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frequently asked questions

installation

How easily can a yurt be set up?

Our smaller sizes (20 feet and under) can be erected in an afternoon with 2-3 people and minimal tools. Larger yurts require scaffolding to support the weight of the compression ring while the rafters are inserted, and may take up to a few days. Whatever size yurt, these structures are designed to be quickly set up and taken down with the proper equipment and safety measures. We can refer setup services as needed, or we can supply plans and information to a contractor of your choice.

What comes included in a standard yurt package?

Nomad Shelter yurts are essentially ready to set up yurt kits, which include all necessary components and hardware. Any custom options and your choice of insulation packages will be included in your order. There are a few other aspects of your yurt build we do not include in our prices, such as the yurt platform and stove/pipe. A list of materials, platform diagram, and pipe/stack dimensions are provided, as well as a Setup Manual and phone support.

We also find it is more economical for the customer to source their own doors and hard windows locally. We will ensure your door and hard window frames are sized to fit the door and windows of your choice. We are also able to ship your yurt with doors at a cost, if necessary.

What about the floor and foundation?

The foundation and yurt platform are important considerations for your yurt build. We do not provide the floor or platform, but are happy to offer floor plans for all our sizes and can refer you to some great companies we work with that do full setups and other custom work. You can also reach out to your local contractor for these aspects of your yurt construction. Tongue and groove 1 1/8" plywood works well for the yurt floor, and can be treated with finish or aesthetic flooring options of your choice.

The yurt platform (sub-floor), not just deck, should be factored into your overall budget, as it can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars depending on the size of your yurt, materials, and builder(s). Floor insulation is recommended, and the circular platform should be raised a few inches above any surrounding decking to allow the yurt cover to hang below floor level. Smaller sized yurts can sit on skids and girders for a quick setup without breaking ground. Many types of posts or piles work just fine for a more permanent foundation. We recommend Techno metal posts for convenience of installation.

What is involved with a hard window frame installation?

One of our upgrade options is Douglas fir hard window frames for your yurt. These are beautiful design features, but do involve a bit more work on your end. The standard size for hard frames is 48" x 40" but we can do custom sizing to fit your needs. We do not supply the windows. The exterior Duro-Last yurt cover and insulation stops at each window similar to the door frames, so you will need to frame out that space around the window frame with 2x4" or your choice of wood and screw in the sidewall cover tucked under the provided 2x2" just like a door frame. Then you can add exterior siding above and below the window, and your choice of insulation and interior surface treatment. You will also need to add the window sill and window header, and framing above the header and below the sill. This will allow your window to fit snug inside our handcrafted Douglas fir frames. We offer full phone support for your yurt installation and a Setup Manual detailing this process. 

heating

What is the R value of your insulation?

We offer two insulation packages: 3 season and 4 season. The 3 season insulation has one layer of Reflectix double foil-backed bubble wrap lined with polyester mildew and fire resistant fabric. This reflective insulation is effective for warmer seasons and climates, but does not retain heat as well as our heavier insulation. Our 4 season package adds a layer of 1" polyester batting, which bring the R value up to approximately R10-R12. This option is used by many of our customers for comfortable year round living in Alaska. If more insulation is required, we suggest sliding foam panels in between our insulation and the exterior yurt cover, which can bring the R value up to approximately R20. 

How can a yurt be heated?

A yurt can be heated with a wood stove or drip oil, by using a stove stack that runs through the skylight. All our skylights are designed to safely fit standard stove pipe diameters. You can either place the stove in the center of the yurt or add elbows to run the stove stack along the rafters (with proper clearance) for stove placement closer to the wall. We do not suggest running the stack out through the wall.

The yurt can also be heated with a Toyo Stove, monitor heater, or propane heater with vents running to the outside. We have custom options available for welding vent pipe fixtures into your yurt wall. 

How can a yurt be cooled?

In warmer conditions, air flow and temperature regulation is important for your yurt. Our cover material is designed for UV resistance, and every skylight comes equipped with a hinged ventilation panel. The standard polyvinyl window panels can also be unzipped for air flow, leaving the mesh bug screen intact. AC units can be installed below hard window frames. 

other utilities

Can a yurt be plumbed?

Yes, a yurt can be plumbed by running pipes underneath the yurt with an insulated floor, and having the stub fixtures coming upwards through the floor. People often choose to build bathrooms into their yurt, which is quite feasible with downdraft ventilation through the floor. Some customers make a separate room extension behind the yurt for plumbing needs.

Can a yurt have electrical outlets?

Yes, there are many ways to integrate electrical into your yurt. Conduit can be run around the perimeter inside or behind the lattice wall with 2"x4" posts and fixtures. Alternatively, you can run a power cable into the yurt up under the bottom of the cover from a main electrical source. Solar systems are also a great option for your yurt. 

yurt life

How do yurts handle wind and snow?

Nomad Shelter yurts are specifically designed for extreme Alaskan conditions, with the highest dimensional strength and most robust materials and engineering in the industry. Our yurts are structurally engineered to meet winds up to 100 mph, and some of our customers have reported wind speeds exceeding that- with their Nomad Shelter yurt standing strong! 

Our yurts are also designed to withstand large amounts of snow. They are rated for up to 60 lbs per square foot, and we have seen our yurts completely buried by a winter's worth of snow. The texture of the Duro-last cover material also allows snow to easily slide off the roof, or pile-ups can be shaken off from the inside with a broom handle.

What about bears or other security concerns?

The wall of a yurt may seem less secure than that of a traditional building, however they do not present as many risks as you might think. The outer Duro-last cover is a 50-60 mil puncture and tear resistant membrane, and our lattice wall is specifically engineered for strength and tighter spacing. Bears and other home invaders will most often attempt to come through doors and windows anyways, in which case a yurt is no different than any other structure. Safe food storage practices, locking up before you go, and other standard precautions will help keep your yurt as secure as possible. Home security systems can also be installed. In the event of any tears or damage to your yurt, we offer a 15 year warranty on our products and have suggestions and support for small DIY repairs.