Frequently asked Questions

Click on a question to expand the answer

Show All      Hide All

Tipi related questions.

Should I get a tipi or a yurt?

Tipis offer a way of life extremely close to nature with a stunning interior space and unique beauty. They can accomodate an open fire and lend themselves to living down low without raised furnishings.  They will be cosy when the fire is going but will not hold heat for long once it has died down.
Yurts offer a slightly more conventional living environment.  They work well with similar furnishings to a solid home.  They are easily heated and will hold heat well if fitted with insulation. Yurts also have more usable space due to the vertical walls.

What can I use as a floor in my tipi?

There are several options for ground cover... traditionally reeds or bullrushes were used, other ideas include plastic sheeting and then carpet, bare ground with grass mats, grass, wood chips. Some people even prefer to build a plywood floor slightly raised off the ground which can be covered with mats or carpet. The decision is largely made by available resources, portability required and just how close you want to live to the earth.


Can I have a fire in my tipi?

Yes! A fire is one of the joys of tipi living...all our tipis include the traditional flap system for drawing the smoke up and out. It is also possible to install a wood burner if preferred. Good dry wood is essential for a warm and smoke free tipi.

Can I paint on my tipi? If so, what type of paint should I use?

Yes it is quite fine to paint on your tipi. The best paint to use is a water based (acrylic) paint. Ensure it is not a spirit based (enamel) paint as this will damage the canvas treatment. It is best not to apply the paint too thick so as to keep the cover flexible. Remember that painting large areas of the tipi with dark colours will decrease the amount of light entering the tipi.

How long will it take to pitch a Jaia tipi? 

Once you are familiar with the procedure you will have your tipi up and looking great in under an hour (less for small sizes).The first time you pitch a tipi it may take you a couple of hours. There are certain systems which must be carefully followed from our instruction manual.

Due to sustained dampness, my tipi cover has some mould on it. How can I clean this off? 

It is important not to leave a tipi damp for sustained periods. During wet weather you should light frequent fires to dry the canvas out as much as possible. Although mould detracts from the appearance, it is not too destructive to the canvas strength as the 50% polyester content is not effected. Although bleach based cleaners such as "30 seconds" are effective in cleaning the canvas, we do not recommend their use, as we think they may damage the waterproofing of the canvas. A safe way to clean dirt and mould off is to give the canvas a light waterblasting. Do not go too hard with a powerfull blaster as this will certainly damage the canvas.


Yurt related questions.

What can I use as a floor in my yurt? 

For portable/temporary pitching, you can purchase a PVC groundsheet from us, or just use your own plastic sheeting and mats. For long term and luxury living, the yurts can be pitched on a solid floor/deck. We do not supply solid flooring, but can provide drafted plans which can be easily followed by a builder or handyman/woman. Of course you may also design your own unique flooring solution.

Can I have a fire in my yurt? 

Yes. We can fit an "Aquaseal" flue outlet, which is suitable for a wide range of flue sizes. It is generally fitted into the roof cover, about 600mm out from the wall. You can choose at what position around the wall you want it positioned. It can also be fitted in the centre of the yurt as is traditional in Mongolia.

How long will it take to pitch a Jaia yurt? 

After a little practice, it will take about 30 to 60 minutes. The procedure is quite simple, and after you have done it a couple of times, you should not need to refer to the instruction manual. Any of our yurt sizes can be easily pitched by two people, and with a few cunning techniques, they can be pitched solo. 

Do I need a building permit for my yurt?

Our tipis and yurts are intended as temporary, removable accommodation. For this purpose no permits are required. Many people do use our products as permanent housing, but depending on intended use and location there may be restrictions. If you are concerned we suggest you contact your local authority.  If you decide to apply for a permit, we can provide supporting plans and documents. Click here for more information. Please discuss with us during the ordering process as we may need to specify different insulation etc to meet the requirements. 

Can the yurts be insulated against the cold?

Yes we offer full insulation kits for yurts. The kits consist of a dacron insulation layer which is lined on the inside with fully treated 10oz canvas. The insulation and liner are fitted between the frame and the outer cover (framework is still visible on the inside).  Heavy woolen insulation is also availabel to meet requirements for permitting as a dwelling. 

Can Jaia yurts withstand strong winds?

 Our yurts are designed to withstand strong winds. Securing them to a solid deck is the best system in these conditions.  If you are on a very exposed site which is prone to severe gales, you may have to consider whether a canvas structure is the most suitable though. You will hear the wind more than you would in a solid structure and see the yurt shudder and shake with strong blasts.  We generally tell people to choose a slightly more sheltered site if possible, primarily for comfort but also for protection from extreme weather events.

What is the overall height of the yurts?

The height of the wall is 1.7m.  Tall people will need to duck slightly when entering through the door but there is plenty of head room once inside. The overall height depends on the diameter of the yurt.  Detailed dimensions for the various sizes can be found HERE.

Do you make 8m or larger yurts? 

 7m diameter is the currently largest yurt we make. We would need to change quite a bit of our frame componentry and move into a much heavier type of structure to go bigger.  If you have been inside a 7m yurt, you may be surprised by the space. We recently had a customer who thought they needed an 8 or 9m yurt, but after visiting us they settled on a 6m!