Frequently Asked Questions

Product
Ordering
Setup/Installation
Maintenance
Support

Product

It’s a tent! Yurts and circular-tents like them have housed people in Central and East Asia for thousands of years. The portability and easy assembly of their homes was, and continues to be, crucial for nomadic communities. This tradition in minimal footprint is indeed what give yurts their true beauty. A yurt is, first and foremost, a tent. And nothing short of the quintessential structure that represents natural harmony and living lightly on the earth.

Yurta is a completely authentic, but original contemporary design of the traditional yurt. Yurta is  a functional shelter that is strong yet portable. It includes large multifunction windows, operable dome, solid cedar door and more and deploys in a few hours by a dedicated crew of two. It is made of natural materials and produced locally. Its unique frame design makes it easy to identify and the resulting openness makes Yurta feels like an extension of the outdoors.

A Yurta is also a breathable shell that is weathertight so moisture can escape on its own. Breathability is a must for fabric shelters like yurts.

The Yurta is a superb short or long-term shelter. Its balance of strength, footprint and functionality to make it ideally suited to most any climate, site or use from the Arctic circle to the Australian continent. It is a quick and low cost way to get your:

  • Bunkie
  • Cabin
  • Yoga studio
  • Extra guest-room
  • Expedition or hunting lodge
  • Studio for most any pursuit
  • Beachhouse
  • Warming hut
  • Gazebo
  • Event tent

We make a 17’ and 21’ yurt.

Yes, you can meet with and visit our 17’ yurt north of Oshawa Ontario. You can also meet us and visit a 21’ and a 17’ yurt at our site near Almonte Ontario. There’s nothing like the real thing.

Please contact us to make an appointment for a visit.

We don’t offer Yurta tents rentals ourselves. But our clients do rent out their Yurta spaces. See about spending a night in a Yurta here.

Yes. That’s when you’ll love it the most.

With a typical wood stove, you can maintain about 20C in the yurt, even when the temperature falls to -20C. We happily occupy our yurt to temperatures of -30C and beyond kept warm only by our trusty wood stove.

Yurta is tested to take a snow and wind load. Properly installed and used as directed, it can handle anything the Canadian climate will throw at it. However, we always urge clients to think of and use their Yurta as a tent, as such we do advise that Yurta be cleared of snow as soon as possible.

Yes, it is strong! First, we leverage the brilliant traditional yurt design of a cone roof hard-mounted to a spring for a wall. Our choice of knot-free white ash as our frame machined to fit with purpose-built hardware makes Yurta capable of carrying thousands of pounds.

 

Never! Our insulation is made of 100% sheep wool, needled to a reflective backing. This reflective backing does much to reflect the sun’s heat out of the yurt in the summer, while the thermal capacity of the wool helps create an envelope for efficient convection of hot air out of the dome.

We work only with natural and non-toxic materials. Many poisons have too easily pervaded the material world in which we live, the foods we eat, and the things we put on our skin. We strive to make the most natural and non-toxic shelter humanly possible. Our yurts are famously vinyl-free (PVC) which is a commonly-used but known toxic material in our own industry.

Yes! Since 2004 every part of Yurta is a local job in Ontario Canada. Our team marks and cuts the fabric using our own patterns and we make our frames and other elements in our shop in Ontario. We support dozens of local craft workers and enterprises throughout the province to make proprietary parts to our specifications such as precision hardware and our domes.

The only place for vinyl is on your turntable. When it comes to fabric shelters like yurts, vinyl is problematic for two reasons. First, out of concern for its know toxicity in its manufacture, use and disposal. Second, because its impermeability means that it has a tendency to trap condensation and promote mold. Yurts are not awnings. Fabrics that you will inhabit should be non-toxic and breathable. Moldy vinyl and bubble wrap yurts have given yurts a bad name for decades.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) coated fabrics, known popularly as vinyl, is familiar to consumers today for the distinct smell produced in “off-gassing” such as in new cars or shower curtains. Toxic chemical off-gassing from PVC products may contribute to respiratory irritation, damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys, nausea, headaches and loss of coordination. The chlorine in PVC is a source of many of its environmental health concerns, such as the generation of dioxin, a known carcinogenic chemical produced in both the manufacture and disposal of PVC. Dioxins are linked with cancer, diabetes, endometriosis, birth defects, infertility, and immune- system depression. Due to its persistent and bio-accumulative nature (i.e. it travels long distances without breaking down and concentrates as it moves up the food chain) dioxin has become a significant health concern. Both manufacturing and end-of-life disposal of vinyl poses health concerns: PVC releases toxic substances into the environment when it is burned and can leach toxic stabilizers and plasticizers when it is buried in a landfill.  Check it out.

You can make it as rustic or opulent as you like. If you have electricity on site, it is easy to bring it into the yurt in many ways, including without any additional intervention.

Remember that proper, reliable water systems require a certain infrastructure to work in cold climates. Every piece of infrastructure added to the yurt takes it a step away from its “tent” roots. And another step further away from what probably brought you to this page in the first place.

We recommend you thoroughly consider the functional needs for your particular site and project, and minimize your footprint. We are happy to share our own Yurta uses and experiences with you.

Do you need a permit to erect a tent on your property? It is impossible for us to know whether you will be required to permit your installation, or for what portion of your setup if any. There is typically no specific regulation governing yurts today.

However, we don’t believe that modern building codes were intended to govern tents. Yurta is a true tent and when used as such, in our experience, Yurta has typically not required a permit. Yurta's scale allows it to be deployed without disturbing the soil. The structure opens like an umbrella and deploys without turning a screw or hammering a nail and the walls feature soft but functional all-season tent windows. It is a heavy-duty tent. But it's a tent nonetheless.

There may be many things weighed by municipalities such as the type of structure erected, the deck installed, whether the floor is insulated or the intended use of the shelter. Municipalities may even have specific provisions for tents – sometimes requiring them to be taken down periodically.

Yurta is an inherently hackable and adaptable system. Please contact us if you want to do something a little different.

Ordering

Yurts are made to order. If Yurta is right for you, we take a 30% deposit at the time of order and the balance when you pick up your yurt. Please contact us for accurate production timelines, which vary throughout the year.

Note: We do occasionally carry limited stock, but wait times are not uncommon for custom orders. As a craft maker, our production capacity is limited. “Bulk orders” are possible with some planning. Yurta 21 availability is strictly limited, please contact us for more information on its availability

From the Arctic Circle to Australia, we have shipped Yurta around the world. Shipping requires crating your yurt to protect it in transit. Yurts ship as part of a free trade agreement between Canada the US and other countries. Additional fees may be payable in some cases for customs clearing or duties.

Yurta can sometimes be shipped directly to your door, but the oversized crates can sometimes mean that local shippers will not deliver to a residence using the tailgate on the truck. In this case, you may be required to pick up the shipment at a local depot. Please review the current crate sizes here - they are large! (link to specs in yurts)

The 21’ Yurta cannot be shipped to your door. The crates are simply too large, and require a receiving dock and machinery to unload. Shipping directly to a local depot, or a local cooperative commercial dock is also less costly when shipping your yurt, regardless of size.

Crating your yurt in heavy duty international crates adds $800-1000 to your order, but varies depending on what is shipped. We ship “at-cost”, and add no surcharge to shipping fees.

Yes, absolutely. Yurta model 17.72 packs neatly into a 4×8′ trailer. And though we have packed it twice into a Pontiac Vibe (seriously), we don’t recommend it. Even the 21’ yurt can pack into the back of most any pickup truck with the tailgate lowered. Don’t forget your straps!

Setup/Installation

Have no fear: almost every Yurta in existence has been installed by its owner. Yurta is designed to be easy to install and move. In addition to a setup video and owner’s manual, we are available for setup assistance to all clients over the phone, video call, or text. We do very limited installations - with planning - in southern and eastern Ontario. If installation service is very important to you, please contact us directly.

Yes! It’s on our order form here. But we only make a limited number every year. We also give you plans to build your own and there are lots of ways to do it.

Once your site and round floor are ready, the setup of a 17 foot Yurta typically takes 2-4 hours for two able-bodied people to do. This is possible because the frame is assembled by us in our shop, and it deploys like an umbrella onsite, needing only one cable and two pins to deploy the structure. Tools required: a stepladder.

The 21 foot Yurta typically takes 5-7 hours for two or three able bodied people to complete. The structure requires some minimal assembly onsite to deploy. Tools required: a stepladder, and awl.

At pick up you’ll get an installation video, an owner’s manual and our support during installation.

It's about your needs. Yurta is very flexible, and you can make a deck and/or a floor in a variety of ways. We encourage you to touch the earth as lightly as possible for your needs.

Yes, our yurts connect at the structural level. You can even connect Yurta to a hard building. And you can do it at any time without getting special parts from us. That’s how amazingly designed Yurta is! But there are considerations that usually outweigh the benefits. However, we’re happy to discuss this with you.

Venting straight up

It is flexible enough to be installed in a variety of ways!

Using your Yurta short-term is easy because setup is quick and possible most anywhere, as-is. It can be installed and staked directly to the ground.

Using your Yurta in four seasons requires a round floor to create a seal and a micro-climate. We give you plans to build these floors and there are lots of ways to do it. Decks are often useful but not necessary for your setup. Read a bit more about yurt floors and platforms here. (link to A word about floors and decks)

Maintenance

We build your Yurta with the intention that you will love it for a lifetime. Components must be considered separately. With care, we expect your frame, insulation, ring and dome to last a lifetime.

There are a lot of factors that go the aging of fabric. But, all things being equal, we’d expect  you to get the better part of a decade from your Outer Cover out of the box, and more if you are ready to do some maintenance.

The frame, ring, dome and felt insulation should last a lifetime under normal use with proper care. The outer cover will require care over time, and eventually, will need to be replaced. With our best fabrics, we expect the outer shell to last the better part of a decade. If you want to extend the life of the fabric, it can be re-coated with acrylic onsite, by you, for about 100$ and a morning’s effort.

The most important maintenance activity is using the structure. Opening the dome and windows regularly, checking behind the cover from time to time and other natural folds in the outer shell. Keep it clean of the most intense organic fallout and inspect a handful of components yearly. A Yurta will always look and work better if it is well-used.

We are the only manufacturer who can provide the coating required to re-coat the acrylic-roofs and extend their lifespan.

Support

Yes! Your Yurta is covered by a 2-year parts and labour warranty. We do not have a dedicated support team but we are always here to answer questions and provide guidance to every customer for whom we’ve ever made a Yurta. The love we have for our yurts never dies.

Yes, certain parts like the covers and felt can be repaired at our shot. Other parts, such as small parts or structural elements can be replaced. We are always happy to provide counsel for DIY repairs.

Yes, we can replace the outer cover, the felt and any part of the yurt.Most other parts are easily replaced. Many repairs can be done by the owner onsite, for which we can provide guidance. We can also provide repair services at our shop, or replacement parts outside of warranty at cost to our original clients, for life.

Unfortunately, we cannot make a cover for anything but a Yurta. Our covers are designed to work with the Yurta system only. We could not be sure to make you a cover that fits or works perfectly.

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