Since no two people are the same, no two yurts need to be the same. Think of a yurt as a huge canvas (pardon the pun) to express your individuality!
Some people may like the open space and not want to break it up without any interior walls or barriers. Others, often out of necessity, will divide the space up into smaller areas to create privacy for bedrooms, bathrooms, and functional kitchens.
There is no right or wrong. However, there are a few helpful pointers I can give you.
At the time of your purchase, I will assist you with your yurt window and door layout, which gives you a good “map” of what goes where. I’m also happy to draw up a suggested plan for the functionality of your yurt.
Take the Madera, for example: you may say, “we really want to keep the yurt as open as possible but we have lots of friends, family, and grandkids who may visit so we need a loft. We also need lots of storage space as we will be living in the yurt full-time in our retirement, so a pantry, a large closet, and a stackable washer and dryer would be nice. The most important feature we would like is a back door – like a mud-room entrance for the grandkids to use when they are playing outside and have to use the bathroom!”
First tip: ask for help if you are having trouble picturing how your yurt will look and function.
Second tip: there is no rush. I recommend that you ease into your yurt and see if you can live in the round without moving forward with a loft. This waiting-time will give you time to save up for the building materials you will need. Believe it or not, many folks that were initially going to put it a loft, tell me that they just fell in love with the open energy of the yurt and decided against it in the end.
The key lesson here is that “less is more!”
Third tip: think outside the box! This is yurt living, after all 😉 More and more yurt dwellers are looking into the possibility of adding secondary yurts to the main yurt.
The cool thing about this is that it can be done at any time. If you plan ahead by adding a second or third door to the original yurt order, years down the road you can add a bedroom or rec room yurt quickly and easily.
Another tip (#4) is to place the majority of the plumbing needs in the connector. It is easier to plumb and wire the stick-built structure. Also you can provide traditional insulation underneath and in the walls. Again this can be a build-as-you-go plan. Live in the original yurt until your family grows or you have time and money to expand.
When it comes to a loft, it is key to recognize that the only “usable” space is in the center of the yurt. The perimeter of the loft is only useful for shoe storage because of the slope of the roofline. When you design your loft in the center of the yurt, you block all the natural light to the floor below. I usually try to have the stairs or ladder access in the middle of the yurt as well.
Try to design the loft with daylight, usable space, and necessity in mind. Again, less is usually more.
My last tip is this simple rule: do what makes your heart sing! Walls don’t necessarily need to be parallel, stairs can be at an angle, and kitchens must be functional by YOUR standards.
Give me a call if you want me to help layout your dream yurt.