Yurt Or Tiny Home: Which Is The Better Option?

You may be looking for options to downsize your home. Yurts and tiny homes can be great choices and offer unique advantages and disadvantages, making it hard to choose one over the other. If you’re trying to decide between them, read on and find out which is the better option for you.

What Are Yurts

Yurts are structures used for thousands of years by many different cultures. Originating from Central Asia, it used to serve as the home of nomadic people. They were traditionally made from a collapsible wooden inner structure with animal hide or felt draped over it. 

Today, many individuals still use yurts for their portability and flexibility. Modern yurts are made of wood or metal frames covered in canvas, tarpaulin, or vinyl fabric, providing an affordable and durable shelter solution. Another example of a modern yurt is an insulated yurt, popular as temporary shelters and permanent dwellings in places with extreme temperatures.

Yurts provide other advantages that make them an attractive option for those looking for alternatives to traditional housing.

What Are Tiny Homes

Tiny homes aren’t a relatively new concept in housing, but the trend became popular around 2012 when tiny homes on wheels were marketed. Learn more on when did living in a tiny house become so popular.

A tiny home is a type of dwelling with the amenities of a normal-sized home but on a smaller scale. Depending on your sources, these homes can range from as small as 60 square feet to around 600 square feet. They’re also often made from recycled materials or prefabricated materials from a factory. Many tiny homes are typically built on a trailer frame, which allows them to be towed wherever you go.

Related Reading: What’s the Difference Between an RV and a Tiny House?

The popularity of tiny homes has been on the rise in recent years due to their affordability, portability, and low environmental impact. Like yurts, they’re usually much less expensive than traditional houses and require fewer building resources. Additionally, because they can be moved from place to place, they provide more flexibility for people who want to live in multiple locations throughout the year. 

Yurts vs. Tiny Homes: A Comparison

Deciding to downsize or live more simply is becoming more popular today. One of those considering this lifestyle’s main choices is buying a yurt or a tiny home. This section will look closely at both options and compare them in terms of price, size, ease of building, portability, durability, comfortability, and permit process.

  • Ease Of Building

Regarding ease of building, your skill set will determine if yurts or tiny homes are for you. 

Building a yurt requires only a few hours but needs some skill and know-how as it still follows the traditional construction for central Asian nomads. You’ll need to construct the lattice walls, build the internal structure made of a crown, a door frame, and bent roof poles, and cover them with canvas and other waterproof materials. You may need to hire a contractor or use a kit to build the yurt if you’re unfamiliar with carpentry. 

On the other hand, there are different ways to build tiny homes. You can make it yourself from the ground up if you have construction skills. You may also look at available partially or fully assembled prefab tiny homes. They can be set up much faster than a custom build. 

  • Durability

Yurts are designed to be highly durable and long-lasting. The frame is typically made of wood or steel, both materials that can hold up well over time. 

Additionally, the roof and sides of a yurt are usually made of canvas fabric that can be treated for waterproofing and UV protection. These features make them more resistant to the elements and help protect them against mold, mildew, and rot. Many even say they can last 15 to 20 years if properly maintained.

Tiny homes are also quite durable. As they’re designed as permanent homes, frames are typically made of steel or aluminum, both of which can withstand harsh weather conditions. 

Plus, tiny homes often have siding made of vinyl or other materials designed to resist the elements. They come with insulated windows and doors that maintain their temperature and provide an extra layer of protection against the elements. Tiny houses on wheels, however, may need additional maintenance for the wheels and overall upkeep of the trailer.

Regarding durability, yurts and tiny homes can hold up over time. Yet some materials are better suited for certain climates, so it’s essential to consider what type of environment you’ll live in when deciding.

  • Price

Yurts come in a wide range of prices, depending on the features and size you choose. On average, a medium-sized and quality yurt will cost anywhere from USD$12,000 to USD$30,000. The main factor driving the price is the cost of materials used to construct the yurt itself.

Meanwhile, tiny homes typically cost more than yurts. Depending on the size, features, and materials chosen, a tiny house can range anywhere from USD$30,000 to over USD$100,000. The price is driven up by the cost of labor, materials, and customizations that go into creating a tiny home.

  • Comfortability

When selecting a home, comfort is an essential factor to consider. The amount of comfort that a house provides depends on its construction and design and the materials used to make it. The most comfortable homes typically have an efficient heating and cooling system, proper ventilation, insulation, and other features that promote relaxation.

When it comes to yurts, comfort is a minor consideration. Though they may be made of canvas material, these materials can provide insulation against winter and are designed to be weather-resistant. 

Moreover, modern yurts are often equipped with windows and skylights to provide natural light. If your budget allows for it, you can install a wood-burning stove to provide heat in colder climates. There are those called luxury yurts popularly offered by hotels. They come with a soaker tub, a king-size bed, a bar, and a pull-out sofa for a cozy atmosphere, making them an excellent option for those seeking a comfortable living space.

Tiny homes can also be quite comfortable. With the right design and construction, you can have tiny homes with efficient heating and cooling systems and proper insulation. Many tiny homes feature large windows for natural light and ventilation. Various features, such as built-in seating or convertible furniture, may be added as well. People that find joy in the minimalist lifestyle can be a perfect fit for tiny home living.

  • Size

A yurt is a circular structure typically ranging from 12 feet in diameter and 115 square feet to 30 feet in diameter and 706 square feet. And it can come in heights of six to 14 feet, depending on the size. These dimensions mean a typical yurt can house an average of seven to eight persons. In contrast, a larger yurt can accommodate 14 to 16 individuals comfortably.

On the flip side, tiny houses can be smaller than yurts, with some saying that their maximum size is 600 square feet. Nonetheless, with proper design and construction, anyone can maximize the space for tiny houses.

Suppose size matters to you; yurts and tiny homes both provide plenty of options in this regard. Depending on your needs, you can opt for a larger or smaller size and have peace of mind knowing your home is tailored to your specifications.

  • Portability

Since nomads used them, yurts were traditionally designed to be portable structures. This is evident from the collapsible nature of yurts, making them much easier to transport and store. However, modern yurts were designed to be semi-permanent. This situation is due to many shifting to using more secure materials, like wire ropes, metal frames, plexiglass domes, and tarpaulin.

On the other hand, tiny homes built on wheels are highly portable. They can easily be connected to a truck and towed from place to place without disassembly.

  • Permit Process

The permit process is essential to building any home and can determine how long it takes to make and how much you pay in fees. Generally speaking, however, when it comes to yurts and tiny homes, the permit process can be more complicated since they are unique types of dwellings.

Depending on the location, most jurisdictions consider a yurt a temporary structure. They may not require a permit to be obtained for construction. An excellent example of where this likely happen is when building in a remote area. However, some jurisdictions may require licenses for yurt construction, mainly if it’s meant to stay long. Thus, you should check with your local building department for specific policies on permit and zoning matters.

Meanwhile, tiny homes are considered permanent dwellings and require permits for construction and placement. Depending on the jurisdiction, you may need different licenses for various aspects of the tiny home construction process. It’s essential to check with your local building department for exact requirements before beginning the construction process.

Yurt Or Tiny Home: Which One Should You Pick

Yurts and tiny homes are popular housing options but have some key differences. 

Both classic and modern yurts offer an affordable, easy-to-build option with some portability. At the same time, tiny homes require more of a permit process and provide a smaller space than yurts. But tiny homes are expected to last longer and be more comfortable, even by primary standards. They can also be easily transported from one place to another. 

Ultimately, the choice comes down to the individual’s lifestyle, budget, and preferences when deciding which is the better option for them.

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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