Frequently Asked Questions

What is a yurt?
Do I need a building permit?
What are yurts used for?
What tools do I need to set up my yurt?
How many people does it take to set up my yurt?
How long will it take me to set up my yurt?
Do you use canvas as covers in your yurts?
Is the platform included?
Can I run utilities into my yurt (how do I heat it)?
How long will it last?
How strong is a yurt?
How many people can I get in my yurt?
Do you help set up yurts?
Where do you ship yurts?

What is a yurt?

A yurt (or ger) is a portable living structure originally developed by the nomadic groups of the Central Asian steppes. Original yurts were fashioned from local wood, felt, and braided horse hair. They were designed to be portable for moving as the horse and goat herds were driven across the plains. Strong and light, they could be set up in a day or so and properly equipped to withstand wind and snow that would crush many other dwellings.

Modern yurts and yurt derivatives are typically made from more contemporary materials (aluminum rivets, aircraft cable, and polyester materials) with heat-treated and fine finished wood. Yet their basic architectural principle (circular arch) remains the same as used five hundred years ago.

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Do I need a building permit?

The answer of course is ‘it depends’. Typically, the more organized your local government, the more likely it is that you are going to need a permit. Often (but not always) the platform underneath the yurt will require a permit, but the yurt itself won’t. In some cases, you won’t need a permit until you want to run plumbing into and sewage out of your yurt. Every local government entity is different and you may need to check.

Yurts of America has complete certified drawings & engineering statements regarding our yurts that will help if necessary with the permitting process.

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What are yurts used for?

We have sold yurts for all types of uses: bed & breakfasts, permanent homes, temporary homes while building permanent homes, lake homes, rentals at campgrounds, workshops, and, of course, campground cabins. (A fraternity at an un-named Midwest university purchased one for an outside smoking lounge.)

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What tools do I need to set up my yurt?

No special tools are typically needed to setup a yurt. In the case of a 20’ or larger yurt, a drywall lift is necessary to get the center ring high enough (and safely) into the air. Tools needed: battery-operated drills with extra batteries, tape measure, at least two ladders, utility knife (with sharp blade), and a staple gun. Some options require more tools. The setup manual details everything needed.

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How many people does it take to set up my yurt?

Smaller yurts require a minimum of two people, and the 24’ and 30’ require three people for safety. More are definitely helpful particularly on the larger yurts, but more than five and everyone gets in each other’s way.

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How long will it take me to set up my yurt?

Depending on options, smaller yurts can be set up in a day. Larger yurts should have a day budgeted for the frame, and a day budgeted for the cover. A 30’ foot yurt with all of the options will take three days.

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Do you use canvas as covers in your yurts?

None of our yurts use canvas as their covers. Untreated canvas will simply not stand up to the ultra-violet rays of the sun. Even treated canvas must be retreated with fire retardants and UV Inhibitors to have a chance of long-term survival outside. Our vinyl sides have a ten-year warranty and Duro-last tops have a fifteen-year warranty.

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Is the platform included?

We provide the yurt – you provide the platform. Yurts of America does have site plans available for building your platform and installing your yurt.

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Can I run utilities into my yurt (how do I heat it)?

Yes. Water, electric, sewer, and gas will come up through the platform of the yurt. Combustion air and flue gas enter and exit through the wall. The optional stove kit is necessary.

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How long will it last?

A properly installed and maintained yurt will last as long as a house. Just like any structure - proper maintenance is the key. Relatively little maintenance is required.

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How strong is a yurt?

The dome arch of a yurt works such that the load, whether vertical (down) or horizontal, is shared across the entire structure making a yurt very strong. The round shape naturally sheds the wind. Properly equipped, installed and maintained, a yurt can handle vertical snow loads in excess of fifty pounds per square foot and winds well over seventy miles per hour. For complete structural loads, request our engineering data sheet.

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How many people can I get in my yurt?

It depends on what they are doing and how long they will be staying. A 20’ yurt will easily house four bunk beds and lockers for a summer campground. A 30’ yurt with a sleeping loft can have nine hundred square feet of space – enough room for two people to permanently live in relative comfort.

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Do you help set up yurts?

Over the years, we have made contacts with various contractors and customers that are available to hire in various parts of North America. Yurts of America can provide onsite installation help. This is quoted on a case-by-case basis. We are located in Indianapolis, IN.

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Where do you ship yurts?

We have shipped yurts to every part of North America including Hawaii, Alaska, and Mexico. We have shipped to England and mainland Europe.

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How long will it take me to set up my yurt?

Depending on options, smaller yurts can be set up in a day. Larger yurts should have a day budgeted for the frame, and a day budgeted for the cover...

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