Yurts: A Financial Friendly Alternative to Western Style Housing
An Overview of the Economics of Western Construction
It is a widely accepted concept among western civilizations that “bigger is better.” This belief applies to everything from food to architecture, and although impressive and spacious, the wide-spread cooperation in accordance with this mindset may resonate in the pocketbooks of every-day citizens and their state legislature.
The modern idea of a house is a square structure resembling a box, sometimes with multiple levels and either a flat or triangular roof. This contemporary residential dwelling is geared towards having more room in one’s home for furniture, instruments, electronics, etc, by utilizing more square footage to achieve a larger floor space. Unfortunately, this method of building tends to sponsor the rapid accumulation of unneeded household accessories such as nick-knacks, unused “formal” furniture, ignored pianos and other gadgets.
In addition to promoting what could be considered a more materialistic lifestyle, conventional “manufactured” homes tend to cost home-buyers almost ten times more (interest included) than a fully finished yurt. It is not uncommon for a home in a nice residential neighborhood to sell for the upper $200K, while most alternative forms of housing, such as yurts, may sell at $32K for the most upgraded and customized alternative. These higher end yurts almost always include plumbing and electricity capabilities, a lavish interior, and an occasionally innovative space optimization design.
Many first time conventional home buyers, with or without children, find themselves struggling to make ends meet between a high mortgage and the daily expenses of living. On top of this, property taxes, home maintenance, and increased utility bills (a larger space means more resources used) can also lead to significant bills depending on the age, condition, and location of the house that is purchased. Such a huge financial obligation can be a huge, unneeded stress to many families; and often times can result in loan default, bankruptcy, or being forced to relocate. Studies have shown that individuals who live in contemporary manufactured dwellings are less likely to have as much savings in their bank account as someone who lives in an alternative housing solution, and spend up to ½ of their income on their rent or mortgage. These specifics make it clear to see that conventional houses are not the most economical options for people in the real-estate market, but why does the majority of society continue to pay into the social norm? Here are a few reasons:
1) The location and level of comfort.
▪ People are most content when the daily functions of life are as simple as possible. Usually, conventional homes are usually located in close proximity to grocery stores, shopping malls, restaurants
▪ The vast amount of space conventional homes offer allow for a more relaxed organizational lifestyle.
▪ A larger home means larger furnishings. Some people enjoy having a king sized bed, plasma screen television, and full sized leather sofa all in one room for an extraordinary effect. While yurts are able to accommodate most lifestyles, large furnishings and irregularly used items are not favorable to keep in a yurt.
2) Pop Culture
◦ Many people fail to question the legitimacy of social norms and pop culture. Currently, the “box” style home is a huge component of the social norm, ambiguously symbolizing the success and wealth of a family according to size, neighborhood location, and cost.
◦ Many western families prefer having the most space within a home to give each family member their own space. While some families may choose to simply add an additional yurt to accommodate for additional family members, it is common for many families to prefer a full sized home.
3) Fear of Change
• A change of lifestyle can be a very dramatic adjustment in a person’s life. Moving is said to be one of the most stressful situations an individual can undergo, and the switch from an extravagant lifestyle to a simplistic one can be a huge trigger for fear in many privileged western civilizations.
• Downsizing in space also means downsizing in possessions. Many people have valuable possessions they are not willing to leave behind.
Why Yurts Are An Effective Alternative
The structure, concept, and function of a yurt was designed by Mongolian nomads based on the need for an economical semi-permanent dwelling. Over the years, that notion has not changed in the slightest. Yurts are still one of the most (if not the most) affordable and sustainable alternative options to manufactured western homes available on to the public. Yurts have been used as affordable surrogates to space-consuming “box” homes in areas all over the central and western US and Europe, including Hawaii, Oregon, and Ireland.
These affordable structures are fashioned to be constructed of minimal building materials; primarily a light woven lattice wood frame, roof sticks, a center ring, tension ring, and exterior weatherproof fabric. Despite the genius of the frame’s design, it is perhaps the ergonomics and insulating abilities of these modernized dwellings that make them the most valuable tool in leading a financially frugal lifestyle. The circular structure of these dwellings enforce the need for organization, and do not permit the clutter of unused items. The rounded framework of both the walls and ceiling also act as a self running heating and cooling system, pushing air from place to place throughout the yurt, removing the need for conventional air conditioning and gas heaters, which can easily add hundreds of dollars to a conventional home owner’s gas or electricity bill. The design is light enough to transport affordable to even the most remote locations, making the yurt a perfect candidate for supplying advanced residential technology with third world civilizations in need.
This minimalistic approach to these simple buildings’ infrastructure is one of the key design characteristics that makes yurts one of the leaders in exploring a simplified financial life. With the huge cut in utility consumption, reduced up front cost, and ability to reject inessential commodities, yurts are a truly effective piece of economical architecture.