Installing the roof
The roof beams are made of 2×1 planed pine at 280cm. For the first two thirds this is doubled up for strength. So in this case they were a single 2×1 for the top 48cm. The joists are battened inside [and fixed] at the lower end and pinned into a wheel at the top. The tension of the weight of the roofing materials holds the pins in place. I connected across the beams at two different heights as shown in the picture.
Now for the insulation. The first layer I purchased a roll of stretchy shade netting and attached to the top of the beams using staples. This was primarily to support the weight of further roof layers.
Next I purchased 10 single douvets from Asda and got them delivered, they were £6 each. I already had a couple of doubles and I fixed these to the crossbeams and the top of the yurt uprights to cover all the roof apart from the central ‘window’. Stapling through the douvet covers was not enough so I tied them to the beams also.
The next layer was a lightweight, roofing membrane, in this case a slightly damaged roll of Dupont Tyvek breather membrane that would allow moisture out. Again I stapled this through to the beams. This was a summer job and it was three days up and down a ladder on my own. I got the parachute back on to cover the yurt. The parachute only lasted 10 months before I had to buy another one off e-bay. By then they had doubled in price because there were a lot of people using them for temporary summer camps in the woods!
After a couple of years I could see that a parachute wasn’t ideal as the nylon degrades and becomes brittle quickly. I purchased several tarpaulins but these too perished quickly, lasting only a single season. If the sun didn’t make them brittle, the winds would rip them to shreds. Which is why people tend to take their yurts down in the winter.
In the third year I wrapped the whole roof above the membrane in polytunnel lining. I had a heavy-duty round-shaped, clear tarpaulin made with eyes for tie down ropes every foot. Then I tied that down tight attached to the sides of the uprights, with a layer of very tightly stretched pheasant netting on top, which stops the wind picking at any flappy bits. This allows good light into the yurt and also allows moisture out because there is only a I foot overlay of the ‘window’ tarpaulin over the roof to allow the passage of air.
When I had purchased a parachute online I had also seen a drone parachute for only £12, which I fixed inside the yurt. This seems to slow down the heat leaving and I like the way it looks. Overall I think the roof of this yurt was probably the most time consuming, expensive and complicated part, but it is still keeping out the weather.