Q & A

Q-How long will a Yurt Specialist’s yurt last?

A-We expect the outer canvas layer to last around seven years if your yurt is cleaned and reproofed annually. The roof canvas layer will be the part getting the most extreme weathering. We design this roof layer to be separated from other layers for easy removal or replacement. Our yurt’s timber framework will last indefinitely if the wall lattice and roof poles are oiled every 2-3 years. Our last show yurt was well looked after by us, and we eventually sold it after eight years. Its new owner now loves it.

Q – How do I know the best place to put a yurt on my land

A-Consider the location of your yurt carefully. For example, exposed windy areas will stress the tensioning ropes and crown cap more. Placing the yurt in a heavily wooded area with overhanging trees will inevitably mean more cleaning to prevent canvas greening. Also, good airflow will prevent stagnant air and dampness.

Q-Which oil should I apply to the yurt roof poles?

A-We use boiled linseed oil, which is easily to find from DIY stores or Amazon, and affordable. It absorbs well into the timber and should be applied with a rough cloth. Other oils like Danish/teak work well, too, or even varnish, though it’s best to use an oil which can be applied by hand instead of a brush.
Wood oil should also be applied occasionally to the lower part of the wall lattice, about a foot up from the ground. Heat tends to rise, so this prevents damp spots from appearing in hard-to-heat areas of the yurt.

Q- What products do we recommend for reproofing the yurt canvas?

A- We recommend using Fabsil Gold. This general tent re-proofer is a little pricier than its competitors, but it is worth it. Applied every 1-2 years, this product also has a built-in UV defender, protecting the outer stitching from sun damage and colour fading. An average-sized yurt (5-6m wide) requires 5-10 litres per application. A roller or paintbrush is the easiest way to apply. This can be done when the yurt is up in dry weather.

Q-What type of base do our yurts need to sit on?

A-The most effective and affordable option for a base is timber. A simple timber framework, a few inches above ground level that can be supported by fence posts in the ground or settled on paving slabs works best. This framework should be overlaid with planks such as decking or reclaimed scaffold boards. Ensure that 3 mm gaps are left between the boards to allow airflow and water drainage.
The shape of the base you build is optional. Our yurts come with a groundsheet to protect the yurt on any flat, well-drained surface. The most effective option is a circular base the same size as the yurt, with a small upstand (approx. 75mm) around the perimeter. (A 3-4mm plywood board works well for this job.) This upstand tucks behind the yurt’s outer canvas skirt and won’t be visible. This design prevents any water from flowing under the yurt groundsheet. A separate porch area outside the door can be added after if required.
Your yurt base can be any shape—a simple square or octagon will do. Over the years, we have had customers use many methods to build their yurt bases, from pallets with railway sleepers around the perimeter to steel frame kits that are easy to relocate. What we have learnt is that concrete bases will sap the heat within the yurt. They are also more expensive to build and can change the way local planners view a ‘temporary structure’. This is not the case with timber.
Also, avoid using plyboard, even marine quality, to cover your base. Plyboard has a tendency to warp or blister over time. This can create dips where rainwater settles, eventually rotting the plyboard and groundsheet. The large ply sheets can also restrict air movement beneath the structure. This is less of an issue if the base is circular and the same size as the yurt.

Q- What flooring is best to use in my yurt?
A-There are a few flooring options which will suit various budgets and expectations.
• Polypropylene Dandyweave or Dandydura carpet/matting is currently the most popular. It has a natural woven effect but is easily cleanable and breathable. Similar bamboo-based products also work well.
• Rag rugs- these multi-coloured rugs are thermally insulating and easy to replace as they are so cheap.
• Laminate or engineered timber—This option floats a layer of click-lock wood over a thin underlay that overlays the yurt’s groundsheet and requires no nails. Think of it as a wooden carpet! Allow an expansion gap where it meets the lattice walls. This flooring is easy to mop/sweep clean and good for high foot traffic. The underlay also helps with breathability.
• Natural timber-I.e solid timber flooring. This option will mean the yurt’s timber base must be circular, the same footprint size as the yurt, to prevent water ingress. As the planks will require nailing to the base. This option is easy to sweep/ mop and will cope with high footfall. The timber must be treated with suitable varnish and can be laid over your base when the yurt is built. It may also be worth installing a waterproof membrane beneath the natural timber flooring to protect it from ground moisture.

Q- How do we clean our yurt canvas?
A- Please check out no. 5 on the webpage: Yurt Maintenance Tips.

Q-What’s the best way to heat your yurt?
A-The traditional method is using a wood burner with a suitable heat output for the size of your yurt. For example, a 6-metre yurt generally requires a log burner with a 6kw output. Our yurts are very effective at holding any heat you produce.
The chimney for the log burner can go through any part of the yurt roof, usually the outer perimeter where roof poles are most spaced out. In Mongolia, the burner will always be placed centrally with the chimney going through the roof crown because of cooking requirements, etc. Our Western preference for more oversized furniture and beds means our customers generally prefer to locate the wood burner against the yurt wall to allow more space within the yurt. This positioning won’t significantly affect the heat output within the yurt unless the yurt is very large – say over 8 metres. Remember that a heat deflector sheet must be placed behind the Wood burner to protect the yurt wall.
Where the chimney/flue will exit the roof, one roof pole must be removed before fitting a ‘Silicone roof collar’ (also called yurt flashing).

Fitting a flue collar involves using a sharp blade to cut a hole in the yurt roof material layers, slightly larger than the flue diameter. (Do not worry, as the two plates on the flue collar are much larger than your hole). The plates screw to each other from the inside and outside of the yurt, which provides a watertight silicone seal around the flue.
If your yurt has an electrical connection point or you find log burners impractical, standard oil or fan heaters may be worth considering. Many customers combine them with a wood burner for instant heat when required. They can also be set on timers to heat your yurt during wet periods when it’s not used.