Monday, July 12, 2010

I want to review our yurt dealer. On the east coast, we don't have many options for locally built yurt kits. It was difficult for my husband and I to decide whether or not to buy from the only local company we could find, or send our order out west, to one of the many reputable companies in the northwest. We decided to go with our local company, White Mountain Yurts. They were almost $2000 more per yurt, but since shipping a yurt from out west would have ended up being about $2000 as well, the cost came out about even. We were excited about dealing with a local company, being able to meet with them in person and see their yurts up close before buying.

Our first meeting with WMY went decently, not amazingly well, but not badly. We were a little uncomfortable, because the owner tried to convince us to upgrade to some of his more expensive options (roll-up walls, dome-lifter, and French doors). We wanted the basic model. My husband is very competent building, and he was pretty convinced that once he had the yurt up, he could easily alter whatever we wanted to improve. But dealing with the owner wasn't too difficult, and we managed to convince him that we were not going to buy a deluxe yurt.

We ordered the yurt with the understanding that it would be finished within 8 weeks, and the promise that it would be somewhere closer to six weeks. Six weeks later, WMY sends us an e-mail saying that our yurt would be done that weekend, we asked them to call to tell us when we could pick it up. We didn't hear from them all weekend, I contacted them the next week to ask when the yurt could be picked-up and was told it would be another two weeks, as our fabric hadn't shipped yet. We were frustrated.

A little over eight-weeks after placing the order, we went down to pick up the yurt. We were told to bring a 3/4 ton pickup with at least an 8' bed, or a 1/2 ton pick-up and trailer. We brought a 1/2 ton and trailer. The owner didn't tell us that his company was atop a very steep, dirt road. The truck and trailer started spinning out about 1/2 way up, and we didn't like the thought of driving a loaded trailer down that hill, so we parked at the bottom and walked up.

After insulting our driving abilities, experience, and confindence, the owner finally agreed to the kit (in various pieces, and utterly unpacked) down to our trailer, we also un-hitched the truck and drove it up to load up. Once he realized he couldn't bully us into driving the trailer up, the owner admitted that he sometimes couldn't get even his truck up the hill, and that he's had some very scary times driving down with a trailer!

Overall, it was not a positive experience. Nothing was crated properly, the door ended up getting rubbed with black rubber from the dome, and the dome ended up getting scratched a bit by the straps. The insulation was packed in garbage bags, and half weren't labeled, so we were guessing a bit while we put the yurt together.

If we had to do it over, we definately would have shipped out west for our yurt. The yurt itself is great, but dealing with WMY was definately not.

We had great interactions with Colorado Yurts though, they offer a lot of free platform plans, building ideas, and photos. Their web-page was very helpful. WMY gets it's fabric from Colorado Yurts, and the fabric all came with a 15 year warrenty, which we appreciated.

We do love the yurt itself, and living in it, my husband has already made his own "dome lifter" for us. He now has plans for making solid windows. We're looking around for colorful, nomadic-style decor as well. It really is a beautiful space to live in!

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