Small Homes

What is a Yurt?

Would you really like to have a different small home experience? Are you looking for something that wouldn’t just look different, but would feel different? You might be interested in a Yurt.

A yurt is an adapted version of a shelter from Central Asia used by nomadic tribes for thousands of years. The circular, tent-like shape is held into place by tension and compression. This may sound simple, and on one level it is very simple. However, this simple and elegant design has a myriad of benefits. The aerodynamic shape flows around the curved sides of the yurt, and over its domed roof. The structure of the yurt gives it a great deal of natural strength and thus safety.

The simple yurt has a lot going for it. The structures are lightweight and inexpensive, yet durable. The Pacific Yurt Company (out of Oregon) has taken this design to a new level. Pacific Yurt began setting their yurts up on wood platforms that are supported by a post and beam system.

An additional major design change over the traditional yurt, is that The Pacific Yurt Company has added a lattice wall that runs the circumference of the outer fabric wall. This lattice system is attached to the rafters and center ring overhead, giving the structure considerable strength. Part of what makes the yurt such an attractive concept is its extremely minimal impact on its environment.

The pricing on yurts from Pacific Yurt is extremely competitive and is a true contender for those on a budget. A 115 sq. ft. 12 foot diameter model cost about $4,500, and the largest 700 sq. ft. model cost about $9,800 dollars. There are six different sizes in all.

This is definitely a different approach in small homes, and there is no denying it has an impressive price point. The yurt has some additional benefits that one may not find in other inexpensive small homes, such as lots of headroom. Some of the larger yurts have ceilings as high as 13 feet. Additionally, all units have skylights.

The small home movement is all about re-imagining what is possible concerning how we live. The ancient yurt may fit in very well in our modern world.