So what the heck is a yurt? A yurt is a portable, circular structure that consists of a durable fabric cover, tension band and a wood frame that includes a lattice wall, radial rafters, central compression ring and a framed door. They were originally created by Central Asian nomads as a means of having durable housing that was also portable. But the modern versions are much more efficient and better crafted.
There are many benefits to owning a yurt. They have a minimal impact on the environment and are portable, customizable and inexpensive. They usually range from 16′ in diameter (200 square feet) to 30′ (708 square feet). Generally the price range is from around $6000 for the smaller sizes to around $10000 for the largest. One of the nicest features is the transparent dome at the top of a yurt. With this you can stare at the stars at night and during the summer remove it which creates airflow that acts as a natural cooling system. Usually a yurt is heated with either a wood or pellet stove, which can keep you toasty all winter long.
Another great feature of a yurt is that they are completely customizable with options for upgrades. Some people put up dividing walls and build lofts in the interior, and others build wrap around decks for the exterior. Many people use a yurt as a vacation home or extra studio, while others choose to live in theirs year round. Many that live in their yurt full time choose to live off the grid with their own solar power, grey water recycling system and composting toilets. Others stick with regular electricity and plumbing.
Yurts are generally quite easy to set up. A platform needs to built prior to set up that matches the diameter of the yurt. The smaller models can be set up with 2-3 people in a couple of hours while the larger ones take 4-5 people a couple of days. There are many companies that supply yurts, usually people purchase regionally for shipping reasons. If you are interested in potentially buying a yurt I would research the companies in your region.