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Keeping An Eye On Yurt Platform

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Old 11-10-2015, 11:36 PM   #1
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Default keeping an eye on yurt platform

My

yurt platform

is a few feet off of the ground. I noticed that a few of the supports are not 100% vertical but have a very slight angle to them. Most of the others appear vertical from looking at them just by eye. The slanted ones are closer to the door which is to the left in these photos.
The yurt is 5 years old


I am not sure the dynamics of how the platform works. I considered adding a few or a bunch of additional supports myself. However, I don't know if the spacing of the supports is such that if I add others would I disrupt some kind of natural support dynamic. This is a 20 foot yurt and maybe there are 12 supports. I am not sure, I should have counted. If I try to adjust the existing supports, it's not clear if they are well settled and I might not go about it the best way in that case and destabilize them.

I could easily cut some new supports and use a car jack to jack up the platform in a few spots just a tiny amount so I could add some new supports, possibly using some thin boards as shims if needed. If I did it in such a way that there was more supports in one area rather than an even distribution of supports as is currently, I am not sure if that is the best either ..

The spot the yurt is at can get pretty wet in the spring and it is probably on clay.

there is black plastic sheets around much of the uphill side and on the side where the picture is which you can plainly see. I put it there to kill of Japanese Knotweed because it was growing there. The site was a landfill at one time and that is why it was growing there probably. However, I may leave the plastic sheets because I read someplace that things of this sort can help reduce the risk of frost heaves in the ground which can disrupt structures. There is no plastic on the opposite side or on the downhill side.

It seems that my platform is very deck like in that it has the same kind of footers. I have researched decks online and decks can have alot of problems with shifting soils. The yurt round shape may mean there is some difference on weight distribution perhaps but I am not too sure if that is very significant or not








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Old 11-11-2015, 04:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: keeping an eye on yurt platform

This is not in my realm of expertise. Bob will probably have better advice, but if it were me, I would try jacking up under the crooked support, perhaps temporarily bracing it, and then straighten the support and then lower down the jack.
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Old 11-11-2015, 08:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: keeping an eye on yurt platform

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Originally Posted by Jafo View Post
This is not in my realm of expertise. Bob will probably have better advice, but if it were me, I would try jacking up under the crooked support, perhaps temporarily bracing it, and then straighten the support and then lower down the jack.
By doing that I would have to move the concrete support that is on the ground very slightly. It has probably settled a bit and moving it makes it somewhat unsettled. I guess it could also mean that it is no longer at the exact height from when it was installed or particularly if I have to keep making adjustments every few years. I should perhaps see how level the floor is with a bubble level as well but it seems like there are some complex dynamics potentially to consider.

I don't recall seeing that the supports where nailed in or if they where connected to the beams. I should have examined that when I was up there. It seems like they are just floating. I don't quite understand how stable the whole set up really is or where it's strengths and weaknesses may be

Moving the supports that are there would be cheaper than buying more supports.

Last edited by Larzo; 11-11-2015 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 11-11-2015, 10:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: keeping an eye on yurt platform

That platform doesn't look good. If you shift your weight back and forth when standing in the yurt, does it sway like it might collapse? If not, reposition posts as necessary. ABSOLUTELY cross brace from the posts to the beams or framing in several places, and 90 degrees to eachother. I'd do it immediately if possible. If the platform is in imminent danger of collapse, DO NOT climb under there to work. Redo the platform. Good luck and don't get hurt.
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Old 11-11-2015, 11:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: keeping an eye on yurt platform

Also, you're in Maine right? From what I know of platforms & pier blocks, you usually want them to go down at least to the frost line. I don't know what is usually done in your area though.

It would be a good idea to call up somebody local who knows what they're doing (construction friend or contractor) to at least take a look at it in person to give you recommendations/estimates.
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Old 11-11-2015, 01:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: keeping an eye on yurt platform

It's actually a bit of an optical illusion, the supports look different in real life than in the photo. They look worse in the picture because the camera may be tilted slightly or something and it's also a little blurry so you don't really see it clearly. The picture of just the support I just took to show what the supports are like, that one is not in bad shape even though in the picture it looks like it is. I do see it appears to have a crack in it however .. The ones that are slightly off angle are more towards the door. There's maybe a couple like that that are noticable. I don't believe the platform is in bad shape, though I do worry about long term and might like to do some work on it this Thanksgiving if there's not alot of snow by then.

The cross braces sound like a good idea. I think I have seen that ..

I had thought about digging into the ground, but it seems difficult to do it under the yurt and after it is already what it is which is footings placed directly on the ground.

It's possible I may be able to get up there this weekend. Would it hurt to add a few extra supports as well ?

What size wood for cross braces ? Should they be pressure treated ?

Also, is home depot a good place to get wood ? It's convenient to where I live

Last edited by Larzo; 11-11-2015 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 11-11-2015, 02:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: keeping an eye on yurt platform

OK, I'll assume it is safe to work under the platform. Check all the support posts to see if they are in good shape. Are they plumb? Are they attached to the beams ok? Check that the concrete pads are sound and sit flat on the ground.

Once that is accomplished, proceed with sway bracing. Install 2x4 cross or X bracing from the bottom of one post to the next. Go to the other side and do the opposite so you form an X. Repeat on as many pairs of posts that you can get access to. Also do 90 degrees offset. That will make a bomb proof post and beam frame that can't collapse. All free standing post and beam must have this type of essential bracing to prevent collapse.

You need pressure treated lumber if it is closer than 18" to the ground. Nailing with galvanized 16d hand drives is fine. A framing nailer would be waay easier for this due to the constricted area. You could also >drill holes< and use an impact drill/driver and attach with plated screws or use lags if there is no swing room. If I were you I'd load the framing with two braces 90 degrees to eachother direction at each post. But I do things overkill as a rule.

Good luck.
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Old 11-11-2015, 03:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: keeping an eye on yurt platform

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Originally Posted by Bob Rowlands View Post
OK, I'll assume it is safe to work under the platform. Check all the support posts to see if they are in good shape. Are they plumb? Are they attached to the beams ok? Check that the concrete pads are sound and sit flat on the ground.

Once that is accomplished, proceed with sway bracing. Install 2x4 cross or X bracing from the bottom of one post to the next. Go to the other side and do the opposite so you form an X. Repeat on as many pairs of posts that you can get access to. Also do 90 degrees offset. That will make a bomb proof post and beam frame that can't collapse. All free standing post and beam must have this type of essential bracing to prevent collapse.

You need pressure treated lumber if it is closer than 18" to the ground. Nailing with galvanized 16d hand drives is fine. A framing nailer would be waay easier for this due to the constricted area. You could also >drill holes< and use an impact drill/driver and attach with plated screws or use lags if there is no swing room. If I were you I'd load the framing with two braces 90 degrees to eachother direction at each post. But I do things overkill as a rule.

Good luck.
The beams that the supports are connected to run north/south. Does that mean that all my braces go north/south and that none go east/west ? going east to west seems complex but the other way seems simple.

It also seems like where the top of the support beam is connected to the

yurt platform

, it is just floating and not connected by anything. In that case I guess I should use some L shaped braces on either side. I should have checked that when I was up there but if you look at the first picture, it seems like that may be the case. I am not sure because on the other hand, I find that hard to believe or conceive of that's how it was done ..

Last edited by Larzo; 11-11-2015 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 11-11-2015, 06:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: keeping an eye on yurt platform

I shouldn't have said north south or east west. What I meant was brace both directions. Doing so will make the platform as stable as possible.


Tie the beams to the posts with Simpson Strong Tie construction connectors. Go to Depot or Lowes and look at the sample board. It will be in the concrete aisle which is the first aisle on either the far right or far left side of the store from the entry.

Install the largest t shaped connector that is the size of the post. Install one on either side of the post and use connector nails not 8s. This is gonna run into some money but it is all worth the expense. Your whole investment sits on that platform.
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Old 11-12-2015, 05:26 AM   #10
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Default Re: keeping an eye on yurt platform

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Originally Posted by Bob Rowlands View Post
I shouldn't have said north south or east west. What I meant was brace both directions. Doing so will make the platform as stable as possible.


Tie the beams to the posts with Simpson Strong Tie construction connectors. Go to Depot or Lowes and look at the sample board. It will be in the concrete aisle which is the first aisle on either the far right or far left side of the store from the entry.

Install the largest t shaped connector that is the size of the post. Install one on either side of the post and use connector nails not 8s. This is gonna run into some money but it is all worth the expense. Your whole investment sits on that platform.
Thanks Bob, I don't know what 8s refers to, but I see you mention use nails. When I google "Simpson Strong Tie construction connectors" it comes up with all kinds of hits that look different. If you could post a link, it might help but it sounds like they are just large L shaped braces. The T shaped ones would go in before the supports are on the beams. Since mine are going in afterwards, I think I need L shaped ones .. Thanks

I might have to make a few trips because my camp is 50 minutes from the closest home depot. After driving 200 miles up there, I then would have to drive all the way back 40 miles or so to home depot after making measurements of the supports and all. It is 20 minutes to Hammond lumber that might have what I need however and they actually supplied everything to build the platform. I will have to give them a call today to try to get an idea and may try to do that.

I don't know how the contractor that built the platform never told me to install cross braces. I never realized I would need to do this, I am not trained in any kind of construction. When I looked at the platform a couple of weeks ago, something didn't make sense to me, but I couldn't exactly pin point it.

I think you mean run some braces east/west and some north/south assuming say the beams faced north say. I think there will be more going the way the beams run because that looks easier.

The yurt is 20 feet wide. It appears on the widest beam there is 3 supports, so there is a distance of something like 9 feet or so between each support on that beam. If you think it would be a good idea to add a few extra supports, please let me know ..

Thanks for your advice. I don't think I will feel at ease until I get this done. I am planning on canceling all my other plans and heading up probably this Friday night sometime after work. I have been kind of feeling upset about this
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