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lizsteve 09-09-2013 08:04 PM

Insulating a yurt roof
We're in upstate NY and thinking about adding extra insulation to our ceiling. any thoughts on this? Will just the roof insulation keep us significantly warmer anyway?

We are thinking we'd stuff in-between the rafters with fiberglass, buy roof insulation from Colorado Yurt Co to fit our 27' size and pin this to the rafters with wooden battens to hold the insulation in. But the insulation is $1300 from CO Yurt Co. so also looking for other options to keep insulation in place.

Other ideas?

cmwingfield 09-09-2013 08:50 PM

Re: insulating the roof
Hi! I'm in no way affiliated with Lowes, but the same insulation that you mention that you will need to pay $1300.00 for can be found at Lowes and you can do your Yurt for less than half the price you mention. If you go online to Lowes and type in Item #409816 you'll find the "Reflectix" insulation. All you have to do is cut it to fit. It cuts easily with shears. As you can see from the Lowes website, a 100ft X 48 inch roll sells for $166.67. I'm sure you can find the same stuff at many locations for a similar price.

Jafo 09-09-2013 08:57 PM

Re: insulating the roof
Foam boards cut to fit also increase your R value.

MT Rod 09-09-2013 10:46 PM

Re: insulating the roof
I have not tried it, but if you have exposed rafters, I can't think of why it would not work...

Put fiberglass between the rafters to fill the space and staple the Reflectix on the bottom of the rafter to help hold the insulation in place.

A layer of white or lightly colored muslin stapled on the inside would then help support the reflective insulation, and give you a nicer, brighter look inside, (without having the "wrapped in tin-foil" look).

Admittedly, you lose the appearance of the exposed rafters, it just depends on how much work you wanted to do in that direction, and if you ever plan to move your yurt.

You could still leave the bottom of the rafters exposed, but staple the other insulation in the "triangle" showing between the rafters.

You could make some light battens, say 1.5" X .5" and use them to staple the Reflectix and muslin in place, and still have the appearance the edge of the rafters. Just some ideas.

On the Asian steppes when it is really cold, I was told they build another yurt inside their yurt as a sleeping room, and they said the difference was remarkable. A small fire kept the smaller yurt warm in this enclosed space which helped trap the heat. I haven't tried This yurt-in-a-yurt myself.

I am not sure most of us are prepared to go that far, but we aren't trying to stay warm in a howling wind at -20C to -30C huddled around a fire fueled with a pile of dried horse poop that you have been collecting for weeks. How many cords of horse poop do you guess you would need?

I hope everyone is warm this winter, and their pipes keep working.

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Reinventor 09-10-2013 08:01 AM

Re: insulating the roof
We're in VT, last year we put R13 up and it made a big difference. I didn't want to lose the exposed rafters so we did this:

1. put up insulation by pinching it between the rafters and the roof canvas - realizing the 'squashed' areas would not provide great insulation, but knowing that it would hold it in place and also not ruin our rafter look.

2. put up plastic and tape all the seams to prevent insulation dust from being in your living space (we emptied our space before doing this, but you could drape yours and then vacuum the wall canvas, etc. when done)

3. put up painter's canvas - unbleached denim-like fabric so that it matched the canvas walls (more or less)

I can send you pics if you'd like...

lizsteve 09-10-2013 08:23 AM

Re: insulating the roof
Very helpful folks, thanks.

Related question is since general rule is that you're only as insulated as your spots with the least amount of insulation - does insulating the roof help that much? Obviously heat rises so we're inclined to think so. But the dome will still be uninsulated most of the time and we don't plan to add insulation to the walls.


Reinventor 09-10-2013 08:26 AM

Re: insulating the roof
Last year was our first year in the yurt - we were heading into November and feeling the chill, once this was done, we didn't feel cold. In fact, if it was daylight and over 35 degrees we had to turn our heater off every day between 12 - 4 ish or it got too warm.

Jafo 09-10-2013 08:30 AM

Re: insulating the roof
You can get insulated dome covers if you want. I know Colorado Yurts sells them for like $70 or something.


lizsteve 09-10-2013 08:34 AM

Re: insulating the roof
Oh yes - thx. I should have said we have one for the dome but it won't be as think as the rest of the ceiling and we only use it when REALLY cold cause it's so much of our natural light.

Jafo 09-10-2013 08:39 AM

Re: insulating the roof
I would imagine you could probably use that plastic you can buy in any hardware store for normal windows too, though it might lead to moisture issues. The dome is the best way to vent moisture in most yurts.

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