Living with Nature is quite an exciting thing these days. Here in Montana, we have been experiencing an unprecedented fire season, and Missoula in particular is completely surrounded by active fires. We all have a little cough, and the air quality is moderately hazardous most days. Winter is coming, or so they say. Winter may be the only thing that will put these fires out. Winter is the dominating force here in the North, and determines so much of our rhythms of life. If you live in cold country, prepping for winter and wrapping up/or protecting projects from weather is on your mind.
Winter will be here soon, and there will be frozen ground, snow, rain and storms - which can mean holding off on projects for very real reasons. Yurt utility work cannot easily be done when the frost line exists 4-6' deep. Concrete cures slowly, and incorrectly in sub-zero temps. Yurt roofs do not like to stretch into the perfect fit we like to see when they are frozen. We have seen customers have to tarp and heat the entire work area to get the needed connections to line up when their yurt assembly occurred in cold weather. Battling the wind, and scrambling to protect your unfinished floor are all tests of will in the winter lands when your fall or spring plans include construction projects. Planning for winter and weather is something that all creatures must do when you live in the North.
We are completely booked through November, and feel it is in our customers best interest to not tell them "sure, setting your yurt up in December, January, etc will be just fine!". It won't be. Your fabric won't cooperate, and your fun yurt set up will turn sour. We don't want that to happen! So, if you live in a cold climate and were planning on a SD yurt, then we need to talk about Spring of '18 at this point.
Let me go in to detail about our process here at Shelter Designs to explain why winter, and our 8-12 week production process have led to this decision. Whether you order a Eco yurt or a Big sky, all roof rafters, lattice, door frame material, doors, and center-hub material is hand selected from our local or regional distributors and brought to the shop. After being unloaded, each single piece of wood is checked over for flaws, and put through the various shaping processes to produce your yurt. Lattice is ripped on the table saw, Center-hubs are put through our jig process, and roof rafters are beveled, cut to length and notched.
Then each single piece of wood is hand carried to our sanding area where your wood components are sanded and readied for oiling and finishing. After sanding, each piece is taken to the finishing room. To give you some perspective, a 30' yurt has 51 roof rafters, that are 15' long, and weigh about 25 lbs each minimum. Our 40' rafters, at 21' long, and weighing 40+ lbs each hardly even fit in our finishing room!
We hand dip each lattice piece in our oiling trough, or hand brush each roof rafter. The window and door bucks, each containing a built on awing (a Shelter Designs exclusive), are hand finished with oil. Each door frame contains 32 separate pieces and 128 screws, chosen from the highest quality woods. If your yurt includes a snow and wind kit, these components are also put through the same process.
Each single yurt is Custom because we allow our customers to place their doors and windows how they like, and because we do not carry filler yurts that are "ready to go". While the convenience of a "quick product" would certainly help grow our company, we are very interested in providing the very best product. Sending out a cookie cutter yurt does not address the site specific weather concerns that should be addressed. In order to do that, we walk each customer through their particular site and make sure that the yurt can withstand what ever weather is likely to occur in that area. (permitted or not) As we all experience the wild extremes that the weather is having these days, we feel like our process is ever more important. Safety and quality are our bottom lines.
We want to say thank you to all yurt lovers out there, past and future, who have made our company a great success. Thank you for understanding that creating these beautiful structures to our exacting standards takes time. If you live in a cold climate, we very much look forward to hearing from you soon to start planning your 2018 yurt. If you live in a warm climate, give us a call and we can have something ready for you this winter.
Best, The Shelter Designs Team