How to live in a yurt

You can live luxuriously in them…

Maybe you’ve been pitching your yurt on campsites across the country or all over the world.

Maybe you’re new to the wide world of yurts and are interested to learn more.

Either way, you’re sufficiently charmed and interested to be thinking about making the leap towards living in your yurt for an extended period of time.

Is it a good idea to live in a Yurt?

As with so many choices in life, there isn’t a clear Yes or No answer.

Rather, there are distinct pros and cons which you’ll want to weigh before determining whether living in a yurt is right for you.

Pro: Bottom Platform

One of the big drawbacks to pitching a traditional tent is the fact that it doesn’t have any bottom platform, meaning that you’re stuck having to deal with soil and bugs.

While that might make for a fun night of “roughing it” whilst camping, chances are that isn’t something you’ll want to live with for the long term.

Yurts, by contrast, offer a bottom platform, meaning you won’t have to worry about that.

What’s more, because these bottom platforms don’t dig into the soil like traditional tent poles, and it doesn’t require unearthing the ground like a home’s foundations, yurts are arguably eco-friendlier.

Con: Thin Walls

Yurts certainly aren’t designed with soundproofing in mind.

If you live in a yurt, you’ll hear everyone and everything else around you.

What’s more, while top-tier yurts can feature thick, durable walls, it’s still easier to rip through any kind of fabric than it is to bust through a typical home’s walls.

All it takes is one rip or hole to expose your interior and any possessions you may have with you to “the great outdoors” in a not so great way.

Pro: Portable Living

One of the obvious upsides to living in a yurt is the fact that it’s a portable home.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to pull up stakes and hit the road on a regular basis, having something like a yurt that’s portable, while still being relatively spacious, can feel quite liberating.

Con: Nomadic Living

On the other hand, maybe you’re not such a fan of the kind of impermanence portable living implies.

These were dwellings first developed by Central Asian nomads, after all.

If you want to own the land on which you live or don’t like the idea of nomadic living, this may not be an option for you.

Pro: Low Cost

With the cost of a home less palatable for today’s workers than past generations, yurts represent a far more affordable housing option.

If you don’t mind the single room setup, the one-time cost of only a few thousand dollars for a top-tier yurt may feel like a bargain.

Con: Less Privacy

As with so much in life, however, you get what you pay for – or, in this case, don’t pay for.

With that thin exterior and a lack of any locks, alarms, or home security systems, you won’t get much privacy or have a way to keep your possessions locked away from would-be burglars.

Ultimately, whether a yurt is right for you depends on what you’re looking for in a place to call home.

Can I Put a Yurt in My Yard?

Are Yurts Safe?

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How to live in a yurt

It’s all about living simply, sustainably and in direct contact with nature. In Holland, more and more places allow living in it. Formally it is illegal.

If you think it is only for hippies, derailed people or people who don’t want to be integrated into society, you are wrong. Just ordinary people, all kinds of people, live in it. Also families with kids.

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No fridge, no wine cooler, no television

A yurt is a tent. A round tent, made out of a wooden framework covered up with wool and felt. Most of the time standing somewhere near a farm or in the woods. But always in the country.

The floor is covered up with carpets, and there is a wood burner for heating up the tent inside. Mostly you also have to cook on it. There is (mostly) no electricity, no fridge, no wine cooler (translated to Dutch: klimaatkast wijn ), no television. A hundred Dutch people are living in it.

It can get damp inside

A yurt or gert is famous for its warmth, even in cold winter. You can build it up or tear it down within an hour. But in Holland , that’s not the case.

You can live in it permanently in a farmer’s place or for half a year on camping. It can feel like glamping in Andalusië but it is different. Because of the Dutch climate, it can get damp inside, so you have to burn the stove and air the tent regularly.

A Yurt is big

How to live in a yurt

Living in a yurt has nothing to do with vacation. Experts mean it is all about slow living. You have to be ready for that kind of style.

It must be possible to live like that. It is not like living in a caravan and it is not a house. Not even a tiny house. It also is much more than a normal tent. A yurt is big.

Yurt lovers tell

All the more striking is that people do not need much stuff in a yurt. Yurt lovers tell: “We have warmth, water, a cozy house, a working place. We have all our clothes in two drawers, instead of in three big clothing cupboards we had before. We use the shower and toilet in a nearby course building. “

So if you want to get inspired by living in a yurt, ask people to let you in. They will be thrilled to tell you all about it and inspire you with this way of living. Pick up your shoulder bag (translated to Duch: schoudertas ) and find one.

How to live in a yurt

Have you ever thought about downsizing and getting away from it all? Perhaps you’re tired of maintaining a large home, or maybe you want to get off the grid and spend some time in a more natural setting. If so, yurt living might just be what you’re looking for.

In its simplest form, a yurt is a circular tent on a collapsible frame. A traditional yurt is not only round but portable, and used as a home by nomads in Central Asia. These are often covered with skins or felt. The interior structure includes a latticework of pieces of wood or bamboo for the walls and a tension band that prevents the walls from spreading. The roof structure is often self-supporting.

Newly designed yurts are a bit more advanced. They use the same tension and compression concept, which creates a strong and efficient structure, but are built with more modern materials. From wooden platforms and floors to premium grade fabrics, today’s yurts offer a comfortable living space for those looking to downsize or live off the grid.

Because yurts are built to be strong and withstand inclement weather and high winds, they are perfect for a guest house, studio or office space, a home gym, or permanent living. Below are some pros and cons to living in a yurt full-time.

The Pros to Living in a Yurt

How to live in a yurt

Yurts are built on a platform, so they leave minimal impact on the land, which makes them more environmentally friendly than a standard house. Given that no foundation is needed, this also makes yurts portable.

Yurts are quick to build. You can purchase a kit and set up a yurt in a day.

In comparison to buying a home, yurts are an economical choice. Depending on the size, you can purchase one for as little as $8,000. The larger and more involved the yurt, the more expensive it will be. However, yurts offer the opportunity to own your own home for a fraction of the cost of purchasing a typical house.

You may pay less in taxes for owning a yurt rather than a typical house.

Yurts have lower heating and cooling costs compared to standard housing. Due to their open concept and size, they are also quicker to heat and cool than a larger home would be.

Yurts are durable and customizable. You get to choose the materials and size of your yurt. This makes it a great option for individuals looking for a smaller home because you can choose how small you really want to go.

The Cons to Living in a Yurt

How to live in a yurt

Given that yurt living falls somewhere between camping and residing in a modern home, you’ll have to deal with nature. This means insects, rodents, and other animals. If insects or rodents make you squeamish, yurt living might not be right for you.

Yurts pose electrical and plumbing issues. Electricity and plumbing can be brought up through a yurt floor. However, you’ll need interior walls to run electricity through the walls. In remote areas without plumbing and septic hookups, yurt living involves using a composting toilet or other alternative system.

Due to the open design of yurts, there is not a lot of privacy. This might make yurt living difficult for a large family when people want to have their own space.

Because yurts are round, installing windows can be problematic. Some yurts have plastic windows, but glass windows come at a higher cost.

Yurts are not soundproof. You’ll hear nature and if you have neighbors—you’ll hear them, too.

There is not a lot of storage space in a yurt. You have to be willing to live a simple life with only the basics. Otherwise, you’ll risk a cramped and potentially cluttered living space.

If you love camping, nature, and want to live a more simplistic off-the-grid life, a yurt might just be for you. If you love the luxuries of modern day living, you may want to stay in your current home or consider a yurt solely as a vacation home.

How to live in a yurt

Deirdre Sullivan is an interior design expert and features writer who specializes in home improvement as well as design. She began her career as an assistant editor at Elle magazine and has over a decade of experience. Deirdre contributes content for brands including The Spruce and Realtor.com, and has been a featured speaker at various conferences.

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In a nutshell, a yurt is the original tiny house on wheels minus the tires. Traditional yurts are round, tent-like structures engineered to collapse, pack, and assemble quickly for easy transport.

What Is a Yurt Kit?

Traditional yurts are round, tent-like structures engineered to collapse, pack, and assemble quickly for easy transport. A yurt kit is the collection of parts required to assemble the yurt.

Back in the 1970s, yurts caught on with counterculturalists and hippie homesteaders because they were relatively easy and cheap to DIY. Thousands of years earlier, they were the tiny houses of choice for Eurasian tribes and warlords like Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan.

These days, people appreciate the humble yurt because of its low building costs and minor environmental footprint. If you're thinking about becoming a modern nomad, gere are five yurt builders that sell prefabricated kits you can assemble.

Freedom Yurt Cabins

Many modern adaptations of the traditional yurt have collapsible wood frames and packable fabric walls just like their ancient ancestors. However, the fabric walls wear out quicker than solid walls. Plus, mice can chew through them, and severe weather can damage them. That's why many manufacturers say fabric walls require regular maintenance and eventual replacement to keep a yurt in tip-top shape.

The Yurt Cabin by Freedom Yurt Cabins is a traditional yurt without the shortcomings. The tiny round portable house comes with solid walls engineered for longtime durability. It can be assembled and disassembled in hours. Even better, each Yurt Cabin comes with features that you’ll never find in a standard traditional yurt, such as double-hung glass windows, insulation, and integrated flooring.

Colorado Yurt Company

How to live in a yurt

Most yurts have windows. But it's the dome—the crowning glory on top—that really allows daylight to fill the interior. That's why it pays to have a quality dome skylight.

The one on this dwelling by Colorado Yurt Company is weather- and UV-resistant thick acrylic. It’s a crystal clear material that’s also impact resistant. Plus, the company offers dome upgrades, including a lifter that opens the dome to allow air flow, as well as a bronze tint that helps to keep the yurt cool. In addition, you can add a bug net/shade cloth to your dome to block insects and bright sunlight when the dome is open. And you can attach insulation for cold weather.

Pacific Yurts

How to live in a yurt

If you’ve ever stayed in a yurt vacation rental, chances are Pacific Yurts built it. When it opened for business in 1978, it became the first modern yurt company in the world. Its standard prefab yurt packages are suitable for mild climates and feature architectural fabrics engineered to meet structural and performance requirements typically reserved for building materials. A solid wood door, clear vinyl windows, and a dome skylight are also included.

If you want an all-season yurt that can withstand winter weather, you’ll need a few fortifying features that you can add to your package using the Yurt Builder 3D pricing tool. It will also allow you to customize your yurt based on size and exterior colors. Structural upgrades that are available for an additional cost include energy-efficient glass windows, gutter systems, and snow ​and wind kits.

Smiling Wood Yurt

How to live in a yurt

Who says a yurt has to be portable? This tiny house was built on a concrete slab using a yurt shell kit by Smiling Wood Yurts. Each kit includes all the materials you need to create a finished tiny house shell.

A basic package comes with the following:

  • Doors and windows preinstalled into the walls
  • Exterior trim package to create a finished appearance for the outside corners, windows, and door
  • Roof kit, including the skylight dome
  • Hardware and construction manual

Insulation and flooring are not included in this package. The company estimates it takes people an average of three to seven weeks to create their yurt package with the help of a designer, followed by a permitting and production phase of around two to 16 weeks. Then, construction of the yurt should take between 10 and 34 weeks, depending on how complex your package is.

Rainer Yurts

How to live in a yurt

Every structure by Rainer Yurts is lovingly “manu-crafted.” It’s a term the folks at Rainer coined that sums up their unique manufacturing process, which combines state-of-the-art technologies with classic craftsmanship.

The company sells prefab kits using quality materials, including some of the strongest lattice available and structural fabrics that can withstand the elements. The interiors can even be customized with many modern comforts, including electricity, plumbing, and heating and cooling. You’re also able to add room partitions and a loft in the larger kits. Plus, the company offers tips on adding a kitchen and bathroom to your yurt.

How to live in a yurt

No-one knows when people started living in yurts. Nomadic peoples leave few records of their passing. Bronze age petroglyphs from Siberia appear to show yurts, so it is reasonable to assume that they have been in use from many thousands of years. The geographical distribution of yurts is no coincidence. The yurt is perfectly suited to the nomadic lifestyle in the most extreme climates. Nomadsm is practiced in areas that are either too dry or too cold to grow crops succesfully. Farmers or people who are nomadic during the summer months could not justify the expense of a yurt, a permanent house is easier to build and better suited if it does not need to be moved. And a simple tent is all that is required for hearding animals in summer pastures. Where nomadic hearding is a year-round occupation, making a moveable tent the family home only a yurt will offer sufficient portable protection from the extreme climate.

To this day Millions of people throughout Central Asia are born, grow old and die in yurts as they move from pasture to pasture following routes set out by their ancestors centuries ago. The shape of the yurt varies from region to region. The Mongolian ger has a heavy timber crown, straight roof poles and a fairly low roof, to offer protection from high winds, retain heat, and make use of the timber from the larch and birch forests of Northerm Mongolia. The Bentwood yurts of Kazakhstan use frames of willow which is easy to bend to shape, but retain the low roof which offers protection form high winds and reduces heat loss. The Kyrgyz yurt resembles the Kazakh yurt, but has a tall steep roof better suited to the warmer, wetter and less windy climate.

Paradoxically the makers of these yurts are not nomads. They live in permanent houses attached to the workshop where the yurts are made. Yurt frames are always made by skilled craftsmen. The covers may be made by the yurt maker and his family, or by the nomads themselves.

Yurt Living in Europe

Many people live in yurts in the UK US and Europe. The yurt is warm, dry comfortable and secure. Living in the yurt one is aware of the weather, the changing seasons, the surrounding countryside and wildlife and ones place in the ecosystem in a way that no house dweller can ever be. However living in a yurt is not like living in a house. All of the luxuries of a house are available to the yurt dweller, but a little more thought and effort is required. It is interesting to discover how one can live off-grid making ones own heat light, electricity and responsibly disposing of ones waste. In a very short time the countryside and the wildlife cease to be something separate to view as an outsider. One becomes a part of the landscape and a part of the surrounding ecosystem. The neighbours are the birds, the foxes and deer who soon grow familiar and less fearful of the new creatures living among them in their big white nest.

The yurt is not a permanent building, some people do put up their yurt and leave it there for years on end. However this is missing the point. The beauty of a yurt is its portability. If a yurt is lived in it will last many, many years in one place. However if it is left empty in a damp wood the cover can be ruined in less than a year. If the yurt is for summer use, bring it in for the winter. If you just want another room to store things buy a shed.

How to live in a yurt

I worry that by writing this post I am signing myself up to write the next 49 logical posts for each state. Maybe I will—or maybe it’s a Sufjan Stevens situation. We’ll have to see.

California specifically came to my attention because someone commented on one of our Facebook posts, lamenting that certain restrictions in California prevent legal full-time residence in a yurt.

So I got curious, figuring that the situation on the ground is probably a bit nuanced. For instance, in Vermont you can live legally in a yurt full time, but you have to have a septic system—otherwise you have to classify it as a “camp,” like a hunting cabin, and can’t be there year round.

Also, the state of California gives us the most readers of any other state, so I figured I’d return the favor.

Here’s the short answer to the issue of full-time yurt living in California: in theory it depends on the county, and in reality it depends on the local building officials. Some people have had success and others haven’t. You’ll need to do your research but yes, it is possible.

How to live in a yurt

From a 2001 article on SFGate.com:

A number of California counties, including Napa and Mendocino, and cities such as Los Gatos and Eureka, have granted permits on yurts for a range of uses, including housing. In Marin, yurts are permitted as non-habitable structures only. However, in every county and state, decisions are made individually, and outcomes vary.

It’s worth noting that the article is nearly two decades old—a lot has changed in the perception of yurts, and even just the level of familiarity with yurts.

But in Encinitas back in 2011, two yurts were required to be taken down because “yurts do not comply with state safety codes because they are unable to contain a fire within their walls.” And these yurts were for businesses (yoga, of course), not residences.

How to live in a yurt

On the other side of the coin, there is often a gap between building codes and actual code enforcement. (This forum thread, for instance, notes that Del Norte County “has virtually no code enforcement.”)

And many rural areas have a sort of “don’t ask, don’t tell” ethic, which is the case in our community in Vermont.

It’s also worth noting that some counties in the U.S. have no building codes at all. I am currently unsure whether any such counties exist within California, but it’s just to say that deeper research county by county might bear out some possibilities.

When you do get in touch with the building department and start speaking with building officials, you should also know which questions to ask. There is a super helpful article on this over at YurtInfo.org. Here’s an excerpt:

Which set of code regulations is the department using? Are they using the 2003 or 2006 ICC (International Code Council) codes, or are they still using the UBC (Uniform Building Code)? The two ICC rulebooks are: the residential IRC (International Residential Code) and the commercial IBC (International Building Code). The IBC is more comprehensive than the IRC and supersedes the IRC in the case of conflict.

What are the local planning regulations (these vary per jurisdiction).

What are the specific local requirements for snow load, seismic rating, and wind speed? Are there any other special requirements?

What are the fire-rating requirements (for the insulation and outer fabric)?

The bottom line is this: building codes might be a bit more strict in California, but if you do your research it’s highly likely you can find a location in the state to build your yurt and live there legally. Or at least out of sight and legally enough 🙂 There was at least one person doing it in Fairfax way back in 2001, and more recently there’s this couple:

Is this useful? What do we need to add? Drop a line: thatyurt at gmail dot com

Most probably you can build a yurt in Florida but you need to make sure of the FL’s weather as in summer the humidity arises to a good level so you need to think of yurt’s material that doesn’t grab moisture to torture you.

Also, make sure you’re following all the building laws and code.

Be aware of the rain too because sometimes it can go mad. (Scroll down to know more about Florida weather compliance for your Yurt)

In this article, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know to build a yurt in any region of Florida and what you need to be aware of to Yurt life in Florida.

Table of Contents

Are There Yurts In Florida?

Yes, there are yurts across Florida and you can easily find some in Carrabelle. Bristol, Christmas, Geneva, Oldtown, Clermont, Jacksonville, Lake Wales, Sebring, Mims, Santa Rosa Beach, Milton, etc.

These are just some names where you can find yurts in Florida but you will find even more if you roam in Florida.

And what you find common in most of the yurts in Florida that they are not in city places which somehow give them a little freedom from a basket of government rules.

Some of the yurts are clearly made for business purposes, some are personal, some can be lease occasionally when the owner wants to go somewhere else.

You can easily find people live alone in the yurt or they may have built for temporary and occasional living which is considered more of camping and less of a home.

This is what the benefit you can have when setting up a temporary yurt tent which in most case does not require permits in Florida but still it depends on a county by county

Now if you’re still reading then you’re completely sure that you can build a yurt in Florida but still, you need to learn a lot.

Laws For Building Yurt In Florida

As Florida is not new to hurricanes and windy conditions Florida government issued the building code to ensure public safety and health when things turn bad.

So to build a Yurt you need to follow the Florida Building Code. However, some counties may add extra laws according to the overall condition of that particular county in Florida.

  • Permits are required for any person or business to construct, repair, alter or demolish any structure or building.
  • Permits are required to avail any government benefit of plumbing, water supply, electricity, etc.
  • Hurricane-proof windows and roof. Yurt has a domed roof which is known to be hurricane-proof

However, you don’t need to go hard on yurt structure as they are pretty portable so you can transport them if they found situation is going bad.

Will Florida’s Weather Favor My Yurt

First of all, if we take into account overall Florida it is not the windiest however it sees hurricanes time by time like on average Northwest Florida slapped by hurricanes every 3 years or so.

You should build your base foundation reasonably tall so that you don’t get a flood. You can check here the average inches of rain in Florida.

10 places that are free from hurricanes and floods where you can think to build a yurt are Fernandina Beach, Ocala, Lake City, Naples, Palatka, Gainesville, Orlando, Sanford, Leesburg, and Kissimmee.

How to live in a yurt

Kimberley Mok is a former architect who has been covering architecture and the arts for Treehugger since 2007.

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In wanting to live closer to nature, this woman has been living in a yurt for the last two years, growing her own herbs and food.

The idea of cultivating a more intimate relationship with nature by living closer to the land is an appealing one, often helped along by constructing one’s own home using alternative building methods, or perhaps by setting up something a little less permanent and a lot more mobile, such as a yurt.

Nature educator Beige has been living in this off-grid yurt somewhere in Canada for the last two years, taking on a simple lifestyle that encourages a lot of time outdoors foraging, growing food, chopping wood and collecting water. We get a glimpse into Beige’s daily life via this video from Exploring Alternatives.

Living Life Close to Nature

As Beige recounts, she's currently living in a secluded corner of a friend's farm, and in exchange, she helps out on the farm, doing various chores or looking after the place and giving farm tours when they are away. In addition, she works a few days a week as a "nature mentor" to local kids. She also grows some of her own veggies, but also takes the time to maintain the forested areas around her by removing dead branches or planting native herbs.

How to live in a yurt

How to live in a yurt

Exploring Alternatives/Video screen capture

From a Tent to a Yurt

After initially spending a couple of months in a tent on the land, Beige then decided to invest in a warmer option: a yurt from Groovy Yurts, which has been placed on top of a DIY plywood platform that sits on top of a thick, insulating layer of strawbales.

How to live in a yurt

Exploring Alternatives/Video screen capture

Beige's interior set-up for her yurt home is pretty simple: a woodstove in the middle, a cooler buried under the floor that acts as an off-grid refrigerator, a big sink that empties into a bucket, clotheslines for drying herbs, and an recycled cable spool that functions as a countertop and storage. There is a simple self-built toilet outside, as well as mini-shelters for storing firewood and tools. For showering, Beige swims almost everyday during late spring, summer and fall, while during colder weather she signs up for yoga studio memberships and will shower after class.

How to live in a yurt

Exploring Alternatives/Video screen capture

How to live in a yurt

Exploring Alternatives/Video screen capture

Of course, Beige admits that living off-grid can be a hard lifestyle, which might be made easier within a community of people living in the same fashion. Also, living under the radar in such a way can sometimes draw the ire of disapproving neighbours, which is what unfortunately has happened in Beige's case — she will now either have to get a permit from the township, or move sometime in the near future. But she's nevertheless undeterred, saying that:

To see more, visit Exploring Alternatives and check out their YouTube channel.