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There are two main components to a yurt: The wooden framework, and the outer canvas. The lifespan of a wooden framework is indefinite, depending on the type of wood used and how it has been treated. The lifespan of the wooden framework also depends on the conditions it has been exposed to, and how regularly it is used.
Excessive exposure to UV light can have detrimental effects on the canvas. To prolong the life of your yurt make sure to erect the structure out of direct sunlight. Yurt canvas that has been well looked after can last for as long as 15 years.
It is possible to live in a yurt throughout the winter, and there are different ways of making the experience more comfortable. One of the most common methods is to install a wood-burning stove into your yurt.
The most effective way to install a wood-burning stove into your yurt is to place the stove in the centre of the yurt with the flue exiting through the centre of the canvas. This setup makes the most of the heat produced from the stove. Modern yurts will feature a carbon monoxide detector to ensure safety.
Before building a yurt, you may need to acquire planning permission from your local building authority. The problem with semi-permanent structures like yurts is that they often fall between the lines.
The way building guidelines are interpreted can change from region to region, so it’s wise to contact your local authority before starting with your build. They will be able to tell you whether planning permission is required for your structure.
The cost of building a yurt can range anywhere from $20,000 - $30,000. This cost is dependent upon the size of the yurt, materials used and labour costs.
Theoretically, anybody could live long-term in a yurt. The structure can be adapted for long-term living with the implementation of solar panels, composting toilets and wind generators. In fact, living in a yurt could greatly reduce your environmental impact.
Legally speaking, it could be a different matter. Some states in the U.S for example, consider yurts to be habitable premises and have granted permission for long-term living. However, in the case of Marin County, California, long-term yurt living has been denied as they’re considered non-habitable structures.