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Checking California Yurt Laws and Setting Up a Yurt

By Edited Jun 18, 2016 0 0

While heavily associated with Mongolia past and present, yurts serve as temporary and mobile housing that have existed since ancient times. In California modern yurts often come with modern amenities like water and electric hook up, solar panels, and even Internet access. While the yurt movement continues to grow, problems often come up with local zoning. No mention of yurts appears in California state law, leaving permit issues up to county authorities who decide on a case by case basis.

Most counties allow yurts for storage, studios, or offices but won't allow them as permanent living spaces. A couple counties do boast of yurt communities, both as permanent residences, as well as vacation rentals.  This makes checking local laws extremely important as yurts might be 100% legal in one county and never allowed for living in another.  The following steps will help you check up on the local yurt laws and then setting up the actual yurt itself.  Following them will help make the process much easier.

Yurt Set Up Step 1

Check with the county office for any possible permit issues. As of 2011 the county handles all yurt zoning responsibilities on a case by case basis.  Most counties allow yurts for non living uses, but forbid permanent residence. The counties of Napa and Mendocino have allowed yurts for full time residency, while Marin County's policy is for non-habitable only.

Yurt Set Up Step 2

Consult an expert to decide on what type of yurt to set up. While it is still possible to create a yurt from scratch, most individuals choose to buy a pre-made one that only requires assembly after ordering. Designs can vary greatly from one to another, and prices can easily range from $1,800 bare essentials up north of $25,000 or even more.

Yurt Set Up Step 3

Double check before ordering to make sure the area you're setting up in has enough space for the yurt being ordered. This not only includes base, but think of the height of the building as well as the circular shape.  The circular shape screws up a lot of planners who aren't used to it, but this does provide plenty of advantages for the people wh0 use yurts as housing.

Yurt Set Up Step 4

Purchase the yurt. If the company also sets up, allow the professionals to handle it. If not, then make sure to follow the instructions perfectly and ideally you will want at least five to six friends to help out.  This makes it go by much more quickly and can be a great way to also catch a backyard barbecue while setting up the yurt.

Yurt Set Up Step 5

Set up the base first, which will become the inside floor of your yurt.  Obviously be careful to get this one right as screwing this step up will make the rest extremely difficult if not impossible to recover from.

Yurt Set Up Step 6

Set up the door frame where you are going to want it, because the walls must be set up around the frame. Bolt in the frame, and then begin setting up the walls, starting on one side of the door and working your way around the circle.

Yurt Set Up Step 7

Bolt the walls into place, starting at the door, then three inches away from the door, and then once every 12 inches all the way around.  This spacing is pretty standard from one yurt to another.

Yurt Set Up Step 8

Set up the roof ring on top of the wall. The rafters will hook to this, as well as support beams.   Any yurt instructions should have specific information on how to do this.

Yurt Set Up Step 9

Set up the rafters to make sure the entire frame sets up correctly before any fabric is added. Add a wood support beam against the wall which connects with the roof ring every place where a rafter meets the ring, as well. This will further secure the structure.

Yurt Set Up Step 10

Next, set up the fabric for both the roof as well as over the walls. After the inside fabric is pulled tight, most choose a second layer of water proof fabric for extra support, insulation, and protection.

That's it.  Folow those steps and not only will you have done a great job of researching county laws and making sure that your yurt follows all local laws and zoning regulations, but also helping how to set up the yurt following instructions.  One reason yurt communities are so popular and ever increasing in popularity is that putting up a new yurt is often used as a community social event involving meeting all the neighbors, sharing food en masse and really having and enjoying that old sense of community that far too many modern neighborhoods have completely lost.



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