I’ve had several requests recently for general yurt information, and I thought there are probably more of you out there who are just starting to learn about yurts and their many uses. Think of this as a helpful PSA all about yurts!
Adapted from Mongolian yak herders, modern yurts today are used for a variety of purposes.
The versatility, convenience, durability, affordability, and low environmental impact of yurts make them an excellent alternative to a typical permanent structure. Many people think of them as cabins, but they can serve a number of purposes.
Here are a few examples:
- Campground Rentals
- Guest Rentals
- Ski Resort Hut
- Temporary Housing
- Fitness and Retreat Centers
- Seasonal Worker Housing
- Meeting Facility
- Spa Enclosure
- Meditation/Fitness Room
- Photography or Artist Studio
- Permanent Residency
Modern yurts are an alternative membrane or fabric structure. They combine luxury with privacy, and provide year-round comfort and safety from the elements.
Yurts can be rustic or modern. They are strong, efficient, affordable, and easy on the environment. Rainier sells the kit and we can teach you how to set it up. Then you finish the inside with anything your heart desires – creating your new kitchen, bathroom, and installing electrical, plumbing, wood stoves, heating and AC!
The Rainier Yurt is designed to last for years, it has a timeless shape, design features, and is built to stand up to Mother Nature. Rainier sells a DIY kit which includes the fabric shell for roof and wall coverings, lattice walls, rafters, compression ring, clear acrylic dome, doors and windows. Many upgrade options are available, for example: insulation, tinted domes, glass windows, French doors, SIPS decks, wood stove flashings, rain diverters.
The customer is responsible for:
- The land
- The cost and management of shipping the crates
- Materials and building the yurt platform
- Install a finished floor (usually plywood, hardwood, vinyl, tile or carpet)
- The installation labor, power tools, scaffolding
- Finishing the interior walls, plumbing, and electrical
- Plans to build the platform
- The yurt kit
- 79 page Instruction Manual & CAD drawings
- Assistance with a shipping estimate
- Telephone, Skype, internet technical-support
Rainier Yurts can be picked up at our loading dock using a heavy duty truck and utility trailer or truck rental, or you can choose to have it shipped ANYWHERE in the world.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions:
Who can I get to install my yurt?
Rainier yurts are often installed by their owners, but some prefer to hire a contractor for the installation. We provide a step-by-step set-up manual and a toll free number (within the United States) so we can answer any installation questions. The time spent to install your yurt will vary depending on your site, weather conditions, the number of people you have to help and which options your yurt has. Assuming the deck is in place, a smaller yurt can set up in a day, while a large yurt may take a couple days. It is best not to set a time limit for yourself and just follow the set-up instructions provided.
We are happy to provide a technical person to oversee your yurt raising and help you put your yurt up for $500.00 per day, plus expenses. You will still need to provide the crew, tools and scaffolding.
We also have a network of individual contractors throughout the United States that can be contracted for around $300.00 per day, plus expenses. You will still need to provide the crew, tools and scaffolding.
Do I need a permit?
Building codes can be tricky, especially in more urban areas, and it’s essential that you have the proper permitting to install your yurt if you plan to install electrical and plumbing. It usually boils down to the Energy Code requirements. We recommend that you remind the official that this is an alternative membrane structure for temporary use to get them away from the residential codes and regulations.
How does shipping work?
We crate all components of the yurt (regardless of size and options) and the customer has the option of picking up the yurt crates at our will call loading dock or hiring a carrier to ship the crates to your location. Rainier Yurt ships our kits worldwide.
Before you place your order, we are happy to provide you with a no-obligation shipping estimate based on you price calculator submission. Delivery charges are based on weight, size and number of crates and final destination – just like a package from the post office! The more it weighs and the farther it is going – the more it is going to cost. Please note that these quoted rates may change (either go up or down) between when we prepare the quote and when the yurt actually ships. But it will give you a general idea.
Residential deliveries can add cost – so if you know someone with a loading dock it will save some money!
We HIGHLY recommend that you rent a fork lift if the shipment is not delivered to a loading dock. – this too in the long run will save you money and headaches. Your only other option is to offload by hand while the driver waits (he is not obligated to offer any assistance) and will charge you by the minute for “delay of game”.
You are encouraged to arrange your own shipping through friends, family and private contacts. We require a printed Bill of Lading e-mailed to us 24 hours prior to pickup along with the contact information of the carrier.
All yurt kits must be paid in full prior to leaving the loading dock – no exceptions.
If you are picking up your yurt at our Will Call Loading Dock please note that you will need to know the size and weight of the crates prior to arriving to make sure you have enough space and horsepower. The main crate alone weighs over 1500 pounds!
How long does it take to make my yurt kit?
Depending on the number of units in the queue, we average around 30 days from the time you make your deposit. We are willing to work with you if you have a crisis or emergency situation and need it sooner than the normal turn time. Likewise, extra sets of French doors, wood framed windows and custom features may add time by a week.
Do you have a showroom?
Yes, we have three yurts set up at our facility in Tukwila. Our beautiful “yurt yard” is alongside the Green River Trail!
We have a 12’ diameter Sparrow, an 18’ diameter Raven and a furnished 30’ (731 square feet) Eagle. We are open for tours Monday – Friday from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm and Saturdays by appointment.
Can my yurt go directly on the ground?
No, only our smallest model, the Sparrow, has the option of going directly on the ground. You need the circular platform or deck underneath to give you strength in wind and snow and to keep water from coming in from underneath.
Can I put a yurt on my existing patio or rectangular deck?
No, the deck or platform MUST be round and the exact diameter of the yurt kit to be used in this application. The lattice walls strap to the side of the platform. This secures them in place and ensures that your yurt won’t flex or move, causing the rafters to shift and possibly fall.
What kind of fabric is the wall made from?
The Sparrow has a 18 oz Tan vinyl roof with a warranty of 7 years and Canvas or Army Duck Natural Cotton Canvas for the side walls.
The Raven has the same 18 oz Tan vinyl coated polyester with a lacquer acrylic top-coat roof as the Sparrow -again with a 7 year warranty. The side walls are different – they are vinyl laminated polyester available in Evergreen or Oatmeal and are waterproof, mildew and soil resistant and fire retardant.
The Eagle has a 19 oz Beige vinyl coated polyester roof with a lacquer acrylic top-coat and comes with a 10 year pro-rated warranty. The sidewalls in the Eagle yurt are in 92″ wide sections that allow for ease when initially installing your yurt and makes it a snap to repair your side wall. For example, I worked with a customer last week who needed to replace one sidewall panel because a black bear in the Alaska wilderness broke in, looking for somewhere to take his long winter nap! If we had to replace the entire wall piece (as in the Raven model yurt) the cost would have been $2046 plus $400 shipping! For the single Eagle wall panel, it was just $320 plus $65 for shipping.
The Eagle sidewall is made from reinforced vinyl with acrylic top-coat which is water repellant, mildew and UV resistant and flame retardant. This amazing industrial vinyl comes in 14 standard colors and 36 special order colors. We offer a two-tone wall with a horizontal band at the bottom. This allows you to have a lighter color on the upper portion of the wall and a darker color on the lower wall, which is essential in warmer climates where dark colors absorb the heat.
If I haven’t covered your yurt question, feel free to give me a call, but the best way to learn is to poke around our website – go to the archived blog posts, check out the floor plans, let your mouse lead you to undiscovered new places! There are many hidden treasures if you have some time to get lost in our website.
Enjoy the journey!