Picture of Build yourself a portable home - a mongolian yurt
61- fitted roof canvas - outside view.jpg
Yurt/Gher Construction 101

A guide to Building Yurts...or more specifically, how I built mine!

Based on Knowledge Gained from "Doing it Myself", and reading about it on-line.

I've now built three yurts, for myself and friends, and we go camping in Luxury in these a few times a year.

If you like the outdoors, but you hate having to crawl around in pokey little tents then this one's for you!

We sleep two of us in luxury in this tent, in a full queen-sized bed! Of course, sleeping on the floor, like a plastic tent, you could probably sleep 20 people, easily!. :-)

We have dedicated hanging space for our clothes so they don't crumple or anything, and lockable boxes for our belongings (or a lock on the door works too!)

When we invite other camping-inclined friends over for a party in our tent, we can confortably fit 15-20 people in, sitting around on cushions and lounging on the bed and on the rugs on the floor... now that's what I can a party tent! :-)

If you like pictures, please be sure to have a look at step 9 - it's got over 50 assembly photos on that step alone !

Step 1: Overview of the parts and process.!

Picture of Overview of the parts and process.!
01-8large, 8 small roof timbers.jpg
07-purpose-made pegs for door frame assembly, smaller that standard tent pegs.jpg
04-centre of roof , 8 large silvered spiked are used first.jpg
I'm going to cut right to the chase, and assume you know the following (in principle):

1) What a yurt is, and what it's made from.
2) How all the components should look when together.
If you've ever seen a yurt in the flesh, or photo's, or read a bit about them, that's enough.

As you can see from the photo/s, there are a few major components, so I'm going to write about each of these in turn, with some background info, and how to make them, and after that I'll show you how it all comes together for the assembly!

  • Dimensions and background.
  • Timber Components
- wall
- roof
- door.

  • Metal Components
- roof hub
- bolts, pins, pegs.

  • canvas components
- wall
- roof
- roof cap

  • Assembly!

below are a few sample pictures of some components, just for intereste sake:
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dzent14 years ago
I have been rather astounded at the snarkiness and acid tone of some of the comments about David's yurt. It's an awesome feat of building that he didn't have to share; many of us are extremely glad he documented the process so well.
You guys who quibble and sniff about terminology just come off as pathetic. I don't see any of you publishing your "correct" versions anywhere here, especially in this kind of detail - are you just so hungry for some kind of validation that you have to p*ss on the welcome efforts of real makers like David? Just sayin'...
rgrant4 dzent13 years ago
I love David's Yurt. I am interested in building one, though I am not sure where to source out the metal hub or some alternative.
ms1 rgrant415 days ago
David plainly said he works with metal and made it from several pieces of 2 different sized bolts. A metal shop should be able to weld one up for you
sd-shit dzent13 years ago
well said dzent1, I love the info here and I'm on to off the grid living, peace, love and unity!
zzoe dzent13 years ago
Hear, hear!
Bilegt22 days ago

Mongolian Ger does not contain any metal pieces at all, however, it is great initiative and creativity by foreigner. 5 stars for your project!

Looks amazing!

Persipina1 month ago
Thanks for sharing! Does anyone have a general idea what it would cost to build?
Bell651 month ago

I think it would be better if we have a video tutorial, Tks anyway

KhulanB6 months ago

You have done an amazing job. It is great to see Mongolian traditional house is built by foreigners. It is not only a great experiment but also great entertainment. This Mongolian ger's main purpose is to be portable since Mongolians are nomads. Building ger requires more practice but you made it very easy. GOOD JOB AGAIN!!!!

MarcT17 months ago

Are you really ok with explaining this entire process in detail while neglecting to provide a photo of the fully completed project? I feel like I just ate cake and threw away the frosting.

Hi, i think this is great and you did a good job, where do you live and how much would you charge to come help me build one if i bought all the supplies, I run a women's group in my back yard this would be perfect to hold it in,but if i could have red canvas even better ,Thanx Yours Sandi.:)

Now to my opinion. Thank you for posting the pics and instructions. My son and I are planning on building a couple of Yurks for when family come to visit. Now I live on the Bay of Fundy next to the water and we get some serious gales and the occasional hurricane will fly in. Can they withstand a gale do you think or should they be anchored down by cables or what do you suggest? Also because I live in Canada on the East Coast we get cold winters, lots of snow, then wait a half hour and then we get freezing rain. Any suggestions on coverings or anything else to do to protect the Yurt or Ger?.

I am a historical re-enactor and one of my best friends has done a ger for many years. They are designed to withstand hurricane force winds and historically were used in -80F cold. A traditional ger has a thick felted liner underneath the outer cover for insulation. I do have a couple problems with his design in the hub ring and where the ridge poles meet the top. He has made them rigid which can be a problem in high winds where a little flex will keep poles from breaking. Freezing rain I'm not so sure about other than if you have a fire going inside it probably isn't going to stick

With all due respect Tinker had a valid point. Maybe he was brusque but the suggested answer would have been to apologize and state everyone is entitled to their opinion. I didn't get why he was removed from the forum.

With all due respect Tinker had a valid point. Maybe he was brusque but the suggested answer would have been to apologize and state everyone is entitled to their opinion. I didn't get why he was removed from the forum.

zikzak111 months ago
brojas31 year ago
Pure genius
shellerae1 year ago

I'm sorry if I missed this in all the comments- the first time putting it together/set up - how long does it take? As you get skilled/practiced how long is set up?

Muiiito legal!! Obrigado pelas informações. O yurt parece ser uma alternativa ecologicamente correta pois altera minimamente o ambiente circundante.



slivie1 year ago

I wonder about making the lattice with 1/2" to 1" pvc pipe, drilled but instead being bolted, using long pop rivets. It might be expensive but it might also be pretty sturdy and still be lightweight.

ceswenson1 year ago
Looks good, but would an RV trailer work for emergency shelter if one has it?
This would be a great design for a arts/crafts fair tent as well. Sides down in good weather... Sides up if it starts raining. Also, add one of these http://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-Cheap-Air-Conditioner/ when the sides are up and you're in business!
gothking852 years ago
I just saw a movie that had yurts in it, I find your designs, Brilliant!!!!
I hope to make mine as great as yours!!!
Ira72 years ago
Thanks for your time and effort with this, Dave. My name is Ira, and I live in South Florida.

I appreciate your efforts in posting this instructional!!!

A few years ago, I built an elaborate Teardrop Travel Trailer, an itty bitty thing that put me in the poorhouse and sleeped two people comfortably--if those two people were cadavers--plus a It was the coolest looking thing you ever saw, but TOTALLY impractical for proper camping. (Plus, you have to tow it.)

It had an elaborate kitchen/galley built into the rear hatch with sink, propane oven and stove, microwave, and a thousand other gizmos--all thing you don't really need to build INTO a trailer.

I nhave a tiny Suzuki Sidekick, soon to have an elaborate roof rack, and the first sensible camping solution I thought of was a Yurt. Somewhere in my house, I have a copy of one the VERY few books on building a Yurt--but I can't find it yet and my wife won't HELP me find it yet. (She ain't the camping type.)

Anyway, I want to build a Yurt, but here are my issues/questions about your designs:

1) I want to build a 12-footer at most. I know the walls will be short, but that's okay, because I'm short too. Only 5' 2". I plan to be using it solo 99% of the time in the Everglades, and if my wife decides to join me one weekend, I can still squeeze her in there. (Although I think I'm going to make her stand outside and watch for gators.)

So I need specs/measurements for a 12-footer.

2) There is no way in hell I can strip that much lumber myself. But I was also thinking, isn't there a plastic or PVC alternative for at least the lattice work? There has to be a source for this dimensional plastic with a certain tactile strength that will work--plus, it would be a ton lighter than wood.

And if there ISN'T a plastic solution, isn't there a 4 by 8 ply sheet solution that will work, cutting strips from that, albeit having to heavily treat all the edges and surfaces?

My optimum solution is to find the strips in the correct length at Home Depot. I believe the 12' yurt, or maybe it's the 10', which is okay too for me, only requires a 4' wall--but how does that relate to the math on the length of the strips needed for the lattice?

In other words, can I just buy 10' lengths of appropriate pine at HD...cut them in half to 5'...heavily treat them...and have that length work for me for a 10' or 12'? (Walls only--forget about the roof for now)

I know it's a bit late, but if you still need help with the measurements: http://simplydifferently.org/Yurt_Notes?page=1

This page has a VERY useful calculator for everything!
k5cqb Ira72 years ago
Here is a PVC yurt, looks like you'll have to come up with your own measurements but it looks like it works.
k5cqb k5cqb2 years ago
Doh! Here's the link;
Ira7 Ira72 years ago
Forgive all of my typos.

I'm EXHAUSTED tonight.
Any thoughts on using cedar? I'm leaning this way for the natural rot and insect resistance... obviously more expensive but I figure it would be built to last, and worth it.
MikeCicc3 years ago
Sweet! I spent a month in Mongolia last spring and got to sleep in some of these babies, and we kept saying, "Man, we should build one of these back home!" Way to go.
sallyab3 years ago
I can't wait to try this. The only thing I'm not clear about is what the short prongs on the roof circle are for. I wonder too about putting windows in. A sheet of plastic within the canvas wall would be enough no doubt, and could be fancied up to not just give light but open too...Thank you for this manageable and inspirational Instructable!!! :-)))
irm2245 years ago
 Sorry but this sounds really confusing.  I thought it was easier to put yurts together, and I know there are more ways to put one together so what way is easier??
sallyab irm2243 years ago
You can't have read it thoroughly. It's very well explained and easy to follow. There's nothing in the least confusing in it.
sallyab irm2243 years ago
You can't have read it thoroughly. It's very well explained and easy to follow. There's nothing in the least confusing in it..
triumphman3 years ago
some people are too wierd to make negative comments, I don't see any of thier 'ibles either! Strange how they can criticize from behind an internet web! Great job mate!
dare2baware3 years ago
WOW!! I could easily live in a yurt. ;-)
Yep, works VERY well for the nomad tribes of Asia! And, they've been doing it for several thousand years, too, so there's something to be said for the design, eh?
sugarsnout3 years ago
I really thought this was a cool instuctable. Until recently, I din't even know what a yurt was. My friend sent pics of his and I googled it.
I love this website and find so many great things to make. I am dissappointed at how some people make harsh or stupid comments about an authors attempt to share great ideas. I have lots of great ideas but am hessitant to share here.
Sharing an instructable plan or how-to should be an inspiration to others...if you want a perfect step by step plan of a perfect product then go buy a kit.
I believe that anyone who browses this site should have a spark of creativity or at least interest and should be thankful for an idea or another way of approaching a project. When others offer suggestions..it only makes it easier for another by tapping into their learning style . Critisizing or putting someone down for choice of pics or words is just wrong...(see nice comment policy)
i know how to make a traditional inuit tent in a couple of styles, perhaps I may combine the two and come up with something else.

sodaking13 years ago
it all comes down to this haters going to hate. the only thing I can see is people finding fault with something they can't do. the guide look great, who cares what the first pic is or the last pic for that matter. The creator of this, did something that I only wish I could do. Its like the guy said, it's not about what my finished product looks like it's what yours looks like when its finished. Personally I would love to try this and have my own tent that's big enough but durable to move with out distorting the thing
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