Updated: Mar 14
As our business grows we tend to get more and more new customers, but we could never forget how we started and how we still get a lot of our business: word of mouth. Here’s the story of one very contented customer, friend, and now coworker; Dave.
This week we’re excited to share with you the story of one of our customers and a fellow yurt-dweller, Dave. Dave started out as a client, interested in making the transition to yurt life. After the experience of working with us to build and customize his new home he has since become a good friend and has even joined our team as our resident window expert and platform builder. We'll be uploading the audio of this interview soon so you can hear it directly from the man himself.
Dave is originally from Nevada but has lived in California, Minnesota, North Carolina, Washington, and Oregon. Beyond working and living all across the country, he is a grandfather several times over, a great-grandfather several more times over, a finish carpenter, and above all else, “I’m an old guy that lives in a yurt.”
“I’m an old guy that lives in a yurt.”
Dave now lives in his yurt on his daughter’s family’s property outside of Nevada City, California, where our shop and business is based. He first heard about yurts when he was in Idaho, in the midst of consideration over getting an RV to live in, and happened to visit a hot springs in the midst of the Idaho winter. After braving 2 ½- 3 ft. of snow, and a road covered in a sheet of solid ice, he triumphantly arrived at the hot springs entrance building, which happened to be a series of yurts. Coming inside from the harsh weather outdoors, he was stricken by how warm and comfortable the space was with just a basic propane heater, and even with people going in and out all day. Dave recounts that he, “just liked the feel of it, the roundness, the space.”
The property manager himself lived in a yurt and hearing his glowing reviews of yurt life after speaking with him only strengthened Dave’s resolve to investigate the possibility further. He started by reaching out to one of the major nationally-known yurt brands, “The Big Guy” as Dave calls them, but found their product to be too expensive for what he was looking for. After looking at the quality of two locally made products, Dave settled on working with Living Intent to design and build his new home, because he believes that “Living Intent is doing the better product. It’s nice, it’s finished. I’m a finish carpenter, so I notice the little things like that.”
“Living Intent is doing the better product. It’s nice, it’s finished. I’m a finish carpenter, so I notice the little things like that.”
Being a carpenter himself, he built his own platform, installed the subfloor, and installed frames in the lattice in order to install standard home windows. We’re proud to say that Dave is now bringing these skills to the Living Intent team, and we now are offering optional window frames as part of our yurt packages.
Dave has been living in his yurt for almost six months now, enough to experience the range of foothills weather from hot summer days to 18” of snow on the roof, which “slid right off!” Since moving into his yurt, his daughter and her family have noted that they hardly ever see him at the main house anymore, to which Dave says, “I’d rather be down here, to me, this is more comfortable. Even though I’m within a structure, it feels like you’re closer to the outside.”
“Even though I’m within a structure, it feels like you’re closer to the outside.”
For years, Dave had wanted to live off-grid, but at the same time felt intimidated by the prospect of disconnecting. After his experience living in his yurt home, he realized that “not only can you do it, but now I want to be even more off-grid.” His current project is designing a full-bathroom structure that sits on top of a trailer, with shower, toilet, vanity and all. A prototype for a future offering from Living Intent? Stay tuned to find out!
A major motivation for Dave to dive deeper into his off-grid life is witnessing the power cuts in California during the previous year, and realizing how much less they affected him than people tied to the grid. When speaking of his journey into self-sufficiency, Dave says, “The more I see what’s going on in the world, the more I want to.”
There are some difficulties that come with living in a yurt as opposed to a standard home, but Dave says there is “nothing that I can think of that is a real challenge. Once you’re in it for a while, you get used to the sound of the wind, the sound of the rain hitting the roof. I like it now.”
“Once you’re in it for a while, you get used to the sound of the wind, the sound of the rain hitting the roof. I like it now.”
When asked for some advice he would give to prospective yurt dwellers, Dave had these bits of wisdom to impart,
“Start paring down, what do you Really need?”
“Be prepared to not have as much Stuff.”
“Be specific, choose things that have a dual purpose when possible.”
Working with Living Intent to design his home was, “an experience I recommend to anybody because I really believe they produce the best product, at a better or equal quality to the big guys but at less of a price, and especially because it’s a local small business.”
"(Working with Living Intent was) an experience I recommend to anybody because I really believe they produce the best product, at a better or equal quality to the big guys but at less of a price, and especially because it’s a local small business.”
Well Dave, we’re honored to have you as a customer, a friend, and now a member of the team. Happy yurt-dwelling!