If you are considering a yurt for permanent living, chances are that you are part of the downsizing movement that is moving across the country, that you do not want to be indebted for life to be able to have a roof over your head, that you would like to have more financial freedom, that you want to leave a smaller footprint or that you want to live closer to nature. All of these, and then some more, are all reasons we have heard being given several times, and we hear them more and more often.
People are realizing that there are several forms of slavery, and that not at all of them were abolished. On the contrary most of us are in fact slave to someone or to something and are looking for ways to take back control over our own life. For many that means getting out of debt, living smaller and more economically and more ecologically sustainable.
You know your own reasons for looking for alternative housing, but know that you are far from alone, and as you probably already have seen there are people that live permanently in yurts. If that is your intention, and you want a home that is comfortable and up to date with our modern way of life in terms of kitchen and bathroom and so forth, that is absolutely possible. To make a yurt suited for modern living, you should probably be prepared for a starting price of around 30.000$, that said a yurt can make a wonderful place to live in. You also need a place, some land or something, to put it on.
It is also not a good idea to put up a yurt for permanent living in an densely populated area or in a noisy area. This is because there is virtually no sound isolation in yurt walls. In that aspect it is more or less like any other tent and you will hear anything happening in the vicinity. Note that this goes both ways so anything happening inside will be heard outside, as if there were no walls. You can effortlessly, maintain a conversation in a normal voice with somebody through the walls.
So, now that you know that you want to live in the round and perhaps you even have got your hands on a plot of land to put it on, the time has come to plan your living inside of it. Yurts, of course come in different sizes depending on the manufacturer but you will find that most of them will offer sizes somewhere around these options: 12’, 14’, 16’, 20’, 24, 30’. Where 30’ is the maximum size for most of the yurt makers, even though we have seen yurts up to 40’. This is an option that for instance Shelter Designs offer.
What to consider to enable living in a yurt year round?
Insulation. You probably know the climate where you have chosen to put the yurt, and if you don’t the local building codes will probably give a good indication of how much you need and/or is obligated to to have in terms of insulation. However, the regular R-value rating may not be very helpful to you. Because bottom line, the R-value is a number that indicates how long it takes for heat to flow through it, and hence its insulating power. Problem is that a high R-value often means a lot of volume, and in a yurt you do not have much space to fill with insulation. That is why yurt owners rather go for some kind of reflective layer. This is a thinner layer of a material that resembles foil and it will reflect the heat (and cold) back into the space of the yurt.
Heating. A good and efficient wood burning stove is the option most yurt dwellers go for when it comes to heating. Considerations to take in this respect is the size of the yurt and whether it is sectioned into rooms. There are lots of Jøtul stoves in yurts around the country, and being a Norwegian brand I guess they know about heating.
The Jøtul F 602 is a good choice, and if you want more thermal mass the Ideal Steel from the American brand Woodstock is also an excellent choice.
When the winter comes, try not to stack up too much wood inside as that will create condensation and the yurt will become humid and ice may even form inside.
Cooling a yurt is usually easy. Just roll up the cover around the bottom edge and open the top vent and in most cases you should be fine. Some chooses to assist the venting with a ceiling fan, but if that is not enough in your area you could get a smaller AC unit.
How to live in a yurt
Now that you know that you will be able to create a comfortable temperature for yourself inside your yurt house, you will probably divide off parts to make separate rooms for a bathroom and a kitchen area. It is a good idea to adjoin bathroom and kitchen to make use of the plumbing.
Connect to the city supplies or better still get solar panels and be self supplied.
These DM 158w Monocrystalline Solar Panels available at amazon are a really good option.
If you need some help to find out the basics this is a good learning resource here
So as you see the question: how to live in a yurt is basically something only you can answer for a yurt home is just as individually as any other home. What can be said about a yurt homes is that they are very adaptable. Probably more so than a conventional home.
And you will not be mortgaged for life when you live in a yurt.