Kevin O'Brien cover

In some ways, the Yurt is the original tiny house on wheels. If you’ve never seen one, a Yurt is a portable, round tent covered with skins or felt and used as a dwelling by nomadic groups in Central Asia. In America, Yurts have been popular since the ’70s, and I’ve wanted to interview a yurt dweller here on the show for some time. Enter my guest, Kevin Obrien, who lives year-round, off-grid in his yurt in New Hampshire. Kevin will explain why he chose a yurt over other forms of housing and what the benefits and drawbacks are for full-time living.

In This Episode:

  • What is a yurt?
  • Is a yurt appropriate for cold-weather climates?
  • Where to buy and what you can expect to pay for a yurt
  • Wind, cold, and heat: the yurt can handle it all
  • Kevin's unique sleeping arrangement sounds super comfy
  • No fridge? Off-grid cooking and food storage solutions
  • Plans for the interior of the yurt

Links and Resources:

Guest Bio:

Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien, long-time dreamer, finally a doer of living simply, off-grid in a yurt on 15 beautiful acres in a tiny NH town. Father of four, Papi of 3. I am a full-time computer hardware guy, a former marine, Odd Fellow member, active options trader, and volunteer firefighter who has slowly but surely taken steps needed to finally get here. Going from standard 2500sq ft, 4 bedroom colonial to a 750 sq ft house to a 491 sq ft off-grid yurt and learning a lot as I go. Finally at a place where it feels like I am where I am supposed to be.


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More Photos:

Kevin's yurt is completely off-grid

He bought everything from a local place

Kevin uses a lot less power than he initially thought he would


He has about a foot of insulation altogether in the floor – and it still gets cold

It took Kevin and his friends about 8 hours to erect the yurt

The supports are all branches


Pergo and then laminate cover the OSB subfloor

There are all sorts of wildlife in the woods around the yurt!


Ethan Waldman 0:00

And then the whole frame of the year is supporting you to

Kevin O'Brien 0:03

That's right. It's an uneven load that for sure.

Ethan Waldman 0:07

Snow is a lot heavier than than one body. That's for sure.

Kevin O'Brien 0:10

That's right. I've had quite a few cheeseburgers, but I haven't tipped it over.

Ethan Waldman 0:19

Welcome to the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast, the show where you learn how to plan, build and live the tiny lifestyle. I'm your host, Ethan Waldman, and this is episode 157 with Kevin O'Brien. In some ways, the yurt is the original tiny house on wheels. If you've never seen one, a yurt is a portable round tent covered with skins or felt and used as a dwelling by nomadic groups in Central Asia for thousands of years. In America, yurts have been popular since the 1970s. And I've wanted to interview a yurt dweller here on the show for some time, enter my guest, Kevin O'Brien, who lives year round off grid in his yard in New Hampshire. Kevin will explain why he chose a yurt over other forms of housing and what the benefits and drawbacks are for full time living. I'd like to tell you about the sponsor of today's episode, PrecisionTemp. PrecisionTemp is making one product to solve two issues that I know everyone deals with in a tiny house, running out of hot water and heating your tiny house. PrecisionTemp has may be amazing TwinTemp Junior propane tankless water heater, which provides unlimited hot water for your tiny house and hydronic heating. This means you get warm heated floors, so there are no cold spots. It's designed specifically for tiny houses and features whisper quiet operation as well as high efficiency. If you want more information on how PrecisionTemp can help make living tiny easier and more comfortable. Visit While you're there, use the coupon code THLP for $100 off the TwinTemp Junior plus free shipping. That website again is coupon code THLP for $100 off the TwinTemp Junior plus free shipping. Thank you so much to PrecisionTemp for sponsoring our show.

All right, I am here with Kevin O'Brien. Kevin is a longtime dreamer finally doer of living simply off grid in a yurt on 15 beautiful acres in a tiny New Hampshire town. He is a full time computer hardware guy, a former Marine odd fellow member, active options trader and volunteer firefighter who is slowly but surely taking the steps needed to finally get where he is. Those were going from a standard 2500 square foot four bedroom colonial to a 750 square foot house. And finally to a 491 square foot off grid. You're learning a lot as he goes. Kevin O'Brien, welcome to the show.

Kevin O'Brien 3:05

Thank you. Thank you very much for having me.

Ethan Waldman 3:07

Yeah, you're very welcome. So I'm realizing I'm thinking that there might be some listeners who have never heard the word yurt before.

Kevin O'Brien 3:25

Sure. I think the official term is ger. It's based off nomadic Mongolian homestead witches, is basically, you know, designed to be picked up and move, you know, with with the hurt as they go. So they're very portable. They're circular structure. And that sort of, there's no interior load bearing walls, it's all you know, the circular design forces all that the, you know, the snow load, if you're a snow load area, to the outer walls is all beers that evenly. So it's pretty flexible inside. You know, they come in a variety of sizes. Mind is a 25 foot diameter. You're okay.

Ethan Waldman 4:15

That means it's it's from one wall, if you walk in a straight line, it's 25 feet until you kind of get to the other side.

Kevin O'Brien 4:23

Yep. Okay.

Ethan Waldman 4:25

I always forget what which that is radius, radius diameter, I got to think back to like, 10th grade or whatever. I

Kevin O'Brien 4:32

had to pause and I hope that right, you know, mathematicians was like, yeah,

Ethan Waldman 4:37

so it's around building and I mean,

Kevin O'Brien 4:48

Yeah, well, I don't really take offense today. My nephew's came up the other week. They were upset over you know, they're like a week left. I'm cold. Let's go back to the nose again. Whatever. Yeah, whatever works, but

Ethan Waldman 5:02

yeah, so I guess. So we've got a good description on a yard and and i will post some photos on the show notes page for this episode. So you can you can take a look at Kevin's here. I guess my next question is, you know, why a yurt? You know, because it seems like you, you know, you had an intentional kind of downsizing, I'm going to say tiny house living journey. Why Why did you choose a yurt?

Kevin O'Brien 5:27

You know, I, it just really appealed to me, you know, part of the, you know, I had this huge house that I'm just working so hard if it's all just to pay for this house, so it really, it really wasn't, you know, good for my lifestyle. You know, whereas, you know, the yurt is, it has some tax benefits depending on where you live, depending on how you set it up. It's very flexible, you know, you don't really be you know, where I live Anyway, you don't need a building permit because it is a temporary structure. So you don't need a building permit, you can slap it up. You can live in a year round, you can, you know with it, with no fixed load bearing walls. Now the interior, you can pretty much set it up the way you like, though, you know, it just it just had a lot of flexibility. There, low cost, but it just it really allowed me to you know, financially do what I wanted to do. You know what was not work that just pay a bargain, though.

Ethan Waldman 6:40

In order to, you know, set up the yurt because I'm I'm assuming Well actually, yeah, let's talk about that. Because you're you're in New Hampshire. And I'm assuming that when you woke up this morning, it was very similar to Vermont where I woke up this morning. It was about negative eight degrees.

Kevin O'Brien 6:59

Yeah. Crazy with Yeah.

Yeah, so there's the interior, the first layer, the layer you see from the outside in, or from the inside out, I should say, is a first the layer is like, like a fabric. I'm not too sure. We thought it was like a nylon, I guess. And then after that is is the bubble foil installation. So you know, what do we are building it look like just a massive just a Jiffy Pop, if anybody remembers those. And then over that goes a heavy duty Canvas cover. So there is a layer of insulation in there. You know, it's not like our 20 or anything, but, you know, the, I have just a wood wood stove for heat is, you know, heats it up. Once I get to the temperatures. It's perfect. Nice. Nice. So

Ethan Waldman 8:03

when you return, you know from your your day.

Kevin O'Brien 8:16

Yeah, no, I so I let the fire die this morning when I left it, I just got home a little while ago, it was it was probably 20 degrees of here, this that's pretty much where it stays, you know, it was 10 degrees outside of the year it would be at 20 You know, it goes right to about there about you know, five or 10 degrees above the outside temperature. Okay. Okay. Now

Ethan Waldman 8:41

does that you know prevent you from having like indoor plumbing.

Kevin O'Brien 8:48

The way I live Yes, but the reason why I don't have the indoor plumbing is the way my town decides if it's appropriate structure is if you have running water so if I were to put in running water then now I need a septic I need you know ID and building permit septic fields, all of that. So as long as I don't put it running water I don't need that. You know, for you know, for a head I have just the nature's head toilet. A composting toilet works great. I get the water from a Sprague you know, download down in the next town over okay. It's just up there and it freezes. You know, sometimes I'll go to work come home and everything's froze, but right. It's not that big. Yeah, yeah. In the grand scheme of things that's a that's a little little problem. Yeah, so

Ethan Waldman 9:42

did you you know, one one issue that that people in tiny houses on wheels can face in cold climates is just the fact that you are on this. Your house is elevate elevated above the ground, and you know, floors can just be so cold

Kevin O'Brien 10:07

Yeah, yeah, so I did talk to a couple people who lived there before I built it. They were like, Oh yeah, the floors get super cold. So, you know, just beef that up with insulation as much as you can. So I did build a it's a I just I didn't use dimension lumber. I went up to a soil bale and got all four by six, hemlock B. Yep. So I laid those as the structure. And then on top of that, I have a two by 10. Block B. Joyce and I put 12 inches of insulation in that and then a layer of OSB over that that I laid like a heavy duty pergo you know, sound dead big insulating layer and then on top of that a laminate floor and it still gets cold that would be that would come through it just feels are your heat. Luckily right now. We've had a lot of snow this year. So you know, the snow is halfway up the windows, so I don't have this. It doesn't come on right now. But it It definitely is an issue. Okay. You know, you're just you're just definitely good be a good pair of slippers. Yeah, totally. Yeah, that's,

Ethan Waldman 11:24

that's what I do in the tiny house too. I've got my warmest slippers are there.

Kevin O'Brien 11:29

Yeah. So

Ethan Waldman 11:33

where do you even get a yurt from where did you get your your yurt from?

Kevin O'Brien 11:38

So I was lucky. You know, I looked around. There's some big great retailers online. I'm sure if you just Google you can find a million of them. But I actually have a guy just in the next town up a little tiny town and he builds up his visitor okay to see his neighbor.

Ethan Waldman 11:51

Sure. Yeah, I'm

Kevin O'Brien 11:52

just Yeah, it's a it's a guy called Ken gagne that heals the company called Two Girls Farm & Yurt. Okay. And so they you know, they don't use like a dimension blubber product for their, for their rafters ever. And I don't know if you can see behind me, but they're all just, it's just little trees. They're all split. That's what he uses in the rafters are, you know, full round? Yeah, they're beautiful. Yeah. And I really liked it. And I liked the the idea of, you know, if I had an issue, I was pretty nervous. You know, I didn't really know what I was getting it though. I was like, Well, if I have an issue, I know where this guy lives. You know, I signed the deal for this at his kitchen table. So yeah, it just it gave me a real good comfort level to know that he was just up the road. And yeah, it was great. You know. And now it's designed for this climate, you know?

Ethan Waldman 12:42

Yes. So, I mean, what does what does a 25 foot? Your costs are what I do mind sharing what you paid for yours?

Kevin O'Brien 12:51

Yeah, no, I was about I think it was about $16,000. With the options that I got. Which that's not the platform. That's not the floor. You know, that's the that's the the outside structure of the year, pretty much to the dole that ends, you know, I got to upgraded doors that I added five windows that, you know, okay. But yeah, so that was about $16,000 for that.

Correct? Yeah. Yeah, I think so. Right now. They took it about, you know, $22,000 you know, with the floor and the installation of, yeah, you know, all the platform work it all that. Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. Yep. platform belt,

Ethan Waldman 13:59

and you're ready to like put up your your, how hard How hard is that installation? You know, how long does it take?

Kevin O'Brien 14:07

Well, I really sweated that, you know, and they they sent a representative they said one of their workers now we'll help you set it up. And I had, you know, a bunch of friends go by it helped. We started I think we started seven or eight the morning and we were done by three or four in the afternoon. It was up nice. Yeah. Nice. And you know, this was an easy because where I live on a couple 100 yards from the road, it is still the only way to get it is on an ATV. You know, just so bad puddles. And all that is, so we had to unload the truck onto an ATV trailer and you know, gibi it all out here. So that added some time but you know, we got it done.

Ethan Waldman 14:53

Wow. That's impressive. Yeah. So here's this is a question from from the chat. Which is a great question. What weather condition impacts a year the most negatively? And they gave a couple examples he called rain wind hail, but yeah, what what are like your Are there any weather conditions that you have to really, you know, watch out for?

Kevin O'Brien 15:20

I guess an odd even snow load could be dangerous. But you know, that's only if you're you're not here. You know, when I start a fire, you know it is. So we had a good snowstorm, the beginning of this year, we got about three feet. And I was home and the wood stove was going in. It just slides off the roof. It just the heat gets under there, heats it up, and it comes off the roof. And sometimes it'll just scare the bejesus out of you when it comes off the sounds of x but yeah. Yeah, it's the I guess that would be the only really dangerous thing, but I've never seen it build up out evenly.

Ethan Waldman 15:58

Right. And so it can it can withstand the wind, like the crazy winds we get here in the northeast.

Kevin O'Brien 16:06

Yeah, yeah. I mean, last night. I don't know what the winds were. But they woke me up several times. I betcha they were 5060 miles an hour. Yeah, definitely. It did. It doesn't bother me. I had a couple of trees come down where I you know, I couldn't get a walk around until they were across the path. But Wow. Yeah. Yeah, the width didn't bother at all last night. That's amazing. I you know, I think the worst season here is July when it's hot is that may just be myself just because I don't like he, you know, I don't like you know, 100 degrees or 90 degrees. So, to me, that was the worst, but

Ethan Waldman 16:53

yurt other than you know, if you have the solar for an electric fan to just plug in a fan.

Kevin O'Brien 17:00

Yeah, so I live completely off grid. I only have two car batteries. But what I what I actually bought was the Ryobi 18 volt, one system, I bought a bunch of their tools. They have an 18 volt fan. It's perfect. I can just put that on, you know, a battery will last me most of the night. It just, you know, it's, you know, being a doom and gloom. It's you know, it's like two weeks a year or it's unbearable, you know, that. Those two weeks of July we just saw the heat is just killing you. But right. Yeah, where it's like,

Ethan Waldman 17:38

that's how it is like everywhere else all summer. But we're we're just like not used to.

Kevin O'Brien 17:46

Yeah, yeah, it gets above 35. I just can't take it, you know, but yeah, yeah, definitely. You know, one of the things is I also sleep at a hammock, which, you know, just like the whim helps or steals the heat when you're it goes underneath the year. It It also works in the summer. You know, when you sleep at a hammock, the wood just goes right underneath it. So that helps. cool things down quite a bit.

Ethan Waldman 18:14

Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. And do you sleep in the hammock in the winter too?

Kevin O'Brien 18:19

About 5050? Okay, yeah, I do have it's, I use my hiking hammock. It's, you know, I have a doubt insulation that you have to use the winter for the same reason, but the summer you could just you know, no installation. Cool. Right down.

Unknown Speaker 18:39

Can you hang?

Ethan Waldman 18:40

Do you hang the hammock right off of the the frame of the year?

Kevin O'Brien 18:44

Yeah. So there's an aircraft cable that runs around the perimeter. Okay. Yeah, that's what the, I guess you'd call brasseurs. Come down to a push against that. And I put the couple carabiners. I hooked the habit right to that. Yeah.

Ethan Waldman 19:06

And then the whole frame of the year is supporting you to?

Kevin O'Brien 19:10

That's right. It's about 80 of either load that for sure.

Ethan Waldman 19:16

But snow is a lot heavier than than one body, that's for sure.

Kevin O'Brien 19:21

That's right. I've had quite a few cheeseburgers, but I haven't tipped it off yet.

Or does it kind of go out? Right. So he talked with the owner, Ken about that and he really highly, highly recommend that, that you've just put the woodstove in the middle of the year. Okay, otherwise they're it's just a real pain to get even eat, you know, get the heat to move around. You lose a lot of heat through the sidewall it's Yeah, you know, you have to cut through your fabric. So he couldn't stress enough that you know if you've got to have a wood stove for heat, put it through the door. So buy goes right through the dope. Okay. And with by doing it this way, I don't have a dole that lifts up. So that hurts me a little bit in the summer where I can open that up to vent. But I there's probably a way around that I could probably take the black Pipe down as you know, put the exhaust fan up there. But but it's, you know it I don't really have I've used a lot less. So this is my first full time winter here. And I had cords of wood everywhere set up. You know, I had no idea what I was gonna burn. Yeah, I just barely bird. You know, maybe two chords so far this year. That's awesome. Yeah, that's Yeah. I know. I mean,

Ethan Waldman 21:06

my parents heat with wood. And they don't even heat think, you know, they don't even need to heat their whole house with wood. It's just part of their house. And I think they go through more than they've probably been through more than two chords this winter so far.

Kevin O'Brien 21:18

Yeah, it's pretty, pretty cold. You know, but, you know, once you get the woodstove up the temperature, the place just stays nice and toasty. And the snow load, you know, the snow building up around the base that helps tremendously. Help.

Ethan Waldman 21:38

So, you know, you mentioned when we started, you know, that, that the structures are designed to be very mobile. Have you know, do you have plans to potentially move it? Or like, I don't know, if you travel with a yurt I mean, I'm sure it's fairly large when you take it down.

Kevin O'Brien 21:58

Yeah, I they are designed to be ball ball and it could, I could do it, but I don't want to you know, my plan here, as you know, probably within the next year or maybe two years, build, you know, a small log cabin or timber frame on this property. You know, this will be covered Airbnb, you know, I live right on the snowmobile trail. Nice. So, yeah, this I'll be using that for Airbnb for snowmobiles, Bilbo villars if you're just to get away from people that want to just, you know, in the summer or whatever, just relax out of the woods. Yeah,

Ethan Waldman 22:34

awesome. Awesome. Here's another another great question from the chat which is what what is the one thing you wish you knew before you began your living?

Kevin O'Brien 22:45

So that's a great question because you know, I would I sat there and every day I would try to think of all these problems I could run into you know, what do I need make sure I have everything you know, set money aside for this and that Okay, I'm going to get this done first that your priority list the biggest thing on my list was power. You know, I gotta I gotta cut this down I got to get all this stuff so I can have power power power is when I got here I realized oh, wait a second. I don't need power I don't need to come home and run a big screen TV you know I don't need to yeah you know, I thought our refrigerator was gonna be you know, a must you know, that was my my goal to get power so I can have the refrigerator set up but I realized Well, I don't really need that. And it shocked me you know that I had less money set aside to get all this power set up and you know, it I don't need it. I don't need the refrigerator. I live just fine without it. I had to switch to black coffee but I'm okay with that. It wasn't that big of a deal. Yeah,

Ethan Waldman 23:54

yeah. So do you do your you do your cooking like on a on a campstove essentially?

Kevin O'Brien 24:02

Yeah, well this this time of year I cook just about everything about woodstove on the woodstove sure yeah just I'll just you don't like tonight I just throw a pot roast out to the wood stove and just let it go while I'm doing my stuff and nice but i did i do have a little little camps one burner camp stove that I could use like Yeah, well that's great for cooking rice or if you need to cook at a low temperature into the summer I just bought a nice grill you know that's outside on the deck and I cook it I just it just works pretty good. I work on the road for work so you know if it was something that has to be you know, refrigerated say, you know, oh, I want a steak that I could just, you know, get it from the store or hold it cook it on your way home? Yeah, in the summer. You know, right now I just have the world's biggest refrigerator. You just chuck everything outside. Yeah, you know, it's good to go. But

Ethan Waldman 24:56

yeah, that's, that's also what we do. We just keep a cooler On our on our porch of the tiny house and it's the freezer D and the cool it's you know, it's in a cooler mainly just to prevent any animals potentially from just in case finding their way to the food.

Kevin O'Brien 25:17

Yeah, so I did I did leave a steak outside last night. I was gonna cook it last night. I didn't get to it. I threw it out of the step. Yeah, sure enough, there was coyote tracks out there. They didn't know. They were out. You know, they were 20 feet away, but they bring it up again. But yeah, I know better than I should throw it looks. cooler. But,

Ethan Waldman 25:39

Tom, I'm curious about your windows. Are they? Are they glass? Or are they like a clear fabric?

Kevin O'Brien 25:46

Uh, yeah, there's a clear plastic. It's pretty thick. Okay. I guess it's plastic. Yeah, I'm not too sure what the material is, but it's a clear see through plastic. Okay. Like you do lose quite a bit of heat through.

Ethan Waldman 26:03

Right, because they're not your you don't have that insulation where you've got those clear panels.

Kevin O'Brien 26:09

Right, right. Yeah, they just, they basically just go on to the Europe with Velcro. You can, you know, I have one of those little infrared heat guns, you can see the heat coming through there, for sure. But now you just start a piece of wood on the fire. You'll be good. Yeah. I like that. So how would you describe? You know,

Ethan Waldman 26:33

your It sounds like you really were planning for more infrastructure, you know, like, as you mentioned, like to have power so that you can have refrigeration? You know, and then you realize that you didn't need that much. Can you just say more about that? Because I really, I just love that

Kevin O'Brien 26:53

part of your story. Yeah, I guess you know, you don't you know, you only base your, your decisions of what you think you do the way you live before. Which, you know, until you do something, you realize, Oh, well, I don't need to do it that way. You know, I mean, I don't need to have a big screen TV. You know, I still have it because I bought it before I moved here. Yeah, you know, I could run a generator, I do have a generator. So I could run by tools. You know, things like that. You know, if my girlfriend comes over to watch a movie I do, we can put the generator on or to watch it. Right. But that's not a need. It's not like I have to have that. You know, I guess you know, I would come home from work before. And you just flip on the TV. Maybe just because, you know, I don't know, the noise helps or but now, you know, I just love the silence. I just I just enjoy coming home. You know, you hear the owls and the coyotes. You hear every little thing out there is? Yeah. You know, it's just it's very peaceful. Yeah, without all that clutter. You know, the the noise of just white noise? I guess you would call it but

Ethan Waldman 28:14

yeah, yeah, I guess you tune into a new kind of base level noise of the nature that's around you.

Kevin O'Brien 28:23

Yeah, yeah. And yeah, it's just, you know, if I was worried that, you know, like, God, I won't be able to take the cold, I won't be able to do this. I won't be able to do that. And yeah, your body just sort of adjust. You know, like, my son came over the other day, he's like, Well, can you put some word of the fire to 10 degree? Is that? Oh, yeah, I feel pretty good. I don't even notice that we heat the place up, but I guess I gotta be cognizant of that. But

Ethan Waldman 28:55

um, curious. You know, you mentioned that the town that you're in which we're not going to name it.

Unknown Speaker 29:04

You know, you,

Ethan Waldman 29:05

you didn't go with running water, because that kind of burns your structure? You know, it makes it so that it's no longer a temporary structure. I'm curious, is it is it legal for you to live in this year in your town full time? Or is it kind of like the gray area that you're, you're living in a temporary structure? So, you know, you're not necessarily supposed to be there 365 days a year? How does that work?

Kevin O'Brien 29:33

Yeah, there's no restriction on that. There are, there are people who live in this town that have no hookups. You know, they're just completely off grid. Yeah. Just Just like I what I found when I went, I went before the planning board, and I told them, you know, everything I'm planning to do and I was like, Well, what are the laws? You know, what do I have to do? And they were sort of like, well, gee, I don't really know either, so Yeah, I guess a lot of times are covered face to face with this, you know, especially with the Tiny Homes all happening that, you know, they have to have some sort of plan, you know, just so people, you know, they could give people a consistent answer. Yeah. But yeah, you know, so they worked with via, you know, and I was very upfront with what I plan to do is, you know, live here for, you know, while I'm building, you know, by, by my other house, which will still be tiny, but, right. But yeah, so, you know, they, you know, I worked with them, you know, and they, they have the same question. Well, what, what is it? You're right, and I had given them the heads up, you know, because I knew a bunch of before I was going there, and so I emailed them beforehand and said, I'm coming and I'm gonna be asking these questions, though. You know, if you want to do a little homework, that's a good, that's a good tip. Yeah, look up what I'm going to be talking about.

Ethan Waldman 31:00

Yeah. And did they have any, like, you know, did they change anything about your plans in terms of how you built your platform or anything like that?

Kevin O'Brien 31:11

No, because it because it's a temporary structure. I don't need a building permit. Yeah. Sweet. So it was it was basically just, you know, go for it. You know, nice. Do, hey, presto, a little less restrictive than a lot of places, you know, where, if you want to put your own electric bill and burn your house down, it's your house, go for it, you know,

Ethan Waldman 31:40

Live Free or Die.

Kevin O'Brien 31:41

That's right. Right. But yeah, you know, I'm sure they don't like be living here without paying those taxes. You know, I'm sure that

Ethan Waldman 31:54

do you on your on the property though? Yeah, yeah. There. Are there no property taxes in New Hampshire.

Kevin O'Brien 32:00

There are property taxes are pretty steep.

Ethan Waldman 32:02

Yeah, so sales tax in New Hampshire.

Kevin O'Brien 32:05

Right? No sales tax, though it attacks. The property tax is pretty steep, which makes up for that, but right. Okay. So this is a taxable structure, just because it's temporary. Right. So, you know, but I do have a workshop that I have built out by the road that I have all my tools, it's off grid tool, but, you know, that's a taxable structure for shot. But so,

Ethan Waldman 32:34

in your yard, you know, I'm just realizing 499 491 square feet is actually like big, especially compared to some tiny houses. So I'm curious, you know, other than your your woodstove, you've got your bed and hammock. You know, what else do you have in your yard?

Kevin O'Brien 32:55

Yeah, I have, you know, a four seater kitchen table, a couple of armchairs that I built you know, I have the TV setup, which is more of a roof divider than anything. And I built a big you know, solid building these big interior walls, like the bathroom wall is is is already built, which is you know, it goes to the ceiling, It functions as a wall and storage. Okay, so, it That's good. I got to the next one is going over here in the living room, which will walk to the bathroom completely. And that will have you know, library bookshelves and a Murphy bed built into it. Oh, cool.

Ethan Waldman 33:38

Okay. Would that be for you or for guests?

Kevin O'Brien 33:42

Probably more for guests. Yeah, yeah. I did have I built a your a Murphy bed at my last house, which worked out pretty good. I built that for my daughter. You know, they're pretty easy. They're pretty functional. But you know, I I still prefer to just sleep at a habit. You know, but yeah, they're just better for your back.

Ethan Waldman 34:04

Yeah, you know, it's my wife and I kind of converted over to sleeping in hammocks when we go camping. pretty much exclusively now. I agree. It's no, there's like no comparison versus sleeping on the ground even with a good you know, inflatable camping pad that that hammock, like winds out from a comfort level? Completely.

Kevin O'Brien 34:28

Right. Right. Yeah, I like the the long trail two years ago. Yeah, and I can't just just my hair back the whole time. You know, I mean, it's the Wheatland. I don't know how people sleep with rocks everywhere. You know, there's trees everywhere so that, you know you'd ever have a place to hang your hammock

Ethan Waldman 34:47

or some of those shelters on the long trail. I've not hiked the long trail, but I've definitely you know, a lot of the hikes that we do around here are just hiked up to the long trail. Some of those like shelters are pretty dark and dingy. So I would much rather sleep in my hammock.

Kevin O'Brien 35:04

Daddy always get that old guy that snoring away. Yeah.

Ethan Waldman 35:11

Well, one thing that I like to ask all my guests is, you know, what are two or three resources, you know, maybe about yurts that you can recommend to our listeners.

Kevin O'Brien 35:23

Oh, boy, you know, I just watched just a billion YouTube videos. Okay. And even though, you know, I still had a lot of questions that I was a little skeptical. So that that was one of the good things was, you know, I found one locally, where I could just, you know, I went right to up to kids house, they have a set up, but I went, and I went to go see it right, in the winter, you know? How is this? You know, no way I can, I can touch it, I can feel like I poke it. You know, I'm on your living at Facebook. That's a Facebook group. You know, people are asked good questions all the time. You know, I'm sure if you say, Boy, I you know, in this area, and I just really want to just touch one, you know, it's a pretty helpful group. So, you know, people I'm sure people would say, Oh, yeah, come by, and, you know, I'll show you a bite or you know, whatever. Nice. Nice. Awesome. Well,

Ethan Waldman 36:25

Kevin O'Brien thank you so much for being a guest on the show. I've really been, you know, wanting to interview someone about living in a yurt and living in a yurt you know, all year round. So, thank you so much for for being willing to come and tell us all the details.

Kevin O'Brien 36:42

My pleasure, thank you very much. Thank you for having me.

Ethan Waldman 36:46

Thank you so much to Kevin O'Brien for being a guest on the show today. You can find the show notes, including photos of Kevin and his yurt, over at Again, that's Thank you so much to PrecisionTemp for sponsoring the show this week. Don't forget to check out the TwinTemp Junior over at And while you're there, use the coupon code THLP for $100 off, plus free shipping. Well, that's all for this week. I'm your host, Ethan Waldman. And I'll be back next week with another episode of the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast.

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