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Living In A Yurt In Maine

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Old 06-26-2014, 09:06 AM   #1
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Default Living in a yurt in Maine

Hello everyone. I have been considering yurt living for a long time, but have some questions and concerns about doing this in Maine.

- How do yurts handle humidity? It's pretty dry here in winter, but it's quite humid in the summer, with plenty of rain and fog.

- What do you do to keep warm? Winters are quite cold here. I'm assuming a big stove,

insulation

, and possibly pushing snow up against the sides. A lot of folks here don't have a lot of money and live off grid in varying degrees, and it's common to see snow pushed up against the sides of houses and trailers. Same with leaves in autumn.

- Does anyone know about building codes here? I've read that towns with populations under 5000 don't have to enforce codes, other than the basic minimum safety stuff. A lot of people live so far out that nobody would notice violations, anyway.

- Do yurt companies offer plans for financing? My family is poor at the moment... like, dirt poor. My hours have been cut at work and we're set to run out of money at the end of July. I like the idea of owning my own home for cheap, but a decent sized yurt looks to be a good $10,000. Believe it or not I'm not even sure if I make $10,000 per year at this point. Like I said, we're about to run out of money...

There are a few locations here where you can rent yurts year-round, so it must be okay to live in one despite the harsh winters.

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Old 06-26-2014, 02:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Living in a yurt in Maine

Yurts handle humidity in the spring/summer/fall well. You just open the

dome

and window. Most people use some sort of radiant heat, namely wood, to heat their yurts. You can use all kinds conventional/unconventional methods to insulate.

Building codes vary widely by town to town and county to county. No way for me to answer that for you.

I do not know of any yurt company that is currently offering financing. You may want to consider building one yourself if money is tight. Some people in this forum have built large yurts for a couple thousand dollars total. It takes some sticktoitivness though.
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Old 06-26-2014, 02:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Living in a yurt in Maine

I've got a permitted Yurt in maine. In our town there is a building code and an enforcement office. They were great to work with and because ours will not have plumbing we managed to get a building permit where it is described as "... a private campsite" which was also nice because the campsite designation let us build closer to the water line than a regular dwelling would have been allowed.

But you are correct that not all towns have rules. My inlaws had a company build a nice modular home 12 miles away from us. In that town there is essentially no residential building code at all and they could pretty much do whatever they wanted.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Living in a yurt in Maine

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisdag View Post
But you are correct that not all towns have rules. My inlaws had a company build a nice modular home 12 miles away from us. In that town there is essentially no residential building code at all and they could pretty much do whatever they wanted.
Yes this aspect is a little confusing. I guess I have to call the town/county offices to find out what the codes are. I have friends living in a township that have pretty much no codes or enforcement at all, meanwhile in my town, they have a fit if you build a deck too large...

Bethel is wonderful by the way.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Living in a yurt in Maine

Ill be looking to put a yurt up in Maine someday, let us know what you find out about the code and you progress.

Good luck!
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Old 04-04-2015, 03:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: Living in a yurt in Maine

I'm following this thread- looking to put up a yurt in the next year in Maine...
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: Living in a yurt in Maine

I have a yurt not far from Farmington Maine, it's a 20 foot yurt put up by

white mountain yurts

in NH but is basically the same exact plan as a Colorado yurt I believe.

I do not live there, but I spend most of my vacations and long weekends there. If I retire someday, I may spend more time there. I would say it is not insulated enough to live in during the winter unless I either:

1. get a bigger woodstove and burn a whole lot of wood
2. figure out a better way to insulate it because the reflective bubble wrap

insulation

is not good enough when it's cold
3. build a separate shed that is something like 12x12, insulate that and stay in that when it is cold.

I think option 2 would be the best, but I am not sure how to go about it right yet
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Living in a yurt in Maine

I live in the Lakes Region of NH and have lived for the past 26 months in my yurt full-time. Heat 100% with wood, haven't experienced the winter humidity and icing issues others have talked about in other threads. But I also don't have an indoor shower or running water. IMO, if you want seamless comfort, build a house. Many nights I don't get up to reload the stove and it's chilly in the AM. I immediately put on flannel lined pants, good slippers and a down jacket until the stove gets going. If it's really cold I will also use a hot water bottle on my lap while I drink my tea and check email. Eventually the sun comes out, the wood stove gets cranking, and I'm way warmer than most of my friend's houses. I'm enjoying yurt life, but it takes an attitude adjustment and willingness to bend a bit with nature. It's way easier to insulate yourself than add a bunch to the yurt. Last two winters I put bags of leaves and brown tarps around the insulated platform. Burnt about 3-4 cords of wood. It was a lot of work spring and fall dealing with the bags, so this winter I'm going to try it without.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Living in a yurt in Maine

I like your comment about attitude adjustment. You gotta roll with the punches. 'No whinin No bitchin'. That's what my son named his boat.
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Old 09-03-2015, 05:30 AM   #10
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Default Re: Living in a yurt in Maine

Exactly! Much of the appeal of yurts (and boats!) is there is less between you and nature. Nature can be soul stirring and fun or cold and wet. I worry about folks who turn to yurts as a cheaper alternative. Yes. They can be much cheaper to live in, but you pay in a sort of "lifestyle sweat equity". If you still want running hot water, dishwasher, laundry, wifi, constant even heat or cool at the push of a button, I think you'll be frustrated. And your monthly costs could be higher than in a "well built" house. That said, if you are willing to go swimming or lay in a hammock when it's hot, put a jacket and hat on indoors when it's cold, plan your shower around the sun, listen to the owls hoot at night, stack a lot of wood, cut short phone calls because the rain is so loud you can't hear, read by the fire while the snow just slides off the roof, limit your possessions, make your bed and add a log to the fire while your egg cooks - all with about 3 steps. Then yurt life may be for you.
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