Permaculturing in Portugal

One family's attempts to live in a more planet-friendly way

Yurt raising

Saturday dawned dry. While Aonghas mopped the overnight rain off the yurt platform, Oonagh and I shifted all the yurt bits bar the door down from the casinha, where they’d been stored since April, to the middle terrace (fantastic teamwork! High 5 guys!), and welcomed our yurt-raising team – Andy and Sophie plus WWOOFer Helen from Quinta das Abelhas, and Pete and Cynthia from Quinta da Mizarela.

Bringing the door

The door was a 4-adult lift. We devised a neat way of doing it, slinging it between us with the woven plastic that had wrapped the roof poles, but spot the deliberate mistake – we should have had the taller of the two pairs on the downhill side!

First stage, the door

First stage, the door.

The lattice walls. Pete & Cynthia and the first section

The lattice walls. Pete & Cynthia and the first section.

Sophie and Pete work out the lacing technique for the wall sections. Andy's pacing himself

Sophie and Pete work out the correct order for the wall sections. Andy’s pacing himself.

Walls complete

Walls complete.

Aonghas and Andy unpacking the crown wheel supports. Helen, Sophie and Cynthia look on

Aonghas and Andy unpacking the crown wheel supports. Helen, Sophie and Cynthia look on.

Lashing supports to the crown wheel

Lashing supports to the crown wheel.

Crown wheel raised

Crown wheel raised.

First roof poles

First roof poles.

Roof poles complete

Roof poles complete.

Inner liner approaches

Inner liner approaches.

Inner liner on

Inner liner on.

Starting to look like a yurt

Starting to look like a yurt.

Felt on

Felt on.

First layer of canvas on

First layer of canvas on.

Assembling the outer cover

Assembling the outer cover.

Adjusting covers round the crown wheel

Adjusting covers round the crown wheel.

It fits!

It fits!

View from above

View from above

Toasting our new home!

Toasting our new home!

Many many thanks to our great team! And to Sophie’s camera, Sophie and Oonagh for the photos.

Next stage is to build the steps, cut the yurt platform to the circumference of the yurt so that the outer canvas cover fits neatly over it and allows rainwater to drain straight off, and attach a 50-60cm deep heavy duty plastic skirt which is then tucked up between the felt and canvas layers to prevent rain being driven into the inside of the yurt.

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6 Comments

  1. michele September 24, 2009

    Hello….
    it looks great now its up.Well done

  2. Sue Shoo September 26, 2009

    Hi Wendy,
    Looks fantastic!!
    Phone died, have lost your mobile number so please send text!
    See you middle of Oct.

  3. Gui July 16, 2013

    Hi Wendy!

    Estamos a pensar em diferents possibilidades para a plataforma da nossa yurt!

    E encontramos o vosso projeto!!

    Estamos a ter dúvidas com varias coisas, por isso queriamos preguntarvos:

    A espessura de tábua do châo qual é? aguenta bem os 1,20 m de distancia sem suporte??

    A estrutura em madeira ta fixa nos pneus?? o está so pousada?

    Voces tem isulamento no chao? ou é direto tábua??

    O tratamento de madeira qual foi??

    Se não é mito trabalho para voces, agradecemos muito muito a respota, andamos ja a algum tempo a pesquisar, mas a informação, não acaba de ser clara….

    Abrazos grandes!!

    Gui!

  4. Quinta do Vale July 16, 2013

    Hi Gui. Good questions! I hope you don’t mind if I write in English for the benefit of anyone else who might have similar questions. OK, here goes …

    The yurt platform is now nearly 4 years old and is lasting really well.

    The floorboards are rough pine, 25mm thick and 180mm wide. The main beams are 1m apart, not 1,2m, but if I was doing this again I’d lay them at 900mm or even 800mm centres. They’re OK at 1m, and the floorboards are fine too, but it makes the floor slightly springy.

    The main beams simply rest on the tyres with plastic between to prevent the wood getting damp from the earth in the tyres. The main beams are 200mm x 100mm. I reckoned they were heavy enough not to move so didn’t need pinning. There’s been no sign of any movement, even with gusts of wind that slammed into the yurt and ripped the covers half off.

    The floorboards were laid still green – this was unfortunate, but at the time we needed them, none of the local woodyards had dry timber so we had to take fresh. This means we have 3-5mm gaps between the floorboards, but slowly they are filling up with the dust and dirt that gets swept into the cracks. There is no insulation under the floor. I wanted to keep a free flow of air to make sure the wood stayed completely dry. In winter, the bottom 40cm nearest the floor of the yurt can be a little cool, but our wood burning stove works so well we’re often glad of this! We have never woken up with the temperature in the yurt below freezing, even when it’s several degrees below outside. Last winter, the temperature never dropped below 8°C.

    The wood was treated on the underside with used engine oil mixed with a little petrol. This has been a very good treatment – there is no sign of insect attack in any of the wood. On the upper surface we used linseed oil. This too has been a good treatment. The floorboards now look like the floorboards in an old house … but without the holes made by woodworm.

    If I was doing the platform again, I’d make a sturdier ring beam round the circumference. This was a bit of an afterthought as I hadn’t taken account of where the floorboards were going to rest at the edges when I cut them into a circle, so had to improvise some supports.

    Abrazos! Wendy

  5. Gui July 17, 2013

    Wendy thanks a lot!!!!!

    Obrigado por a resposta rapida, e generosa!! Fiquei realmente sorprendido e emocionado,!

    Conseguimos resolver todas as dúvidas que tinhamos! em uma tarde, depois de ja bastantes dias buscando…

    Hoje ja vamos buscar material!!!

    Seguimos em contacto, quando o projeto tiver concluido te mandamos fotos!

    Abrazos grandes!!

    Gui

  6. Quinta do Vale July 17, 2013

    De nada! Tenho muito prazer de ajudar. Estou ansioso para ver as fotos.

    Abraços!
    Wendy

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