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!