First things first. I wanted to apologize for the delay in posting updates. It has been very hectic with the new family member (Bella – “The Puppy”), work, planning, construction, blah, blah, blah…… Anyway, my goal is to have updates at least once a week. Also, I wanted to thank all the followers and subscribers. BTW you can register and get update alerts here https://eurekayurts.com/wp-login.php?action=register .
Where to start? Well there has been a lot of progress over the past 2 months. Bob, along with his sidekick Luis and two of his friends Vicente and Jose installed the metal roof and skylight.
With the Yurt completely dried in, I started preparation to move in full time.
With the yurt routinely getting down to the mid 30’s, it was a very challenging environment. But, when the temperature inside dropped in the single digits, I had to take my extraordinarily generous neighbors offer to use his house while his family was out of the country on a mission trip. Wow, what a blessing to have the option!
Now that the mini split was installed and the insulation was complete, we finally have heat.
The day has come. After acquiring bids, meeting with salesmen, comparing schedules, waiting on the arctic cold front to back off. The Insulator is coming. We have decided to do the insulation in 2 phases. First, we will spray the insulation directly on the outside of the ceiling. This required caulking all the edge joints in each piece of tongue and groove and putting metal air conditioning tape over the knots to prevent bleeding of the insulation through the ceiling. We went over the ceiling twice to try to make sure there were no leaks. But, In the end the foam show us where we missed… We had about 6 or 7 bleeds. But overall, the guy doing the spraying said it was remarkably prep-ed.
Well, the ceiling is finally done. This week has been absolutely UNBEARABLE. 14 degrees and a 7 – 10 MPH wind. There was no flex in the schedule due to a very small window of temperate weather with no rain. This was needed to schedule the foam insulation. They can not work if the temperature is below 40 degrees. Note to self, build in September, not in November. In any case we got it done with the help of Jose and Vincente. The Yurt was tarped Friday 1 hour before the rain and snow began to fall. Now we wait for Wednesday when the forecast is for 0% chance of rain and a high of 55…..
One teensy weensy over site on my part was the fact that the beautiful ceilings on most of the yurts in the gallery on smiling woods yurts is not included. On further inspection, it is stated on the website and in the manual… I have no idea how I could have missed that. As a result, we were scrambling to come up with suitable wood for the ceiling. After about 2 days we found a hardware store that had enough supply and would deliver. Once the wood is delivered, we have the joy of making about 5000 cuts and painstakingly fitting, tacking and caulking each piece.
Well, the walls are up. It took a full day, but they are up, and I am feeling good about the progress and the quality. Next step, the most intimidating step so far, float the compression ring and install the rafters. In order to “float” the compression ring, we had to make some calculations for the height of the compression ring. Once done, we used several stories of scaffolding and built a stand for the compression ring to rest. Then we used a rope to hoist the extremely heavy ring to the top of the scaffolding. Once the ring was in place, we started attaching the rafters one at a time in opposing locations to compress the ring in opposite directions.
Over the weekend, two of my life-long friends (J.B. Conant and Terry “T-Man” Wilson) joined me, Bob (GC) and Luis (Bob’s Assistant) in Eureka Springs to help on the initial contruction phase. Over the next 5 days we poured over the construction manual and pictures. Below is a progression of the build.
Finally, the yurt was delivered. Yay! The unloading was a nightmare! grrr. The problem started when the shipping company put the second customers roof on our crates. To make matters worse, the others customers roof had some light damage. After an hour of deliberation, I decided not to move the roof and have the second customer remove their own roof. The delivery truck would have to return for us to get the crates off once the roof was off-loaded. Two and a half hours later the delivery truck returned. After a little under 2 hours the yurt contents was on the ground. Smiling Woods Yurts had told us when the yurt was shipped there was a problem with the skylight and it would arrive in about a week.
We have been working hard to get the footings in place and ready for the delivery from the cement company. We are anticipating pouring the footings Wednesday the 22nd of October. Bob, our general contractor, has done an excellent job of making progress with out water and electricity. Both of which are our top priority.
We have been blessed again with news from our Yurt builder (SmilingWoodsYurts.com not to be confused with my good friend Frank Smiley). It turns out that another customer, who lives in our area is scheduled for delivery at the same time. Thereby, saving us roughly half of the delivery cost of about $4000. This will help offset some of the last minute upgrades which include a forest green colored external roof and a electric remote controlled skylight opener. Currently, we are expecting shipment of the Yurt between the 21st and 24th of October.
We will heading to Eureka Springs October 22nd and are planning to go to Topeka Kansas for the Mother Earth News Fair the weekend of the 25th. We will then head back to Eureka Springs for the next full week.
We have been working toward getting site approval for the local electric company to initiate a construction order for the power lines. The meter base has been purchased and we have the dimensional plans for the well house and the yurt base. We are planning to build the well house using Cord Wood construction. Here are some samples of some of the construction.
Many of these pictures are credited to Richard Flatau and can be seen at his awesome blog and Cordwood Construction Best Practices