Building code homes

Corporate California Contractor # 632687     

Frame Panel  Code approved        engineered Homes    BBB A+ Rating 

David Raitt General Contractor, Designer,Manufacturer,installer and owner of California Yurts inc. and Vital Designs 

“ Circular living provides a balance of looking inward and outward, looking out at the natural environment and surroundings but then coming in again to the self and hearth.”  

      - David Raitt  Yurt Builder 

          Sustainable  Green  Solar Village  in Hopland, Ca. across the highway from Real Goods solar Living center. 

California Round House and the Building Code explained      

by David Raitt

    In California , which is the front line of new code creation , a  new  code is in place. The  2010  Urban Wildfire Code, a newer Green code, has just been released in 2014.  It  mandates  all occupancy structures must be able to withstand a fire  of up to 140 degrees  for 14 minutes without  continuing to burn the exterior of the structure.  In addition this code  requires interior sprinklers, tempered windows, ventless or baffled vents with fireproof plaster or cement sidings , shielded  under deck fire guards to prevent fire from burning under. Class A roofing and metal railings on decks. If you use wood exteriors you have to have a 1 hours sheetrock underneath fire taped or the siding and deck railing has to be 1-1/2 thick  to meet this 1 hour of fire rating.

   The green code requires meeting a minimal carbon footprint during the contruction with regards to minimizing waste during construction as well as minimizing energy use defined in a house guide manual.

    After having re-built yurts with this new code in  post fire storm  areas in San Diego, I agree with  his new compliance. It provides a safer and more sustainable structure that protects the public from itself in accidental fires inside the home as well as fire storms  in all areas of California.  These homes are cheaper to insure and add value and safety to it's occupants.

    This is on top of the Tittle 24 energy code which has been in place for some time. This code ensures all new construction be energy compliant especially with non renewable energy sources such as propane, and oil and power from the grid. These homes require more insulation and more energy efficient appliances.  Fewer windows to floor area. 

See my web page” Fire code yurts”for examples of fire code yurts.

   California Yurts does not sell plans or kit yurts as others do. We prefer to assist our clients thru the process  to their occupancy.

However our Australian company The Gaulburn Yurtworks does sell kits. As do Deltec homes and Mandala Homes.

      Reason:  we prefer to guide our owner builder contractors with our vast history in the construction of their projects "hands on"  through the "Dry in phase " closing in our yurt frame panel homes is our standard.

Leading most clients though the roofing and exterior siding phase.

    Often  our clients do the finish on the inside themselves or hire our Associate contractors on an hourly basis to work with them at that point ,"on an as needed basis," until their home is completed.

     Our Associate group of trained licensed independent contractors are involved from day one to the successful  completion of your Yurt home project.  We are a very different company than kit home companies in this regard.

     Otherwise you are on your own on site with your own learning curve ahead. This can be exciting if you have the patience and time. Much information in available on line. You can also hire an architect to develop a  plan and find a builder who may take on a round panel  frame construction  to build on site.  Read our Clients reviews (site menu)

    If you choose to build a fabric yurt, as seen on the many virtual tours on line which  show a cozy finished looking tent like structure built by reliable tent builders. They recycle, some use sustainable timber, and are LEED certified manufacturers. 

    You  likely will be  building under the radar as far as code compliant  engineering, county codes as permanent occupancy dwellings. Permitted only for camping.

    Many counties, striving for revenue to maintain support systems such as school  funding, fire and rescue as well as police and emergency medical support , have frowned on "under the radar"owner  builders of  fabric and non code yurts.  Many counties ban the existence of fabric yurts and have abatement tear down orders posted and served. 

    Many discovered by fly overs, located from the air. They can spot these structures.  The main reason  there is an uproar is clear: because the counties get no financial  support for state and county services from these type of yurt people. Most  of this money comes from taxation and permit  fees and school taxes on new homes collected. These complaints oftrn from your conforming neighbors.

    Your neighbors then are  paying for your support services for when you cry for help and want CDF to protect your home from wildfire, or a fire you accidentally started, or are in need an ambulance or want your road to town maintained or you  want a decent school and bus pickup,  or need police protection etc.  In small communities as well as in urban as well as  inside city limits,  the word is out and many paying code compliant citizens call in anonymous complaints on  this form of development. 

     This behavior is worse in many cases than the developers we often like to criticize, who at least  come in the front door with public disclosure and at least pay taxes and permits fees.

    We here at California Yurts strive help design and build off site components for green sustainable homes. Some with living roofs, greenhouse and passive  earth cooling systems. We install  grid tie and independent P.V. power systems.

    We have  installed several earth plaster and cement plaster exteriors.  We assist owners in installing  Bamboo, cork and "in floor" poured and stamped  heated floors. We do  Straw bale and Lyme plaster interior wall finishes as options as well.

                        So your choices are clear.

    Build inexpensively under the radar with your own learning curve with the many yurt kits makers and  products out there.  Build a non code, structure that is not fire safe or properly engineered to California code. Many of these fabric yurts are wonderful yet temporary. 

Note:  Don't be fooled by the marketers and the slick on line look. These structures have problems with sustainability and longevity and use way more energy to heat and cool. You can insulate them more and install flame proof exteriors and class a roofing with additional engineering and adding framing but that is not what is being sold at first look. This upgrade is all added is at quite a different price. I have yet to see any Fabric yurt meet the codes in California for sustainable occupancy as a dwelling. Such is the case for Bill's concentric yurts  or the Fabric portable  parks and recreation camping yurts,

     Many of the the non code hard wall kit yurts also do not meet  the California fire code or the Tittle 24 California energy code.


    Build  with our group  now or  in phases as you can afford,  build as you earn.

A permanent, sustainable  code approved, appreciable asset  yurt that will last for generations, that is built to last  and  that will  survive a wildfire that is insurable and bankable if borrowed against or sold. Knowing that the permit process contributed to your safety and support of your local support services and community. 

Click on Grow  your yurt in phases page under site menu  

     For Sustainable kit  like  yurts contact          best out there :

   Mandala Custom Homes in B.C. Canada  



      Tower Duplex Hawaii

 3  Yurt Homes we built in Kauai that Withstood  Hurricane INIKI’s 180 MPH winds back in the 80’s   

Ca yurts on site

Rancho Navaro  California Round House cluster home just  completed in the fall of 2015 

      A + rating                      


 Vital Designs

   Licensing  and Support Worlwide 

  Building in the Round          Since 1976

      Eric Lassotovitch  installer contractor 


Willits, Ca. 31’/41’ tower home  with  Hardi Panel lap siding  above  and below 

IMG 1011

Fire resistant deck with Deck Shield Panels 

IMG 8364

Nomad 2  guest room with fold out Qween 

High line Clint

Clint Huson and Berto Ibbarra installer and manufacturing contractors 

 1643 Sq.Ft. Cluster Solar Home in the  hills   Ukiah, Ca.  4 bedroom 2 bath home 


   31’/ 41’ Multi-Radius Home in Sonoma 


  41’  Tower  3 bedroom 2 bath home  Mendocino with 4 car garage under

www.VRBO217070   Family Villa in Pescadero Baja  5 bedroom cluster


    26’ Yurt  kitchen   in Northern Humbolt   County Ca. with granite counter tops 

Dan Shupe Master Plumber

   Dan Shupe Yurt  Plumbing Contractor 

     Nomad  studio in Richmond ,Ca.        Villa  in Baja uphill in yard above house


 3 Bedroom Cluster Home in Ukiah California  

 Fire code approved 26‘yurt tower and wings  with cement plaster exterior 


     36‘ yurt Music Room Plumfield Academy in Occidental ,California   

     Recently completed Sustainable affordable Nomad 4 Mini Home under 500  Sq.Ft  30  prefab panel w / floor

3 Bedroom 2-1/2 bath two car garage and office home to be built soon in Ukiah

     Yurt Farm Camping Yurts in N.S.W. Australia  "Glamping for weekenders"


   Crane erecting 4 way Naultilus Yurt in Ukiah, Ca.  portions of  4 different diameters sharing the same central skylight

Hillside Home underway 2015 in Nevada 

County. 4 car garage and shop under front

IMG 1329

Model showing contours and detail 

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 10.44.22 AM

Brain Manning, our rearless draftsman,

designer and plan document procurement

contractor, site evaluator  is at your service.       Phone (707)744-1611

26’/ 46’ Multi Radius Yurt   Rock Creek Family  Retreat 

      295’ Nomad 2 Model mini home Studio Ukiah Ca.  By Appointment

15':28: Nomad 2

    15’ Nomad 2 slant wall  Yurt in Navaro California along creek with kayak and camping gear storage underneath  

   Yurt Cluster home under construction in Navaro Ca.  Trapped site for winter install

IMG 2181

   Yurt Cluster finished  6 months  later 


Steel Anchor Panels hung off floor rims just before pouring footings      

    13’ Yurt Model in Ukiah at  Factory   under 120’ Sq.Ft. (no permit needed)


Sod Village D.C. (1)

Glern Echo D.C. National  Park  crafts Yurt Village 1972 to present 

26':with 10'wing,with 16'

      Yurt Cluster home Potter Valley Ca.

Lilian and David 13'ext (1)

David & Lillian 13’ fire resistant Yurt 

in the hill s above Ukiah, Ca.

tower greenhouse (1)

4 bedroom passive solar tower in anderson Valley ,Ca. with greenhouse passive  heating and earth tube cooling 

mountain yurts

80’ yurt factory next to 6 unit green tower subdivision in flood plane in Hopland Ca. 

tin man

Wine Tasting Yurt and Store Philo,Ca. 

porch screened wing

Screened in porch with room for Hot Tub

21 tower 26'arbor entry

Front Yard on sod roofed home with decks

Valance detail roof copy

     Valance Yurt lighting on high wall 


   Side yard Sauna with shower 

Office loft over kitchen  in Ft.Bragg, Ca.

28' interior kitch.1 2 copy

28’ upper floor kitchen with Bamboo Floor 


18’ slant wall tower 

Teacher Yurt Cars copy

Off Grid Yurt home on Organic Farm N.S.W. Australia

Villa 1:2 bath toilett

Boat like 1/2 bath in 2’ under eave 

in three story tower in Baja

Villa Tower small

3 story Villa tower bedrooms with 1/2 baths and deck on each floor 

    Third floor 13’ yurt with 1/2 bath 

fireplace inside

Central wood stove  living  room dining view from kitchen 

Mill Creek Nautilus

755”Sq.Ft. 2 bedroom Nautilus  Talmage Ca. 

  International Trademark 

Yurts have many tangible advantages. The circular floor plan provides the greatest amount of space possible for the material used. A round space is also the most efficient space to heat and leaves the least amount of exterior surface area exposed to the elements.  Wind naturally moves arounf yurts, instead of getting caught in corners. Because of their engineering and roof structures, yurts are extrodinarily strong, withstanding earthquakes, high winds, and heavy snow loads.

Yhe Rounded yurt fits into its natural surroundings more readily than rectangular buildings.

The healing creative ,communal, and spiritual nature of yurts is broadly recognized. Yurts seem especially suited to certain pursuits. They are often used in retreat centers, and for the healing arts, meditation, spiritual practices, dancing, and community gatherings. For this reason people seem to sleep better in yurts and they often dream more.

Shop contractor office showning plans and stored homes

New Nomad 2 in 3D  Model. This is  under 300 Sq.Ft. and a  fully funtional mini home with 6’ closet, front porch, full bath, Full kitchen, loft and great proportions and design.

With optional fold down Queen bed / desk combo it can convert to a home office for daytime use.

30  off site components require no crane to set up includes floor section and porch and deck and interior walls

Estimated $30,000 for the 30 parts with site install firproof siding and soffits and trim , temperred windows , class a 40 year comp shingles, decking and tinted skylight.

  Nomad 2 set up temporarily at Wellmar Yurt Factory. 15’/28'

    Install on your level accessable lot on code anchor panel foundation estimated at $20,000 to lock up dry in exterior done as above but on code perimeter steek anchor panel foundation , not piers as shown 


    Readty fo finish phase :   interior electrical, plumbing and cabinets, fixtures, wall insulation (included),sheetrock, finish flooring for an estimated $20,000 more. 

    Do the finish and help our contractors install  as needed for further savings. Buy finish material at home depot for 6 months interest free for 6 months and earn as you build to pay that off.

    As we say "in like Flint" with some help from your friends and  California yurts. 


Call Brian Manning  at  (707)744-1611 to see the model pictured above along with the Nomad 3 next door  in person to get a feel for this amazing space.           yurts,  david 

We;;mar Naut.front

 Under 500 Sq.Ft. Nomad Three  with Earth plaster and seperate bedroom  and larger porch with larger loft  , lager Skylight 18’/26’/36’Multi-Radius yurt 

IMG 8505


  Master Bedroom suite in 23’ yurt 

26' 10' wall interior

26’ dining living kitchen open Yurt with 

10’ high walls in Redwood Valley Ca. 

26’ Living room to dining with view out onto deck thru sliding glass door 

arch entry 2 (1)

Welcome !