A basic yurt costs $11,500, but prices can reach $75,000 with all-out upgrades
If you’ve ever gone on a road trip and seen a round canvas structure in the remote countryside, chances are you’ve encountered a yurt. And if you’re hoping to have one of your own off-the-grid builds, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know when budgeting for yurt construction.
|Low Cost||Average Cost||High Cost|
What Is a Yurt?
This circular structure originated in Central Asia thousands of years ago and is still used around the world today. It presents an appealing type of structure for many homeowners interested in an alternative home.
In fact, many campsites have adopted modern yurt constructions for campers to rent and “glamp,” which is a fancy form of camping that includes a bed, essentials, and comfort without compromising on an authentic nature experience.
This trend doesn’t just apply to camping. Some homeowners purchase yurts as a practical means of living since they’re more affordable than a traditional home. Whether you plan on using a yurt for your home, office, storage, or guest room, you’ll find this timeless building structure comes in many varieties and price points.
Yurt Cost Breakdown
How much does a yurt cost? It depends on a few factors. The more features, the larger the size, and the higher the level of luxury, the more it’s going to cost. Here’s how the costs break down.
Most yurts are sold as kits, and the cost is dependent on the size of the yurt. Larger yurts use more materials, so the kits come with a higher price tag. In general, without upgrades, expect the following starting prices:
|Diameter of Yurt||Base Price of Kit|
Yurts are traditionally made from either wood or fabric with a metal or fabric roof. Generally, wood costs twice as much as fabric.
Yurts aren’t built on a traditional foundation like a house. They’re built on a base platform made from wood or composite with a concrete footing. Standard base platforms cost $3,000 to $7,000. If you live in a colder climate, you’ll need a base platform with insulation. This is known as a SIPS (structural insulated panel) base and costs $14,000 to $20,000.
Expect to spend anywhere from $500 to $5,000 on insulation for your yurt. Typically, you’ll use rigid foam to insulate the floor and put a radiant heat barrier in the walls. To make things easier, you can purchase an insulation package from a yurt manufacturer. Otherwise, insulation costs are the same as the insulation you’d use in your house:
Rigid foam insulation: $0.25–$0.50 per sq. ft.
Radiant heat barrier: $0.10–$1.00 per sq. ft.
Spray foam insulation: $0.50–$6.00 per sq. ft.
Batt and roll insulation: $0.30–$1.00 per sq. ft.
Yurt kits typically include a basic roof, so there aren’t additional expenses unless you’re looking to upgrade. If you’re building a yurt from scratch, you’ll need to order a roof. Most yurt roofs cost $1,700 to $20,000, depending on their materials and size (and there’s an additional cost for shipping). If you live in a harsher climate or want better durability, you can also splurge on add-ons like a roof cover. Roof costs can include:
Metal roof: $5,000–$24,000
Roof liner: $400–$2,000
Top cover: $1,700–$7,000
Another expense to consider is the cost of delivering your yurt kit or building materials. This can run between $500 and $2,000; however, if you’re ordering separate parts from different websites, you might find yourself paying more for separate shipping and handling costs.
You might also have to pay more if you’re building your yurt in a rural area that requires long drives to access the property for drop-offs.
Labor for building a yurt costs around $2,000 to $5,000, but if you choose to DIY your yurt construction, you can save on these installation costs.
Additional Costs to Consider
Since yurts are so customizable, there are a lot of potential add-on costs. It all depends on the exact build; custom will always cost more than a kit.
|Common Yurt Add-On||Cost|
|Snow and wind kit||$600–$1,600|
|Wood stove and flashing||$950–$4,100|
|Rainwater collection system||$500–$3,000|
Custom Yurt vs. Yurt Kits
Yurt kits cost between $8,000 and $65,000. This is similar to the cost of a prefabricated house. The yurt is built on-site, but you can typically erect it in less than a day with minimal labor costs.
With custom-built yurts, you’ll incur costs similar to that of a tiny home. On average, it takes a pro 120 hours to build a tiny home, and you’re paying for every hour of labor.
Since yurt kits come in a wide range of sizes with plenty of add-on options, you probably won’t need to go custom unless you want to use specialty materials or create a yurt larger than 30 feet in diameter.
Structural Reinforcements and Weather-Proofing
If you live in an area with extreme weather, you may need support beyond the standard latticework walls. Reinforcing your yurt costs $1,500 to $7,500 and may include:
Installing arger rafters
Adding studs around the perimeter of the yurt
Installing compression ring-to-rafter brackets
You can also purchase a snow and wind kit for $600 to $1,600.
Wood stoves are another yurt add-on. They make your yurt extra-cozy in the winter, but you’ll need to install flashing along with the stove itself. Expect to spend $900 to $4,000 on the wood stove, plus $50 to $100 on stove flashing. To make things easier, you can purchase a ready-to-install stove flashing kit.
You can equip your yurt with temperature control as long as you have electrical access. Installing a fan mount will cost $50 to $75, but if you want an actual air conditioner, a mini-split system is your best option. On average, the cost of a basic ductless mini-split AC is $2,000 to $3,000.
Most yurts come with a basic door. Adding charm to your yurt with a French or Dutch door tacks on another $500–$900 to your total cost.
Expect to pay $1,500–$5,000 to upgrade the plastic windows that typically come with standard yurt kits.
Luxury yurts function as full-fledged living spaces with a rustic twist. As such, you might want to install a kitchen. The cost to install a kitchen is anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000, depending on the features.
If you chose a larger luxury yurt kit, a bathroom may already be included. Otherwise, budget $5,000 to $15,000 for the cost of bathroom installation.
Rain Catchments and Water Tanks
If your yurt has a bathroom or kitchen, you’re going to need a water source. Sometimes you can run plumbing right from a main water line or install a water tank, which costs $100 to $1,800. Other yurts use a rainwater collection system. These systems, which collect and store rainwater, are helpful in arid climates and remote areas. Costs can include:
The rainwater collection system: $500 to $3,000
Gutters: $400 to $1,200
Keep in mind that, according to the CDC, rainwater isn’t potable—even if you boil it—because that won’t remove potential chemical contaminants.
Cost to DIY vs. Hiring a Pro to Install a Yurt
Building a yurt yourself will cost anywhere from $7,500 to $35,000. This is significantly cheaper than hiring a local builder to construct your yurt, which costs around $11,500 to $44,000 on average. However, while professional construction seems more costly upfront, in the long run, you’ll likely save on repair costs—an experienced construction pro is less likely to make expensive building mistakes.
Ways You Can Save On a Yurt Installation
The best way to save on your build is to choose a basic fabric model and forgo upgrades. If you do want upgrades, opt for a smaller-sized yurt.
It’s also important to think about your climate. Your yurt needs to weather the storm—literally. Avoid costly repairs by investing in structural support or installing a wind and snow kit if you live in an area prone to extreme weather.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can buy most yurt kits online. A few popular yurt kit companies include Pacific Yurts, Colorado Yurt Company, Great Lakes Yurt Co., and Shelter Yurts.
Since there are so many customizations for yurts, it can be hard to know which yurt is right for you. Yurts are popular for homes, offices, storage, and additional living space, so consider what you plan on using the yurt for and then factor in the size you will need.
If you’re hoping to save money on your yurt construction, there are ways to make it more budget-friendly:
Decide which features are essential and which ones are just nice to have.
If opting for a smaller yurt, you can save more money with a kit.
If you choose to customize your yurt, you can save on parts by only buying what you need.
You may find it beneficial to speak with a pro or yurt dealer to help you in your decision.
On average, a yurt will last for eight to 15 years. How long your yurt lasts depends on how much sun exposure it gets and the quality of the materials used.