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yurt living?

post #1 of 158
Thread Starter 
Wow, I feel like I have hit a gold mine this is a great group!
My husband and I are looking into buying land and possibley put a yurt on it. I am totally set on the idea but have several concerns. First of all is it possible to get financing for such an endeover? We live on the oregon coast and there is lots of rain and moister. Is this an issue with yurts, anyway to make it more insulated/rainproof? I am also concerned about our 8 month old dd being warm enough in it. Please I would love any suggestions or first hand experience. Thanks!
post #2 of 158
We found the financing issue to be a stumbling block -- we stopped looking into yurts because of it. The reason is that buying raw land without putting a house on it requires a larger downpayment, at least with the banks we looked at. About 50% downpayment is what we were told. Then financing the yurt, which isn't considered a house in this part of the country, would be on us too. Didn't work for us, but maybe you could find alternative lenders, and maybe in your part of the country they're more used to the idea of yurts as dwellings!

Yurts are really nice, I think. And they're wonderfully insulated. Have you seen the web page written by the couple in Vermont who built their own yurt, using their own materials? Cost them 6000, including wiring and plumbing. And they say they are very warm, even in Vermont.

HTH, good luck working it all out!!
post #3 of 158
Don't know much about yurts.
but raw land is financable through IndyMac with 5% down, with them assuming that you will be applying for a construction loan.

Good luck with your researching!
post #4 of 158
We're thinking of going off grid with a yurt too. It's lookign more and more like a somday type of thing but once DH finishes his research maybe then. Try PMing yurtdwellingmama. She lives in MN and has never had trouble keeping their yurt and their little girl warm. She gave me LOTS of great yurt advice (hopefully she won't mind me advertising her).
post #5 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by arelyn View Post
Try PMing yurtdwellingmama. She lives in MN and has never had trouble keeping their yurt and their little girl warm. She gave me LOTS of great yurt advice (hopefully she won't mind me advertising her).
I don't mind at all, Arelyn! My username is an advertisement in itself!

HillaryJ-- You are really in the perfect part of the country for yurt living! You must know about the largest and oldest yurt maker in the country, Pacific Yurts, since they are your neighbor in Cottage Grove, OR.

I can't speak to the financing issue . . . we were lucky enough to get family owned land, and then we paid cash our yurt. However, I would bet Pacific Yurts would know a lot about the possibilities.

I can speak to weather issues. We have been living full time in our yurt for more than 7 years in northern MN and as Arelyn mentioned, we do just fine in terms of keeping warm. The coldest temps we have survived are -50! We have a wood stove and do supplement with a kerosene (yuk -- we are upgrading to a propane back up this year!!) when it is colder than -25. However, it really isn't that cold more than a couple of weeks out of the year on average. We did buy the full insulation package on our yurt and our deck is insulated also. A yurt does not retain heat as well as a house, however with an indoor heat source it really is not difficult to keep warm (keeping cool is much more difficult).

You won't have trouble with mold if you keep the side cover of the yurt as free from dirt as possible. The mold grows on the dirt not on the fabric itself. I would also recommend the gutter system that PY sells to keep the water from running down the side cover. I also want to add, our yurt is completely water tight. We have never had a leak.
post #6 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbravebird View Post
Have you seen the web page written by the couple in Vermont who built their own yurt, using their own materials? Cost them 6000, including wiring and plumbing. And they say they are very warm, even in Vermont.
Is this it?:
http://homepage.mac.com/decthree/Menu11.html
post #7 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by yurtdwellingmama View Post
That's it!! Thanks for finding it! Great stuff...
post #8 of 158
Thread Starter 
thanks yurtdwellingmama for the inspiration!
We may have the option of putting the yurt on some family land. But we have to fined out about zoning and such. Yes,I have checked out pacific yurts and they are who we would go with when it happens. Is that who you got your yurt through? did you have to spray any marine waterproofing on the canvas?
Thank you ladies for all your great suggestions.
peace
post #9 of 158
Our yurt is from Pacific Yurts. They are terrific! I think the quality of the yurt is excellent, and the customer service has been wonderful, and continues to be 7 years later.

We did not use any kind of marine waterproofing. We chose to go with the vinyl cover, rather than the canvas, because we felt it was heavier, tougher, would require less maintenance, and would not require water proofing (or maybe it came already treated with a water proofing agent -- I can't remember). I would however ask Pacific Yurts about that specifically.
post #10 of 158
is your yurt interior basicly one open room or what?
post #11 of 158
Hey there! Mamajessica and I have been talking about yurting...we're both in Portland, OR.

We should get an OR coast MDC yurt community going!!!
post #12 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
is your yurt interior basicly one open room or what?
It was when we first raised it and moved into it. However, we built a sleeping loft with a bathroom underneath. Also the loft is larger than the bathroom, so there is another "room" (dd's playroom) that is sort of sectioned off because it is under the loft, it is not walled off, but does have 2 4x4 beams that are the supports for the loft framing it in a bit. We also have a full kitchen (also not walled off).

It's like a great room with a loft, kitchen and bath. With furniture and such we have the main room sectioned into the kitchen, dining area, "living room" (which also has been converted to dd's play area ), office space, woodstove area, and then the playroom under the loft and enclosed bath under the loft.

Hope that makes sense.
post #13 of 158
So is the loft just supported by the floor or does it tie into the decking support? How big is your yurt? Sounds AWESOME!!!!

What set up do you have for utilites?

Thanks for the info!!!
post #14 of 158
Our yurt is 30' in diameter (700 sq ft plus the loft).

The loft is freestanding, it is not attached to the side walls of the yurt. It is supported very much like our deck is, with a series of 4x4 posts, beams and also stud walls from the bathroom. It is attached to the floor with hardware (not sure of the name of the hardware . . . "L" brackets maybe??) that attach the posts to the floor. It is not directly attached to the beams we have supporting the deck, no. It is very sturdy, however.

For utilities, we have electricity from our local electric co-op, and we just had a well drilled (after seven years hauling water). We have also have a propane tank for our cook stove, and will be installing a propane heater as back up to our wood stove in a few weeks. We only need an additional heat source when it is about -25 or colder, we had been using a portable kerosene heater, on the occasions that it is that cold, and they are not good. You can't leave them on while you sleep and they are smelly. So this will be a big upgrade. We'll also use the propane back up when we will be gone from the yurt for several hours or away.

post #15 of 158
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EStreetMama View Post
Hey there! Mamajessica and I have been talking about yurting...we're both in Portland, OR.

We should get an OR coast MDC yurt community going!!!

hello EstreetMama-
yes, that would be great! I would love to hear how other's in my similar climate survive in the yurt.
post #16 of 158
thanks for answering the question yurtdwellingmama!

my husband and I love yurts, and i would love to live in one. but, we also don't dislike suburbia, though suburbanites seem to dislike us and yurts.

it's rather confusing.
post #17 of 158
Your welcome, zoebird! Wouldn't it be cool to have a suburban community of all yurts!!

********************My 50th post!!!! I'm a Member!!!!******************
post #18 of 158
yes, it would be cool if other suburbanites were cool enough to want yurts.
post #19 of 158
yurtdwellingmama, your home sounds awesome!..... I been dreamin' of livin in a yurt for years on a huge piece of land.... thanks for sharing ~
post #20 of 158
Hilary, EStreet and I are trying to plan a trip to Pacific Yurts sometime this fall. Would you want to drive in and meet us?
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