Corporate California Contractor # 632687
Frame Panel Code approved engineered homes BBB A+ Rating
David Raitt General Contractor, Designer, Manufacturer, installer and owner of California Yurts Inc. and Vital Designs
“ Circular living provides a balance of looking inward and outward, looking out at the natural environment and surroundings but then coming in again to the self and hearth.”
- David Raitt Yurt Builder
California Round House and the Building Code explained
by David Raitt
Sustainable Green Solar Village in Hopland, Ca. across the highway from Real Goods solar Living center.
In California, which is the front line of new code creation, a new code is in place. The 2010 Urban Wildfire Code, a newer Green code, has just been released in 2014. It mandates all occupancy structures must be able to withstand a fire of up to 140 degrees for 14 minutes without continuing to burn the exterior of the structure. In addition, this code requires interior sprinklers, tempered windows, ventless or baffled vents with fireproof plaster or cement sidings, shielded underdeck fire guards to prevent a fire from burning under. Class A roofing and metal railings on decks. If you use wood exteriors you have to have a 1-hour sheetrock underneath fire taped or the siding and deck railing has to be 1-1/2 thick to meet this 1 hour of fire rating.
The green code requires meeting a minimal carbon footprint during the construction with regards to minimizing waste during construction as well as minimizing energy use defined in a house guide manual.
After having re-built yurts with this new code in post-fire storm areas in San Diego, I agree with his new compliance. It provides a safer and more sustainable structure that protects the public from itself in accidental fires inside the home as well as firestorms in all areas of California. These homes are cheaper to insure and add value and safety to it's occupants.
This is on top of the Tittle 24 energy code which has been in place for some time. This code ensures all new construction be energy compliant especially with non-renewable energy sources such as propane, and oil and power from the grid. These homes require more insulation and more energy efficient appliances. Fewer windows to floor area.
See my yurtpeople.com web page” Fire code yurts” for examples of fire code yurts.
California Yurts does not sell plans or kit yurts as others do. We prefer to assist our clients thru the process to their occupancy.
However our Australian company The Gaulburn Yurtworks does sell kits. As do Deltec homes and Mandala Homes.
Reason: we prefer to guide our owner builder contractors with our vast history in the construction of their projects "hands-on" through the "Dry in phase " closing in our yurt frame panel homes is our standard.
Leading most clients through the roofing and exterior siding phase.
Often our clients do the finish on the inside themselves or hire our Associate contractors on an hourly basis to work with them at that point, "on an as-needed basis," until their home is completed.
Our Associate group of trained licensed independent contractors are involved from day one to the successful completion of your Yurt home project. We are a very different company than kit home companies in this regard.
Otherwise, you are on your own on site with your own learning curve ahead. This can be exciting if you have the patience and time. Much information is available online. You can also hire an architect to develop a plan and find a builder who may take on a round panel frame construction to build on site.
Read our Clients reviews (site menu)
If you choose to build a fabric yurt, as seen on the many virtual tours online which show a cozy finished looking tent-like structure built by reliable tent builders. They recycle, some use sustainable timber, and are LEED certified manufacturers.
You likely will be building under the radar as far as code compliant engineering, county codes as permanent occupancy dwellings. Permitted only for camping.
Many counties, striving for revenue to maintain support systems such as school funding, fire and rescue as well as police and emergency medical support , have frowned on "under the radar" owner-builders of fabric and non-code yurts. Many counties ban the existence of fabric yurts and have abatement tear down orders posted and served.
Many discovered by flyovers, located from the air. They can spot these structures. The main reason there is an uproar is clear: because the counties get no financial support for state and county services from these type of yurt people. Most of this money comes from taxation and permit fees and school taxes on new homes collected. These complaints often from your conforming neighbors.
Your neighbors are then paying for your support services for when you cry for help and want CDF to protect your home from wildfire, or a fire you accidentally started, or are in need an ambulance or want your road to town maintained or you want a decent school and bus pickup, or need police protection etc. In small communities as well as in urban as well as inside city limits, the word is out and many paying code compliant citizens call in anonymous complaints on this form of development.
This behavior is worse in many cases than the developers we often like to criticize, who at least come in the front door with public disclosure and at least pay taxes and permits fees.
We here at California Yurts strive to help design and build off-site components for green sustainable homes. Some with living roofs, greenhouse and passive earth cooling systems. We install grid tie and independent P.V. power systems.
We have installed several earth plaster and cement plaster exteriors. We assist owners in installing Bamboo, cork and "in floor" poured and stamped heated floors. We do Straw bale and Lyme plaster interior wall finishes as options as well.
So your choices are clear.
Build inexpensively under the radar with your own learning curve with the many yurt kits makers and products out there. Build a non-code, structure that is not fire safe or properly engineered to California code. Many of these fabric yurts are wonderful yet temporary.
Note: Don't be fooled by the marketers and the slick online look. These structures have problems with sustainability and longevity and use way more energy to heat and cool. You can insulate them more and install flameproof exteriors and class a roofing with additional engineering and adding framing but that is not what is being sold at first look. This upgrade is all added is at quite a different price. I have yet to see any Fabric yurt meet the codes in California for sustainable occupancy as a dwelling. Such is the case for Bill's concentric yurts or the Fabric portable parks and recreation camping yurts,
Many of the non-code hard wall kit yurts also do not meet the California fire code or the Tittle 24 California energy code.
Build with our group now or in phases as you can afford, build as you earn.
A permanent, sustainable code approved, appreciable asset yurt that will last for generations, that is built to last and that will survive a wildfire that is insurable and bankable if borrowed against or sold. Knowing that the permit process contributed to your safety and support of your local support services and community.
Click on Grow your yurt in phases page under site menu
For Sustainable kit-like yurts contact best out there :
Mandala Custom Homes in B.C. Canada
Yurts have many tangible advantages. The circular floor plan provides the greatest amount of space possible for the material used. A round space is also the most efficient space to heat and leaves the least amount of exterior surface area exposed to the elements. Wind naturally moves around yurts, instead of getting caught in corners. Because of their engineering and roof structures, yurts are extraordinarily strong, withstanding earthquakes, high winds, and heavy snow loads.
The rounded yurt fits into its natural surroundings more readily than rectangular buildings.
The healing creative, communal, and spiritual nature of yurts is broadly recognized. Yurts seem especially suited to certain pursuits. They are often used in retreat centers, and for the healing arts, meditation, spiritual practices, dancing, and community gatherings. For this reason, people seem to sleep better in yurts and they often dream more.
Shop contractor office showing plans and stored homes
With optional fold-down Queen bed/desk combo it can convert to a home office for daytime use.
30 off-site components require no crane to set up includes floor section and porch and deck and interior walls
Estimated $30,000 for the 30 parts with site install fireproof siding and soffits and trim, tempered windows, class A 40-year comp shingles, decking, and tinted skylight.
Install on your level accessible lot on code anchor panel foundation estimated at $20,000 to lock up dry in exterior done as above but on code perimeter steek anchor panel foundation, not piers as shown
Ready to finish phase: interior electrical, plumbing and cabinets, fixtures, wall insulation (included), sheetrock, finish flooring for an estimated $20,000 more.
Do the finish and help our contractors install as needed for further savings. Buy finish material at home depot for 6 months interest-free for 6 months and earn as you build to pay that off.
As we say "in like Flint" with some help from your friends and California yurts.
Call Brian Manning at (707) 744-1611 to see the model pictured above along with the Nomad 3 next door in person to get a feel for this amazing space. yurts, David