The round tent-style abodes native to Mongolian nomads have been growing in popularity in the United States. They’re relatively inexpensive, easy to put up and inexpensive to maintain. So what’s the downside? Like everything, there are pros and cons and the best way to make a good decision is to make an informed decision.  So here are the pros and cons of yurts and yurt life:

Pros

  • Inexpensive – Relative to other forms of housing, yurts are fairly economical. In essence, a traditional yurt is a tent on a platform.  It’s simplicity makes it inexpensive to purchase. A well constructed, livable yurt can be purchased new for as little as $7000 and can range up to 100s of thousands for an elaborate, “palatial” structure. You can also pick them up used on the internet for even more savings.
  • Movability – The impermanence of a Yurt means it can be packed up and moved relatively easily from one spot to another. This means that a yurt can be in California one day and in Florida the next (in theory anyway.) This versatility makes them ideal for nomads from any nation!
  • Flexibility – Yurts come in all sorts of sizes and configurations. You can divide them into different rooms for greater privacy or make it one large common room for simplicity and ease of heating and cooling. Yurts can come in different colors and materials for the ultimate in customization.
  • Inexpensive Utilities – Because they are small, they are fairly inexpensive to heat and cool. Although they don’t necessarily lend themselves to the coldest and hardest climates.

Cons 

  • Limited design – Yurts are all basically a round tent. They don’t have a wide variety of looks and shapes. So if you want to have a really unique yurt, you’re limited to size, color and material.
  • Limited Configurations – Plumbing and adding wiring electricity can be a challenge due their lack of permanence and a stable structure. For this reason, they are not easy to change once they have been wired and plumbed. In some climates and environments, permanent plumbing may not even be practicable.
  • Zoning Challenges – The nature of yurts put them at odds with a lot of municipalities and townships. Many oppose tiny homes in general because they are hard to tax, but a “tent” may not pass muster with even the most lenient city planning boards.
  • Aging – Because yurts are essentially a big round tent, they will ware more like a tent than a more traditional house structure. This is not to say that they cannot be serviceable and long life, but you’re not like to every see a “century home” yurt.
  • Insurability – Yurts can be difficult to insure. Many tiny houses can be difficult to insure but yurts can be even more difficult than most. Their lack of structure and perceived lack of permanence make insurers uncomfortable  with calculating a real value.

Yurts can be an fun, creative living style. That doesn’t mean that they are entirely without challenges. Like any decision related to going tiny, it’s always best to do your research and make an informed decision.

Have you gone tiny in a yurt? We’d love to hear from you! Until next time, keep thinking tiny!