How to buy a yurt
First and foremost you
If you are buying to set up in your own backyard as an extra room, then you will probably be looking at the smaller yurts and you could even consider buying a second-hand yurt if you want to keep costs down.
In any case, whether buying for the backyard, from camping and especially if you want it as your permanent living space, you would want to take a thorough look at the materials used in the yurt. Yes, you would probably want to have some sort of impermeable cover on your yurt, but you may want to look further into whether you want vinyl or PVC to be used, as there are some discussion about if the gases these materials releases into the environment. If you want to be on the safe side you will find companies that take care and work with ecologically safe products. You could start with checking out: cleanairyurts.com and shelterdesigns.net
Types of yurts
There are three main types of yurts available to us today and these are:
Mongolian yurt or ger
This is yurt with walls that are straight all the way up to the roof. The roof crown or toono is often heavy and needs support from interior poles. This is perhaps the easiest to make and hence often the most economical one to buy.
Bentwood yurt. On this yurt the wall poles are bent slightly at the end that is fixed to the wall lattice. This yurt has a softer look to it and often have more headroom inside. This is a yurt that is more labor intensive and hence it will become a bit more expensive.
The American yurt or western yurt
This is a modernized version of the original yurt. It has been adapted to the climate and to our modern living. It often features a dome on the roof to let light in, as well as modern impermeable materials. In many cases locally sourced wood will be used and often the interiors will be divided with walls into different rooms instead of having one open room as the original yurts, it will be equipped with electricity, water and sanitaries and be basically as a regular house, just more lightweight and cheaper.
Although the American yurts can be dissembled and moved, they are not meant for moving too often. Usually the will be assembled and stay at its allocated spot for the rest of its useful life.
How long does a yurt last
This will of course depend on many factors. If it is only used for camping in the summer the yurt will probably last you a lifetime. If it is used as a permanent living space, generally speaking the structure, the lattice, the roof poles and the crown should last you a lifetime, if they are properly maintained. Meaning that they are kept protected against humidity and plagues like termites etc. The canvas should last you years if it is not left humid as canvas will, as any natural material rot if left damp too long. The same goes for the wool felt, if used.
How much does a yurt cost
Again this will depend on the use and the size of the yurt you choose. You can buy a custom made yurt which obviously will be more expensive, you can buy off the shelf kits which are more economical and you can buy second hand yurt or even make your own.
The smaller ones (around 12ft or 3,5 m) of the most basic models you can usually get for as little as a couple of thousands of dollars. Keep in mind that this is just the shell. You will have to get a platform, furniture, heating, etc, etc.
If you don’t mind getting a second hand yurt there are some really good offers to be found in the yurtforum, check the link further up. The yurtforum is also a invaluable place for information and advice, so make sure to visit.
If you go for the kits delivered by the more renowned suppliers like Rainer Yurts, Pacific Yurts, Colorado Yurt Company, etc you will find that these may be of the more expensive options. That said these companies have also been around a long time, and they have developed a wide range of accessories for their yurts, like glass domes to cover the yurt crown, added ventilation, rain diverter for doors and windows etc etc.
Where can I buy a yurt
There are lots of different companies out there to chose from, offering different types of yurts and all sorts of and different designs. You should make your choice with care, because usually the parts of the yurt are not interchangeable from yurt company to yurt company. This means that when you have made your choice and selected your supplier you will be stuck with this company, its product and customer service for the rest of your yurts lifetime.