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what is a yurt

The word “yurt” was derived from the Old Turkic languages to describe a “homeland” – essentially a place where you live and eat. Traditional yurts are comparable to igloos, which in the Inuit language was described as a “home built of any material”. However we know that you may have come across this article to learn more about the modernised yurts, and whether they are going to be a suitable replacement for other forms of accommodation or living spaces you may have been thinking about for your home.

Modern vs Traditional Yurts

Today’s yurts incorporate much more advanced materials and design techniques that cater to the demands of contemporary life while still paying homage to their traditional nomadic origins. The table below goes through some of the key features of our yurts compared to traditional yurts.

Yurt Comparison
Feature Traditional Yurts Our Yurts

Cover

Traditional Yurts: Animal skins or felt, offering basic protection from elements. Our Yurts: Durable, waterproof, UV-resistant double-coated PVC canvas for enhanced longevity and protection.

Wall Frame

Traditional Yurts: Wooden lattice, providing structural support and flexibility. Our Yurts: Bamboo lattice and aluminium frames, with top and bottom aluminium channels, combining traditional flexibility with modern strength.

Roof Frame

Traditional Yurts: Wooden poles or bamboo, supporting the roof and central crown. Our Yurts: Structural pine beams extend from wall frame to central supporting ring, offering robust support with a nod to traditional designs.

Skylight

Traditional Yurts: Typically absent, with light entering through the door or smoke hole. Our Yurts: Clear polycarbonate dome skylight, introducing abundant natural light into the interior.

Ventilation

Traditional Yurts: Openings at the top (smoke hole) or through doorways. Our Yurts: Whirly bird style ventilation, ensuring efficient airflow and expulsion of hot air and condensation.

Windows

Traditional Yurts: Few or none, with openings covered by fabrics for light and air. Our Yurts: One small cantilever window of glass and aluminium, providing controlled light and ventilation.

Door

Traditional Yurts: Simple fabric or wooden doors, basic in design. Our Yurts: Fir wood double door with fixed glass panels, lock and keys, blending security with aesthetic appeal.

Insulation

Traditional Yurts: Felt or skins used for warmth, requiring additional layers in colder climates. Our Yurts: Felt insulation between inner lining and outer cover, optimising for warmth in winter and coolness in summer.

Interior

Traditional Yurts: Plain or with minimal decoration, focusing on functionality. Our Yurts: Light coloured patterned fabric interior liner, creating a beautiful ambience inside the yurt day and night.

Installation

Traditional Yurts: Assembled by the community, using available materials and traditional methods. Our Yurts: Includes anchor kit and fixings for installation; requires a suitable base structure, reflecting modern precision in setup.

Yurts In Different Weather Conditions

Our yurts are designed with the Australian climate in mind, ensuring they stand up to the diverse weather conditions, from torrential rains to scorching heatwaves and gusty winds.

Rain

The durable, waterproof, and UV-resistant double-coated PVC canvas cover is the yurts’ first line of defence against heavy rains. This material ensures that water is effectively repelled, keeping the interior dry and comfortable, even during the most severe downpours typical of certain Australian regions.

Wind

To counteract Australia’s strong winds, the structural integrity is bolstered by a combination of bamboo lattice and aluminium frames. This blend not only provides the necessary strength to withstand gusty conditions but also maintains the yurt’s flexibility, ensuring stability and security without compromising the traditional aesthetic.

Heat

During the sweltering Australian heatwaves, the yurts offer a cool haven, thanks to their whirly bird style ventilation system that takes advantage of any breeze to expel hot air and prevent condensation. Coupled with the felt insulation, the yurts remain pleasantly cool on the inside, even when outside temperatures soar, making them an ideal choice for the hot and arid parts of the country.

What Yurts Can Be Used For

Yurts offer a versatile and eco-friendly solution for various needs, blending seamlessly into different landscapes and purposes. From cozy retreats to functional workspaces, the adaptability of yurts is unmatched. Here’s how the different sizes of Yurt In The Dirt’s offerings can cater to diverse applications:

4.5 Metre Yurt

what is a yurt
Diameter: 4.5m Floor Area: 16sqm Wall Height: 1.68m Roof Height: 2.9m Price: $11,000
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Ideal for intimate settings such as personal yoga studios, home offices, or artistic retreats. Its compact size makes it perfect for a private escape or a serene garden studio, providing a peaceful haven for creativity and relaxation.

5 Metre Yurt

what is a yurt
Diameter: 5m Floor Area: 20sqm Wall Height: 1.68m Roof Height: 3m Price: $12,000
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Slightly larger, this yurt serves well as alternative accommodation, offering enough space for a comfortable living area that can include a small kitchenette. It’s also suited for larger personal studios or meditation spaces, accommodating groups for workshops or small classes.

6.3 Metre Yurt

what is a yurt
Diameter: 6.3m Floor Area: 31sqm Wall Height: 1.68m Roof Height: 3.1m Price: $13,500
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With its generous space, this size is ideal for community gatherings, such as workshops or small events. It can also serve as a luxurious glamping tent, providing ample room for beds and lounging areas, making it an attractive option for eco-tourism ventures.

8 Metre Yurt

what is a yurt
Diameter: 8m Floor Area: 50sqm Wall Height: 1.8m Roof Height: 4m Price: $15,500
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The largest in the range, perfect for commercial applications such as pop-up shops, cafés, or large yoga studios. It offers substantial space for businesses seeking an unconventional, yet captivating, venue. Additionally, it’s well-suited for community or educational centers, where space and versatility are paramount.

Yurts vs Other Accommodation

We want to give you a clear comparison between yurts and other forms of accommodation so that you can decide what works best for you. Although we are a company that specialises in selling yurts, we understand that your needs may be different. Here’s a table that summarises some of the different types of accommodation you might be considering.

Yurts

Granny Flats

Sheds

Modular Homes

Cost

Yurts: Generally affordable, with a variety of sizes to fit budget needs. Granny Flats: Higher initial costs due to construction and permits. Sheds: More affordable but less suited for habitation. Modular Homes: Variable, generally higher due to customization and construction.

Durability

Yurts: Designed to endure harsh weather; materials like PVC canvas are durable and long-lasting. Granny Flats: Built with traditional materials, very durable but expensive to repair. Sheds: Primarily used for storage, not designed for long-term living. Modular Homes: Very durable, built with modern standards but repairs can be costly.

Installation

Yurts: Quick and relatively easy to set up, requiring minimal site preparation. Granny Flats: Requires extensive construction time and site preparation. Sheds: Easy to install, but not designed for continuous living. Modular Homes: Installation is quick compared to traditional homes, but site prep can be extensive.

Versatility

Yurts: Highly versatile, can be used for a wide range of purposes beyond living spaces, like studios or retreats. Granny Flats: Primarily designed for additional living space, limiting its use. Sheds: Limited to storage or workshop uses due to lack of insulation and facilities. Modular Homes: High, designed for various living needs but less adaptable once installed.

Environmental Impact

Yurts: Low impact, with materials and designs that blend with environments. Sustainable option. Granny Flats: Moderate to high, depending on materials and construction efficiency. Sheds: Low if used as intended, but not suited for reducing living space impact. Modular Homes: Moderate, though newer designs focus on sustainability.

Our Recommendations based on you

what is a yurt

Price: $11,000

Purchase Now
what is a yurt

Price: $12,000

Purchase Now
what is a yurt

Price: $13,500

Purchase Now
what is a yurt

Price: $15,500

Purchase Now

Given the diverse array of yurts available from Yurt In The Dirt and considering the specific needs of individuals seeking leisure, additional space, or alternative living solutions, our recommendations are tailored to align with these distinct purposes. Each yurt size offers unique advantages, making them well-suited for various applications:

Leisure

For those looking to create a leisure space, such as a yoga studio, meditation area, or art studio, the 4.5 metre yurt is an ideal choice. Its 16sqm floor area provides ample room for individual activities or small groups, ensuring a cozy, yet functional, retreat. The 2.9m dome height and the inclusion of a skylight allow for plenty of natural light, enhancing the ambiance of a peaceful getaway spot.

  • Recommended Use: Yoga studio, meditation area, art studio
  • Why It’s Best for Leisure: Compact size with sufficient space for personal hobbies, enhanced by natural light and easy to integrate into any backyard or natural setting.

Additional Space

For families or individuals requiring additional space, whether for a home office, a study, or a guest room, the 5 metre yurt offers a perfect balance between size and practicality. With a 20sqm floor area and a 3m dome height, it provides enough space to be comfortably furnished for various needs, without being too large to maintain or heat/cool efficiently.

  • Recommended Use: Home office, guest room, study
  • Why It’s Best for Additional Space: Offers a moderate amount of space without overwhelming a property, and can be easily adapted to suit changing needs over time.

Alternative Living

For those considering a yurt for alternative living, such as a semi-permanent residence or an eco-friendly housing solution, the 6.3 metre and 8 metre yurts are highly recommended. The 6.3 metre yurt, with its 31sqm floor area and 3.1m dome height, is suitable for singles or couples looking for a compact living space that still offers the comfort of a traditional home. The 8 metre yurt, boasting a 50sqm floor area and a 4m dome height, provides ample space for a family, featuring distinct areas for living, sleeping, and dining. Both sizes offer excellent insulation and the durability needed for long-term use, making them ideal for those committed to an alternative, sustainable lifestyle.

  • Recommended Use: Semi-permanent residences, eco-friendly homes
  • Why They’re Best for Alternative Living: Larger floor areas and heightened ceilings make these yurts suitable for full-time living, offering a balance of comfort, sustainability, and connection with nature.
About Author

Meet Ryan Smith, the passionate founder of Yurt In The Dirt. With years of living in yurts and hands-on experience in every facet of their creation, Ryan brings unmatched expertise and enthusiasm to the world of sustainable living. His commitment to quality and love for the yurt lifestyle fuel our mission to connect more people with this extraordinary way of life. Join Ryan and discover how yurts can transform your connection with nature

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