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Domes Done Right

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The dome, or skylight, at the crown of a yurt is a formed acrylic “bubble” centered over the compression ring. Standard material is ¼” clear UV-Stabilized cell cast acrylic. The dome can be fixed (non-opening), or have opening hardware fitted to it at our factory which comes with a hand crank.

Upgrades are available for a tinted dome (to block intense sunlight), a bug screen, a light-blocking screen, and a ceiling fan bracket so that you can mount your ceiling fan right at the top (warmest) part of the yurt.

Dome ShotHere is something I bet you didn’t know: the dome itself is 6 times stronger than glass and has a higher impact strength. Still, we tend to get a lot of phone calls, especially as the rainy season approaches, for replacement domes.

Domes break for a variety of reasons. Think of your dome like the windshield of your car. Once it gets a “ding” or small crack, if the temperature drops, you come out to your car to find a long crack all the way across the front that wasn’t there the day before. "Why now?" you ask!

To prevent total dome failure we recommend the following common sense protocol:

  1. Do not push the dome past the set-limit in the hardware
  2. Do not use excessive force when opening dome - gentle smooth motion of the hand crank will be sufficient
  3. Do not let “unauthorized” or “unfamiliar” persons operate the hand crank. Too many of the cracked domes we see were the result of an unfamiliar hand!
  4. Do not ignore cracks until fall. We do not stock domes in our inventory (they are big – therefore cumbersome to store, and can scratch easily) so from the time you order your dome until the time you receive it usually is around two weeks. You do NOT want to have to replace your dome in inclement weather. PLAN AHEAD and take care of your damaged dome in the summer!

DomeYou may go 20 years and never have a crack in your dome and you may go 2 days and blow it right off! This is because you did not know where the prevailing winds came from. It is critically important place the hinge toward the prevailing wind. In some cases, where there are constant winds, or changing winds (for example in the morning it comes down the mountain but in the evening it travels the other direction), or unexpected wild gusts, it may not be practical to have an opening dome.

People who must have an opening dome (due to warmer temperatures) but are fearful of the winter winds can temporarily and seasonally “rig” the hardware by affixing a thick zip tie through the spring eyelet on the ring and at the dome and cinch until there is very little movement allowed. Don’t “reef on it” – the dome needs to be able to have a slight amount of movement to avoid the vacuum affect when the door opens.

Cleaning your dome should be done bi-yearly. As with the vinyl windows, the skylight dome is very susceptible to scratching (clouding) if an abrasive cloth is used when cleaning. Use only a clean soft, cotton cloth and a diluted solution of warm water and mild soap. Rinse thoroughly. Never use ammonia based products like Windex on your dome or windows. Refer to the back of your yurt manual for cleaning tips.

As more yurt companies fail to provide after-market customer service (especially to second owners) and as more yurt manufacturers go out of business, I frequently get calls for replacement domes that are for another yurt manufacturer. Because the dome needs to mount to the ring, and each yurt manufacturer’s ring is different, we can only guarantee that the dome we make will fit the Rainier Eagle or Raven yurt, or a Nesting Bird Yurt.

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To make a custom size ring is price prohibitive, so if you can make one of our three standard size rings work, we will go out of our way to help you. But the burden is on YOU to make it work. Here is my analogy: you need a new passenger door for your 2006 Toyota, and you find one almost the right color at the junk yard in great condition – but it’s for a 2012 Nissan. It would be naive to think that it would work!

Our rings come in the following sizes:

Small: (16’ & 18’ yurt) @ 52.5” diameter. Note: ring opening at center is 39.75”
Medium: (21’ & 24’ yurt) @ 58.75” diameter. Note: ring opening at center is 47.25”
Large: (27’, 30’ & 33’ yurt) @ 64” diameter. Note: ring opening at center is 53.75”

So, while there is a possibility that our dome will work on your XYZ manufactured or homemade yurt, if it is not a Rainier or Nesting Bird Yurt – there are no guarantees!

Give us a call at 800-869-7162 if you need a new replacement dome.

Enjoy the journey!

Dana Of Rainier, the Yurt Girl

Namaste~Dana, The Yurt Girl

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