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tboulden 09-11-2014 11:38 AM

Yurt Platform and Insulation in Mixed Climate
Hello All!
I've purchased a gently used 30' Pacific Yurt that I'm looking to get put up in the next month or so. The questions I'm currently asking myself are what is the best solution in terms of price, comfort, and assembly/disassembly for the platform.

Price, of course, I'd like to be lower, but will pay reasonably for quality. I have some facility with tools, have several friends who have carpentry and building experience to help if needed.

In terms of comfort, I'm in eastern NC where it gets hot and humid during the summer and usually not much colder than 10-15degF during the winter (USDA hardiness zone 8a). We slept in an uninsulated 15' yurt last winter with an electric blanket, but the new 30' yurt has the full wall and roof insulation package, so the question is really how to insulate which floor option we choose.

I'd thought about buying SIPs, however this is looking to be much more expensive than I would like.
Insulative comfort, Disassembly/Portability, Ease of construction: +
Price: --

Concrete floor would be less expensive, but still up there. I could add a hydronic radiant heating option, and am thinking about experimenting with compost furnace (wood chip pile water heater, google "biomeiler compost furnace"). Clearly this is much more permanent. To lessen the cost, I've thought about just having a stem wall poured and making a tamped earthen floor, this would just require more time than I might like right now, but certainly much cheaper, we'll see.
Insulative comfort, Ease of construction: +
Price, Disassembly/Portability: -

A stick built platform, depending on materials, should be substantially cheaper than either a full SIPs floor or concrete floor, but I wonder again about dissasembly/portability and insulation options. In particular, a comment I read in another thread on here made sense in relation heat and humidity and that having an elevated platform to help pull heat away, but to handle cold/drafts by placing straw bales around the perimeter. I could use these in garden beds/compost after the winter, and straw bales are relatively cheap and local. What are others thoughts in this regard? Our experience last winter in the 15' yurt with an uninsulated platform (guy we bought it from was a doctor, not a carpenter, and looking at the platform you could tell it, not 16",24" centers, just a mess and we decided to make do rather than build a new platform at the time) lets me know that some modicum of draft protection and insulation would be needed, but how much is presents a happy medium?
Ease of construction, Price, Disassembly/Portability: +
Insulative comfort: ?

What do y'all think? Thanks!


Bob Rowlands 09-11-2014 07:23 PM

Re: Yurt Platform and Insulation in Mixed Climate
Pressure treated 4x4 frame laying atop a flat gravel pad. Foam insulboard between the framing members. Screw the frame together with 4.5" plated deck screws and an impact drill. Use 2x6 common construction boards screwed to the frame for flooring. All demountable down the road.

Bob Rowlands 09-11-2014 07:34 PM

Re: Yurt Platform and Insulation in Mixed Climate
Another less expensive option would be to screw 3/4 t&g plywood to the 4x4s instead of 2x6s.

Good luck.

tboulden 09-12-2014 03:27 PM

Re: Yurt Platform and Insulation in Mixed Climate
Hi Bob! Thanks for your time!


Pressure treated 4x4 frame
Octagonal frame? The round edges outside of the frame fine to not have insulation? Also, what about drip edge? Just tack the sidewall cover up underneath or should I worry about putting it higher off the ground?

Bob Rowlands 09-12-2014 10:39 PM

Re: Yurt Platform and Insulation in Mixed Climate
No, the 30' diameter 4x4 frame would be very near round. It would have 13 parallel courses of 4x4 'joists', with 2' foamboard rips between the courses. Use the foam to space the 4x4s. 4x4 cripples fill in the gaps between framing members at the perimeter.

I was thinking the whole 4x4 frame could rest atop a circular gravel pad say 31' in diameter. The gravel is contained within bendable landscaping edging laid out on a 31' diameter circle scratched in the dirt.

No critters under the frame, and no moisture because of sheet plastic. Superb dry support for the 4x4s everywhere on the pad. The 2x6 flooring (or whatever) screwed into the frame ties everything together good and solid. Totally demountable as well. No concrete piers or pads.

You could space the frame with 16" rips as well if you don't want to span 24" in the clear.

This is quite similar to the platform under my 16' yurt.

benjamminson 03-28-2016 09:14 PM

Re: Yurt Platform and Insulation in Mixed Climate
Hey Bob

Old thread, but building a 30' platform currently.

You mentioned using 4.5" screws with the 2x6 joists. Can you get away with not using metal joist hangers? I have these plans from Rainier, but they seem like serious overkill to me.

Maybe I'll make a new post.


Bob Rowlands 03-29-2016 08:39 PM

Re: Yurt Platform and Insulation in Mixed Climate
Screw the 2x6 down onto the 4x frame with 3" plated deck screws. If the frame is on top of a gravel bed, you assuredly do not need joist anchors. The 2x6 decking will efficiently tie everything together. Have fun.

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