Our resource to help you answer your questions
Please check out the library to the right of the page, there is a lot of helpful information there
Each tab below opens into a resource for each of the topics presented
Why choose Smiling Woods Yurts?
- We have been designing and building unique homes, cabinets and furniture for over 30 years. The knowledge, experience, craftsmanship and attention to detail we bring to these homes is substantial. We care about the Earth and all its inhabitants. We will treat you with the kind of care and consideration you deserve. We are here to help you realize your dream and to help make the process as simple and straight forward as possible.
What's the difference between a Smiling Woods Yurt and fabric yurt?
- Homes built with our products are permanent and comfortable for full-time all-season living in nearly every climate. They are built with durable building materials to stand for generations; a fabric yurt is basically a really nice tent. A SWY will meet and exceed the most current international Residential Building codes and can be insulated to industry standards for energy-efficiency using proven R-value products, a fabric yurt will not. We have insulated glass windows whereas fabric yurts have vinyl windows that open from the outside. SWY homes can be secured, fully-insured, and generally qualify for conventional financing under most circumstances through a third-party. Please note: Smiling Woods Yurts does not offer any financing on our products.
What do the prices reflect on your website?
- A Smiling Woods Yurt complete kit is a fully prefabricated and finished-to- the-outside shell. This professionally prepared package comes complete with fully assembled walls and pre-cut roof components. The walls are complete-to- the-outside with sheathing, cedar siding, windows and door(s) already installed. The roof package is a simple to install component system with an opening, thermal skylight.
- Besides these major components, we include that all of the trim, hardware and everything else you will need to set up this exterior shell. What remains for you to do are the site-related items and all of the systems that are necessary to complete your home: the foundation and floor, utilities, interior walls, plumbing, electrical, heating, cabinets, etc.
- If you are purchasing a roof kit we will provide a Wall Construction manual and video as part of the kit.
Are these yurts portable?
- These are not designed to be portable. The uninsulated shell can be set up and taken down relatively easily. Once a foundation is built and the kit is set up, insulated and finished on the inside, it would require a lot of work to disassemble and is not recommended.
How can I get more information on a particular model?
- Each of our models is a different size of the same design – a multi-rafter conical roof with an assembly of 4’ wide walls. What distinguishes one kit from the others is the number of the walls and the number and length of the rafters. See here for a description of the different kits.
Is it possible to visit your location?
- We run a small and very efficient production shop and cannot accept drop-in visitors. If you would like to schedule a visit to see our facility, we will do our best to arrange a time that we can host you and show you around!
Do you have a model we can see?
- We have no walk-through model at our location. We do have a network of generous customers proud of their homes who often are graciousness enough to allow visitors. Please contact us to discuss this possibility.
Do you offer a service for setting up the kits on our site?
- We do not offer on-site services and do not currently have a crew available to come and set up your yurt. We do provide a detailed set of manuals to guide anyone with building experience, including contractors, to successfully prepare for and set up your Smiling Woods Yurt.
Do you have recommended contractors familiar with building these types of homes in my area?
- We are gradually building a network of experienced contractors each year, and may have a recommendation for you.
Is there a warranty?
Smiling Woods Yurts guarantees the kit, its workmanship, and the kit’s components to be complete and free from defects. Once you have set up our kit and it is incorporated into your structure, the structure is subject to your building department’s inspection and adherence to the engineering study performed if you have purchased this complete study. This complete study is your guarantee that the structure is applicable to your site’s range of conditions and demands. Additionally, certain components of the kit carry a warranty from their respective manufacturers: windows (lifetime), door (warranty), skylight (5 years), and roofing (5 years).
Plans: Design and Engineering
Are structural plans included with a Smiling Woods Yurt package?
- No, structural plans are not included, or provided by Smiling Woods Yurts. We provide a detailed instruction manual for the set-up of the kit we create for you, along with general instruction for building various types of floor and foundation systems. Most projects will require a complete set of plans drawn to be submitted for a building permit and for your contractor to build with. We can help to facilitate your connection with the necessary services to have a full set of wet-stamped engineered plans created for your project.
Do you provide design service?
- We do not offer project-specific drawings or any details needed to create a complete set of engineered or working plans. If you are not already working with an architect or drafts person, we have a partner design firm whom we whole-heartedly recommend to you for full drafting services. Dream.Design.Build. is a Washington firm with extensive experience in creating top-notch plans for beautiful living spaces.
Do you provide engineering service?
- Included with the purchase of each kit, we have an engineering analysis performed for the components we build for your home – the walls and roof structure - in our best effort to assure we build these to meet the demands of your site conditions. We recommend a complete engineering study be performed that will consider the integrity of your entire structure (including the foundation, floor, along with the walls and roof systems built by Smiling Woods Yurts as a whole system). This complete analysis is not included with the price of the kit and is not provided by Smiling Woods Yurts. We contract with the reputable Precision Structural Engineering, Inc. who are licensed in most every state in the U.S. and subcontract with partner firms in the remaining few states.
- Please contact us for an estimate of a complete study for your project.
Can I meet California wildfire building codes with a Smiling Woods Yurt?
- Yes. The standard kit requires some minor modifications to assure compliance with California Fire Code regulations for residential structures.
Can my yurt have a loft?
- Yes. While we do not provide any materials for interior structure, we recommend you consider taller walls to make the most of the space both in and below the loft.
Can yurts be connected?
- Yes, we have built many kits designed to be inter-connected with either a simple breezeway or even a more substantial central living space. Inter-connected yurts will require taller walls to allow for the ceiling clearance in the connection structure.
Can I add on a covered deck or additional rooms to a Smiling Woods yurt?
- Yes. Covered porches and additional rooms can be placed anywhere around the yurt and can extend out as far as you’d like when the yurt walls are built tall enough to accommodate the needed headroom at the outside wall of the addition.
What is approximate shipping cost? Is it included with the kit price?
- See this shipping map for approximate shipping costs to a location near you. Shipping is not included with the price of the kit and is charged for based on the amount of truck space required and the distance from our production facility in North Central Washington to your site.
Do you ship overseas?
- We are equipped for sales to the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as Canada. Shipping outside of North America may carry additional administration charges for determining the applicability of one of our kits for international build, coordination efforts with local building regulators, as well as any exporting process.
Will a kit fit into a shipping container?
- Because of the dimensions of our shipping pallets, a kit does not easily fit in a walled shipping container. For ocean freight we recommend a “flat-rack” or platform for shipment. Most kits will fit on a 20’ flat-rack. Larger kits will require a 40’ flat-rack for shipment. Some kits may fit in a 40’ walled container, however, we cannot load walled containers so you would have to hire a third party to do so.
How much does shipping cost?
- Shipping varies depending on your specific location. We will get a shipping quote for you if you like otherwise please use the provided shipping map to located a point close to you to get a good idea of shipping costs. Freight rates do fluctuate with fuel prices, so costs are only for estimation.
How do I arrange for shipping my yurt?
- We can make shipping arrangements for you or you can arrange the shipping yourself. Shipments to Canada are subject to importing fees and local duty/customs taxes. Canadian residents will be responsible for this process and any costs involved.
How do I prepare to receive my shipment?
- You will need adequate room for a semi-truck and trailer to easily come to and from your site. The materials come palletized and will require mechanical equipment to unload, such as a fork lift or boom-truck. Typically you will have one hour for this and the truck driver is not required to help. You will want to have an area cleared and a way to stack the materials off the ground and flat. Have tarps on hand to keep several parts dry - most materials arrive wrapped for weather-protection from our facility.
I want to build a SWY, what’s the next step?
- The first step is to determine if a Smiling Woods Yurt is right for your needs. Submit an email inquiry on our Contact Page or set up an introductory phone call with our sales representative by scheduling a time that works well for you here. We look forward to meeting you.
What will the total building cost be?
- A Smiling Woods Yurt kit is a set of components and specialized parts that enable you to successfully and efficiently build a beautiful round home. There are many ways to put a kit from us to work for you, with as many different configurations for a home as there are people and places to build them! Thus, there are many variables that must be determined to be able to estimate the total costs you will incur to build a home. Outside of the design you choose and its complexities, some examples of these variables include: design, engineering and permitting costs, site preparation, infrastructure and foundation type, as well as local labor and materials costs. Additional interior structural elements such as lofts and rooms or exterior elements such as room additions/extensions, porches, decks, or perhaps a connection to another yurt will also factor into the total building cost.
How long does it take to set up a Smiling Woods Yurt?
- This depends on the size of the yurt. For the largest models the basic structure can be set up in one-to- two weeks with a small competent crew. If you include finishing the ceiling and insulating the roof it can take up to another week for the complete setup. The smaller yurts will take significantly less time to set up and complete.
Will my yurt require a building permit?
- If you are in a location that requires permits for building, yes. There are variables as to what is permitted in different counties/jurisdictions. We can help you understand what to ask your county as far as specifics and how to approach them to get the best results. Our engineers offer structural engineering for all locations throughout the United States. If you need engineered plans you will also need a designer/drafts person to create the plans prior to engineering.
How soon can we get a yurt?
- Once you place an order, a purchase agreement is signed and the down payment received you are then placed on our production schedule. Our schedule at that time determines when we begin building your kit. Production time from start to finish is generally 2 to 4 weeks.