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.

2016-07-07T12:05:37+00:00

16 Comments

  1. valerie August 10, 2014 at 9:35 am - Reply

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

    • Ryan August 12, 2014 at 11:43 pm - Reply

      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 August 12, 2014 at 11:44 pm - Reply

      I am renting 2 acres of hillside land

      • Br. Curt Beardsley August 21, 2014 at 7:59 pm - Reply

        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.

  2. Timaree August 10, 2014 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    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 August 12, 2014 at 11:52 pm - Reply

      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

  3. Heather August 10, 2014 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    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 August 12, 2014 at 11:47 pm - Reply

      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 August 12, 2014 at 11:47 pm - Reply

      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.

  4. Lisa E. August 11, 2014 at 11:55 am - Reply

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

    • Ryan August 12, 2014 at 11:49 pm - Reply

      Thank you very much. It is a happy and productive place to live

  5. Jean August 13, 2014 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    why your breath smell so strong?

  6. Steve Gardner January 18, 2015 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    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.

  7. Wendy Polonsky April 12, 2016 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    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?

    • Arlene Feld July 15, 2016 at 1:27 am - Reply

      Wendy, please contact me about Natalie
      Lessinger

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