How to set up your yurt
INSTRUCTION FOR ERECTING GER.
Level site, we put screening on top then level with a Bob Cat then rake out flat.
We use timber slats 4 x 4 with Bunnings flooring nailed on top. See pics. on website. You can use packing crates instead. Find exact middle of floor put a nail in and tie a string 5.7m long, draw a circle and cut with jig saw or similar tool. We wrap 26cm wide sheet metal right around the outside to keep vermin out. Leave door area 1.5m. position your door area away from prevailing winds as in windy weather the wind can tunnel into the ger when the door is opened and cause problems. If the door is closed the wind will deflect around the ger. I think it is a good idea to varnish floor but you will need to put a sealer on first then varnish it otherwise it just soaks in. The varnish stops your floor from absorbing stains but please yourself.
Put your dome in the middle of the floor upside down (so pattern is showing). The "S" on the top of the dome should face the door, I think.) You do this first before you put the door and walls on otherwise you won't be able to get it through the door. Also is you want a large bed you will need to put it in at this stage but it will get in the way. Better to use two single beds joined together or just a double bed to get through the door. Place the two central poles upside down on the dome with the tops in the space where there is no pattern on the dome. Tie poles onto dome. We had to drill a hole to put the rope through also to make it double secure we put a screw in where it couldn't b e seen. Technically a ger does not have screws or nails if put together properly but to be sure to be sure. Now tie the ropes attached to the dome to the lattice front back and sides just to help keep it in place when you stand it upright (it helps to have a couple of helpers at this stage). Get two strong people to stand it upright making sure it is aligned with your door in in the middle of your ger. Adjust your ropes to hold it in place. Must be central otherwise your poles won't line up. It should be vertical and square with the door. Measure to make sure you have the same distance on front back and sides to ensure it is right in the middle. At this stage the four ropes should be holding the dome in place but I would still have someone holding the posts for a while as you don't want it to move when you are putting in your poles otherwise they will keep falling out which is really annoying and they can break. Glass panels are put in when the ger is finished
Put your door where you want it in the space with no sheet metal also keep in mind where your bed is going as usually the bed faces the door but not necessarily. Make sure your door is up the right way and with the less decorated side facing the inside. Slot the end of your lattice into the sides of the door making sure the curve of the lattice is at the top and curves outwardly giving the ger its round shape. Lattice 1 goes to the right hand side of the door when you are inside looking out and lattice No. 5 on the other side of the door but don't stress too much about the numbers. Interlock your lattice together as in pic. on website and tie with rope as in pic. Go right around to the other door making sure your lattice is level with the door (if it is higher than door your cover won't fit. Make sure it is 5.7m diam. Make sure it is perfectly round should be 5.7m sideways and lengthways. If you don't get this right your ceiling poles will be too short or too long and they will fall down when you put them in. At this stage your lattice should be holding your door upright and should be all interlocked and tied with rope at the joins. When you are happy with shape and diam. Secure with a rope right around the outside to stop movement intertwining it between the lattice. The sheet metal should hold it in place as well. This will make sure your frame is secure and doesn't move when you put your poles in.
This is the most annoying part and it is really good to have a few helpers helping to guide the poles into the holes and supporting them so they don't fall down. The shorter poles (they have numbers at the bottom) sit them in the holes on the top of the door numbers should match (not that important). There are six. Put them into the holes on the dome. Then we put a pole in each quadrant to try to stabilise it, (The Mongolians do this from the outside but we prefer to have someone on the outside of the ger and someone on the inside guiding the pole into the dome, always be aware of falling poles on heads). Plenty of helpers are useful here. Fill in all the gaps with poles, sitting the poles in the "v" of the lattice sometimes you might find one pole is a bit short or a bit long and you have to shuffle them around a bit, Wrap the cable ties or plaited hair at the ends of the poles over the lattice to secure in place, sometimes the hair is too long or too short, you can twist them if they are too long but cable ties work well. Go around the ger making sure you have a pole in each hole sometimes you find you have missed a hole and they have to be shifted around which is frustrating. The poles should form a sun like pattern. Just be patient and all will be well, this is by far the most tedious and time consuming part. Just watch your heads and catch before they hit the ground so they don't break. Make sure your pattern is right as it is difficult to fix later. You might need to tighten the rope that runs around the outside to tighten everything up a bit. When the poles all feel secure and not going to fall out. Give them a tap with a rubber mallett if you have one just to make sure they are in the holes properly We have been known to put the odd screw in some poles if they are too loose. Your ger is now ready for the first cover.
Now time to add the first cover which is seen from the inside of the ger. (labelled "inside cover") throw it over the ger matching up doorways making sure seams are facing upwards so you don't see the rough seams from the inside of the ger. When the creases come out it gets a bit longer don't worry about length all will be well. Make sure it fits snugly around the dome with no gaps.
Next comes the felt, you need to put your roof sections on first they are the felt with the half circle cut around which fits around the dome. Put on your front section (should be marked "front" then put your back section on making sure it is tucked up under the dome with no gaps you can see from the inside if there are gaps. Now hang your wall sections over. Better to have any overhang at the top rather than the bottom, you don't want the felt sitting on the ground, tuck in around your door so no gaps letting cold air in. I think it is a good idea at this stage to tie another rope right around to stop felt slipping down and tie each side of the doorway as over time the felt can get heavy and drop down so best to tie it in place so it doesn't move.
Green cover is next. Throw your front green cover over (they are marked front and back) making sure the door opening sits over the door. Next put on your "back section, just let it overlap if it is too big make sure it is sitting flat and all the way around. Make sure (very important) that it is tucked well up under the dome as if this isn't done properly your dome will leak. Don't worry if it is too long you can just fold it up around the bottom later.
DECORATIVE OUTSIDE COVER:
Throw this over the ger making sure the door holes match. When you have it tucked up nicely under the dome (hugely important to make sure your ger doesn't leak) You could wrap a piece of thin rope around the rim od the dome to hold the canvas in place as sometimes over time it can slip a bit which is when you can get a leak. Make sure no daylight can be seen around the dome from inside the yurt as that is where your gaps are. There should be tabs on the back section of the roof panels which you tie your coloured ropes through to secure the cover. Put your tent pegs in to secure the ger to the ground. If you are using a concrete base you will need dyna bolts. Also if there is any overlap make sure it is on the side away from the prevailing wind so that the wind doesn't get under it, the ropes will tie it down but this helps as well.
YAK HAIR ROPES:
Tie your lovely yak hair ropes right around the outside of the ger from one door ring to the other door ring on the other side of the door to secure your cover making sure they don't twist, there are three lots of ropes to go around the outside, they do stretch a bit so you will need to keep tightening them over time. Make sure they are nice and snug around your ger. The bottom rope holds the bottom skirt in place.
Match your panels up with the notches cut into the dome, your panels should have matching notches cut into them so you know which panel goes in which gap. Just manouvre them to get them through the gaps. Someone needs to be standing on a ladder with their head out of the dome putting them in place. The last one might be a little harder and take a bit of fiddling to get in properly. You will notice that there are some panels that are air vents, if you don't want air vents, you can cut a piece of perspex in a circle and screw it down over the holes from the outside. If you don't do this you will need to make sure you cap is sitting tightly over the dome as in strong winds if it is a bit loose it can lift and water might get in. We prefer to use the perspex to keep the ger warmer in winter, but in Mongolia they like the gaps to let smoke out from the stoves.
Now add your cap which sits over the dome which has ropes at the front and back, just cut your coloured rope into four pieces burning the ends so they don't fray. and tie ropes to tabs. We have strengthened our tabs and made our cap a bit bigger by adding a bit to the middle of the standard ger caps. To lift your cap to see the stars you undo the front ropes and two people walk each side of the ger and pull the ropes to the back which folds the cap in half. Just fold it half way as it can be difficult to get back over the dome if you pull it all the way back. If you do pull it too far back use the extra pole to place over the edge of the dome so the cap doesn't get caught under the dome and runs over the top of the pole. The extra pole is handy to do things on top of the ger and to push things up to the person pulling up the canvases.
Fold hem up all the way around if it is too long. Wrap your decorative skirt around the bottom of the ger and hold it in place with rope, if skirt is too long just fold it back at door and hold in place with rope. The skirt is optional, it looks pretty but can trap water when it rains so please yourself.
If you want to put a wood heater in your ger. It is best to run the flu out through the side of the ger, otherwise if you decide to do it through the dome your cap won't sit right (I have never worked out how to fold the cap so it fits properly around the flu like they do in Mongolia. If you do it through the dome you will need to put a sheet metal panel in with a hole cut to the size of your flue. If you do it through the side of the ger you will need to cut a hole in your canvas, flet and lattice, your flu needs to be double sheathed with a metal ring around where it goes through the canvas and have cement sheet between the heater and the wall of the ger. You will need professional advice or get a professional to do it as you don't want your ger to catch fire.
if your cover gets dirty, I find Exit Mould works well and scrub with Sugar soap, but then you will need to use a waterproofing compound applied with a long applicator as it will affect the water proofing of the canvas. It is a good idea to dismantle the yurt once a year to clean everything. The paint colours we use if you want to touch up anything Red Ger paint is called "Red Bauble" Blue ger is called "Paradise Bird" and Green Ger is called "Grass Green".