chance that my kids will grow up with thyroid issues or genetic mutations, or cancer and so I stay away from vinyl.

"Of the 3,000 chemicals that the US imports or produces at more than 1 million lbs/yr, a new EPA analysis finds that 43% of these high production volume chemicals have no testing data on basic toxicity and only seven percent have a full set of basic test data. This lack of test data compromises the public's right to know about the chemicals that are found in their environment, their homes, their workplace, and the products that they buy. Industry must do more to ensure that basic information is available on every high-production chemical they manufacture.


There are six basic tests which have been internationally agreed to for screening high production volume (HPV) chemicals for toxicity. The tests agreed to under the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Screening Information Data Set (OECD/SIDS) program are: acute toxicity; chronic toxicity; developmental/reproductive toxicity; mutagenicity; ecotoxicity and environmental fate.

EPA found that approximately 55% of TRI chemicals have had full SIDS testing, while only 7% of other chemicals have full test data. EPA also looked at a set of 491 chemicals used by children and families in consumer products. Only 25% of these chemicals have full screening data. EPA cannot begin to judge the hazards and risks of such consumer chemicals without basic information, and in fact substantially more detailed and exhaustive testing is needed to assess these high exposure chemicals.

It is clear that companies need to do more to address this problem: of the 830 companies making HPV chemicals in the US, 148 companies have NO SIDS data available on their chemicals; an additional 459 companies sell products for which, on average, half or less of SIDS tests are available. Only 21 companies (or 3% of the 830 companies) have all SIDS tests available for their chemicals. The basic set of test data costs about $200,000 per chemical."

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