Earthbags make great insulated foundations and platforms for yurts.

Earthbags make great insulated foundations and platforms for yurts.

I posted an idea for Insulated Earthbag Foundations for Yurts at One reader who left a comment liked the idea, but needed a simpler design so he wouldn’t have to get a building permit. Here’s an idea for a very simple design that might get around building codes. Stack one course of earthbags in a circle and then fill the center area with sand, sand/gravel mix or an insulating material such as scoria. Spike the bags in place with saplings to prevent slippage. Berm earth against the earthbags to protect from UV rays and help hold them in place. The floor could be topped with a 2″ layer of subsoil to create a temporary tamped earth floor.

I know it’s rather crude, but it’s also super low cost, quick and easy. No concrete or lumber required, which means almost zero cost if you use recycled bags, and it should bypass the codes because it’s only ‘temporary’. (Har, har. This could last indefinitely if the bags aren’t exposed to sunlight, but don’t tell that to the code officials.)


Earthbag Platform for Yurts — 4 Comments

    • There are various options depending on how you build the platform: anchors drilled into concrete, anchors enbedded in concrete, screw piers, concrete piers with anchors, etc. One good low tech DIY option is to build a wood platform with recycled or sustainably harvested wood. Choosing the best method depends on soil type vs. rocky ground, climate, risk of flooding, etc.

  1. I had a friend tell me about how he tore down an old barn and built a nice deck beside the house.He says he wasnt done for five minutes and a guy drove up and asked for the permit.So my friend asks the guy, permit for what? and he says a building permit for the deck! My friend calmly looks at the guy and says this is my raft im building?the permit guy just stood there for a while then left.I d bet you could spend years building your boat on your property.

    • That’s hilarious. It just goes to show how ridiculous things have gotten.

      Building on removable pre-cast concrete piers has some real potential for circumventing codes. It’s temporary, not a permanent foundation.

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