Compressed Earth Block Cabin Foundation is Complete

We have been working hard on the foundation prep and pour for our new Compressed Earth Block (CEB) cabin. The plumbing stub out had to be completed prior to the final slab pour. Hopefully, this will be the worst task during the CEB cabin build. While my good friend Vince Barnes was visiting #EurekaYurts, I told him I had to dig a 30 foot trench for the plumbing stub out. He asked if he could help. I said sure, but, it is going to be very hard work! He replied “Nah, it won’t be that bad”! Eight hours and two days later, with 3 guys and a hammer chisel, the task was done. At which time Vince said “Please don’t have me help you dig in Arkansas again!”. Thank you Vince for helping! 

So after the digging and stub out was complete, this is a picture of the footings, stem walls, and foundation for the compressed earth block cabin.

Groundbreaking for the Stabilized CEB Cabin

Ground breaking on cabin 3 has begun.  This last week we have been working on removing trees and shaping the lot to prepare for pouring the foundation for cabin 3 (stabilized CEB cabin).  The original design was to take out part of the hill and move the dirt forward to create the flat area for a concrete foundation for the CEB walls.  In the end we decided to make a walk out basement with the public accessible cabin on top.  The rational behind this decision was swayed do to the following.

Decision Factors

  1. This would provide a space for a pseudo storm shelter which Melissa had been wanting for a long time.
  2. This would raise the living area of the cabin about 9′ and would enhance the view.
  3. This will also yield more storage / living area.  We are going to stub out shower, sink and a toilet.
  4. And one of the most important.  Since this cabin is going to be fully wheel chair accessible, this will allow a “fairly” level entry into the cabin.  Nothing is level here.

This was the initial state of the area where the circular drive was going to go.

This is the result of some of the clearing.  One long backbreaking day of chain sawing with the help of my friend, Morris Dillow!

It didn’t take long to hit some massive flint and quartz rocks that the excavator could not break.  So we had to use the hydraulic hammer to break up the rocks to get where we needed to be.

In the end, our amazing excavator magician finished the pad site, and driveway in 2 days.

Final pad site.  The grade drops about 7 feet and the basement walls will be a little over 8 feet.  The clearing for the pad is about 46 x 22.  The cabin will be about 40 x 16 with a kick out for the bedroom.

Rough-in on the driveway.

Elevation from the main road.

Top of the pad site.

Cabin 3 Teaser

Cabin 3 Is On the Way!

We have started planning on the 3rd cabin.  This will complete the name of our business.  Eureka Yurts and “Cabins”.  You might be thinking, “Why build a cabin?  Cabins are a dime a dozen here!  How could any cabin be better than the Yurts?”  So here is the deal.  The next cabin is going to be built out of DIRT!  The next reaction I usually get is, “That sound cool, we will stay in the Yurts.”  And, that is OK too.  But anyone who knows me also knows I am not going to build something less innovating than the previous build.

This cabin is going to be made of Compressed Earth Block (CEB).  The blocks are made by a diesel hydraulic block making machine capable of producing a block every 14 seconds.

CEB Machine
CEB Machine
 
Stay tuned for more details!  This is going to be BIG.  I promise.

Thank You!

We are so thankful for a successful first year at Eureka Yurts and Cabins. We started 2019 just renting to our friends and family then in March we had our first guests book on our website and stay in Pine View Yurt. We finished White Oak Yurt and started renting it towards the end of August. We’ve had one engagement that we know of, a few honeymoon stays, and lots of guests celebrating their birthdays and anniversaries. ❤

We appreciate all the nice comments left in our guest books and all the recommendations, 5 star and 10 out of 10 ratings left online. Guests have referred other people to earn credit towards a future stay and you can too! Just tell others to go to our website to book their stay and make sure they tell us that you referred them. Once they’ve checked in we apply a credit to your account worth 10% of their nightly rate. (Credits are valid for stays at Eureka Yurts only, no cash value.) You can also split the referral discount by offering a coupon code so the guest you refer gets 5% off their stay. If you don’t have an account or you would like a coupon code, email your request to [email protected] and we’ll send you more information.

We’ve enjoyed sharing our yurt build experience with so many wonderful people and look forward to meeting you in 2020!

Blake & Melissa

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 August 2019.

The yurts sleep 1 or 2 adults comfortably on a king size bed with a Premium 3 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 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 more.

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 [email protected]

We look forward to having you!
Blake and Melissa

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.

Wall Panels, Window Panels, Door Panels, Oh My!

During the inclement days the 20 wall panels are being fabricated.  The sides of each panel is cut at a 9 degree angle to account for the curvature of the yurt.  We are doing 4 picture windows (3.5 feet by 6 feet tall) and a double hung window in the bedroom, bathroom and the kitchen.  So we have 7 window panels, 1 door panel and 12 solid panels.

Fixed Window Panel
Fixed Window Panel
Prepping wall panel with outer cedar cut with tongue and V grove underneath.
Prepping wall panel with outer cedar cut with tongue and V grove underneath.
JT adding the western cedar outer sheathing.
JT adding the western cedar outer sheathing.

Notice the bottom cedar sheathing has 2 finish screws on each side.  This is so that after the panels are set, the piece can be removed so flashing can be installed so water will not wick up the panels.

 

Finished Solid Wall Panel
Finished Solid Wall Panel
Window Panel
Window Panel

Getting the Deck Up

Setting the vertical piers and bracing them for the runners.
Setting the vertical piers and bracing them for the runners.

After the pads were poured and cured.  An 8″ double galvanized pin was countersunk into the pad and the bottom of the treated 8×8 pier.  These were plumbed and braced.  Dual 2×12 runners were attached to the piers from front to back.  Then the 2×10 floor joists were attached to the runners on 16 in centers.

 

Transformer set and hot.Meter base wired and set. Ready for service.

Runners on Pad Site 2
Floor Joists on Pad 2
Floor Joists on Pad 1

 

During this time Buck trenched and set the conduit for the electrical and the water to the end of the ridge.  Two more transformer pads were built for the future “family cabin”. 

Meter base wired and set. Ready for service.
Meter base wired and set. Ready for service.

 

Transformer set and hot.
Transformer set and hot. We got the power!

Double Your Fun ….

Finally, work has been done on building 2 new yurts.  These yurts will be 25″ across and be about 475 sq feet of living space.  This time around we decided to buy 2 roof kits as opposed to the complete kit.  By purchasing on the roof kits only, we could get 2 delivered on one truck saving in shipping.  Also, I had to buy 2 roof kits to get the roof metal in any color other than silver.  We received the roof kits in April of this year.  We then had to save up some “scratch” and wait for my helpers Gator and JT to free up from previous commitments.

 

This is pad site 2 before any dirt work had been done.

I had Buck put in a circular drive and pad sites for both pad 1 and pad 2.

This is pad 1 when finished.

Pad Site 2
Pad Site 2

We then had to start laying out the pads for the piers and start the monumental task of drilling the piers.  This lasted about 30 minutes…. Then the call went out to Buck to bring out his hammer to break up the limestone shelf so we could try to auger the holes.

After the the holes were positioned and dug, forms were built, secured and leveled.  This took about 2 weeks.

After the forms were in place we poured 8 yards of concrete.  The truck could reach about 4 or 5 of forms.  After that, it was on JT’s back (literally) to wheelbarrow the concrete from the truck to the forms.  This was a long day!

Pad site 1

Pad Site 2

Eureka Yurts and Cabins