Yurts anyone? - Posted by michaela-ATL

Posted by Barry (GA) on August 25, 2005 at 07:37:41:

Well, If you had someone you could trust to manage it for you it could be an “investment”. I’ll have to wait until “retirement”. By then it’ll probably be overdeveloped. :frowning:


Yurts anyone? - Posted by michaela-ATL

Posted by michaela-ATL on August 20, 2005 at 07:21:53:

Has anyone ever takena closer look at yurts? I saw one a few years ago at a Home Show and was kind of fascinated. This old house has an article in sept, which I read yesterday and I wonder how these structures could possibly used.

Since they’re not considered permanent structures, could they be put up in places or ways, that would not be allowed by local zonings? Maybe buying a landlocked lot, which does have an alley to walk through, which normally wouldn’t allow any building. Put one of these up and rent it out? Maybe finding a lot close to a college and making a little pod with one large unit as Kitchen/Living room and several smaller units as bedrooms rooms all around it? I think the ‘cool factor’ alone would get these rented before any other housing. Of course, this would have to be somewhat milder climate, so, that you can heat with wood stoves etc.

Just some thoughts - I have no idea how local zonings would be affected. It could tap into the ‘loft craze’ in a low cost way.


1975 truffaut film - Posted by 1975 truffaut film

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Life cycle costs. - Posted by Gavin Wilkinson

Posted by Gavin Wilkinson on August 24, 2005 at 01:23:22:

Most of the yurts I have seen advertised are quite small, about 16-25 feet in diameter. If you compare the costs of such a yurt to the cost of building a super small cabin of the same size, I found that the cabin was cheaper. The yurt was initially cheaper, but the yurt would wear out in 5 years. So you have to completely recover your capital outlay in the 5 years. The cabin cost more, but at the end of 5 years was worth more than it had cost to build. So the only cost that a landlord needed to recover was the cost of capital.

Re: Yurts anyone? - Posted by Barry (GA)

Posted by Barry (GA) on August 22, 2005 at 13:23:20:

I looked at them some time back and also really like the monolithic domes. Wanted to try one out as alternative housing but the wife wasn’t crazy about it :-). I think that there is some money to be made there. Maybe we could get some land in North Georgia and put some up as vacation rentals?

Just a thought…

Re: Yurts anyone? - Posted by Kristine-CA

Posted by Kristine-CA on August 21, 2005 at 23:37:37:

Michaela: feel free to call me about yurts. I was the yurt buyer and
tent designer for a large resort here in So Cal. Yurts and tents can be
excellent solutions when it comes to permitting issues. In addition, we
used 100 cedar sided 'cabins" that were actually RVs. Even though
they looked and smelled like cabins, because of that RV decal and
designation, we were able to install 100 rental rooms on a property
that was zoned as a campground.

Pacific Yurts are highly recommended. As are Cavco cabins. Kristine

Re: Yurts anyone? - Posted by carmen

Posted by carmen on August 21, 2005 at 24:49:37:

Believe it or not a number of people here in Alaska live in Yurts year round. Not here in Anchorage so much but the outer lying areas they do get used. I was in a really nice one in that they had for a couple of years in the same place. I know I can put one up on my property and rent it out but not sure how that works else where.

Re: Yurts anyone? - Posted by Brent_IL

Posted by Brent_IL on August 20, 2005 at 22:52:40:

Hi Michaela,

Zoning is the killer. If you put yurts on a permanent foundation, they won?t meet code. If you keep them on temporary footing, most probably there’s a local ordinance that affects you negatively, somehow.

Another extreme challenge is home security. I don’t have a good solution for this.

I really like yurts; kind of fond of Monolithic Domes®, too. IMO, www.shelter-systems.com offers the biggest bang for the buck in the yurt world after considering durability, snow cover, et al.

A while ago, we started looking at a way to provide shelter for those who became houseless. The problem isn?t that there aren?t ways to build cheap housing. The real problem is that folks think ?shelters? are a good idea as long as no one puts any in their neighborhood.

Here are some other interesting ideas that I?ve come across in my search for inexpensive housing:

http://slought.org/author/images/Gans/ Gans & Jelacic developed this for emergency relief housing. The prototype has a built in stove, commode, and water store. The U.N.-supplied blue tarp is used for the roof and sides. This was a prize-winning effort, but the NGO?s didn?t care. They don?t want refugees to get ?too comfortable? in their new abode.

http://www.gvshelters.com/ I called Weyerhaeuser, but I can?t find anyone who knows what I?m talking about.

http://mindismoving.org/hexayurt/ This design is probably the most inexpensive to produce. You still have to anchor it to the ground. Very good work.

http://www.monolithicdome.com/ My all-time favorite building method. I?m thinking about 24 motel rooms contained around the perimeter of a 110? diameter with a courtyard in the center. No heating bills. Cheap fire insurance. We’ll see.

http://www.ultimatesecurehome.com/ I like their attitude.

You can also check out http://www.biorock.net I don?t think it?s ready for prime time, yet.

Re: Yurts anyone? - Posted by Cletus

Posted by Cletus on August 20, 2005 at 19:54:55:

I used to keep my harem in one of those things, but I had to quit. It was too easy for them to escape…


give until its Yurts - Posted by Rob

Posted by Rob on August 20, 2005 at 17:07:43:


Re: Yurts anyone? - Posted by Mr. Big

Posted by Mr. Big on August 20, 2005 at 16:05:34:

The yurt,it’s modern equivalent the geodesic dome, the straw bale house, and more are all seductive but they have their problems and are not all they are cracked up to be.

The biggest problem is zoning laws. The yurt is really a glorified tent and I doubt it would be legal anywhere as a permanent residence.

I remember a comment from the second whole earth catalog, someone with a lot of experience with geodesic domes and other alternate living spaces commented that the only dome home he ever lived in that didn’t leak was an Airstream trailer LOL.

Yurt easing us now, aren’t you? - Posted by Tom-FL

Posted by Tom-FL on August 20, 2005 at 14:43:44:

I hope the ones you saw at the home show don’t look like the ones on Wiki.

Re: Life cycle costs. - Posted by michaela-ATL

Posted by michaela-ATL on August 24, 2005 at 18:21:17:

you’re right, overall it’s probably more cost effective
to build a cabin. My thoughts were more on those lots, that may otherwise not be considered buildable, because they might not have road frontage. For example, just today I came across 2 lots, that would fall into that.
1 is 35’ x 43’. Too small with the necessary setbacks to get permits for any permanent construction. There wouldn’t be these restrictions with a temporary structure…Another lot that is accessible through an alley. It doesn’t ahve official road frontage, so you’re not allowed to build. yurts would be a way to utilize those lots. Just a thought


Re: Yurts anyone? - Posted by michaela-ATL

Posted by michaela-ATL on August 22, 2005 at 13:45:58:


When i did soem searches on google a few days ago I came across a ‘bed & breakfast’ in North Georgia, that had several on their property to rent out.


Re: Yurts anyone? - Posted by michaela-ATL

Posted by michaela-ATL on August 22, 2005 at 06:59:18:


Thank you, that’s good to know. I will certainly ask you, if I will get more serious about a yurt. I don’t like being a landlord, so I’m not sure, that one of those ideas will be something I’ll follow through on. But I’m kind of fascinated by them and I could see myself buyig one for myself, since it can be moved at a later day. Maybe as a temporary residence for myself somewhere. It’s still playing around in my mind :wink:


Re: Yurts anyone? - Posted by michaela-ATL

Posted by michaela-ATL on August 21, 2005 at 06:32:42:


wow, you certainly have looked at similar topic.

As to zoning, I came across this paragraph:
“I asked Bo Norris, co-owner of Borealis Yurts of Gray, Maine, if his customers had ever tried to get their yurts inspected as a permanent home. “We are very honest with our customers that yurts are not code structures,” he told me. “However, they are considered temporary structures, and 99.9 percent of the time, people have had no problems.” Homes classified as temporary structures do not need to meet the stringent electrical and heating codes of most building safety offices. Mark Case, a plan reviewer for the Buncombe County, North Carolina Department of Building Safety, agreed with Norris. “What you’re describing sounds like a temporary structure to me. Such a structure couldn’t be classified as a permanent residential unit.” He went on to list specific state code requirements, mainly regarding insulation and heating, that proved his point.”

Also, you can order a yurt with an upgrade of wooden or steel door. Then you could also get the insulation package. and winter windows, which would make it tough to break in. Since you don’t have to put this onto a permanent foundation, but on a plywood base (which can also be insulated), it wouldn’t be a permanent structure.

I haven’t done any major research, but I’m kind of fascinated with the open, loft like space and the economical cost. I’m convinced, that there’s a way, that they can be incorporated into a real estate portfolio and generate nice cash flow.


Re: Yurt easing us now, aren’t you? - Posted by michaela-ATL

Posted by michaela-ATL on August 20, 2005 at 16:51:19:

No, I was thinking more along the lines of these:


Re: Yurts anyone? - Posted by Barry (GA)

Posted by Barry (GA) on August 23, 2005 at 08:42:13:


Thanks for the info, I’ll have to look for that. North Georgia seems to be a popular spot. We stayed at a place in Hiawassee that had a few cabins on the river. They were building a couple more. Next time we went they had built even more cabins, a conference room and pavilion. Now they have built some more. I wouldn’t mind having a setup like that myself and the yurts would be cheaper.


Re: Yurts anyone? - Posted by michaela-ATL

Posted by michaela-ATL on August 23, 2005 at 13:51:55:

As long as you’re ok with the fact, that this is a time intensive business and not an investment.