Ryan’s Den

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I built this yurt in the Santa Monica mountains north of Los Angeles. I am experimenting with farming, solar power and a composting toilet.

A yurt home in Santa Monica, California. Owned and shared by Ryan Pickering.

19 comments

  • valerie says:

    I love this yurt! How much did it all cost? How big is your property?

    • Ryan says:

      Hi Valerie,

      I am still working on the house, with the intention of adding a grey water system, a solar thermal system and an earth tube air conditioner. At this point, I have tracked my costs to about 27k, with many small mistakes along the way.

    • Ryan says:

      I am renting 2 acres of hillside land

      • Very nice home Ryan. It says, “Come on in and relax.” even though there’s a desk to remind one of work. I see that you are renting the land. How did you find the property? Is it a friend’s or through an ad. I would like to rent and am curious how it came about for you.

        • Ryan Pickering says:

          Hello! Sorry I missed this comment a few years ago. I stumbled into meeting a land owner and was able to come to a suitable arrangement for everyone

  • Timaree says:

    It looks great! Is it permitted? I am wondering because I like the idea of being legal with a tiny house and didn’t think anyplace in CA would allow for composting toilets or a yurt or any small not “normal” house! I’d love to have a tiny house in the mountains, maybe Idyllwild (I live in Hemet right now) but I’d want to be able to haul it off the property if a fire starts nearby so mine would be on wheels.

    • Ryan says:

      Tiny houses (with wheels) are totally the way to go! Just tricky to get them down into hilly areas. I hope my next home is a Tiny on Wheels. Much better long term investment and easier to stay within the law. Good luck building your dream

  • Heather says:

    Ryan, I’d love to know what kind of preparations and permits it took to be able start building your home. I am considering the same thing in the foothills above Glendale/Pasadena. I have heard that a paved road to the lot and a minimum home size is required in order to build.

    • Ryan says:

      Timaree, I will have to be vague with this question. The foundation, plumbing and electrical is all to California code. Los Angeles County is a cost/bureaucracy preventative place to build a home and I would not recommend it for homesteading.

    • Ryan says:

      Timaree, I will have to be vague with this question. The foundation, plumbing and electrical is all to California code. Los Angeles County is a cost/bureaucracy preventative place to build a home and I would not recommend it for homesteading.

  • Lisa E. says:

    This is, without a doubt, THE best utilization of a yurt I’ve EVER seen.
    GREAT job!!!

  • Jean says:

    why your breath smell so strong?

  • Ryan, your place is so amazing! My wife and I have been very interested in this kind of self-sustainable living since checking out videos of Ben Law. Do you take any visitors? We’re in Santa Monica and would love to learn more.

  • i have property in Agoura, behind the water tanks ,
    10 acres and i have never built on it.
    i remember the commission being very difficult. can you put up a house on wheels or yurt on those properties?

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