29 Jun 2018

How to Buy a Yurt: Some Tips from Colorado Yurt Company

By |2018-06-29T09:06:22+00:00June 29th, 2018|

You want a yurt. You have some land. You’re ready to jump in and buy one. Then, you see “DuroLast Roof”, “Bender Board”, “Dome Lifter” and “SIPs Deck”- and probably have a lot of questions.

One of our 20′ yurts at Ayanchin Lodge in Mongolia

We’re always happy to answer questions via email or phone, but here are a few quick explanations and suggestions for you:

Most important, you want an engineered yurt. Your yurt should stay strong when the wind blows in the spring or when the snow piles up in the winter. Not all companies make engineered yurts, but EVERY Colorado Yurt is an engineered yurt. Our CORR brackets are standard- so you don’t have to buy an upgrade to get the yurt you need and want.

Our engineered yurts stand up to heavy snow

The rest of our standard yurt package includes one door, three windows, 7’2” lattice wall, rafters, compression ring, clear dome, heavy roof fabric and durable welded-laminate wall fabric. Other companies charge extra for this wall fabric, and don’t offer a color selection like ours. This fabric is the best choice for longevity, durability and seam strength (with welded seams, not sewn).

We offer an array of wall colors

Which upgrades do you need? In our decades of experience, we’ve learned that most yurt customers select these:

Glass windows are a very popular choice, as well as French doors or an extra door.

Engineered yurts need to be pitched on a deck. Every customer has questions about decks. While some build using our suggested plans, others choose a SIPs deck. SIPs is an abbreviation (Structural Insulated Panels). They are a foam insulation center with OSB on each side, creating an insulation “sandwich”. These make a great insulated base under a yurt. They can be installed on a beam system with mobile home piers or on top of a larger deck, creating the necessary raised footprint for the yurt. Finished flooring can be installed right on top of the SIPs.

SIPs deck

Another common question is about bender board. This is a necessary component of the deck, wrapping the round deck with a thin flexible piece of material where the wall fabric attaches and the lattice is contained. We can include it in your order, or you can find it on your own.

Installing bender board

After 42 years of doing this, we have a good thing going. We provide our customers with the best quality yurt and the best buying experience. To learn more about our product differences click here.

18 Feb 2015

Making the best better: Product innovation at Colorado Yurt Company

By |2015-02-18T13:57:47+00:00February 18th, 2015|

At The Colorado Yurt Company we build our reputation on quality, customer satisfaction and service. We are proud of each handcrafted yurt, tipi and tent, whether it’s pitched in our backyard or across the globe.

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A commitment to quality means we are committed to constant improvement and innovation. Over the years, we’ve listened to our customers, added new designs and improved details to make our products the best you can buy.

We’re excited to announce some innovative changes to all of our structures.

Yurts:

We’re proud to launch our Colorado Tall Boy Yurt, with taller walls. The increased height creates soaring interior spaces . These tall walls allow for more creativity with interior design, because there’s more room for furniture and shelves around the perimeter of the yurt and room for a loft in most yurts.

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This improvement also makes the entry a full residential sized door to meet building codes. And the addition of an aluminum threshold on every door makes every yurt ADA compliant.

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Our Colorado Tall Boy Yurts are still backed by the best engineering in the industry, enabling our yurts to meet building codes and to stand up in heavy snows and winds in all climates.

Window Innovations:

Basic windows: We are now offering a 52” x 34” window designed to go over a counter in addition to our 48” x 48” windows. We’ve always included three windows in every yurt. Now you can mix and match, upgrade to add extras and pick where the windows will be in the yurt.

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Operable glass windows: We now offer a curved wood frame operable sliding double pane window. It’s a good looking glass window, and is more affordable than our highest-quality wood casement windows. Glass windows can be opened from inside the yurt, have a more “home-like” feel and insulate better than our basic fabric windows. These new windows are a great way to add a glass window or two, even when you’re on a budget.

Curved Windowweb

Tipis:

We’re thrilled to offer our beautiful handmade tipis in our new 15 ounce (per square yard) Sunforger marine army duck—with or without a flame resistant treatment—in addition to our 13 ounce Sunforger. Both the 13 and 15 ounce materials are 100% cotton canvas with a mineral dye treatment for water and mildew repellence. The 15 oz. Sunforger with the flame resistant treatment is ours exclusively. This fabric is strong, beautiful and breathable. It creates a tipi that pitches beautifully, has a great natural cotton color and texture and will last many years. We’re confident that this is the very best tipi canvas available. Our Tipi Liners and Ozans are now available in 10 ounce Sunforger for greater pitching ease.

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Tents:

We’re pleased to offer the same cotton fabrics for our tents. Plus we now have a choice of fly material;you can choose standard 13 ounce vinyl or the 19 ounce ProStructure vinyl fly. ProStructure is the most rugged and durable fly available. It’s the best choice if you have high winds, super-intense sun or other extreme weather conditions. It’s also a good choice for camps and campgrounds.

Color! For a unique tent, you can now choose color for the walls. We offer desert tan or forest green in our 15oz flame retardant Tuff-Star fabric. Pick all four walls in either color or mix and match in any combination. All colorful tents have our 100% cotton, 15oz Sunforger FR fabric on the roof for strength and translucency.

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All of these product improvements are available now and are explained on our website. Give us a call if you have questions or just want to know more. We have even more product innovation coming soon. We’re always on the lookout for ideas that will make our structures even better, whether the ideas come from our management team, our skilled crew or our customers.

18 Feb 2014

Yurt Questions Answered: Who Pitches My Yurt?

By |2018-05-08T13:32:26+00:00February 18th, 2014|

You want to buy a yurt. You love the look, the feel, the space, the image. You have a spot picked out and you’re savvy enough to build your platform – or you’ve hired a contractor. But, you can’t get past some big questions… Who is going to set this thing up? Is it a daunting task? Can you actually do it yourself?

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Most of our customers pitch the yurt themselves with a small group of friends. Depending upon the size of the yurt and the skill of the crew, it takes 3-6 people. We send you a list of tools you’ll need (mostly just ladders, a cordless drill and a few wrenches). With the larger yurts, you will want scaffolding. You should schedule enough time to put it together without rushing- usually a day or two depending on the yurt size and options.

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The first step is to have your deck in place. The yurt needs to be on a solid deck that is a circle the same size as the yurt (a “simple” deck) or on a larger deck with a circular raised area that is the size of the yurt. We have plans available on our website.  If you want a warmer, four-season yurt, you can add insulation in the deck under the yurt. Utilities—water, drains and electricity—come up through the deck too.

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Next, watch for that truck. We ship most yurts by freight carrier. It’s going to be a sizeable load, so it helps to have a forklift or tractor with a fork. If you don’t have access to that, you can hand unload with the help of friends, or you can unpack the crates.

We have clear instructions that work for most people (It helps to read them ahead of time). We also have several videos and slide shows where you can see the process.  And, we are available by phone on weekdays- just in case you need to check something with us.

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But, what if you don’t want to tackle it yourself?

No problem. You can either hire a contractor or hire our crew. Most economical- if you live far away from us- is to hire a local contractor. Perhaps the same person can build the deck and the yurt.

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If you want our help, we are the experts! We have two options: an expert assist or a full pitch.

With the expert assist, we send a knowledgeable and bossy person out to supervise your crew. You get some strong, capable friends and our crew boss will make sure the yurt is pitched just the way it should be.

If you choose to have our full crew- you sit back in your lawn chair with a cool beverage and watch our skilled crew set up your yurt. They’ll do a great job, usually finish quickly- and you’ll have the yurt ready to use.

Call us for a quote and to check our schedule for pitching.

1 Aug 2012

Yurt Questions Answered: Aren’t All Yurts the Same?

By |2018-05-08T13:32:25+00:00August 1st, 2012|

When people start to think about yurts, they usually go through several stages of yurt-exploration. Starting with “Those are so cool!” and ending up with “Where should I buy my yurt?” For many, they compare yurts based on price, without looking at what they actually get for the money.

Yurt in Colorado

First, let’s get it out there, Colorado Yurt Company yurts are not the least expensive yurts available. We pride ourselves on engineering, quality materials, customer satisfaction and our nearly 40 year reputation. We want to make a yurt that goes together perfectly and lasts our customer a really long time. Our prices are competitive, and we strive to make them the best value.

There are two basic distinctions in yurt makers- the engineered yurt and the yurt without engineering. The difference is the ability to meet building codes and give snow and wind load ratings on the yurt. Our yurts are the best engineered yurts you can buy. We give you snowloads up to 150 psf of unbalanced load– no one else even comes close. Our wind ratings are equally as impressive. So, when you go to sleep at night in your Colorado Yurt, you won’t wake up wondering if that snow on the roof is going to end up on your feet.

Wintery yurt in Utah

Beyond engineering, when you look at yurts, the comparison is not really like apples to oranges. It’s more like comparing those tiny apples in the red net bag to the fresh, big, yummy apples straight from the orchard. In other words, we give you a quality yurt – the best quality yurt, in fact.

Best quality yurts

We throw in lots of extras at no charge. Things like: a single wall height that eliminates the cost of a tall-wall upgrade, three windows standard in every yurt, handicapped accessible doors on every yurt, heavy duty zippers with covers on each window, all window flaps convert to awnings, our standard door includes a window, a rain diverter over every door, our exclusive wall to roof lacing system, smooth sanded rafters to prevent wear and tear on fabric, lattice to floor “L” bracket at every other crown instead of every fifth and many more.

Exclusive wall to roof lacing system.

We are experienced with shipping all over the world- and our customer service and customer satisfaction is second to none. Our company’s reputation is everything. We don’t want to be known as the cheapest yurt maker. We strive every day to be known as the best yurt maker.

1 Jun 2012

Yurt Questions Answered: How to Use a Yurt

By |2018-07-16T15:36:40+00:00June 1st, 2012|

Sure, you think yurts are cool. You might even have ideas of how a yurt would fit into your life. At Colorado Yurt Company, we are amazed at the creative ways our customers use their yurts.

Yurt in Colorado

Are you close to retirement? Is your house taking too much time and money? Maybe you should consider retiring in a yurt! Retirement yurts are a growing part of our business, and many customers tell us they love retirement living in their yurt.

cozy yurt interior

Families are living with several generations under one roof for economic reasons or to keep a closer eye on a parent who needs more help. Perhaps a yurt is the way to make it work. Andrew Birden put a yurt in his yard for his mother-in-law. The local paper was intrigued enough to do a story about it.

How about the teenagers? Their music is too loud, they stay up too late and they think they need privacy. A customer in New Zealand had the perfect solution- a teenager yurt!

Dreaming of a mountain cabin? Joe Holmes, a designer and photographer in Denver, has a yurt at 11,800 feet elevation that he used a lot this past winter. He says, “I am looking forward to summer and many more years at ‘High Yurtitude’ with friends and family watching and photographing wildlife and exploring the forest around my yurt.”

Joe Holmes’ yurt in progress

Australian, Astrid McCormick bought a 16′ yurt to stay in while building her organic garlic farm. Now, they visit the yurt 3-4 days a week and love it. She says, “Living in the round, we feel safe and sound.”

Monarch Mountain in Colorado and McCauley Mountain in New York both have Winter Stout Alpine yurts for their ski schools. Eco Academy of Los Angeles has a yurt on their high school campus.

Colorado Yurts are used as a restaurant and overnight rentals at Tennessee Pass Cookhouse and Sleep Yurts near Leadville, CO. One review on Yelp raves, “Tennessee Pass Cookhouse is legit, people. We had the absolute best time here. I mean, it’s a yurt. On top of a mountain. How many times will you have THAT experience in your lifetime?”

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We’ve seen customers use Colorado Yurts as yoga studios for many years. Krista Zember has BE Yoga Yurt in Virginia, where she teaches yoga to special needs kids and other groups. Her clients love the yurt!

We use a 20′ yurt as an office here at Colorado Yurt Company. Nearby in Durango, Bill Graham of Ska Brewing Company has his home office in a Colorado Yurt. Bill says, “We couldn’t be more pleased with the decision to add a yurt to our house, rather than building on. It was inexpensive, works great, looks cool and we love it.” We like having a friend in the beer business- especially because Ska Beer is excellent!

Delicious Ska Beers

Yurts are versatile, low-impact, affordable solutions to many needs. How will you use your yurt?

 

11 May 2012

Yurt Questions Answered: How Long Does a Yurt Last?

By |2018-05-08T13:31:43+00:00May 11th, 2012|

We like to talk about yurts. The best part of our day is spent talking to our customers and potential customers about yurts (and tipis and tents). We’ll be using this blog to address some of these common questions and concerns, and hopefully get the word out about these unique and useful structures.

Yurts in Colorado

Yurts in Colorado

So, this blog: “How Long Does a Yurt Last?”

This question doesn’t have just one answer. Many things contribute to the longevity of a yurt. Our customers have yurts that are over 20 years old, and still going strong. Since a yurt is a structure with several components: frame, dome, doors, fabric walls and roof- you will replace different pieces at different times.

Yurt in progress

The wood frame of a yurt is long-lasting, and should not have a “wear out” date, just like other wood structures. We use quality lumber and it’s built to last. Doors occasionally need refinishing and sometimes need replacing, as they wear out because of weather conditions and use. 

All rafters are MSR lumber. Frame is clear, vertical grain Douglas fir.

It’s all about the conditions your yurt lives in- a yurt in the rain forest in Washington faces much different environmental factors than one on a sunny mountainside in the Rockies. Since yurts are covered in fabric, environmental factors play on that fabric in different ways. Snow and wind are not as hard on fabric as sunshine. Here in Colorado, we have over 300 days of high altitude sunshine a year. So, we have seen first hand how our fabrics hold up. We’ve found that vinyl fabrics (ProTech, ProStructure and DuroLast) hold up better in the sunshine than canvas fabrics. One reason is the seams. Our vinyl is seamed with a welder, not thread, (which tends to degrade faster than the fabric around it). In sunny, high UV conditions, a little bit of shade on your yurt makes a big difference.

Seams are welded on vinyl fabrics.

Most people get many years of use out of yurt walls, but at some point they will need replacing. If thread is showing through the vinyl, the roof is leaking or your windows are coming apart- it’s probably time to call for a price on replacements. We do offer replacement walls and roofs, and can usually fit them to your yurt- (even if you didn’t purchase the yurt from us).

We recommend trying to replace the wall and roof fabric at the same time- just for installation ease. If there wasn’t insulation on the yurt originally, adding roof insulation is much easier when replacing the fabric.

Installing insulation and a roof.

One component of a yurt that will need replacing over the years is the dome. The acrylic is tough, but it will crack or break under certain conditions. We estimate that a dome might need replacing in 7-9 years under normal conditions.

Acrylic dome at the top of every yurt.

Taking care of a yurt will ensure many years of use. Wash fabric walls as needed with a mild soap, such as Ivory Flakes (never pressure wash a yurt, as it can damage the fabric). Re-staining or re-coating the doors and outside wood might be necessary every few years, depending upon the climate.

We are always happy to answer your questions, take your suggestions or make replacement parts for your yurt. We hope you enjoy your yurt for years.

9 Apr 2012

Yurt Questions Answered: The Hot and Cold of it

By |2018-05-08T13:31:41+00:00April 9th, 2012|

“How do you heat a yurt?”

“Aren’t they hot in the summer?”

These are some of the most common questions we hear when it comes to yurts. It makes sense: the idea of yurt living is new to many people and thus, the comfort of a yurt is a big unknown.

So, how DO you heat a yurt?

Keystone Adventure Tour Yurt

Most yurt dwellers use a wood stove, pellet stove or sometimes, a propane heater. We also know of customers who have used in-floor radiant heat in a concrete floor and others who use electric heaters. A lot will depend upon your climate, your power/energy source and the type of heat you are comfortable with. In all cases, the key is a good, consistent heat source that is sufficient to heat the size of yurt you have. It also helps to have roof and wall insulation.

Wood stove in our office yurt

Then, summer comes around, and you want to stay cool.

Summer Yurt

In many climates, a yurt in the shade that has a dome lifter, ceiling fan, plenty of windows and a roll-up wall for cross ventilation will stay very comfortable. We also recommend the use of window awnings on the sunny side of the yurt to shade the windows. The tinted bronze dome is available to reduce the UV rays coming through the top of your yurt, which can also help keep it comfortable.

If you find you need more than mother nature to cool your yurt, there are ways to do so.

Here in the arid west, we use swamp coolers. In our 20′ office yurt, we have a floor-standing unit that cools very efficiently.

In parts of the world where humidity is mixed with the heat, a swamp cooler would be miserable. In those climates, a window air conditioner can be fit into a second doorway or one of our operable windows. Or there are free standing a/c units available too.

In all cases, heat or cold, we recommend that you upgrade your yurt with the Astro-Shield insulation package. It is a reflective insulation that bounces your heat back to you in the winter and helps keep heat from coming inside in the summer.

Roof insulation

In most climates and situations, insulation with the heating and cooling solutions above, will make your yurt a comfortable, live-able space for all four seasons.

And to hammer home the hot and cold of it, here’s a few yurt/temperature factoids we thought you might enjoy:

The state of Delaware has a 30’ that they use for a reptile exhibit. It is heated with base board electric heat. Gotta keep those snakes comfy.

The yurts at Pearl Lake State Park near Steamboat Springs are also heated with electric heaters, of the sort you would see in a hotel room.

Yurt at Pearl Lake State Park, Colorado

In the tropics it’s well known that fans of all sorts—ceiling fans, floor fans, table top fans and window units— keep people cooler. CYC yurts in Belize have numerous fans that guest move around to suit their needs.

Yurt in the tropics

We can make water “boots” (or gaskets, or sleeves) to seal around your swamp cooler or air conditioner.

Some customers in extreme weather conditions, like Alaska or the Southwest desert have enhanced their insulation with batting (for recycled denim batting see bondedlogic.com) or rigid insulation. Our staff can help you figure out how it’s done.