Yurt Frequently asked questions

I often get messages and emails asking various questions about our yurt. Recently a reader asked if I had a FAQ post specifically on the yurt, which I thought was a brilliant idea. I don't remember doing one so so here we are. 

Why did you choose a yurt? 
When we bought our farm it had zero infrastructure. Because we wanted to live on it immediately we looked extensively at numerous housing options before settling on a modern yurt. They can be fully erected within a few days, there is no further insulating/plastering to be done on the external structure, they offer a comparatively large space which can be sectioned off, (compared to a caravan/tiny home) they are affordable and when we do eventually build a home it will become an interesting and unique B&B.

How big is your yurt?
It is a 30ft yurt. We have it roughly divided in half and downstairs, we have two bedrooms and an upper loft which is divided into two spaces. We built a small walk-in pantry underneath the central half spiral staircase. The other half is an open kitchen/lounge/dining area. We are really happy with this layout and feel we have maximised every inch of the space we have. You can see a floor plan below and there are built-in shelves in the boys' rooms in the mezzanine which are above our wardrobe and the other one. 

What yurt company did you use and why?
We did a lot of research into various yurt companies, yurts are far more common in the USA then they are here in Australia and we settled on Pacific Yurts. They have a long and reliable history of producing good quality yurts, an excellent and comprehensive website and were brilliant to deal with.  

Here is their link Pacific Yurts  

Pacific Yurts came highly recommended and had clear customizable options. They have a history of excellent customer service and utilising the best materials available, which is why we choose them. We felt we could trust them with our money and that they would deliver what they promised. 
Blue Mountain Yurts are an Australian supplier of the American made Colerado Yurts. They are worth looking into, though I have no personal experience with them so with anything, please do your own research. It's a big cost item! Sometimes we talk about putting a second smaller yurt for more space for the kids as they grow and if we decide to do this we will look more closely at them, purely due to the import costs which we were caught out by. 

However, we remain incredibly happy with our Pacific Yurt and highly recommend them. 

What is your yurt built on?
Our yurt is built on a timber platform. The platform is built from hardwood turpentine stilts, felled from our own property with treated pine joists with yellow tongue flooring laid on top. We have hardwood flooring laid on that. The platform plans are included in the yurt instructions, and you can get them emailed to you prior to your yurt arriving. 

How much did it cost?
We paid about $30k for the yurt itself. Though this will fluctuate depending on what the Aussie dollar is doing. However, we got caught out with shipping which added an extra $12k on the Australian side of things. This included things like GST, import taxes, handling fees, storage space, customs manager etc. 

How did you import it?
Pacific Yurts crated our yurt up brilliantly and it was packed into a 20ft shipping container.
You will need to hire a customs manager who will liaise with the company to organise shipment.  
You also need to be aware of the brown marmorated stink bug when importing timber from the USA. Fumigation and then a quarantine period may be required depending on the season. We were fortunate we didn't need this as the already high import cost could have skyrocketed. 

Australia's borders are highly regulated and at this time, Pacific Yurts had not imported many yurts into Australia so they were unsure themselves on how to ensure they were following Australian protocol. We worked it out together, and I know they had a couple more yurts being built to ship to Australia so no doubt they have their procedures in place now.   

What is the yurt made from? Our yurt is a modern yurt, made with modern technology and materials. You can read about the construction and materials here

What is it like living in a yurt?
It's good. The yurt linings are very thin compared to a conventional building so the temperature fluctuates quite a lot. Though with the windows open and fans on we do ok in the sub-tropics. I feel like the temperature is easier to manage in the winter with the wood oven on. Due to condensation building on the windows when it's cold, it's important to keep airflow moving to help dry out the condensation to minimize the risk of mildew forming. Fans can help this. Though we have not had this problem, I have read of others struggling. 

Due to the yurts thin walls, the dome and many windows, we feel very connected to nature. We can hear the winds shift, the leaves rustle and the birds sing with clarity. Which we love. When I go into a conventional home I'm often surprised by the feeling of disconnect to nature. Perhaps it is also the yurts exposed timber and gently curved walls that help make it feel like a peaceful building. When it rains, however, it is very noisy! 

Would you choose a yurt again? 
Grant and I have talked extensively about this upon reflection. Though long term perhaps it might have saved a little money to build a shed home or something similar, we didn't want to be living in a dusty building site with a young family for many years to come. The speed and simplicity of erecting the yurt was the biggest appeal for us, and all things considered, it has given us a comfortable little home. We still feel we have made the right decision for our family as the yurt has given us the chance to think about what kind of home we want to build on the farm in the future. When that time comes, we will be able to do much of the work ourselves which can save a lot of money. We will not be forced into rushed or sub-optimal decisions due to needing to get into it quickly, as we are quite comfortable here.   

Let me know if there are any further questions and I can edit this post to include them for future reference. 

Much love, 

a trip away and birthdays galore!

As the Landcruiser rumbles down the track, silence descends over the yurt. School is back. I am always torn at this time of the year. Thankful for the headspace to be able to focus on my own projects but aware that three of my very favourite people will be spending their days away from me once again. 

Catching up with Sally and Brian from Jembella Farm. We forgot to get all of us in the photo though! Doh. 

I'd like to say I'm one of those mothers who has everything well organised, labelled and in order two weeks prior to school returning but alas, I am not. I'm more of a fly by the seat of your pants mother. But despite that, we muddle through with black dress shoes scuffed in mud and me shoving old school hats re-labelled with permanent texta and hastily scrawled initials inside the brim in their bags as they file out. Late on day one. But there are new school bags, clean uniforms, fresh-packed lunches and drink bottles filled with cool water so I'm sure they will survive.    

It's quiet here without them though. 

Will and Tucker on the road. 

For the past week and a half, we have been interstate and we were finally able to introduce Elsie to friends and family. It was wonderful, emotional, challenging and joyful all at once. 

The drive is hard. It's roughly 2000kms each way which we tackle over two days on either side of the trip. Being the middle of summer, crossing the Hay Plains gets hot and the airconditioning in the Landcruiser struggles to keep up.  It's the first time Elsie has done the drive and considering the long days in the car, she did brilliantly. She got to meet met her Aunties, Uncles and cousins and we had a wonderful time catching up with them all. We also managed to catch up with a couple of dear friends though sadly we couldn't fit everyone in. Hopefully next time our trip will be longer. Despite that, my heart is full and I feel re-rejuvenated to keep going here. A change of scenery is good for us I think. To have a break from the endless to-do list, reflect and re-prioritise the next couple of tasks at hand. 

But still, it is good to be home again and back to our familiar daily rhythm.  

Elsie didn't sleep well while we were away, she's happy to be home and back in her own bed. 

Elsie turns one in a couple of weeks. Can you believe it? I'm contemplating sewing her an indoor swing or making her a 14" Waldorf doll. Either way, I'll be pulling out out the sewing machine and taking over the kitchen table for a bit. I have been keeping my eye out for some wooden building blocks on Facebook marketplace, but I am yet to find some that are not overpriced. I mean, they are not expensive but I don't understand why people are asking $25 for blocks I could buy new for the same price. Marketplace can be weird like that. Sometimes there are good bargains to be had, and other times people price items far too high and they sit there for weeks. But, in our desire to buy second hand where possible and utilize items that already exist rather than continue the demand for "new" we shall wait. 

Aside from that, there will be a simple homemade meal consisting of a roast chicken, veggies and mashed potato for dinner which is her favourite meal, and a pale pink iced butter cake. If it's hot we might take her to the river for a dip. She loves the water!

While we were away Angus turned 10! He requested tacos, homemade mud cake for dinner. As well as a play with his cousins and a swim for the day. He also discovered sparklers at his grandparents' place which made for a happy surprise.  

Anyway, I had best get on with the days jobs. There is sourdough to feed, dishes to do, biscuits to bake, washing to hang, a dirty load to put on and two big loads to fold, floors to mop and a suitcase still to unpack. We are having butter chicken for dinner so I should get the chicken thigh out of the freezer before the day completely escapes me! 

Much love,

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