Yurt Forum - A Yurt Community About Yurts  

Go Back   Yurt Forum - A Yurt Community About Yurts > Yurt Plans
Search Forums
Advanced Search

Steep Roof, Large Ring?

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-28-2013, 07:33 AM   #1
Yurt Forum Youngin
BlossomMerz's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Wolf Creek, Oregon
Posts: 23
Default Steep Roof, Large Ring?

Hi, there!

I'm brand new to this forum, having sought it out as a place to learn as fast as I can. You see, I am taking the leap in a big way and building a platform and yurt this spring to serve as my weaving studio and residence.

I've read the books from Laurel Nest, Paul King, and others, so I've got a whole lot of construction ideas, but no practical experience.

For various reasons, which I'll explain if you like, I would like my roof to be very steep, about 45 degrees, and my roof ring to be large. (That one's easy to explain: lots of light.)

I'm thinking of standard 1x2 fir for the rafters and walls. 12' for the rafters and 10' for the walls with holes spaced 9" apart.

Here are my questions...

Is there any engineering reason not to make the roof so steep or the ring so large?

With 72 rafters, is a 12' 1x2 strong enough to hold up the roof, including a wool


layer and a fireproof rubberized "truck tarp"? If not, would a 2x2 work?

If I upgrade the rafters, will the walls be strong enough to hold it all up?

Thanks for any help y'all can give.

PS: The rendering was done in Google Sketchup. Don't let the slick appearance fool you. I spent years as a 3D software developer, but have no experience building yurts.

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	WholeModel_v02_front_email_notated.jpg
Views:	2002
Size:	98.3 KB
ID:	275  
BlossomMerz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2013, 12:12 PM   #2
Manufacturer Representative
Surely Yurts - Steve's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Johnson, VT / Sedona, AZ
Posts: 146
Default Yurt Math: Proportion


The pitch of the yurt roof should be proportionate to the diameter, for strentgh and beauty. Your pitch looks too steep at this point.

here is a link to some yurt math and an online calculater:

SimplyDifferently.org: Yurt / Ger Notes

Should use larger than a 2X2 for a 12' span especially for snow load. But, I have seen more traditional yurts that simply use 2" sticks with the bark skinned off as rafters. That is usually for a shorter span though, closer to 8'.

A healthy dose of patience with a dash of zen should go a long way to help whilst teaching yourself this new skill!

I would also reccomend considering a used yurt. It may actually be cheaper and less time consuming to restore an old yurt rather than building a new one from scratch (think of tools you'll need to buy and all other expenes). In the pac. northwest, you should have many used yurts available on the market.

Surely Yurts - Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2013, 02:05 PM   #3
Yurt Forum Youngin
BlossomMerz's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Wolf Creek, Oregon
Posts: 23
Default Used yurt? Smart!

Thanks, Steve!

I hadn't really considered that yurts are popular enough that I could find one used. When I started fantasizing about living in one, I could find very little on the market. Recently, I priced the new ones from several companies and they're way more than I can afford, even considering the peace-of-mind and time savings that comes from letting someone more qualified do the engineering and construction.

Especially with the constrained time frame, I think that looking into used yurts is a really smart idea. Thanks for the tip.

In case I do go through with building my own, what do you mean when you say that the pitch should be proportional to the diameter? I know that 45 degrees looks too steep. The only yurt I've physically worked on had a 32 degree pitch, which looks like the norm from the hundreds of photos I've drooled over.

Thanks again for your help!
BlossomMerz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 04:02 PM   #4
Yurt Forum Member
jeritchie's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 32

I have to agree with Steve. Stay with the industry standards for 'code-compliant' yurts - 30 degree roof pitch and standard ring sizes. This way you can build the frame yourself and purchase a new cover if necessary. If the ring is a standard diameter and back-cut, you will be able to purchase a standard acrylic skylight.

12' span should be at least 2x4 of a known hardness wood (e.g. not SPF). Depending on your location (snow load) you should probably consider 2x6 rafters.

10' Lattice walls are quite a challenge, you might consider 7' walls and put them on top of a small pony wall.

jeritchie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 09:45 PM   #5
Yurt Forum Youngin
BlossomMerz's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Wolf Creek, Oregon
Posts: 23

Thanks, jer,

I had noticed that most yurts were pitched at about 30 degrees, but I had never heard of it as a standard. I think I need to take a step back and look for information about the standards and traditions before I go too much further out on a limb.

I've only got a budget to build my yurt once, so I'd like to do it right. I'll come back and update as I learn more.

Thanks again!
BlossomMerz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2013, 02:35 AM   #6
Yurt Forum Youngin
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 22


I have just completed a traditional Ger for camping. Being for camping, it is small, 4.5 meters in diameter, but built pretty close to the Mongolian time tested design. My outer cover is an acrylic canvas, the felt


is layered disaster blankets (they are felted synthetic/wool), and the inner cotton lining is hotel quality sheets (less expensive than yard goods). The wall slats are white oak, whilst the rest is vertical grain Douglas Fir. The steep pitch you envision would collect heat, making the living level cold. In a traditional Ger, the walls taper in at the top, which provides more stability, and strength.
Woodyrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2013, 02:53 AM   #7
Yurt Forum Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Oregon
Posts: 52

Fyi there is a 30' pacific yurt out near coos bay I think, for sale for $5k obo. A tree fell on it so It needs a new


and some rafters and fabric repair. I am unclear on the extent of the damage. Haven't talked to the owner because I don't have the need for any more yurts at this time, but might be worth checking into. They've been trying to get rid of it for some time so you could probably get a really good price. Sounds like a good fit for someone in your situation. Just a thought

Ps Ive seen 2 or 3 20-24'

pacific yurts

on craigslists in oregon in the last few weeks all in the $5k range.
bss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2013, 12:35 AM   #8
Yurt Forum Youngin
BlossomMerz's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Wolf Creek, Oregon
Posts: 23

Woodyrock, thanks for the info about your yurt. It sounds really nice! I know that the heat will rise. I've got three things in the plans to deal with this: a ceiling fan, a second level, and a quilted drop ceiling. Part of the reason I want it so tall is to put in a loft and have a small second story. My original question had to do with engineering. I wondered if there's any structural reason why the roof can't be so steep. Does it catch wind, cause the ring to wobble, put more strain on the walls, etc. Based on the advice I've gotten, I think that I'll stick to standard dimensions for my first yurt. Maybe down the line I can design and build a tall one like this, but it seems like too much for my first one.

bss, I've been trying to contact the owners of that yurt out in Walton, but had no luck. I've just got a craigslist posting to go by. Do you have better contact info or another source for this listing that might get the message through to them? I've seen the $5,000 24' yurt listings, too, but so far no luck snagging one. I'll keep at it, though. Since many of them include a platform if I do the work do disassemble and move it, this seems like a very economical alternative.

And, just putting it out there... I'm willing to pay around $5,000 (and a little more if need be) for a used 24' or 30' yurt and platform, preferably from a reputable manufacturer and do all of the work to disassemble and move it from anywhere in Oregon, southern Washington, or northern California. I can show up with a moving truck, crew and tools in early March.

Thanks everyone for all of your help.

BlossomMerz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2013, 08:34 AM   #9
Jafo's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,392

I think you are going the right route Blossom. I would love to see your tall yurt if you ever decide to do it. I just think a standard design is better for your FIRST yurt. It would be great if your design worked. I love different designs.
Jafo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2013, 09:33 AM   #10
Yurt Forum Member
jeritchie's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 32

Just a note - I am not sure if this is an 'official' standard. It is more of an ad-hoc standard that has grown up based on a choice made forty years ago by the first builders of 'North American' yurts.

Several times a year, I will get people calling our company with a story like ' I built my own frame now I would like to buy a cover. OR can I buy a acrylic skylight for ring ' The first questions are what is the pitch of your roof and the outer diameter of your ring? Many people copy the Mongolian design and use a 22.5 degree pitch. Unfortunately I can't supplied parts that will work on those Yurts.

If you want to build your own Yurt - Go for it. It is fun and rewarding and you will learn a bunch.

Good Luck

Jafo and Marshall Eppley like this.
jeritchie is offline   Reply With Quote

yurt plans, yurts of america, yurt platform

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:45 PM.

Yurt Forum | Buying a Yurt | Building a Yurt | Yurt Life | Yurts for Sale | Yurt Glamping | Yurts Pricing Yurt Calculators | Yurt Insurance | Yurt Insulation | Yurt Classifieds

Copyright 2012 - 2024 Jeff Capron Inc.

Yurt Posts Delivered to your Email!

Stay up-to-date with all the new yurt posts to your inbox!

unsusbcribe at anytime with one click

Close [X]