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Beginning Yurt With Kids

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Old 07-17-2016, 10:05 AM   #1
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Default Beginning Yurt with Kids

Hi I'm a mom with 5 kids. 3 are under age 5, the other two are homeschooled, ages 13 and 8. I am low income, but I have a full time job and some money saved; I and tired of paying endless rent and living in a too small house (two bedrooms). I want to have someplace we can call our own without worrying. I've looked into buying an RV but it's too expensive for what we'd need. We would like to move to Montana or Wyoming next year and possibly live in a Yurt. What would we need in order to start up with one for a family of 7 with dogs? I would like it to have solar energy. What would be good things to have or designs? I have one daughter who's a baby now but eventually will need some privacy. But being a big family like we are we're fairly used to not having much privacy. I'm also wondering how safe is yurt living? Like if we go on vacation do I have to worry someone will mess with it? Does living in a yurt make you more vulnerable to robbery? Do you have to build a yurt on the ground or can you put it on a deck? Do you have rooms in a yurt? Please help us get started! Thanks

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Old 07-27-2016, 10:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Beginning Yurt with Kids

Dear Fivestarmama,

When I moved into my yurt 3 years ago, people thought I was crazy. Many still do. But it works for me and I love it. Only you know your family, your needs, and your abilities. Reading all the posts on this (awesome! forum will take hours, but will give you invaluable information and tips about yurt living - worldwide.

Here in the US, most communities do not welcome yurts as permanent housing. The red tape alone can be daunting. To me yurt living is a lot like camping - except you have a bigger space to get away from the rain, wind, sun, and bugs - while walking around and making lunch. It may have a frame, but yurts are still just big tents - with all the pluses and minuses of that.

Yurts are cheaper than most homes because there is less to them. If I get 15 years before I need new canvas, I'll be happy. There's no electrical, no plumbing, no central AC or


. I would think you could build a similar sized wooden shell for about the same cost. Add on no water/sewer, no electrical hook up, and a minimal foundation and it looks pretty cheap.

But much of the day to day cost saving are due to sweat equity. True I don't pay for water/sewer, but I get my water from a spring I drive to - hauling back 25 or so gallons at a time. With no dishwasher, no washing machine, no flush toilets, no shower, it lasts me about 10 days to two weeks. (I hand wash dishes with water heated on a propane stove, for bathing - solar showers/sponge baths/gym, composting toilet, laundromat). I think it would be far more difficult with small children or anyone sick.

You can put rooms in a yurt, but need to be VERY mindful of the unimpeded airflow which makes yurts work so well. That is one area to consider carefully. Yurt are prone to mold. You must carefully vent excessive


- which isn't always easy - esp in the winter. Cooking, showering, propane heaters, and multiple humans and pets breathing and sweating can add a ton of


. Once started, mold can be difficult to get rid off. Living alone in a 24' yurt with wood heat and no running water, I've been lucky. But there are horror stories on this forum: Mold, doors and domes caked with ice, dripping ceilings. I've said it here before - more than once - yurts are probably not for anyone who wants or needs a lot of modern conveniences. The simpler the better for most yurt situations. Though creativity is one of the fun parts.

Most homes are easily broken into. Yurts actually could be a bit more difficult due to the lattice. But you can fortify a wooden home, which would be harder for a yurt. What makes backwoods living safer today are solar, internet connected, real time, security cameras. Plus thieves may assume there isn't much worth stealing in a yurt (probably correct. Lol). Generators and solar panels, etc are generally outside. Lot depends on the area.

People say yurts are moveable. But I would not want to remove, fold-up, transport, and reassemble the heavy canvas walls and roof after it had spent a few years in the sun. Seems like a recipe for cracks and leaks. (Would love to hear about anyone experience with that.)

Today's parents do so much for their kids. My grandmother - at age eight - was responsible for the family's meals. My grandfather (on the other side) left Boston when he was nine to live in NovaScotia. (At least these are the stories I was told. Lol). I would imagine your family would have to be more like that. If you weren't arrested for child abuse (lol), your kids would probably grow up to be responsible, hard working, capable adults.

Whatever you do, Fivestarmama, best of luck. Life is a learning experience. I think anyone who does ANY (healthy) "non status quo" behavior will learn a lot and be richer for it.

Last edited by Wintergreen282; 07-27-2016 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: Beginning Yurt with Kids

Very good post.
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