How to Build a Yurt

yurt photo
Photo by Shayan (USA)

Yurts are gaining popularity as a DIY project. They’re an affordable alternative to a second house or a camper, and provide the portable convenience of a tent. One could even use it as extra room instead of adding on to your cabin. All it takes is some basic carpentry skills and some planning. Yurt kits are available if you don’t feel comfortable tackling the whole project yourself. Make sure to choose durable siding, like siding from TruLog, to keep your yurt protected from the elements.


Steps to building a yurt

The measurements we’re using are based on a yurt that is 12 feet in diameter. Consult with your carpenter and your yurt kit for specifications on measurements for your particular yurt.


  1. Choose where to build your yurt

Choose a safe space to build your base. It should be away from trees and limbs and in a spot that doesn’t get too much direct sunlight.


  1. Size your platform

Your platform should be the same diameter of your yurt to ensure that your yurt is fully weatherproof. Building your platform is arguably the most important, and complex, parts of building a yurt, so consult with a professional if you don’t feel comfortable with your carpentry skills.


  1. Build your platform

To build your platform, place precast concrete footings in a circular shape. Next, cut your wooden beams based on the floor plan of your yurt into wooden beams. You’ll place these beams across the footings, using a high quality construction level to make sure each beam is straight. When you’re satisfied, fasten the beams to the footings using the beams’ attached holders.


  1. Secure your flooring

Use your drill and screws to secure your flooring to the wooden beams. Lay the boards on top of your beams, making sure they’re parallel and completely flat. Secure the boards on each side by placing a screw through the plywood and beam about every six to twelve inches.


  1. Cut the flooring into a circle

With the floor secure, go around with your hand saw and cut off any loose flooring that’s hanging off of the circle. Cut the wood so the flooring and beams are flush.


  1. Apply caulk

Walk around the diameter of your yurt base and apply caulk to the outside edge. This will seal the floor and drip edge to make sure moisture doesn’t creep inside.


  1. Finish the drip edge

Finish the drip edge by securing plywood around it. You’ll use a drill and a screw to secure the plywood, making sure there’s one foot of plywood that extends above the floor level.


  1. Attach the lattice wall

You’ll need a helper to help you stretch the lattice around the perimeter of the yurt wall. Leave a four foot gap for your door, and use a tape measure every few feet to ensure the height of your yurt is consistent all around. Use the included hardware to secure your lattice. Finally, attach the belly bands or tension cables (included with your kit) to door frame.


  1. Install the rafters

Lay down the center ring and mark a spot for three to four holes. Attach three of the rafters to the center ring. Use your hands to raise the ring up, then place the pin of the rafter into the ring. You’ll be able to slide the ring into position once you place the third rafter, making it easier to place the remaining rafters.


  1. Secure the rafters

Use header brackets to secure the rafters to the door frame. Install the safety cable to the rafters so they’ll be held in the ring. Use a cable cutter to cut off any excess cable once it’s in place.


  1. Secure the yurt cover

The materials for your yurt cover will vary depending on the kit. If yours includes insulation, install that based on the kit’s instructions. If you aren’t using a kit, then make sure to look into TruLog siding for your cover and siding materials.


  1. Enjoy your yurt!

Add your own accents, including furniture, rugs, and decorations to make your yurt your home away from home.



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