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Plumbing and Electricity in a Yurt

Is it possible to have utilities (like electricity and plumbing) in a fabric yurt? What about solar power?

How do you get electricity run to your yurt?

How do I add a bathroom?

Can I add a kitchen?

Are yurts sustainable?

Can a water catchment system be made?

Is it possible to have utilities (like electricity and plumbing) in a fabric yurt? What about solar power?

Most of the utilities used in conventional homes can be installed in a fabric yurt.

  • Plumbing and electricity are usually brought up through the floor and can be run through interior walls that you install in the yurt to create rooms.

  • You can also run cords through the khanna if you are not making interior walls.

  • It is important to keep all cords away from water and any potential fire hazards.

  • An option for cold climates is to install plumbing that is easily drained when you leave for any length of time during the winter months.

  • Many fabric yurts are used in remote locations where it is common to use solar power, water catchment systems, and composting or sawdust toilets (see The Humanure Handbook).

How do you get electricity run to your yurt?

Often you can obtain a building permit and with that comes a temporary power pole.  You can run electric cords from the power pole into your yurt.  Or you can get off-grid and run a generator or use solar panels.

How do I add a bathroom?

If you have a larger yurt, you may to frame out an interior bathroom.

  • This could be done (after the yurt is installed) in much the same manner as in a conventional site-built structure or done more simply with fabrics hung from the rafters.

  • The plumbing would be brought up through the floor of the yurt into the bathroom.

  • Venting can be accomplished with downdraft vents through the floor or through the wall of the yurt using a flashing kit; often composting toilets have a built in vent that keeps the yurt smelling nice and require no water to flush them or septic to drain in.

Check local codes concerning composting toilets.  They are widely accepted in Europe, but like many alternative sustainable solutions, the US has been slow to explore and encourage some of these options.

Can I add a kitchen?

Kitchens have been added to yurts in many ways, sometimes just built into the perimeter of the yurt, and not sectioned off.  Others have created walls with standard cabinets and counters purchased from a local home improvement store or Habitat for Humanity.

  • You can create a curved counter along the wall of the yurt by using smaller standard cabinets. This way the only “custom” part would be the counter-top itself.

  • Often you can just take the counter-top and cut it yourself with a saw or grinder with a diamond blade (for granite).

  • Often people who have built walls for a bathroom will put the kitchen against that interior wall so the plumbing can be shared between the kitchen and bathroom.


Are yurts sustainable?

Fabric yurts have a small carbon footprint.  The simple design of the yurt uses much less resources than a traditional stick built home. Yurts are a very eco-friendly alternative for those resolved to living a more sustainable and simple lifestyle. It is worth noting that there are many choices to consider when building or purchasing a yurt and all of these will have effects of how sustainable your particular yurt is.

Can a water catchment system be made?

Yes, we offer a water catchment system to help protect your walls while helping you to harvest precious rain water.

  • Our water catchment system is a fabric gutter that collects run-off from the roof, funneling it through downspouts into your storage tank.

  • The Gutter System prevents water from running down the wall, and helps your side cover last longer.

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About the Author

yurtmanI live in a little sustainable minded yurt village in western NC near AshevilleView all posts by yurtman →