What's included in the price of my yurt & what’s it made of?

The high quality wood structure including the roof sticks, tonoo (top dome – with a simplified clear vinyl cover on its front half), bagaans (central posts), door (with double window door frame also included) are all painted with traditional motives as well as the wall sections. – A complete layer of felt insulation (100% Mongolian wool) – The outside water resistant decorated canvas – A bag with all necessary horse braided ropes, inside twill, top flap, decorated bottom protection skirt

What’s the life span of a yurt and is there a warranty?

Mongolians say it is 100 years… On our side we’ve done our best to select the best quality of yurts and to adapt them to climates that are more humid than the ones in Mongolia. With a little care, wood structure and felt insulation will last dozens of years. Should you have any trouble with the cotton based canvas after a few years, these are items that we will always carry in stock at very affordable prices.

Our yurts are all hand made and come with no warranty. Although we care to source the best possible quality for yurts since 2003, we cannot guarantee how they are going to be used. However, we are always available for advices, spare parts, for any question or in the unlikely event of a problem.

A part of the yurt that could age quicker, especially in humid areas, is the outside canvas. We now offer a 10 year “at cost” warranty on our canvas. Even if you had to change it twice… it would still be cheaper than any other covering… and definitely healthier and more comfortable than vinyl for example!

 

Do your yurts resist strong winds and snow loads?

Yurts have been developed in a country with an extreme climate. They are aerodynamic and resist the strongest winds, although they’re normally not anchored to the ground (Mongolians do not want to hurt the Earth). In case of extreme winds, Mongolians usually attach a big stone to the rope that hangs from the centre of the tonoo (central dome). You can use a ring bolted to your platform. Also, make sure that the yurt is “air proof” on the ground and that there’s no risk for the wind to rush from underneath the yurt. We have a lot of experience to share on the subject and you might find more info in our installation notice.

If the yurt is well installed, it should normally resist heavy snow loads. But for more safety, we advise our customers to regularly get rid of the snow on the roof. Should you leave the yurt unattended for a longer period and fear heavy snow falls, you can always place two additional central post under the tonoo at 6 and 12 o’clock on yurts up to 6 walls.


Are the yurts waterproof ?

We actually sell yurts that are made of almost 100% natural material. Our cotton based canvas is of very good quality and is water RESISTANT. In some case of prolonged rains or long lasting melting snow, you might experience some humid spots here and there. Although not always 100% natural, here are a few ways to adapt your yurt to extreme humid conditions: – In general, we strongly recommend placing a layer of house wrap (TYVEK drain wrap or WEATHERMATE PLUS from Dow which is the best) between the felt and the outside cover on the roof and walls. These house wrap are not organic, but TYVEK for example claims to be completely biodegradable. You can also purchase a house wrap directly with your new yurt. – If you’re not using the above mentioned wrapping and see humid spots after heavy rains, heat the yurt for 30 min with a good wood fire in the stove. – Waterproof the seems (or even the whole outside cover) regularly, every year for example – We can also provide special canvas made in Canada.

Are there windows in your yurts ?

The toono (central dome) which is very wide in an authentic Mongolian yurt and brings natural light all around the yurt. In addition, we introduced a double window door frame (together with the main door) as a standard on all our yurts, allowing to close the yurt and have a view outside, without compromising too much the original Mongolian look. We leave it to the customer to add glass, plexiglass, screen or a combination of those or can supply these as an option. However, you can also order a certain amount of windows or additional doors, depending on the yurt’s diameter. Our tonoos (central domes) are all equipped on their front half with 4 window frames covered with a very basic clear vinyl cover (one of them having a hole for the stove pipe). The other half is usually covered with the urgh (top flap). For more light, you can very easily cover the rest of the tonoo with Lexan (high quaity Plexiglas). We sell clear vinyl top flaps as an alternative option for light and optimal rain protection of the tonoo.

Can one have electricity or running water in a yurt?

Everything is possible! The concept of an authentic Mongolian yurt is so flexible that it is easy to adapt to your needs, as long as you respect safety standards of construction!

What is a wall – I thought yurts were round?!

Our yurts ARE round! A wall is a lattice section that is unfolded like an accordion and connected to the next one in a circle to form the circumference of the yurt. The more sections (walls), the bigger is the diameter of the yurt. Traditionally in Mongolia, most of the yurts have 5 walls. We like to describe the size of the yurt in “walls” as the diameter can vary a little bit.

Having a few walls makes it easier to carry the yurt and the connection between 2 walls also add strength to the structure.


Can you connect yurts together?

Yes, and it is fairly easy to do. We can do it for you on order directly in Mongolia, or we’ll be glad to show you how to do it if you have some carpenter skills…

Do the yurts need a lot of maintenance?

The yurt, as any other building, doesn’t like to be left alone too long and will last longer if it is used, breathed and / or heated. Other than that, there’s not much to do apart maybe of tightening the ropes from time to time or waterproofing the outside cover (at least the seems). Should you leave your yurt unattended for several months, we recommend to take it down (it is so easy to set it up) and store it in a dry place. Creating cross ventilation when the yurt is unused is crucial. We have acquired a healthy dose of experience caring for these special accommodations depending on which areas they’re used and will gladly share our knowledge with you. “Surprisingly” (the felt is made of 100% sheep wool), moths have never been a problem for the white felt we use is our yurts…

What type of platform should I use or can I install the yurt directly on the ground ?

Should your platform be made of concrete or wood, we recommend to build it circular with a 15-30 cm (6-12 inch) rim all around the circumference to allow a better water drainage or to avoid mice or other small animals getting inside the yurts.
Several customers installed their platform on straw bales with a plywood cover; easy, cheap, insulated and ecologic!
We do also sell excellent ready made platforms (made in Canada) that are insulated, easy to assemble and transportable.

You can install the yurt directly on the ground, as there’s no anchorage needed. Still you’ll have to take care of water drainage underneath the yurt. Install your yurt for example on a big tarp and fold the exceeding part of the tarp outside the yurt underneath the outside cover. It is ok to install a yurt on the ground for a limited period, but we do not recommend doing in humid areas over longer periods.

You can install your yurt virtually anywhere, but we generally recommend breathed areas rather than more humid places like under a tree or against a bush.


How long & how many people does it take to install a yurt?

It depends on the size of the yurt. Generally for a 5-walls yurt it takes around half a day or a day to 3 or 4 people to erect it the first time. With a little bit of training one person can make it in 2 hours and it won’t take longer than 30 min to 3 or 4 Mongolians to do it!
The first time can be a little tricky even with our detailed installation notice. If you can, we recommend taking our set-up assistance. You can also let us know a few days in advance when you’ll be setting up and we’ll make sure to provide you with a contact phone number for one of our knowledgeable partner!

Legislation

It all depends of the province (or state) and usually on the municipality. There’s generally no specific ruling for yurts. Either they’re considered as a non permanent building and no building permit is necessary. Some restriction might apply depending of the province (or state). In other places, it is better to declare it as a permanent building and ask for a building permit. Generally, it is better to present the yurt as a gazebo than as a tent… if you’re having difficulties, contact us as we might already have experience or contacts in your area.

What is the weight and volume of the yurt and what vehicle can I use to carry it?


Here’s an overview of approximate values:

 

nbrs of walls Weight Volume
2 walls 150 kgs (320 lbs)
3 walls 200 kgs (440 lbs)
4 walls 300 kgs (650 lbs) 2 m3  (70 ft3)
5 walls 400 kgs (850 lbs) 3 m(100 ft3)
6 walls 500 kgs (1100 lbs) 3-5 m3  (125 ft3)
7 walls 800 kgs (1750 lbs)
8 walls 1000 kgs (2200 lbs)

 

Up to 6 walls, you’ll be ok with almost any pick-up truck or decent sized van. Attention, the toono (top dome) in a 6 walls is about 65 inches (1.6 m) in diameter… Above 6 walls, yurts take much more space. For example the toono of a 7-walls yurt measures already over 7 feet diameter, We can deliver; contact us per e-mail or telephone for a delivery quote. We do also organize once or twice a year a delivery tour offering great deals on delivery all around North America. We can also offer set-up assistance. Check our “shipping information” page under “more info”.


Are the yurt 4 seasons and what about heating, stoves, pipes and fire?

Authentic Mongolian yurts (compared to any other yurts) are very well insulated and easy to heat in the winter. Still, they remain cool in the Summer thanks to the felt insulation and cotton based canvas who stop the sun’s stroke. A natural cooling air flow can the be created with the top widow simply by raising the side covers slightly. This millenary air conditioning works and has sadly been forgotten in modern yurts!!

We sell original Mongolian stoves. Although very efficient, they should be considered as strictly decorative according to our occidental safety standards. A standard wood stove, pellet stove or slow combustion stove will do the job, as well as a little electrical or propane unit.
Yurts are well insulated, so please take care of carbon oxides accumulations on the floor if you use a combustion stove!

The yurt comes with a very simple tin plate on the tonoo (top dome) with a 4 to 5” hole for the pipe. This is the way they’re using it in Mongolia. In North America, you should normally use a double insulated pipe and have it installed on the yurt by a professional to comply with building standard. We can supply the parts on special request, but it is usually more convenient and cheaper to do it on site. You can either have the stove pipe installed through the tonoo (the Mongolian way) or through the wall, depending where you want your stove to stand.


Is your business based on fair trade?

Although we’re not certified by any organisation, we strongly believe in the benefits of fair trade and that it is possible to do business and make things right. Mongolia is a free market economy and we generally do no discuss our supplier’s pricing. We try to source most of our materials on the countryside to support rural areas and nomads. We are in close contact with our suppliers and do our best to develop better and healthier practices together. We give hand in hand a bonus to all of the workers every time we ship a new container.
The wood industry is very regulated in Mongolia, but we do not always have the control on our supplier’s sources. We therefore participate in the development of a tree nursery project, financed by the sale of our yurts. We have planted 3000 trees in the province of Selenge, Mongolia in May 2014 and will do so every year. A yurt uses in average 3.2 trees and we plan with this program to plant at least 25 trees per yurt sold.
We continue to support Globetrucker.org, an organisation that equips rural schools. We also participate in the community with different projects, like this sewing school that we helped set up in on of the poorest areas of the capital city, Ulaanbaatar and are happy to support selected local projects in North America when we can.

What’s the difference between a Mongolian yurt and a “modern” yurt?

Both dwellings share the same name and a similar structure, but they are completely different products with both their advantages. In general Mongolian yurts (or gers) are easier to install and move. Built with more organic materials, we strongly believe that they are also more comfortable, thanks to the felt insulation and canvas that insulate well both from the cold and from the heat. The materials allow a natural breathing that can be simply improved in the Summer by raising the covers at the bottom of the yurt. A lot of the specifics of the original Mongolian yurt have been forgotten or could simply not be recreated in “modern” yurts.
Mongolian yurts are entirely hand crafted and will definitely require a little more attention than their North American cousins. You will have to adapt to your yurt and the yurt will have to be adapted to its environment. Even within authentic Mongolian yurts a lot of different qualities can be found. At Groovyyurts, we take a lot of care selecting the right quality of material at the source and helping our customers getting the most out of their new yurt in their particular environment. We’ve been successful so far since more than 10 years to use our yurts in all possible climates: dry, hot, snow, rain, wind, cold…