or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Yurt Living - Page 2

post #21 of 61
I came here to look for other yurt families and I found them. We just bought or 24' colorado yurt (used) and will be picking it up when my dad and brother have time to help. We even managed to buy the guys deck from him, so we wont have to worry about building one. My dh wont be back until this summer so Im goign to try and do what I can with it while he is gone and once he gets out of the service hopfully we will be all set up to live in it full time. Until them we may be spending the summer in a small camper (no bathroom, only toilet) on the beach. So I will have lost of questions soon!!
post #22 of 61
Hey, congrats on your new home, hram!

It sounds like you are going to be busy, but I'm sure a lot of us here would love it if you took lots of pictures... maybe a blog?

And living on the beach for a summer? I'm jealous!
post #23 of 61
Hi Aubergine,
Real story on mice--there's much less of a mouse issue in yurts than most houses, because it's not easy for them to get in. I've never experienced a mouse problem in any of the yurts I lived in, except for those times my cat brought a mouse into the yurt and released it, I guess because he thought it was fun to watch it run around the perimeter without any corners to hide in--or he enjoyed watching ME chasing the mouse to get it out of there...

I have to tell you that I was so relieved after my yurt finally went back up again last summer and I was able to move out of a mouse infested cabin (once caught 7 mice in traps in one night--Aargh!) and back into a mouse-free yurt.

I use a sawdust version of composting toilet, as in the "Humanure Handbook" style, and it's great. I prefer to keep toilets outside of my dwelling spaces when possible, personal preference, but do use a pee bucket at night--add water and it goes on my garden in the morning, amazing nutrients for the garden (have your library get the book "Liquid Gold" if you're interested in learning more).

Good luck, A...
becky
post #24 of 61

Yurts and mold

Hi Phoebemommy,
RE: mold on yurt walls, shouldn't be an issue at all with the architectural fabrics used in modern fabric yurts. Mold and mildew are issues with cotton canvas, especially untreated, but most modern yurts aren't made with canvas. See the FAQ section on www.yurtinfo.org for info on maintenance.

I would strongly recommend in your situation that your family consider a yurt to live in while you're building your cob home. Cob is wonderful, hope it works for you to make it happen, but almost all building projects take longer than expected. If you're comfortably settled into a lovely yurt while building, then you're not under the same time pressure to get the building complete and the process will be much more enjoyable and less stressful for all concerned. Plus when your cob home is complete you can turn the yurt into a studio, guest quarters, B&B or whatever.

I'm traveling today so must go but will get back to the rest of your qn re: downsides...

best,
becky
post #25 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yurtlady View Post
...... almost all building projects take longer than expected. If you're comfortably settled into a lovely yurt while building, then you're not under the same time pressure to get the building complete and the process will be much more enjoyable and less stressful for all concerned. Plus when your cob home is complete you can turn the yurt into a studio, guest quarters, B&B or whatever.
That is so true, and we're so ready to go!

We have the land, the info (hours of reading and research over 2+ years), all we need now is for the *¡$$¡** economy to pick up just enough so that we can actually buy a yurt We're even prepared to sell our little house to finance things.

I swear I often dream of yurts, it was sort of love at first sight.
I think it's the roundness of them.
post #26 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yurtlady View Post
Hi Aubergine,
Real story on mice--there's much less of a mouse issue in yurts than most houses, because it's not easy for them to get in. I've never experienced a mouse problem in any of the yurts I lived in, except for those times my cat brought a mouse into the yurt and released it, I guess because he thought it was fun to watch it run around the perimeter without any corners to hide in--or he enjoyed watching ME chasing the mouse to get it out of there...
THis sounds like our new puppy. I thought she was choking on a stick, when I pulled it out it was a dead mouse. I dropped it and did the typical girl scream and then she immediately scarfed it down!

We had thought about doing a cob or strawbale home. We were getting pretty excited about it, but were worried about the permits and cost. So we dicided a "temporary" home would work better for our situation right now, even though we plan on living ther long term. And we could pay for it completely and not have to worry about payments. We are going to get a small one with our next tax return for our girls. We are going to build a strawbale shed insead with a living roof!! But our next purchase will be a composting toilet. Since we are going to be there for years we want a small amount of convenience. Next big thing is to build a basement under it and a deck around it. We need a root cellar and a storm shelter and the basement will serve as both. I have most of it all planned out in my head.

So a question: Im assuming most have wood stoves for heat. What do you do for cooking? DH wants to put a gas stove and fridge in, but we are worried about the cost of installing all that. Im hoping to get an outdoor oven/smoker/grill, like the one in the recent issue of mother earth news. Its cheap and quick to make!! Our land has no hookups at all.


So does anyone get negative comments? Im assuming if one could see the yurt set up they wouldnt be skeptical, but Im having a hard time with everyone saying "oh you cant live in that!" "How will you do 'this' or 'that" They cant see why we wouldnt want to live in a 4 bedroom house. Its a little discouraging, so I think we need to get in it as soon as possible to prove them wrong Since I cant get my dad to come with me to pick it up Im going to rent a uhaul adn drive out there myself and get my bro to get a friend to help take it down. ITs not that he wont come, he has made plans for two weekends that I asked to get it. He is also on call every other week and cant leave town so its jsut hard for him. I wish my dh was home, we coudl do everythign ourselves if he was. But two more months and he will be back.
post #27 of 61

Wood stoves and "downsides"

Congrats, hram, on getting your yurt!

"Im assuming most have wood stoves for heat. What do you do for cooking? DH wants to put a gas stove and fridge in, but we are worried about the cost of installing all that.

So does anyone get negative comments?"

Wood stoves make a great heat source, though propane is also common. I think wood stoves are the warmest and coziest, plus it's a renewable resource.

Off-grid stoves and fridges are often propane, esp. the stove. If cost is a factor, look for used propane stoves at e.g., RV dealers or in your local 2nd hand paper, or see if you can take one out of a camper in a junkyard somewhere. There are some beautiful little stove/ovens hiding in junky old trailers.

For a fridge you can always start with coolers and water bottles filled with ice until you can track down a good propane fridge. Be aware that the propane fridges can sometimes be noisy. Again, a good source for used is RV's and trailers.

Does anyone think we're crazy for living in yurts, or wanting to? Yes. Not an uncommon scenario at all. Which is why I filled my book with beautiful photos, to show people the beauty of yurts and give them credibility.

You might try borrowing my book from the library to show all those skeptics, or get the beautiful promo pieces from companies like Pacific Yurts or Colorado Yurt Co. When the eyebrows start to go up, show them the gourgeous photos. "That's what I want." It helps. Otherwise, know that you're in good company, there are lots of us that love yurts, we're just all spread out...

Once you get in your yurt, people will come to visit and make the funniest comments, like, "Wow, this is NICE?! It's not what I was expecting at all." (And you're thinking, "So you were expecting me to live in a dump, or a tent? This is my home, of course it's nice!" But you just smile and sweetly say, "Well thank you, I'm glad you like it," like you, too, are surprised that your home is so nice. )

Phoebemommy, here's a bit on "downsides", or challenges:
  • yurts are more difficult to keep cool than to heat. PLEASE site your yurt under a tree if at all possible, for shade in the summer. Also, if you're in a hot, sunny site, get the insulation package so that it reflects heat away from the yurt in the summer.
  • you hear everything in a yurt, and people outside can also hear you. I love the soundscape in a rural setting, where you hear the stream running nearby, the wind in the trees, the coyote choir at night. Not so pleasant in a neighborhood or city. I advise folks in these situations to spend a few nights onsite in a tent to see if the soundscape works for them or not.
  • privacy. Again, you hear pretty much everything. As the kids get older it's better to put them in a seperate yurt.
  • windows. Remember that windows on the fabric yurts open from the outside, so you probably will need to build a deck around the yurt, at least where the opening windows are, so that you can open the windows easily, i.e., without having to use a ladder everytime.

Again, I'd suggest those who haven't been on my site to go to the FAQ's section at www.yurtinfo.org, which will have answers to a lot of the more technical questions or will direct you to other sites with answers.

It seems that some of you have spouses away in the military. I'd suggest that you find some local tradespeople (carpenters, plumbers, electricians) that will help to run a crew of your friends that can help you get your platform built and your yurt functional while your dh is away. Try asking at a local union if anyone would donate some time to lead a crew, or work for an affordable rate. I'll bet the union tradespeople would love to help!

Hope this is helpful, have a great week!

Yurts truly,
becky
post #28 of 61
This is for Becky and any "potential yurt owners out there;

We borrowed Becky's book from the library when we first considered erecting a yurt here in Arizona. It answered many questions for us, and when we finally did take that step and purchased a "pre-owned" yurt, we checked out the book a second time. It has been immensly helpful.

We chose to build a step at a time, paying cash for materials and labor, so that we would not be in any more debt. Suprisingly enough, the permit process has been fairly pain-free, and that was very encouraging. You can watch our progress as I update our website: http://www.ttrsracing.com/yurt.htm
(As I checked the site, I realized that I have not updated since February, so I will be fixing that soon )
post #29 of 61
Cool Chicken lover! Your so close to where my dadlives! ;0)
We have decided that we can't afford to buy a yurt so we are considering the undertaking of making our own. How hard could it be, LOL!
post #30 of 61

Thanks AZChix, and re: building your own yurt

Thank you, AZChickenlover. I wrote the book for folks like you and hearing that it was useful makes all the work worthwhile!!

Posted your blog link on my "Yurtlady" facbook page, hope that's okay. Great slideshow and information!!

So, Goddess3, re: building your own yurt, do check out the Build A Yurt section on www.yurtinfo.org. You'll find plans at http://www.yurtinfo.org/yurtplans.php as well as listings of workshops. I'm still adding a few new sets of plans that have come out for the fabric yurts, and Laurel Nest Yurts (www.laurelnest.com) in North Carolina will be putting out some plans soon. They are also available for support and to answer questions for the DIY crowd.

Finally, you can go to the Building a Yurt forum thread at http://www.yurtinfo.org/forum/list.php?9 to ask your questions as they come up. There are some great yurt folks who check in regularly with that thread to answer questions.

Good luck with your yurt building project!!!

becky
post #31 of 61
We picked up our yurt and deck this weekend! My dad and I took the 6 hour trip to NC and had to take down the yurt and then section the 24'deck and load it on our trailor. It took a full two days because of all the rain and cold weather. Plus the guy didnt have all his stuff out and then he had junk all around the yurt on the ground. It was certainly an interesting trip but its at least here! Now I have to get with my bil and at least get the deck set up, if only this rain would let up and the sun would dry the groudn up.
post #32 of 61
YAY, hram!!!! How exciting!!!! Do you have any pictures of your building site? Oh, please do take lots of pictures and share them with us!!!

*SQUEEE*
post #33 of 61
I do have pics although to be honest I have no idea how to put them on here They are on my other computer so I will have to do them later, unless I can link to my fb page. I think I have some on there.
post #34 of 61
Hows everyones yurt adventures going?
post #35 of 61
My girlfriend has a kennel and normally has a handler to help take care of the dogs. She provides them with room and board. We were in between handlers for a couple of weeks so thought I would take the opportunity to take pictures of the yert. You can see them on my blog.
http://cloud9doula.wordpress.com/
post #36 of 61
We have not done too much this spring since the fellow that has been working for us had a lot on his plate. Plus, I have been struggling to keep up with my online classes. In addition to that, my father passed away this winter, so we moved my mother into a house about a mile away and she has had difficulty adjusting to a new environment and being alone. Needless to say, I have been very scattered.
On the positive side though, the fellow that is doing a lot of the hard work, told my DH that he would like to start back up on the yurt this Friday. We might even be able to get our CO (certificate of occupancy) by sometime in September. I'll keep the website updated with pitures as we go.
http://www.ttrsracing.com/yurt.htm
post #37 of 61
No pictures!

We are still figuring out when/if/where we will be moving. We should know by the end of this year, all depends on stuff with dh's job. Still planning a visit to the local yurtco dealer this summer to get some more info.

One option that is opening up just now is that we might end up living on the prairie. I'd love trees, but I'm coming around to the beauty of prairie life. Hard to imagine heating the yurt without wood, though, since I've been imagining a woodlot I'm not prepared to go with coal or a dung/sod fire, like my ancestors would have used, though -- awfully dirty!


Anyone have any info/experience with other forms of heating?
post #38 of 61
Not a yurt dweller, but fellow Eastern Ontario-ian saying hello!


Off to check out the Pacific yurts site.
post #39 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
Off to check out the Pacific yurts site.
Not from Ontario but a fellow Canadian. We have lately been dreaming sea container home dreams but it's adding up to be pricy'er then we would like. We did look into yurts a bit when we first got our land but we were worried about the snow. We are putting our home in Alberta for sale and moving to New Brunswick where we have 50 acres lined up. How does a yurt do in the snow and what kind of insulation is used. I saw something on the Pacific Yurts website about a snow and wind kit.
post #40 of 61
Reviving the thread a little. It's awesome that Becky joined the thread - I read your book and it was great, and yes, it was helpful when showing my mother and mother-in-law what I had in mind when their initial reactions were "what?" My mother is interested enough to dream about us all living together on a plot of land, though I know that's not actually happening. My mother-in-law is not so convinced but she is being supportive and respectful.

I did wonder about the mice, and it's nice to see that's not necessarily an issue. Obviously we will have to be very good about keeping food put away and so on. But I can see that the yurt is technically tighter than a typical home (with cracks and holes and such, especially to the basement, and then space between walls and so on).

We are now at the stage where we are listing our home for sale. Scary! We looked at a few properties already but are now going to just wait for a while and see how the market around here is before trying to deal with a new property. We're satisfied that the area we are looking in will have something that we can make do with.

Our idea is to buy a property with a mobile home or small cabin already on it. That way we can have the usual hookups and look good to the outside world. And we'd actually use it, too - DH and I would probably use it as an office, and we'll store out of season clothes and so on in there so the yurt is nice and roomy.

Grid-wise, my ideal setup is probably unusual. I'd actually like to have on-grid solar power. And I'd like to skip the septic stuff and just compost humanure. My current thought is to build a little outhouse-style outbuilding, except no trenches - it will just be a private room out of the yurt to put our bucket in. I stayed in a yurt at an alpaca farm in New Hampshire that had the most lovely outhouse (with trenches), so I could easily imagine using that for my buckets.

Becky, I love your idea of having just a night bucket to catch pee and putting it on the garden. That really solves it, the bucket can be clean at all times but still available during those times when you gotta go at night and don't want to suit up in the middle of winter and drag yourself through the snow in the middle of the night. And if diluted urine is good for the plants, so much the better. I also have a 5 year old who probably won't be too keen on going outside at night, so it's a good idea.

I am fairly mixed about the running water question - to me, the biggest issue is actually not bathing (DH and I agreed we're fine with sponge bath type stuff in the winter, and we were thinking of having a rainbarrel shower for the summer; I assume we can attach a filter of sorts to the showerhead but I don't know that for a fact yet) or even cooking, but dishwashing. Well, our "primary" building will have running water; perhaps we can run a hose to the yurt area and make sure it's a really tight setup so there's no leaks or wastage.

When I visited the yurt in NH (which was totally offgrid, no electric, running water or septic/sewer) I had the most lovely outdoor splash bath at night. I got really stinky during the day (superhot day) and I couldn't stand it anymore and just went outside, naked, and cleaned up. I probably used about 2 or 3 cups of water and felt perfectly refreshed. Very cool experience to do this under the stars.

I have a feeling I don't know what I'm in for - there''s so many factors, including ones that I know haven't even occured to me. But DH and I decided we want to do it - and we only get one life as far as we know (and even if that's not true, this is our only shot at THIS life) so why not? We believe that this change will signficantly reduce our debt as well, though I keep reminding myself about the expenses that I'm not thinking about yet. The worst case scenario is that we spend almost as much as we do now, but on more satisfying things (like an orchard, a greenhouse, etc.). And even then, I don't think the worst case scenario even could have as spending as much as now, and certainly not more.

My 5 year old DD is kind of a city princess in a way but she loved staying in the yurt and has been drawing yurts on a fairly regular basis. At first she did not want to leave our home (which is truly our home, we love it and care about it and DD was born here - so it wasn't an easy decision) but now she is excited to have a yurt, and specifically wants lots and lots and lots of flowers (which I fully intend to deliver on). Lately we've been answering her questions to reassure her that, yes, we're bringing the cats, and yes, we're bringing her toys, and so on.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Country Living / Off the Grid