Love Yurts: Homeowners renting out backyard huts
THEY'RE homes that were once scattered across a sixth of Earth's land mass in the days when Genghis Khan ruled much of the world - but Mongolian-style huts have recently been conquering modern Australia.
Homeowners are turning to the traditional huts known as yurts to extend their homes on the cheap or make extra income.
They offer a more affordable alternative to granny flats, can be constructed in one day and getting council approval is relatively straightforward.
Adam Spinner of Blue Mountain Yurts said the concept was popular in North America and Europe and was catching on with Australian homeowners.
"People don't want to get a massive mortgage so they get a yurt which offers a terrific space without breaking the bank," Mr Spinner said.
Newcastle resident Andrew Wise purchased a home with a backyard yurt in local suburb Lambton and said his hut has turned heads.
"Everyone thinks it's really cool and different," Mr Wise said.
He said he was sceptical about having a yurt on his property at first but was won over after listing the structure on Airbnb and being inundated with interest.
"It was the first time I'd heard or seen one. No one really had any idea what it was," he said.
This picture taken on June 27, 2016 shows national
Yurts are Mongolian-style huts that have slowly become popular in Australia. Picture: AFP Photo/Johannes Eisele
The origins of yurts date back to Mongolian nomads, who favoured them due to their easy construction, durability and warmth.
The interiors can be fitted with all the features of a regular home, including a kitchen and bathroom, while electricity can also be fitted.
The huts range in size from 19sq m to 66sq m of floor space and typically cost from $20,000 to $90,000, depending on the size and material.
They're a lot cheaper to build and getting council approval is pretty straight forward. Picture: Peter Lorimer
In comparison, granny flats cost between $100,000 to $120,000.
WHAT IS A YURT?
¢ A round tent covered with skins or felt and traditionally used as a dwelling by nomads in Central Asia.
¢ They were durable, portable and easily transported on the backs of horses and yaks.
¢Modern yurts use materials such as steam-bent wooden or metal framing, canvas or tarpaulin.
¢ Frames typically made of wood, with canvas over the top.