As a huge advocate for natural light, a huge question I had while looking at purchasing a yurt is if I could add more windows myself. So, I decided to do some research and see the different options. Here’s what I found.
Modern yurts come with your choice of fabric or glass windows. Most yurts initially come with two to four windows. If your yurt doesn’t have enough windows or you’d like different ones, you can add them with careful planning and possibly professional help, especially for glass windows.
Let’s take a closer look at which yurts come with windows and if we can add our own.
Do Yurts Come With Windows?
While traditional yurts made by Mongolians did not typically include windows, companies today sell modern yurt kits that usually always come with at least one window and are made of fabric or glass.
For example, Pacific Yurts sells yurts with two fabric windows included and then charges $190 for each additional fabric window. Each glass window costs $1,450.
Meanwhile, Colorado Yurts sells its largest yurt for $20,550 which includes four sliding glass windows.
Modern fabric windows are an updated version of the traditional windows found in yurts, especially those constructed from felt and other natural materials. Fabric windows are essentially openings in the yurt’s walls, covered by a fabric piece that can be rolled up or down to control the light and ventilation.
Fabric windows also usually include covers for privacy.
Fabric windows are known to be practical and straightforward, allowing yurt dwellers to control their living space’s light and ventilation. Not to mention, they are easy to put in yourself (more on how to do this later).
Modern fabrics used for these windows are more durable, weather-resistant, and sometimes even insulated, providing more comfort and longevity to your yurt.
I have never seen a company that sells yurts not have the option to incorporate glass windows.
Today, it’s not uncommon to find yurts with modern glass windows or even sliding glass doors. Glass windows provide several advantages over fabric counterparts, including superior insulation, increased natural light, and a more spacious feeling.
They offer a clear, unobstructed view of the outdoors, which is great if your yurt is in a scenic location. They’re excellent insulators, which can help keep your yurt warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Not to mention, they bring a touch of contemporary aesthetics to your yurt, making it feel more like a traditional home.
You also have the choice to add awnings over the windows for energy efficiency and extra shade.
Let’s not forget another essential ‘window’ in any yurt: the dome lid. This feature, also known as a crown or tono, is a central opening at the top of the yurt, traditionally covered with a transparent or translucent lid.
The dome lid plays a crucial role in the ventilation of a yurt. Because warm air naturally rises, the dome lid allows hot air to escape, creating a natural airflow that can help keep the yurt cool, especially during warmer months.
In addition to ventilation, the dome lid also allows for an abundance of natural light to enter the yurt, eliminating the need for artificial lighting during the daytime. This feature is particularly valuable for those of us living off-grid, as it helps reduce energy consumption.
Can You Add Your Own Windows?
“You can do it yourself, as long as you understand the concept. The panel the window sits in will replace part of your lattice wall. So, it’s going to have to be floor to ceiling support around the window.”
“Definitely can add windows after the yurt is up. I would suggest getting a yurt with standard windows, and replacing them with “real” windows as you can.”Colorado Yurt Co.
Adding Fabric Windows
If you want to install additional fabric windows in your yurt, the process is quite manageable. Essentially, you’ll be creating new openings in the yurt’s walls. It’s crucial to reinforce the edges of these new openings. You can do this with extra stitching or by adding wooden frames.
Next, you’ll need to attach a piece of fabric over the opening. This fabric should be durable and weather-resistant, similar to the material of your yurt’s walls.
Make sure the fabric piece can be easily rolled up or down, allowing you to control the amount of light and air that enters the yurt. You could achieve this by installing ties or a zipper system.
One important note is to carefully plan the placement of your new windows. You want to avoid interfering with the existing frame and coverings, as this could weaken the overall structure of your yurt.
Adding Glass Windows
If you’re considering adding glass windows to your yurt, the process requires a bit more effort but is certainly doable.
To begin, you’ll need to consult with a local glass company. Due to the unique curvature of yurts, it’s beneficial to have your glass windows custom-made. This ensures a proper fit and a professional finish.
It’s also important to ensure they are properly sealed and insulated. This step is crucial in preventing drafts and heat loss. Consider using high-quality sealing products and possibly hiring a professional to guarantee a job well done.
Here’s a video made by Colorado Yurt Company on how they install windows step by step:
If you’re wanting to add more shade or weather protection to your yurt, you might want to consider incorporating awnings into your glass windows. They can provide extra shade during the summer months and offer protection from rain and other weather elements.
To see how yurts hold up in storms, check out my recent article Can Yurts Withstand High Winds (& Storms)? Answered.
Pros & Cons of Windows in Yurts
Having windows in your yurt can offer multiple advantages, but it’s also important to understand the potential drawbacks. To make it easier, I’ve put together a handy table outlining the key pros and cons of having windows in your yurt.
|Pros of Having Windows in Yurts
|Cons of Having Windows in Yurts
|Airflow & Cooling
|Leaves an Opening for Critters
|Windows Can Be Difficult to Add to a Yurt
|Reduced Chance of Mold
|Reduced Insulation (Unless You Buy Window Covers)
While having windows in your yurt brings about significant benefits like airflow, natural light, and reduced chances of mold, it’s also crucial to consider the potential downsides. By understanding these, you can make more informed decisions when designing your yurt or adding new windows.
Are Yurts Safe?
The chance of a break-in happening in a yurt is the same with a regular house.
The security of your yurt windows also depends on the type of windows you have. Fabric windows are generally more difficult for an intruder to get through as they’re integrated into the structure of the yurt and usually can’t be opened from the outside. If you keep these windows securely closed and fastened, they pose a minimal risk of break-ins.
On the other hand, glass windows could potentially be a weak point in terms of security, as they could be broken to gain entry. However, this risk is not unique to yurts and is a concern in any dwelling with glass windows. There are ways to mitigate this risk, such as using tempered or laminated safety glass, which is designed to be much harder to break than standard glass. Installing locks on your windows can also deter potential intruders.
Lastly, remember that safety often has as much to do with your community and location as it does with the physical structure you live in. If your yurt is in a secluded area, having a good relationship with nearby neighbors can provide additional security. Also, consider local wildlife and take precautions to avoid attracting unwanted animal visitors.