This is part four in our series, “The True Cost of Building a Yurt.”
The goal of this series is to help our customers calculate the cost of building a yurt from beginning to end. Three of our recent yurt buyers kindly agreed to share their costs with us here on the Rainier Yurt Blog!
The question I am asked most often is “how do I build the yurt platform?”
Actually, I hear “will you build it for me?” pretty often, too, but the answer to that is “no!” (Or maybe “you don’t want me building your platform!”)
Platform plans are available to download from our website, and after you’ve made a deposit on your Rainier Yurt, we’ll send you our Engineered Platform Plans. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I highly recommend that you work from these plans!
After you’ve reviewed the plans, you’ll have some decisions to make. You have so many different options to construct the platform, so the cost really depends on what materials you choose.
The platform costs for our three featured yurt owners have a pretty wide range, but you’ll notice one thing: the bigger the platform, the more it costs!
Also, all three owners constructed the platforms themselves, so there are no labor costs reflected in any of their numbers.
Total cost: $6,000
Mr. Vallejo did all the work himself on his platform. He studied our engineered platform plans and built it to perfect tolerance.
We do our best to make the instructions and drawings easy to follow assuming that most of our customers are not licensed contractors. We know that you are handymen and women who are trying to keep costs down by doing it yourself.
It is imperative that you build the platform level and to the exact circumference specified. This allows for your yurt kit to be erected without any issues causing sagging or having the roof or walls being overly taught. The kit that we make at our production plant must fit onto your platform exactly which is why we stress the importance of being within tolerance and following our platform drawings to the “T” …or T-square as it turns out.
Total cost: $4,500
This yurt buyer decided to go with our SIPS panel option. The SIPs (or Structural Insulated Panel System) is designed and manufactured in 4 x 8 sheets of 6” thick panels that fit together on-site like a puzzle. They are cut in our manufacturing plant to have the exact radius for your yurt installation. We have taken the guesswork out of the equation!
SIPs yurt platforms are stronger than non-SIPs platforms, so you don’t need as much structural framing and blocking underneath. The pre-manufacturer SIPs panel kit comes complete with the mastic glue & wood screws. We have a set of engineered drawings that we send you with step-by-step instructions.
Of course, if you get confused or have questions I am only a phone call away. As I like to say, you already have my cell number – it’s on my business card. You may call me, even on the weekend, when you are erecting your yurt. I get it – that’s usually when you have “weekend warrior volunteers” to help you with your yurt install. All I ask is that you remember the time zone difference – I’m on the West Coast! I can’t tell you how often my cell phone rings at exactly 5:00 am on Saturday morning! The thing is, I usually take the call anyways …
But I digress. Back to SIPs … “what exactly is a SIPs panel?” you might be asking.
When you check out our price calculator: http://www.rainier.com/yurts/build/eagle-price-calculator/
Step one is picking the size of yurt you would like to price out. The second step is: Roof & Deck Options. Under the Deck/Platform category you have two choices; “No Deck/I’ll build my own” which means you will outsource all of the material from your local lumber or hardware store and use our engineered plans to build your deck – as the Vallejo and the Durga yurt buyers have done. The other option is, “Structural Insulated Panel Deck”.
This option includes the SIPs panels as part of your yurt kit. We ship them with the yurt crates. You are still responsible for the concrete footings and the under framing to support the SIPs. SIPs panels are constructed by taking expanded (using steam) polystyrene (EPS) foam and laminating it between two sheets of oriented strand board, known at the lumber store as OSB. This energy efficient system provides an extremely strong building panel that needs little or no additional support. This makes the yurt platform framing process faster than other building methods and enables an airtight, well-insulated yurt platform.
The basic design concept for SIPs is elegant in its simplicity and offers several advantages for yurt decks. Foremost, the platform is 100% the right diameter, the circumference is accurate for your yurt kit. It is undisputed that SIPs panels provide better overall air tightness and insulation than any other alternative yurt platform. A 5 ½” thick core gives you a R-Value (@ 75 degrees) of R23 and at 40 degrees R24. This is also green alternative as is improves energy efficiency up to 60%.
Click the images below to enlarge!
The Morgans chose the SIPs panel platform to combat the frigid temperatures, winds, and snow loads common where they raised their yurt. Others choose the SIPs for seismic activity and for the ease of installing. You can use any finish floor to on top of your SIPs.
Not including the SIPs in this calculation (it was included in the cost of the yurt in the previous blog post) the Morgan yurt, required the following materials to construct the framing to support the SIPs and yurt:
- Sand & Gravel
- Portland Cement
- Bigfoot Footings
- 12” Diameter Sonotubes
- Steel / Rebar
- 4×4 posts
- 2×6 boards for SIPS Panels
- 4×8 ACF Sheets ½” thick – used for finish floor- installed over sips
- Marine grade sealer – 2 coats
- Sander rental / sand paper
Total cost: $2,500
First, I would like to share a nice message I recently received from the Durga Yurt:
Choosing Rainier for our yurt was one of the best decisions we have ever made. We began the process knowing nothing about yurts, and Dana was there from the very start, answering every single question. And it’s not just that she answered the questions, it’s that she answered them well.
Rainier’s customer service helped us turn our yurt into a home. The yurt itself is an incredible structure, and with one look the quality of craftsmanship is both obvious and awe-inspiring. So often I look up at our amazing roof and am so grateful we bought such a high quality product. I am so grateful that our yurt feels safe, secure and sturdy. And it’s beautiful.
I can’t recommend the Rainier experience enough. Every interaction, every feature of the yurt, everything has been incredible. When building any type of housing, it makes sense to choose a company that prioritizes BOTH a quality product and incredible service. That combination is hard to find these days. That combination is why I chose Rainier.
The Dugra homeowners were fortunate enough to have a small amount of recycled and donated materials which helped to keep their cost down. They too did all the work themselves – saving a lot of money on labor.
As always, feel free to call or email with any questions.
The three yurt owners are still in the process of finishing the interiors of their yurts. We’ll give them a break from their starring roles on the yurt blog so that the next time we check in, they’ll have lots of pictures to share!
P.S. – We’re “pinning” now! Find our boards on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rainieryurts/