Building Eureka Yurts and Cabins

Sealing the Black Walnut used in our Yurts

We used locally sourced black walnut to make for the countertops and furniture in the yurts. Almost every guest will comment on how beautiful the black walnut is. Most will run their hands down the kitchen countertops and are amazed at how smooth it is. Then they are concerned that they will mess them up if they put their drink directly on the wood. Blake did a lot of research before we decided to use Waterlox Original Sealer VOC Compliant. We applied 4 coats, sanding between each coat, and then we used Waterlox Original Satin Finish as the last coat. We like that the satin finish makes it not as shiny. The VOC product is more expensive, but we felt it was worth it. This product does have a slight brown color to it but it worked out beautifully on the black walnut and white oak that we used in the build.

In the White Oak Yurt, the black walnut slabs for the kitchen counters were cut so the outer edges are mirrored. Above you can see that black walnut is more of a maroon color after it is slabbed and sanded smooth. Once it is sealed the colors become rich brown shades. The white oak cabinets were also sealed with Waterlox.

Kitchen cabinets and counters after sealing with Waterlox Original Sealer.
Kitchen cabinets and counters after sealing with Waterlox.


Bathroom vanity top before sealing.
Vanity and mirror after sealed with Waterlox. We also made the shelves in the bathroom out of black walnut.

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We know that we won’t be able to keep the countertops looking perfect with so many guests coming, but so far they are holding up nicely. You can’t treat them like a cutting board, but you can put a glass down and not worry about permanent ring marks. We tested this by putting a glass full of ice on a scrap piece that was sealed and then coming back 4 hours later to check on it. There was a ring of water around the glass but there wasn’t a remaining ring on the countertop after we wiped off the water. If you are trying to decide how to seal your wood furniture we highly recommend Waterlox products.

Springtime at Eureka Yurts

Loving the springtime changes and new bird arrivals at Eureka Yurts & Cabins. We have had some really pretty sunsets lately. Normally I only see the really bright colors in the morning.  We have lots of dogwoods all around the property that are blooming and the trees are greening up quickly. It’s almost as if you can watch the changes happening.

On the wildlife front, the coyotes have been yipping and the Barred Owls and Whip-Poor-Wills have started calling at night. The Eastern Bluebirds are preparing the nest box and the male is fetching dinner! We had a first of the season Ruby-throated Hummingbird arrive yesterday and also a bright blue male Indigo Bunting. The Red-headed Woodpeckers also came back to our property this week. 

We already have a lot of bookings for the rest of April, but there might still be open dates for you during the weekdays. May is also a great time to visit Eureka Springs. We’ll have some jelly for you so hopefully the Baltimore and Orchard Orioles will visit your yurt while you are here! We look forward to sharing our little piece of heaven with you.

Pine View Yurt is Ready!

The end of 2018 we rented to friends and family to help us prepare for this endeavor, and now we are ready for you! We don’t have the hot tub on the back deck yet, but we are starting to rent our 25′ yurt in the woods! The 2nd yurt is in the works and will be ready this Summer.

The yurts sleep 1 or 2 adults comfortably on a king size bed with a New Purple Mattress. There is a well-equipped kitchen so, if you want to, you can stay at your yurt and enjoy the large private deck nestled in the woods. If staying in isn’t your idea of a vacation, then the restaurants, shops, and entertainment of Eureka Springs are minutes away. If you love the outdoors you can bird watch and explore on our property which has 32 acres. For the adventurous, we are only 1 mile from the drop off for the new downhill mountain bike trails around Lake Leatherwood. If being on the water is your thing, we’re just a few miles from the crystal clear waters of Beaver Lake and the White River. We hope you’ll enjoy just being in nature, but if you can’t disconnect we offer free Wifi and a 49″ smart TV so you can watch your Hulu, Amazon, Netflix and Dish shows.

If you book your stay by 2/28/19 you will pay our winter rate of $150 per night, no matter when you stay in 2019. Plus if you stay 4 nights your 5th night is Free. Our regular rate is $170 per night and there is a 2-night minimum stay during the regular season.

We are working on the booking website and hope to have it up in a couple weeks. In the meantime, you can send us the dates you are looking at and we will get back with you on the yurts availability. Message us from our page facebook.com/EurekaYurts or you can email Reservations@EurekaYurts.com.

We look forward to having you!
Blake and Melissa

Dryed in, Finish-Out started

We now have the roof on.  It was quite difficult because my harness was made to catch you in the event of a fall.  The clip was designed to be in the back.  Notice the belt on my back to hold the harness together.  We had to retrofit it backwards so we could repel down the roof and pre-drill the holes and then screw it down.  In order to do this you had to support your weight with one arm while you worked with the other.

Skylight installed.  I only cut my forearm once on the edge of the roof getting it to the top.  #superglue

Interior after sheet rock, texture, paint, and fixtures.

Interior looking over the deck to the view.

Kitchen, Bar area, and front door.

This is a sink I found for the bathroom.  It carved out of a petrified wood tree log.  It is stunning.

This a google earth photo of our property.  The far left is our current house.  In the middle is Yurt 1 (tarp on the roof) and bottom right is Yurt 2 (the one we are working to finish first).  If you look real close you can see us working on the roof.

These are the materials that we have chosen for the finish out.  Flat pebble rock shower floor, tile for the shower walls, bathroom and living room paint colors and high-end vinyl flooring (no grout lines and looks just as good as wood due to a lot of variations in the planks).

View from the road with the circular drive

Walkin shower rocked.

Final Push to Dry-In

The last several weeks have been spend dealing with the tail end of winter and the nationwide flu epidemic.  Fortunately, neither Melissa nor I were recipients of the viral gift.  Most of the inclement days were spent putting together ceiling pies (as we call them).  Our first cabin ceiling was constructed by measuring and cutting the 1 x 6 tongue and groove ceiling one piece at a time.  It took 5 people 8 days to complete the ceiling.  This time we purchased some 1/4″ OSB and attached the 1×8″ tongue and groove board to the sheets and cut wedges.  This produced a wedge which was comprised of 3 sections for each opening in the rafters.  We are in the process of lightly sanding the pies and applying a very light stain to seal the wood and bring out the natural grain of the wood.

The rest of the days were spent erecting the ring and rafters on yurt 2 and installation of the septic tanks and trenching the electrical and water to both yurt 1 and 2.

After heavy rains, we found out we were building the worlds most elaborate rain water collection device.

Gator and Buck (hardest working men in Eureka) installing one of 3 septic tanks.

Electrical going to Yurt 2.

Initial rafters going in on Yurt 2.

View from Yurt 2.

Finished framing.

Always a greeting when daddy comes home.

And in the end, we were pooped.

And the next morning, I was blessed with this view of a sunrise over Yurt 1.  I interpreted this as:

Well done, good and faithful servant! (Matthew 25:23)

 

Raise the ROOF!

Winter has arrived.  And with it comes the inevitable construction delays.

After the wall were erected on Yurt 1, it was time to raise the Roof.  First step was to calculate the height and positioning of the center compression ring.  Once the calculations were complete, checked and rechecked, it was time to construct the stand on which the compression ring would sit.  After it was build, Gator and I had to figure out how to get the stand on top of the scaffolding.  After a couple failed plans and near drops or falls, we finally succeeded. 

Next we had to get the compression ring on top of the 14′ 7″ stand. HUM?  For this we had to bring in some additional muscle.  Much like the stand, several attempts were made using a pulley system to no avail.  So, we decided on trying to build a ramp from the top of the wall to the stand.  After a couple hours, the Eagle had landed.

The next task was to secure the roof rafters from the top of the walls to the compression ring.  Some slight modifications had to be made to the rafters before we could install.  After several hours of tweaking we finally had the first four rafters up.  Then came the rain.

We tarped the yurt with a 6 mil 50 x 50 tarp.  No easy feat on a rocky slope, I will let you know.  We though we had the tarp tight enough to slope the water off the roof, but upon inspection the next day we had huge areas on top of the roof holding massive amounts of water.  The tarp grommets had pulled free on several of the tie-downs.  So, it looked like we had built an awesome rain water collection system.  After several hours I got the water siphoned off the tarp and we reinforced the tie-downs.

 

Then came the snow.  The dogs loved it, the production schedule hated it.  I was pressing to try and get the rafters up before the weather set in so we would work inside on the ceiling panels, but it did not happen.

 

 

 

That is the update.  Next up is getting the rafters up on Yurt 2, building and installing 80 ceiling sections, wiring the interior, plumbing stubbed out, AC lines installed, and finally having the outer ceiling, interior walls and exterior floor spary foamed with insulation, and metal roofing installed.