TenYurt - A Simple Prefab - Tiny House Blog

TenYurt – A Simple Prefab

Malcolm White contacted me about a new ebook he has written on how to build a new prefab he calls the TenYurt. I recently had the privilege of looking his plan over and it looks very doable for the average person. I am going to let Malcolm tell you more about it. (at this time this is only a concept, Malcolm is building a prototype soon)

For a long time now I have been interested in almost everything related to residential design and construction. If you looked at the bookmarks in my Internet browser you would find that category to have the most pointers by far. While most of my career has been in the semiconductor industry I have spent a fair amount of my spare time and occasionally my full time designing or building things.

More recently I have become increasingly interested in looking for ways to help ease homelessness both in this country and potentially abroad. Partly with that end in mind I have been thinking about how to build very simple structures that could be used for housing. I am also very interested in prefabrication techniques so I was naturally drawn to the idea of simple prefabricated structures.

My new eBook titled “TenYurt – A Simple DIY Prefab Shelter” details one such structure. A TenYurt is a simple 10-sided yurt like building that encloses about 118 square feet of floor space and is about 12 feet from side to side. In its prefabricated but unassembled for easy transportation in a pickup truck. I have included lots of drawings, accurate dimensions and complete how to build details. You can build a very simple basic structure or you can enhance it in most any way your needs and budget suggest.

For more information about my eBook and for information about how to order you own copy visit diy-prefab.com.

Join Our eMail List and download the Tiny House Directory

Simply enter your name and email below to learn more about tiny houses and stay up to date with the movement.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Mary - January 5, 2012 Reply

Maybe it’s just me, but if you’re going to write a book about building something… doesn’t it make sense to have actually built it first? I guess I’d find this more interesting and valuable if there was an actual “tenyurt” to see.

peter - January 5, 2012 Reply

I believe that this is a good idea but you really need to build one first if you are selling the plans as a ‘simple diy structure’If so simple why have you not built one yet? How do you know it will be simple,
Many people have great ideas on paper but when put into practice its another ball game….

Handyhusband01 - January 5, 2012 Reply

Interesting concept, I’d like it a bit bigger. I agree with the guys – you need to do a proof of concept. I got plans from a guy that built a pre-fab 16′ dome at http://takeapartdome.com/. Very good but needs some work adding insulation. It also fits in the back of a pickup. Waterproofing at the seams will be the issue on both designs. This one looks slightly easier

Shea - January 6, 2012 Reply

Just a couple questions come to mind, initially…

First, I’m wondering what is the FINISHED SIZE of this shelter will be? I didn’t see it mentioned here, or at the link… The info there (and here) mentions 10 ‘sides’ (which I assume are 4X8’s, as are the ‘ceiling/roof’s 10 panels – with 2 precise cuts to make them into the triangular-ish shape), with each ‘side’ being 4′ wide… I’m not a math wiz enough to figure this out myself… It seems to be at LEAST 24′ diameter… maybe 30′? Anyone?

Second question, concerning the ceiling/roof panels… I agree with other comments. It’s tricky to sell something based on an idea, however mathematically ‘correct’ it might appear at the onset, on paper…
AND, without a picture of the finished Tenyurt, it’s also hard to envision what the ceiling rise will be! I’m sure the 2 cuts made to those panels have something to do with the pitch/rise of the roof, but, again, I just don’t have the math marbles. So what is the ceiling height (central) of this particular Tenyurt, knowing the sidewalls are 8′ tall?

And what must be done, with the roof panel ‘cuts’, in order to make the pitch HIGHER, say, if I wanted a 16′ or 18′ ceiling center? I like the idea of installing a small loft of sorts into a yurt, probably above the central-ish kitchen/bathroom area.
Lastly (know I went over the ‘couple’ here), it would be NICE to see a’floorplan’ of some kind, too, so we can better envision the interior space.
I do like the idea of being able, on a strict budget (a truckload of 20 4X8′ plywood panels and hardware qualifies), to build a basic shelter like this, that one might be able to customize and make their ‘own’ with added features and time… but more information needs to be addressed, even BEFORE one decideds to purchase the plans… am I right, or am I expecting too much?
Not trying to be critical… just honestly have some questions that I would expect to be included with even the basic info on a design…
Besides, it’s a compliment to the designer that people would be interested enough to ask for more info, IMHO… 😉

Jack - January 6, 2012 Reply

Based on the fact that the links in the post go through e-junkie I would have to assume that Kent is seeking to profit from this post. As a long-time reader it’s unbelievable, number one, that he would agree to post about plans for sale that have never been build. Secondly, to try and profit from it just adds insult to injury. What a disappointment, to say the least.

    2kids2cats - January 6, 2012 Reply

    You do know that for many years, several of the Tumbleweed Homes had never been built and I’m sure some still have not. No reason not to show concept plans….Kent does it all the time. This is hardly the first.

      Jack - January 7, 2012 Reply

      The Tumbleweed homes are a ‘traditional’ design. Even if a model is not built there is little doubt with a Tumbleweed house that the design is workable. This, however, is totally different. I’m not a builder but I am licensed general contractor and this design is troubling. The fact that Kent would be a willing (and profiting) part of his readers not only wasting money on the plans, but then possibly to spend the money and time building the plans only to find the design is not workable is troubling. I would hope he would look out for his readers and not put profit ahead of principle but apparently not.

        Kent Griswold - January 7, 2012 Reply

        Maybe I published these prematurely. Malcolm sent a copy to me and the plans looked sound, though I am not a builder. Michael Janzen of Tiny House Design had published them and he is a designer and builder so I assumed they were okay.

        Many of the tiny house plans out there are concepts, a lot of Tumbleweeds plans have never been constructed, also Michael Janzens plans are concepts and only one or two have been built. Jack you are correct in that they are traditional structures while this one is not. Malcolm is in the process of building a prototype as I told him his plans would be more accepted if it was not just an idea.

          peter - January 7, 2012 Reply

          Looking forward to seeing the pictures on the blog one completed.

          Shea - January 8, 2012 Reply

          Same here, Kent… keep us posted! 😉

et - January 6, 2012 Reply

Look at this design and consider that the weakest points of any structure are the roof and joins.

Why not build full scale prototypes and weather a year or two in different climates – then we can see the merits and problems of the design.

SteveR - January 7, 2012 Reply

Simple, DIY. I have a forest full of trees but I can’t harvest plywood, so this design is probably unsuitable for anywhere except where plywood is easily ( and cheaply) available, which it is not in most places in the world.
It’s not clear from the picture above what would hold up the roof and there is no roof overhang to protect the sides of the structure from rain/snow. Simple, yes but a good design? Doubtful.

SharonW - January 9, 2012 Reply

You know what depresses me about this idea? I live very near Camden, NJ (aka “The Poorest City in the US”). When I worked in Camden, I used to drive past block after block of two-story brick houses – nothing fancy, but thirty years ago they had running water and electricity and central heat and tiny back yards. And now these houses are abandoned, empty. And half a mile away there were (and still are) people existing in tents along the highway.

The problem isn’t that we don’t have houses. The problem is that we have somehow lost the ability to match up houses and people.

    Handyhusband01 - January 9, 2012 Reply

    If the city owns the houses then turn them over to Habitat for rehab. If a developer owns them – give them a period of time up to 5 years to complete development or condemn them and turn them over to Habitat. Note though that not all houses are worth saving. If the city decides to demolish then they could bid them out for salvage – a nice material resource for tiny type houses. Unfortunately many cities in decline are too big for the population and need to retract which would save maintaining infrastructure – roads, sewer etc.. I’d rather see community gardens or local farms than empty structures – houses or factories. A city can reinvent itself – first you need to clean up ruthlessly and put on your Sunday best. What if Camden reduced their minimum square footage for a house and lot? They could attract many – taxpayers.

Laura - January 28, 2012 Reply

It looks interesting. I wonder how it would hold up at BurningMan? If it can handle that, it can handle anything.

robgonzo - September 5, 2012 Reply

This has been done.
It’s called the Hexayurt and in fact they boasted over 500 structures on the playa at BurningMan.
Check out Hexayurt.com for more.
PS. found this page while looking for the Hexayurt link again so had to come back and update ya’ll.

Leave a Reply:

Get the Tiny House Directory... join our weekly newsletter