A yurt is a circular, somewhat movable structure that has been used as a home thousands of years ago in Central Asia. A fully completed yurt has a sloping roof that stretches from a roof ring in the middle to the top of the low-slung exterior walls. The walls encircle the base or platform in the center and form a circle.
Since building yurts were was designed to collapse to a portable size when dismantled, they are ideal for camping. However, with yurts, building your own is increasingly popular.
Yurts are more popular for homes and workplaces because of their durability. A timber lattice frame coupled with wooden rafters is the traditional materials used for the frame.
To top this, they are covered in canvas or other durable material, and you’ll find the open-plan space doesn’t require center support unless yurt is of considerable size. (Read Living In a Yurt)
In our guide, you can find out more about how to make your own yurt and can you stay in your yurt permanently? By the end, you’ll be well-armed to know how do you build a yurt with a professional, or you use a yurt kit to assemble it yourself.
How Much Does it Cost to Build a Yurt from Scratch?
If you want to know how to make a yurt because of cost implications, you can find a massive range of prices you can come up with. First, you need to consider the land, although we won’t include this as it is a never-ending variable and will vary for every individual.
Suppose you keep your homemade yurt simple and do it all yourself with the land and platform in place (you can use from wooden pallets to concrete). You can find the cost can range from around a conservative $600 for a 12-foot yurt up to around $1500 for a 24 foot.
While the timber may not vary much in cost, you will find the canvas or outer material you decide to use can vary. For instance, a high-quality canvas or fabric that can repel UV rays that are professionally stitched will command a higher price.
If you move up in the range, you can find kits available ranging from $6,000 to over $20,000. With these, everything is pre-designed, and a set space is as-is with a tent.
You can choose a more bespoke construction, where materials without building and construction can cost from around $10,000 to $20 thousand.
The difference with these, you can find you have all the home comforts. You can have a bathroom, kitchen, and heating along with a proper locking front door. One more last addition for such builds is glass windows, which can be a challenge in a self-build. (Learn How Long Do Yurts Last)
Many companies, such as Pacific Yurts, offer upgrades and choices that can increase cost but offer everything you want in your tent-like structure.
If you wish to know the costs of the platform and are not building it yourself, the cost for the concrete laying can be $3,000 and upward based on size, contractors, and land surveyor who will recommend where to build.
With the above costs, you can find it doesn’t include additional insulation. It may not matter where you live because you can need suitable insulation for the cold and heat. Costs here can range from $1000 to $3000 and can include radiant heat barrier insulation that will reflect heat where it is needed.
Is It Cheaper to Build Your Own Yurt?
The design of a structure has a significant impact on its cost. A 12-foot-diameter plywood floor and basic canvas are less expensive than a 30-foot-diameter custom or professional kit. Costs in any construction project include: The rafters and walls are made of wood.
Professional installation can range from around $7000 all the way to $44,000, wherein comparison, do it yourself, and the same sized yurts can cost between $6,500 and $35,000 for your DYI build.
You’ll see the structure and platform only need a few materials. Professional construction is way more expensive, yet it can be worth the additional cost in the end. (Find the Best 14 Person Tent)
Can You Build Your Own Yurt?
When building a yurt, or considering moving into a modern yurt, here are the steps you follow to erect your yurt building.
Yurts were traditionally erected directly on the ground because of their nomadic history. Bases were introduced as yurts grew larger and allowing for higher floors. These bases come in a variety of materials, but most are made of wood.
The lattice grows to make a full-length wall during yurt building. The weight of everything above it is distributed down to the base below because of its angled construction.
In modern yurts, the rafters are usually made of dimensional lumber.
The center ring is where all the rafters connect at the pinnacle of the roof. The roof’s weight and load are distributed partially to the ring, which keeps the entire building upright. A transparent dome skylight frequently covers the structures.
Over the last century, yurt covers have transformed. What was once composed of canvas and insulated with felt is now made of modern materials such as water-proof vinyl and reflective foil insulation.
Construction Time Required
The first phase of building the base and platform is the most time-absorbing and can take between 1-3 weeks. Once the foundation is in place, you’ll see how quickly the rest of your yurt structure can be erected.
The external structure can go from nothing to finished in 1-5 days, depending on the size of your yurt and the number of people helping.
You’ll have a roof, and the rest is finishing the interior. You could add a bed and be done with it, yet a yurt to serve as a fully-fledged house takes more thought. With all its complexities, interior construction can take a month or two based on your desire.
Designing your layout
The ideal layout of any home will differ. While the circular nature of your yurt can provide many benefits, it poses some unique challenges. Most appliances and furniture are square and can look out of place along a rounded wall.
Depending on the size, you can build interior walls to separate the space and encourage access around the perimeter of the yurt.
Build a Circular Platform
To serve as a foundation for a yurt, it must be flat and stable. The simplest and most traditional method is to use a flat piece of land.
However, because there isn’t much to support the yurt, it’s not suitable for semi-permanent or permanent structures, and they’re more likely to absorb water during rain or snowmelt.
A landscaping shovel will assist in leveling off any unevenness if you desire to create a flat region on the ground.
Most yurt builders build a raised wooden platform or deck that matches the yurt’s footprint. The yurt uses attachment places around the edge, thanks to this design. Rain and snow can’t collect and run under the yurt because of this. Depending on the platform’s size, concrete footings may be required, which will need permits and inspections. A ladder, hammer, drill, and framing timber are among the tools and materials that may be required for your build.
Install a Door Frame and Lattice Wall
Following the completion of the foundation basis, the location of the door must be established. If you build a platform with steps, it’s better to place it exactly in front of them.
The yurt kit will contain a door and door frame, so all you have to do now is use the included hardware bolts to secure the door frame to the foundation.
It’s time to stretch the lattice walls around the perimeter after the door frame is secure. Begin by anchoring one end of the lattice wall to the door frame on one side of the door and stretching the lattice around the perimeter.
Attach the lattice wall to the other side of the door frame using the included fasteners. For further strength and stability, run the provided wire cable through the top of the lattice wall and fasten it using the metal straps included in the pack. (Find the Best Queen Size Camping Cot)
Larger yurts may come with several pieces of lattice wall, in which case, the parts need to be attached before extending.
Build the Roof With Rafter and Compression Ring
It’s time to put up the roof when the walls are up. The roof comprises rafters attached to the lattice walls and a compression ring in the middle that holds everything together. This phase may require the help of two or three others.
Each rafter will be weather-resistant hardware attached to the compression ring and then slide over the wire cable at the top of the lattice walls.
While the crew on the ground installs the rafters one at a time, it’s best to have someone in the middle of the yurt to stabilize the compression ring and ensure its level.
The compression ring distributes the weight of the roof once all the rafters are in place, which is especially crucial when snow accumulates.
Cover Your Yurt
It’s time to cover the structure now that it’s been erected. Simple canvas or waterproof vinyl can be used when building a yurt. Many yurt builders in colder locations choose to cover the roof with a reflective thermal layer before adding the roof on a modern yurt to keep the heat in the space.
The roof will most likely be rolled when it arrives. Allow the tent to unroll or unfold down to the wall while standing on a ladder in the yurt’s middle. The ground team can spread the material until it’s folded in half and covers half of the yurt.
Pull the roofing material to the center of the yurt construction with a rope linked to the center of the top-most folded layer. Toss the rope to someone on the ground and tell them to keep pulling until the roofing material completely covers the structure.
Use the provided hardware to center the material and secure it to the framework.
The wall material is usually sold in sections, and it’s easier to install them one at a time. Begin on one side of the yurt and work your way to the other, following the directions and using the hardware provided with the kit.
To prevent leaks from entering the yurt, make sure the wall portion sits beneath the roof’s overhang.
Can I Live in a Yurt Permanently?
Finding a suitable location for your yurt may require some creative thinking, but they can normally be set up on any flat area of land that is clear enough for them to fit on.
Craigslist, Facebook, and word of mouth are all fantastic places to look for vacant land or acres next to a house to rent for a yurt living. Alternatively, if you have the financial resources, you can own your own piece of land.
A wooden deck composed of pallets, recycled wood, or other lumber is used for more permanent yurt setups. Yurt decks do not require a foundation and are usually constructed with fasteners to allow for easy disassembly and relocation should the need arise.
Wood fires, inexpensive yet efficient rocket mass heaters, and a range of gas or electric space heaters can all be used to heat yurts safely.
There are two typical strategies for living in a yurt full-time:
- Find land outside of town where zoning regulations aren’t strict.
- Build your yurt behind a house where you pay rent. You officially live in the house but spend your days in the yurt outside.
Luckily, there is such a demand for this; there are ways and means and locations where regulations are changing compared to years ago and the traditional way of thinking regarding such structures.