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Yurt In The Poconos

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Old 08-27-2016, 06:14 PM   #1
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Default Yurt in the Poconos


We are looking to downsize due to medical necessity- I need to take care of my son (3 year old) who has a very long list of medical complexities.

We have land that we can use to build (4 acres), and clearly we need to speak to the zoning board, but I was interested to know if there was anyone in PA living in a yurt and how do I address the following concerns below?

I had 2 major concerns. 1: The yurt would need to be a full time off grid residence in the Poconos (snow, rain and humidity). Therefore, we need a way to ensure we have enough electricity for running a fridge (to store medicine and large quantities of food), cooking (won't use propane and my son has extreme food allergies so everything needs to be cooked at home, and temperature control (son is unable to tolerate extreme temperature changes)

2. Mold growth- how to avoid and have the environment be non toxic?

My son is basically unable to detox any chemical he comes in contact with and can become ill just walking into a store....so we need an off grid, mold resistant chemical friendly home that is cheap and easy to maintain! Is this possible?

Thanks for your help!!

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Old 08-28-2016, 02:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Yurt in the Poconos

I think climate control will be your big issue if you can work things out with the building department. Most of the other things aren't too difficult.


with wood isn't uncommon. Cooking on some sort of wood cooking stove is doable, or you could use something electric--I'd recommend an induction burner (energy efficient--my breakfast takes 0.08 kwh to cook in the morning). You can get a chest freezer & swap the thermostat, creating a chest fridge for energy efficiency (just be sure to catch the drain water from condensation inside the fridge). Water


will be a challenge without propane or lots of electric power, but there's potential to do solar water heating. You'd want to learn how to burn wood cleanly, though, and make sure your son isn't sensitive to the wood smoke.

Back to climate control--my yurt gets really hot in the summer (10+ deg hotter than outside temp), and on cold days it basically follows the outside temp unless I heat 24/7. But my platform is drafty & I don't have much


. Both those things will be changing shortly--I don't know how comfortable I will be this winter... If you can figure out how to manage the temps well, you should also be able to manage the dew point (humidity) and avoid condensation leading to mold.

To be honest, I wouldn't recommend a yurt for someone that can't thermoregulate. A more traditional-style wood stick/framing would likely work better for you (say, have someone build the shell and you do all the interior or such). There's a fair bit of nuance to making yurts livable, and I don't think it will be a turn-key type of situation. I think it's possible, but expect a bit of trial & error if you do try. Other's experience may be different.
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Old 08-28-2016, 11:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: Yurt in the Poconos

Thank you so much. All really really great points!
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Old 08-29-2016, 07:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: Yurt in the Poconos

Your requirements really takes a fabric yurt out of the running IMO. A solid walled yurt would work, but now you are getting up into the price range of regular stick built homes.
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Old 08-29-2016, 08:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Yurt in the Poconos

Thank you so much!
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