As Pacific Yurts employees arrived for work on Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 they were greeted by a fallen sixty foot oak tree. Some time early that morning the mighty oak had given up trying to hold itself vertical and fell over on its side.
Unfortunately it fell directly onto one of the display yurts on the property.
A question that is often asked about the Pacific Yurt is, “what if a tree limb falls onto the yurt?” Well, here is documentation of exactly what happened when the whole tree fell on it.
From the initial inspection around the yurt it didn’t look too bad, but we were a little concerned about what it would look like when we went inside for a look around. We were prepared for the possibility of having to replace a few rafters and some of the lath that make up the lattice wall. Part of the beauty of our yurt construction is the ease with which you can make repairs or replace broken components, so we weren’t too worried.
A close inspection of the yurt interior had surprising results. Not a single piece of the yurt framework was cracked or damaged in any way! In fact, it looked as if there were only a few punctures in the top cover and roof insulation, but we still had to get the huge tree off the yurt without causing any further damage before a full inspection could be done.
After making a few calls we hired some local professionals who carefully and methodically removed the tree piece by piece. By Tuesday evening the entire tree had been removed from the site.
Wednesday morning we could finally get a good look at the entire yurt, inside and out, to make a full assessment of the damage the old oak tree had caused. To everyone’s amazement the four punctures in the roof and insulation were the only damage that the yurt sustained!
By the end of Wednesday’s work day the insulation and top cover had been repaired and visitors who stopped by had no idea that just one day prior there had been a sixty foot oak tree resting on the yurt. Amazingly enough the total cost for repair items was $27.50. This includes a top cover patch kit, liner patch kit and a roll of foil tape. The cost of having the tree removed was offset by the amount of firewood the tree provided.
To remember the graceful old oak tree we saved a mossy section of it and created a bench for our visitors.
Spring is here and the landscape is coming alive with color. This is the ideal time for yurt owners to do a little maintenance. Keeping your yurt clean and well maintained will not only keep it looking good, but also provide increased longevity. Below are a few tips for keeping your beautiful Pacific Yurt looking good and lasting longer.
An accumulation of dirt or soiling can create an ideal environment for bacteria to grow and cause staining of the fabric. It is important that this be removed regularly to maintain the appearance and longevity of the fabric. Both top and side covers should be cleaned at least twice a year with a mild soap and warm water. We have found this to be the least aggressive to the fabric. In areas where tree sap and leaves are a problem, it may be necessary to clean the yurt more often. Recommendations for cleaning include hand scrubbing with a soft bristle brush using a ladder around the lower perimeter areas and using the dome opening for access to the top areas. A swimming pool brush with an extension handle would be a good investment for this purpose. Be sure to protect the top cover with a blanket or cardboard before attaching a rope or strong cord to the dome and sliding it down off the roof to someone at the perimeter who can ‘catch’ it and carefully set it to the side. If mildew is ever found growing on the cover, it should be removed with soap and water. In the event the top or side cover ever becomes torn or punctured, it can be repaired with a patch kit available from Pacific Yurts.
If the side cover has any horizontal wrinkles, it can be smoothed out by simply tightening the cord that connects the top and side covers. If the side cover has any vertical wrinkles this means that it should be pulled tighter around the circumference of the yurt. To do this the screws at the bottom of the side cover should be removed and any excess fabric pulled toward the door, where it can be moved around the door sticker and re-secured. The screws at the bottom of the side cover can then be re-installed. Having a nice tight side cover will improve aesthetics, reduce wind noise and provide a better seal against air infiltration.
Check to make sure the top cover valance cord is pulled tight and secured to the door frame.
The door handle should be lubricated regularly with graphite or Teflon based lubricant.
The exterior of the door & door frame should be re-coated with a cedar semi-transparent stain (or equivalent) every year. If done regularly this requires minimal effort and keeps the beautiful appearance of the wood door. Applying a few coats of Tung oil over the door’s finish is inexpensive and helps to protect the coating.
If the fabric of your top or side cover has become stiff, brittle or tears easily the cover is likely at or near the end of its usable life. Replacement covers are available from Pacific Yurts. Pricing information can be found on our website. You can contact our customer service representatives by email or by calling 1-800-944-0240.
We have had numerous requests for us to feature a customer who has an individual use of our product, so we have a guest blogger for this entry. Rosa Lee is a Pacific Yurt owner who has lived in her yurt for several years. We hope you enjoy her “yurt story”.
I found myself in my early fifties divorced and by myself for sixteen years with the children grown and on their own. I wanted to build a new home but wasn’t sure that I wanted to be obligated with a big mortgage during my retirement years. I had seen a yurt in Idaho several years earlier and liked the feel of it so began to consider the possibilities of building my dream home inside a yurt instead of a traditional house. I’ve always lived my life a little on the adventurous side and when it came to finally building the home of my dreams it was no surprise to my family that I had decided to build a yurt instead.
First I did a lot of research and decided that Pacific Yurts was the best yurt on the market. Then I headed to the local building and zoning department to see if I could actually get permits to build a yurt. With their approval, I then visited another 30’ Pacific Yurt and started laying out strings on the floor to see if all I wanted would actually fit inside the yurt. I wanted a large gourmet kitchen as I love to cook. I wanted a king size bed so that my five small grandchildren could all sleep with me so I needed a bedroom large enough to accommodate it. I wanted an office as I worked from home and I wanted a nice living room with a big screen HDTV. I also wanted a loft for an extra sleeping space and of course I had to have a bathroom and laundry area. Believe it or not, I found that I could get all this inside that 30’ yurt and so after much research I placed my order with Pacific Yurts.
I had already been busy clearing a place in the woods for my yurt and had a very good friend with earth moving equipment that helped me prepare the site. He told me that his son Shaun was just starting out in the construction business and he might be able to help me with this project. Fortunately Shaun was able to share my vision for the yurt and he quickly became the most valuable person working with me to complete my dream. I told Shaun that I wanted to keep three rules in mind when building the yurt. It was to be Simple, Bold and Elegant.
Our first step was to build the 30 foot round platform. We used 2×6 tongue and groove flooring so that when the yurt was finished the flooring could be sanded and stained for hard wood floors. Shortly after the platform was finished my yurt arrived. I called on three other friends to see if they would help. We started on a Friday morning with Melva reading the directions and me, Hurly and Roger doing the work. Eight hours later we had the complete yurt structure up. Shaun drove by that evening to see how we were doing and he was amazed that we had been able to set it all up so quickly. The next day Stephanie, Todd, Melissa, Adam, Missy, Ron, Billy and Linda (family and friends) all arrived to help finish the installation. We worked about 10 hours that day and at the end of the day the covers were all on the yurt. The following day we ourselves sat back amazed that the yurt had gone up so easily.
Now it was time for Shaun to come back and work his magic in creating the floor plan with the interior walls that I had drawn out. Everything that Shaun built had to be free standing as nothing could be attached to the yurt structure. It was such a pleasure to work with Pacific Yurts staff as they helped during the complete building process and they were able to answer all of our questions and give us ideas on how to make everything work.
I contracted a plumber, an electrician, a heating and air man, a cabinet maker, a tile worker, and a stone mason during the next four months to complete my yurt. Everyone that came out to help me was excited to work on such an interesting project. People came from everywhere to see what was going on and I had become known as the Yurt Lady.
I had also recently joined an APA league and was playing pool on a team. A good friend of mine had met a man on a different team and she was talking to him about me, her adventurous girlfriend. He too was quite the adventurer and had been Alaska’s business man of the year with businesses in both Alaska and Australia. He was a pilot, a scuba diver, and a world traveler. Recognizing our similar adventurous spirits, Judy asked him if he knew what a yurt was. He immediately answered, “Yes, it’s a Mongolian style tent” as he had seen them in Alaska. Judy said, “I thought you would know, so now you just have to meet my friend Rosa. She lives in a yurt.”
Although William came over to see the yurt, what he found was the woman of his dreams. And although neither of us had planned on a relationship we are now married and presently living in the yurt. William and I both have large homes but it is in the yurt where we are happiest.
At the yurt, William and I are now building a cob oven. We will also be going to the British Virgin Isles in October where we will charter our own sailing yacht to continue adventuring together.
Thanks for visiting our all-new blog! We look forward to using this as a channel to keep you updated on new innovations, as well as a way for us to share tips on yurt living and stories from our customers.
We are proud of the long list of innovations over our 33-year history of building the highest quality modern yurts. From reflective insulation and French doors to heavy-duty snow and wind upgrades, we have introduced most of the features that have made yurts tremendously popular in a variety of settings and applications. Many of these innovations were developed in response to customer requests for options that would enhance their yurt experience.
One of the many benefits that yurts offer is their flexibility to be used in a wide variety of locations, and sometimes that means customers place the yurt atop a tall platform or on a steep mountain slope. Since the standard yurt window opens from the outside we wanted to give these customers an easy option for opening any hard to reach windows without a wrap-around deck.
That issue has been solved through a mixture of ingenuity and technology. We are pleased to introduce our latest, and one of our most exciting innovations to date- the Custom Curve™ Glass Window System.
The design utilizes a Low-E thermal glass window for maximum energy efficiency, and integrates a fabric flange into the window system to assure a weather-tight seal. Custom Curve™ is the first window whose beautiful structurally engineered wood framework follows the curved wall of the yurt. It thereby avoids the “flat panel” appearance of other systems and creates the most aesthetically appealing and versatile window available in a yurt today.
Beyond the visual appeal and thermal benefits, the most tangible advantage of the new window system is that it can be opened from inside. By engineering the window’s top quality Douglas fir framework into the yurt design we have been able to eliminate the lattice framing that crisscrosses through the standard yurt window, thereby enhancing the view.
Our new window system can be installed virtually anywhere along the wall of our three largest yurt sizes (20′, 24′ & 30′). It can be ordered with a new yurt or retrofitted to an existing Pacific Yurt, and easily lends itself to customization with shelving, wood panels or window treatments for a personalized look.
The Custom Curve™ window system ranks among the best of our innovations over the years and we have been very pleased with the feedback we’ve received. Our commitment to continued innovation is one way of expressing our gratitude to all of our customers who provide us with the opportunity to make a living doing what we love – making yurts. If you don’t already own a beautiful Pacific Yurt, we invite you to join our many satisfied customers.