Eagle River Weather

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Yurts on a Square Base

Most yurt companies will tell you that it is impossible to erect a yurt on a square base, and this is absolutely true. However, the circular base needed for the yurt can be attached to a square platform. Here is a brief outline of how we were able to accomplish this.
The first thing you need is a square base. Our square base came in the form of a garage but could also be a deck, cement platform, or other foundation. Our garage roof has a slight slope to it, about one inch, to allow drainage. The top of the garage is covered with tar paper. (A tar paper deck, classy I know.) If you live in a warmer climate and use tar paper you will may want to cover the tar paper not under the yurt. This will keep it from melting in the hot sun.
The first step we took was to attach wooden anchors to the top of the deck. This allowed us to have something to tie our circular yurt deck to. This picture shows these anchors.

If I remember correctly these are pressure treated 1x4's. We put a layer of tar around the bottom perimeter of the board, kind of like a tar sandwhich, to seal them up, and then screwed them down into place. In addition to the parallel beams you see we also made a ring of beams on the outside perimeter. The next photo will illustrate that a little better. We also put giant screws through the perimeter 1x4 anchors and through the roof, all the way down into the garage, and anchored into some free floating boards below. Hard to visualize? Let me know if you need more info. We used this extra bit of anchoring because of the high winds we get around here. We didn't want the whole deck, yurt with it, blowing away.
In the next picture you can see how we laid out the 2x6's to get ready for the floor boards.

Lastly, is this picture you can see the completed yurt deck.

We put down insulation between the joyces and completed the wiring before we put the floorboards down. We also made sure the bottom edge of our drip edge was sealed up with the garage roof as much as possible. We wanted as little water seeping under the yurt as we could manage. We sealed it up with expanding spray foam and silicon caulking.
If I had it all to do over again there are a few things I would do differently.
  • Have a surface other than tar paper.
  • Get bottom side of the drip edge closer to the top of the garage so it was easier to seal it.
  • Level the deck. It has a one inch slope to it, the same as the garage roof. This was great for roof drainage and made construction of the yurt deck easier, but it made hanging doors and putting up shelving inside the yurt really tricky
I apologize about the lack of clarity in the photos. I didn't think I was going to be writing about this or helping other people do it when we were putting it together and taking these photos. I hope you find this useful and good luck with your decks.


Anonymous said...

Hey there!
Me and my 2 kids live in a 20' yurt here in Sweden. Looking to move a little bit from our current location and been sketching up different solutions for extra space in addition to the tent pretty much in the same manner you guys have it arranged. Thanks for the inspiration and take good care :)


Ananga-manjari said...

We're planning to build a 20 foot, mobiles yurt. We are a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children). Peter, how do you feel about your amount of space? Any suggestions, from either of you?


Ben Schneider said...


For my self and my family, a 20 foot yurt would be too small. Our 30 foot yurt has a little over 700 square feet of floor space and a 20 foot has less that half of that. If it was attached to another structure or if you are only using it occasionally it might be OK. Really it depends on how much space you feel like you need. I'd make a 20 foot diameter circle on the ground and then plan out where everything (and every one) would go. That would give you a better idea if a 20 foot yurt if a good size for you.
Good Luck!