Here's a Great Way to Add Living Space to Your Tiny Home

You'll want to take a look at this "Yurt Cabin" on Vashon Island in Washington State. It's a combination tiny cabin and yurt that was designed as a multi phased project. This yurt cabin project was completed in 2009 by Richaven PLLC. They built a cabin, a yurt and a breezeway to create a fully functional tiny home of 1400 square feet. This combination tiny cabin and yurt were designed as a multi phased project.

The initial phase was the tiny cabin build, it was what provided all of the core requirements for a minimum code compliant residence in a mere 232 square feet of space. The second phase in the building project included the design and setup of the yurt that is adjacent to the tiny cabin. The third phase included the design and construction of the breezeway that connects the tiny cabin and yurt. Richaven provided the design and construction services for these projects.

A traditional yurt as it is known in the Turkics or a ger which is Mongolian is a portable, round tent that is covered with skins or felt and used as a dwelling and living space by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. The tiny house structure comprises an angled assembly or latticework of pieces of wood or bamboo for walls, a door frame, ribs (poles, rafters), and a wheel (crown, compression ring) possibly steam-bent. The felt that is sometimes used to cover the yurts is made from the wool of the flocks of sheep that accompany the pastoralists. The timber to make the external structure is not to be found on the treeless steppes, and must be obtained by trade in the valleys below.The roof structure is typically self-supporting, but large yurts may have interior posts needed to support the crown. A yurt is designed to be dismantled and the parts carried compactly on camels or yaks to be rebuilt on another site. Complete construction takes approximately two hours.

Today modern yurts may be permanently built on a wooden platform and they may use modern materials such as steam bent wooden framing or metal framing, canvas or tarpaulin, Plexiglas dome, wire rope, or radiant insulation. You can also purchase remade yurts and platforms from yurt companies found across the country. Yurts made in the United States and Canada are made using hi tech materials. The yurts are highly engineered and built for extreme weather conditions. Unlike the traditional yurts of Mongolia, erecting one can take days and they are not intended to be moved often.

I'm always amazed when I see the Mongolian nomads and their unique ger or yurt homes. They are so cosy and beautiful inside, decorated with colorful carpets and traditional designs inside, and the family lives closely together in this shelter, with their animals staying outside. When it is time to move to another location to follow a food source most often, they pack up their yurt as quickly as they put it up, and pack it on their animals to make the trek to the next location. There is something special about this nomadic way of life, the people seem quite happy and aren't so tied to their processions as we are in the west. The yurt serves as their home and shelter, and being so easy to pack and move, they follow the seasons and somehow make do with what they have. The family's quite often have a lot of people living inside their yurt to include children, parents, and grandparents. They take care of one another, and share a close bond.

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