Yurts continue to grow in popularity and it’s easy to see why when you think about the versatility of yurts. They really can be used for almost anything, from a yoga studio, an office, a vacation spot in the mountains, to glamping or even as an Airbnb.
Adding amenities such as plumbing and electricity can be done in most applications, and it is possible to DIY these features into your yurt. A kitchen and a bathroom are something that most people who are using their yurt as a home or as a vacation rental will want to add.
Let's focus on the bathroom. With a larger yurt, you can add a bathroom as part of the interior of the yurt. If you have a smaller yurt, you’ll probably need an exterior bathroom, either by using another smaller yurt, or by building a site-built structure.
Things To Check Into First
Depending on your location and local building codes you may be required to get permits to add plumbing to your yurt.
We encourage you to check with your local building planning department to check and see what, if any, permits you will need.
Don’t let building codes or permitting stop you in your tracks. The local planning office will be able to direct you on which codes will be applicable for adding plumbing to your yurt.
If you plan on hiring a contractor to do it for you, then it is possible that they will be familiar with the local codes and requirements.
Building Your Bathroom
A yurt is circular and open inside which makes privacy a bit of a problem. Most yurt owners with a large yurt choose to frame an interior bathroom to ensure privacy. Typically, this is done by a local contractor after the yurt is put up, but it is possible to do it yourself.
The framing for your bathroom would be constructed in the same way that you would build a conventional stick-built home.
We recommend building your bathroom with an enclosed ceiling as this will reduce noise and help with ventilation. In some applications the ceiling of the bathroom can also be built for use as a loft area.
Usually customers will plan the yurt interior so that the kitchen and bathroom share a common wall. This will mean that you will only have to run one line for the plumbing.
Some yurt owners have purchased two yurts, not necessarily of the same size, and have dedicated one of the yurts as a luxurious bathhouse. There are a few ways to connect yurts if you decide that this option is right for you, whether with help from a local contractor or as a DIY project.
The methods of connecting a yurt include building a hallway, breezeway, or through a direct connection (meaning that the yurts are side-by-side and connected straight to each other).
One of the most common ways to accomplish hooking your yurts together is by using wood stud walls, such as you would see in a stick-built home. This is done by securing each yurt to the exterior door frames.
You can also set up the yurts so that they are set adjacent to one another and won’t have a hallway or breezeway.
Plumbing Your Yurt
You will want to ensure that you are using the appropriate material required per your local building codes. Most likely you will also need to have a local building code inspector inspect your plumbing lines before you can occupy your yurt.
The first thing that you will need to do is to locate the water lines that are on or near your property. The best way to go about this is to contact your local water department as they should have plans indicating where the lines are on or near your property.
Depending on your area, there are also third-party companies that you can hire that will come out to your property and locate lines for you.
If you are also planning on running electricity to your yurt from the local grid, then a third-party company would probably be best as they can locate all the lines at one time.
This step really is only applicable if there are utilities already run in the area where you are erecting your yurt.
The next step will be to dig down to the plumbing line on or near your property. Make sure that you take care of digging so that you don’t accidentally break the main lines. Once you’ve found the pipe make sure that you dig out enough dirt so that you have enough room to work on connecting the lines.
Before making the connection from your pipes that are running from your yurt to the local utilities, you will need to contact your local water company to request that they turn the water off to the main water line. Once this has been done you can hook up the pipes.
Once you have the connection ready to go, you will want to contact your local water company and request to have that water line closed off.
When that has been done, you will cut into the pipe and add your connection, making sure that it is secure and won’t leak. From there you will lead that new pipe up through the ground and into your yurt home.
The last thing that you will need for this step, is to fill in the dirt around the main hookup, making sure that you compact the dirt around the pipe as you go.
After you’ve reached this point the next thing will be to hook up the toilet, sink, shower, etc. in your yurt. One thing to bear in mind is that with all of your sinks, showers, toilets, etc., they will all need to drain into the central pipe that leads to the sewer or septic line.
The last thing to do with your plumbing is to test it by dumping water down the drains in the shower and sinks. You will also want to flush the toilet several times. As you pour water and check the drains, follow the pipes and make sure that you don’t find any leaks in your plumbing.
Where To Run Your Plumbing
As you are building the platform for your yurt you will want to run the plumbing and sewer line at the same time. The plumbing will be run underneath the platform and will be run up through the floor of your platform.
By this point you should have decided where you plan on having the bathroom and should have the bathroom walls put up.
The plumbing line will then be run up through the partition walls. If hooking into a sewer or septic system, then standard plumbing connections can be used.
If your yurt is set-up in a remote location, then the best option will either be to use a composting toilet, greywater systems, or by digging a well on your property.
The Bottom Line
Adding a bathroom or kitchen to your yurt home just takes planning, knowledge of local building codes and requirements, building and plumbing expertise, as well as manpower. It is definitely doable and having these added features are welcomed and so rewarding!