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Anyone out there ever build a yurt?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 48
Location: Rutledge, GA
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Hi everyone,

I'm currently shopping for farmland and I think I'd like to live in a yurt once I find the right place. If it was good enough for the Mongolians while they conquered most of the known world then it must be good enough for me and my modest ambitions. I've done a good bit of research on my own but I'm just curious if anyone out there has any advice or can speak to the real cost of these things. Prices quoted on websites are just for the shell of the building and I'm interested in having some creature comforts like a private bedroom, running water and electric. Barely on the grid living I guess. I've been looking at the larger yurts from Pacific and Rainier, 30' or 33' diameter. Also, sorry if this doesn't belong in this category, this is the first time I've posted on the building forum.

Thanks!
 
Posts: 39
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yurts are fun to build and really easy once you get the hang of it! my advice from experience is to build it as close to the native mongolian style! its more convienent for nomad living! avoid nut and bolts snd use lots of strong little bits of rope to tie 8 ft sapplings into a lattice! DONT forget the tension band thats a key element! and for the skylight you can recycle a drum from a drumset! you can usually find some cheap and they are steamed wood made from maple and very strong! then add a door and whatever covering you want. if you want it insulated you can get tons of blankets and about 4 really long pieces of rope and tie it all around your yurt to keep the blankets in place. then go to walmart and for 200 to 300 bucks you can get a 30x50ft pvc tarp to cut and cover tour yurt! overall cost should be lesd than 500 dollars if you cut snd strip all your own saplings! i usually make my yurts from birch saplings in alaska. i dont live in them but they are fun to party in
 
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Stephen Dobek wrote:Hi everyone,

I'm currently shopping for farmland and I think I'd like to live in a yurt once I find the right place. If it was good enough for the Mongolians while they conquered most of the known world then it must be good enough for me and my modest ambitions. I've done a good bit of research on my own but I'm just curious if anyone out there has any advice or can speak to the real cost of these things. Prices quoted on websites are just for the shell of the building and I'm interested in having some creature comforts like a private bedroom, running water and electric. Barely on the grid living I guess. I've been looking at the larger yurts from Pacific and Rainier, 30' or 33' diameter. Also, sorry if this doesn't belong in this category, this is the first time I've posted on the building forum.

Thanks!


The reason Mongolians lived in Yurts is the same as why Native Americans lived in tents, they were mostly nomadic. Are you nomadic? Also getting running water and electric into a yurt sounds like a nightmare. I am unfamiliar with the cost of yurts but my suggestion would be to build a more permanent structure for your farmland.
 
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I am pretty obsessed with yurts myself. The Complete Yurt Handbook by Paul King is a great resource and then there's a fella named Bill Copperthwaite. He was a pretty amazing individual who had a great love for simple, homemade things. He wrote a beautiful book having not much to do with yurts but you can also buy a few different yurt plans of his devising here:
http://www.yurtinfo.org/the-yurt-foundation
 
Posts: 30
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I am going to attempt to talk you out of it. Yurts work fine as small temporary shelters. When the attempt is made to adapt them into large permanent strucrures such as you want to do problems and cost arise. To compare two structures with the same living area. The cost will increase significantly in a well constructed yurt compared to a well constructed rectangle house. A yurt the size you describe is harder to heat and difucult to finish. it is more diffucult to detail proper insulation and windows tend to be non standard. Expect to pay a butt load if you want this house to last your lifetime. A friend of mine was hen pecked into building one and he hates it. Its not finished and they have spent way too much money on it. They make great tents but shitty houses.
 
pollinator
Posts: 514
Location: Salt Lake Valley, Utah, hardiness zone 6b/7a
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I tend to agree with the yurt as temporary shelter crowd. If you want something round, consider a roundhouse, which were not exclusive to Europe but were also built by Native Americans throughout the South (there are also examples of roundhouse dwellings in Africa, Asia and Oceania); or a wood stave and ring structure (usually used as silos or tanks, but became popular for use as homes back in the '70's) which shares some structural characteristics with yurts.

I think that if you are going for a larger than 20' diameter yurt and you intend on living in it year round, you might as well go with something more permanent. The larger yurts need perimeter support poles anyway, so you are already on your way to making a roundhouse. Just plaster the lattice to make a wattle and daub wall.
 
Posts: 31
Location: Boise, ID
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Hi, I live in a yurt! We've lived in it two and a half years and we still love it. But. We don't have indoor plumbing or a private bedroom. And either of those things would have been hard to accomplish, I think. We have some electrical wiring, but it's quite primitive. Our yurt is 20' across and all one open room. We budgeted it at 1000 but went over. Our skin is heat sealed vinyl from a cover shop, so that was the highest cost, about 700 dollars just for the outside skin. Our khana/lattice is ripped soft wood and all the hinge points we did with bent over nails. The rafters are tied on with string. And we have double bubble insulation both below the rafters and above them so there is an air space. We're in a place with winters, though not very extreme winters, so insulation has been important. The top center is open, with a solar powered attic fan that runs in the summer and an insulated cover that we tie on in the winter. We have a glass door in a wooden frame and a couple of zip out windows. And yes the tension band is very important!

Here's an article I wrote for a homesteading magazine about it. http://www.mollygreenonline.com/mollygreen/winter_2015-2016?pg=29#pg29

And there are videos of the yurt and our life here. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm28mg76wIUxq1eyqhbivfg[/youtube]

Good luck, whatever you decide to do!

Esther
 
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You can also check out yurtforums.com lots of great info there and plenty of ppl live in yurts year round.check out the circlein blog, they live in a fabric yurt in Maine with two young children, currently building the coperthwaite style concentric yurt, 😊 i second reading the above mentioned books. also i think its called "blue yurt farm" they have a blog, living in north carolina in a yurt.I hope to build one to live year round in someday...
 
Melissa Erin
Posts: 7
books forest garden toxin-ectomy
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Another great book, Living In The Round and Coperthwaites book is A Handmade Life 😉
 
Posts: 8
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Thanks for the topic, and for everyone's information!

My family and I are looking for land in the Pacific NW and plan on living in a yurt while we build our tiny home. I also do like the idea of the yurt being nomadic, that it could be something we move around the property, seasonally for example. We're getting all the details hammered out right now and looking for materials that are good for our climate. We're serious about embarking on an off-grid journey, so it would be great to keep up with some people who had advice.
 
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Location: East Texas
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Rachel Mary wrote:Thanks for the topic, and for everyone's information!

My family and I are looking for land in the Pacific NW and plan on living in a yurt while we build our tiny home. I also do like the idea of the yurt being nomadic, that it could be something we move around the property, seasonally for example. We're getting all the details hammered out right now and looking for materials that are good for our climate. We're serious about embarking on an off-grid journey, so it would be great to keep up with some people who had advice.



I'm new to this forum and pretty new to the topic of a yurt/ger. However, I am in the process of building a structure based on the science of a yurt. It's nestled in some trees on a hidden 4 acre plot of ground. The yurt is amazing. The materials used were things I recycled and that has allowed me to spend little. Mine, I'm planning to be used as a place to camp and teach young kids to train dogs while learning lots of other good stuff and there is no doubt it will serve my purposes well. I built a ring, used cedar poles for roof poles, left over fencing stretched around cemented poles (so, I have left a foot print or two and am very glad to have spent the time enjoying the build). The yurt's diameter is 22', with one door and one working window, the skylight (ring) is 36.5" across and it's awesome. I love being there and every bit of "work" has been sheer entertainment. The tension band I weaved through the top line of the red brand fence and through a drilled hole in each of the roof poles. It has been through three huge storms and faired very very well.
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Rachel Mary
Posts: 8
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Rhonda Stout wrote:
...The materials used were things I recycled and that has allowed me to spend little. Mine, I'm planning to be used as a place to camp and teach young kids to train dogs while learning lots of other good stuff and there is no doubt it will serve my purposes well. I built a ring, used cedar poles for roof poles, left over fencing stretched around cemented poles (so, I have left a foot print or two and am very glad to have spent the time enjoying the build). The yurt's diameter is 22', with one door and one working window, the skylight (ring) is 36.5" across and it's awesome. I love being there and every bit of "work" has been sheer entertainment. The tension band I weaved through the top line of the red brand fence and through a drilled hole in each of the roof poles. It has been through three huge storms and faired very very well.



Awesome detail and photos! Thanks! I think the fam and I are going to have our first yurt put together by a professional. We'll need it for living in probably before we'd have the time to build something reliable -- so update to our journey: talking to the pros about getting a full-time living structure put together for the next step in our adventure
 
Rachel Mary
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We did it!

Thanks to the guys at CampingYurts.com my family and I are officially nomadic in our yurt.

Ours is a 20' yurt, with a fire/heat-proof roof hole that will allow for a woodburning stove or a RMH chimney. It's got two windows and two doors (usually a traditional yurt have one door, but for this size Richard with CampingYurts does one on each side and just two wall latices segments). The walls are canvas, which I wanted to go with over vinyl because they breath and let in light. We did get a roof vinyl tarp for the winter months, as well as a roof dome. We plan on making our own doors sooner or later, right now they're just canvas zippers, and I'll also be sewing mosquito net doors and edging that goes up about 1.5-2' around the bottom of the walls. That's because Richard advised us that when it's hot we can raise the walls at the bottom to allow a draft that will carry up through the round in the roof. This creates a really pleasant draft on those hot days, the only problem being bugs! I have noticed that bus are way more inclined to fly out the roof than they normally would be to find their way out a door or window in a traditional home though.

For everything we bought through CampingYurts the total came to about $6000. Because they're based out of Oregon and we could meet up with them it saved us the cost of shipping. The cool thing about these guys is they offer all the parts of the yurt separately or as a package, so if you just didn't want to mess around with making the round itself, or you wanted the latices but you were down to do your own knotting, etc, they can work with any of that. The best part is that you have the support of Richard whenever you need it, which is really great for us especially since we'll be nomadic for a while and have to be setting it up and breaking it down quite a few times.

If we had done all the work ourselves and just payed for the raw materials it would have cost us about half of what we paid. The reasons we didn't for us largely had to do with time, we needed it faster than we could have acquired and assembled materials ourselves -- and the two big things that would have taken a lot of time/work/cost to figure out would have been the round and sewing the canvas. I've seen one couple on YouTube that did their own yurt all themselves and they managed to find an old sewing machine that could handle the thickness of the canvas -- the great piece of advice they gave was to always go with polyester core, cotton coated thread. They said this allowed for the strength of the polyester while the cotton would swell up with any moisture and as a result they hadn't had any leakage at their seams.


We're currently living in the yurt at places we find through Airbnb and camping sites while we search for a property we can afford and is suitable for farming where we can begin our own permaculture farm. Good luck to
anyone with similar aspirations! I highly suggest going with the yurt, they're cozy, functional, and beautiful!

It's happening Wish us luck!

 
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They can get really pricey.... Build one!

I just read that people in the people who live in modernized buildings in the suburbs of Ulaanbaatar get a little jelous of their yurt dweller neighbors in the winter.

 
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