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Yurt Living

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
I am new to this forum and was hoping to connect with others living a similar lifestyle. My husband and I and our 4 kids (ages 8-15) live in two 30 foot, off-grid yurts in Eastern Ontario on 25 acres in the beautiful Canadian Shield. We are enjoying our adventure of life off the beaten path, and it has so far been a great life experience for all of us. We have a Facebook page called 'Gypsy House' which has photos of our yurt, for anyone who might be interested in checking it out. I was hoping to find other families living in yurts in Canada or abroad to share stories and experiences. Looking forward to chatting!
post #2 of 61
this is awesome. i don't live in a yurt, but i love the idea of it and have thought of it many times. i don't think it's for us, but i do think it is amazing. thanks for sharing your link to facebook, because i love to see pictures of yurt living!
post #3 of 61
I'm interested to learn more about yurts, because my dh is really into the thought of moving to one when our kids are out of the nest. Look forward to lurking! :0)
post #4 of 61
WE have been considering doing this for years. We have 6 kids and have wondered how to do it with that many kids. I would love to hear more.
post #5 of 61
I am going to look up you pictures now
We are in a small space with our 4 and sometimes 5 (step dd) children. We are building a cob home this spring and summer and are still not going too big! I love yurts, they are beautiful!!
post #6 of 61
Oh my, just looked at your facebook page! wow wow wow! that is just so great! My family is definately considering this option for us someday. so inspiring to see others who are doing it. thanks.
post #7 of 61
Our house is for sale because we are going to build a and live in a 30 ft Pacific Yurt! We have been planning this for years.
post #8 of 61
Thread Starter 
It's so nice to hear from so many other people interested in yurts, most people when I tell them where we live, look at me like I have 2 heads! We have two 30 foot Pacific Yurts connected by a 20 foot breezeway/hallway which serves as the entryway, laundry/utilitly area. The main yurt has the master bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, living room area and the second yurt is the kids' side. It has three bedrooms (my youngest 2 share a room) and a small storage room. We are hoping to put a loft over as well. There are lots of things we still need to finish, this year's main project being a deck, and landscaping, as well as focusing on the vegetable garden (my project) It's definately not for everyone, but we are enjoying the adventure, and I think it's a great life experience for the kids to have. Have to go for now, would love to talk more later.
post #9 of 61
How cold does it get where you are?
post #10 of 61
We thought about living in a yurt while we built a house on our land, but the plans derailed as we looked into the building codes. But, one year later, with our house barely started, we are miserable in the dumpy single-wide trailer we rented nearby. Now, we are thinking about spending May - Sept/Oct in a Colorado Yurt Co. tent. I don't know if it would save any money in the long run, but it sure seems adventurous to us -- and a way to be on the land (this time we wouldn't talk to the building inspector first!), get some work done in our fields/gardens, have all of us outside more, and to simplify - again! Plus, we'd really get to work on our summer kitchen, composting toilet, and outdoor shower that we already want to do anyway.

It seems so crazy to go live in a tent, but I actually think we will love it - especially compared to how we are living now. Just thought I'd share - it seemed a little related.
post #11 of 61
Thread Starter 

yurt living

Hi Limette, as far as temperature, it gets as cold as -25 or -30 (C) in January, February..brrr! The woodstove keeps it pretty cosy, although there were a few times it was working hard to keep up.

Ifly, I am sorry to hear of your predicament, I would say, if you are not happy living in the trailer, then go for the yurt, it's not crazy, it's just not convential like everyone is programmed to think..lol. We didn't have much trouble with building codes here, our township was excited of the prospect of a yurt in their district. I agree, don't mention it if you think it will be a problem, I always say it's better to ask for forgiveness, then beg for permission. We stayed in our travel trailer on our property (cramped with 4 kids!) for 2 months while we set up the yurts. It will be an adventure for you and your family, life is short my friend. Hope everything works out for you, keep me posted.
post #12 of 61
We have recently decided that yurt living might be in our future. We are currently living in a house on 20 acres in Western New York, but we have a pretty big mortgage on it and have decided that we want to do something different. We are going to try to move west and rent for awhile until we have enough saved to buy some land (or at least a good down payment) and put some yurts up to live in while we build an off grid house. We have done hut trips in CO to yurts and they were always nice and warm in the winter!

Yurt Mama, Your pictures are inspirational! Did you buy your yurt new or used?
post #13 of 61
Thread Starter 

yurt living


We bought our yurts new from Pacific Yurts, they have a pretty good information package, with floor plans that they will send you if you contact them. I have occasionally seen used yurts for sale on their site as well. I was speaking to Becky Kemery ( author of 'Living in the Round') for an interview the other day, she actually featured a family in her book that did just that, they lived in a yurt while building a house. She told me that she cautions people when they decide to do this, as they just might fall in love with living in the yurt and skip the house idea altogether..lol. We decided to go with yurts because we too had a mortgage that we didn't want to spend the rest of our lives paying off. We wanted a unique life experience as well, life's too short so why not do something interesting! Yurts are an a good economical, earth friendly option for off grid living as well. I wish you good luck finding your piece of land and enjoy your adventure. Thanks for the compliments as well.
post #14 of 61
I'm really hoping you yurt dwellers keep this thread going! I considered a yurt compound when I was looking for land. I ended up going with an old farmhouse, but I loved the yurt idea! I had sketches of my ideal set-up... it was four yurts, set in a square with one yurt in each corner, and a breezeway attaching each corner, and finally, with a private porch coming off the exterior of each yurt. Then, the interior courtyard could be used for at least 3 seasons for the family relaxation space, and the bedrooms would have their own porches for hanging out, with two family porches for meals or visiting.

Oh, the things they can do with the yurts! They are so pretty, and it's amazing how much they can insulate them to make them practical for nearly any climate!

I'm excited to read what everyone is doing!
post #15 of 61
That four-yurt idea sounds really lovely, actually!

I've been bitten by the yurt bug, too.... I have this theory that sooner or later everyone on MDC is.

We are likely moving to a rural area where dh is working now, sometime in 2011, probably. The final decision depends on many factors and we'll be pinning it down this summer.

We're in Canada also, looking to move to a location about 53 degrees north latitude, so can get pretty chilly in winter. -30 C is not uncommon, -40 happens at least once, most winters.

What got me thinking about yurts is looking at rural and very-small-town properties with tiny old farmhouses, like 600 square feet, which I would consider too small for a family of 2 adults and 3 soon-to-be-teens. However, these properties are much better priced than the ones with bigger homes. I have been thinking of looking at properties where the farmhouse could be used mostly as a cookhouse/bathhouse/laundry house and a yurt or two with connections could be put up as an extension, to provide bedroom, living room, and office space.

I, too, am attracted to the idea of living in a really interesting home. The standard cheap and easy housing options out here are mobile homes and RV trailers, which can actually be really comfortable, but which sure do not have the beauty, fun factor and even the mysticism that a yurt seems to have.
post #16 of 61
Thanks for sharing; my husband and I are in BC, and it has crossed our minds repeatedly to live in a yurt.
post #17 of 61

Yurts and tents

Here are a few comments from the sidelines:

IFly, I would encourage your cabin tent idea. Colorado Yurt Co. has great designs, loved the tent I looked at, and they can be very liveable. My brother and his family (3 kids, homeschooled) lived in cabin tents 6 mos. of the year while he was working in the woods. I spent two weeks working with him once and the tent was cozy and liveable.

Aubergine 68, I think your small farmhouse and yurts idea is brilliant. The farmhouse supplies a lot of amenities, so your time isn't taken building all of those into yurts, and the yurts provide privacy in the form of seperate bedroom areas, esp. important with teens. You can hear everything going on inside a yurt, so it's really not fair to expect teens to share a single yurt with their parents (parents have told me it just doesn't work). Here are a couple of other advantages:
  • because the yurts are considered temporary or portable, they won't add to your land value (read taxes) when the assessor comes around
  • with your farmhouse listed as your "primary residence" most insurance companies should be able to insure your yurts as add-ons where they normally wouldn't insure a yurt as a primary residence.

You're all invited to visit www.yurtinfo.org and use the resources available there, including a Classifieds for used yurts (do check out Craig's List as well). I'd also encourage all of you to spend some time on Yurtmama's Gypsy House facebook page--it contains a wealth of practical information along with the great photos.

Wishing each of you the very best on your yurt/cob/tent journeys. May you each find the ideal shelter combination for your family!

becky kemery
author of "YURTS: Living in the Round"
Yurtlady on Facebook
post #18 of 61
Hey, cool, we attracted an expert! How awesome is that?
post #19 of 61
Well, welcome to MDC, yurtlady/Ms. Kemery!

Thanks so much for your encouraging comments!

We have made plans to visit the nearest YURTCO dealer on our vacation this summer to figure out more about what we want.

What I'd really love to know: What is the truth about mice in yurts? And what is life like living with a compostable toilet?
post #20 of 61
Hi yurtlady!

We were thinking about a yurt as an option, but moved toward cob when we read accounts of people finding a lot of mold growing in the yurt walls (not sure exactly where, what kind of insulation, etc.). We'll be in Oregon, which is wet and mold-prone. But a yurt would be much more straightfoward than cob! Have you run into any problems like this?

In general, I'd love to hear any down sides to yurt living, if you've got any! I'm trying to ask real people living in real yurts/cob/etc. about their real experience as we're exploring this. Don't worry, you won't scare me off... we're planning to live in a fifth wheel while we build cob, if we do that, so it's not like we're squeamish about small, unorthodox living conditions. Just trying to get a realistic sense of how it is. Dh is pretty attached to cob, but codes may make it too difficult, so I'm still looking at alternatives.
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