This time five years ago, we needed to know how to put a stove pipe through our yurt roof. We couldn’t find anything useful online. So we just did what made sense and hoped for the best.

Since then, we’ve put three more stove pipes through yurt roof wheels – and I thought I’d learnt enough to write that missing blog post. I was originally going to call this: “The easy way to put a stove pipe through a yurt roof” or “How to put a stove pipe through a yurt roof in XX easy steps”. But as we discovered today, even when you’ve done it a few times before – differently each time – there are no easy ways to put stove pipes through yurt roofs. Let me explain.

Here’s the top part of the silicon flashing we used today, freshly cleaned after it came off the old roof wheel cover.

yurt stove pipe 5

This is the part that goes on the outside of the yurt cover. On the inside is a smaller circle of aluminium (US: aluminum) with pre-drilled holes that match the upper part. For clarity, I’m going to call this inner circle the Lower Side of Your Silicon Flashing Sandwich (LSYSFS). This professionally made flashing kit came with a stove we bought from Windy Smithy in the UK and is incredibly useful. Our first flashing kit (can’t remember where it came from) just had the top half and some self-tapping screws. We had to invent an LSYSFS using some aluminium sheeting from the local DIY place, which left us with a lot of very sharp waste.

It’s still in use and, this evening, looks like this (also pre-used).

yurt stove pipe

Right. That’s enough of an introduction. Here’s the post I wish I’d found in 2009, which comes with the accurate-but-not-very-snappy headline:

How to put a stove pipe through a yurt roof in 12 (or 13) steps, some of which are (fairly) easy

Step 1: 

yurt stove pipe 1

Put the LSYSFS (see intro above for explanation) in position and fix with exterior sealant.

Step 2 (You will want to skip this Step):

Using very sharp scissors, poke a couple of holes through the canvas in preparation for cutting out the canvas circle. Then decide it would be even easier to leave the sealant to dry and…

Step 3:

yurt stove pipe 2

Hold the LSYSFS in place with a couple of bits of scrap wood.

Step 4 (If you chose not to skip Step 2):

Fill the little holes you made with some more sealant and wait for several days for it to stop raining.

Step 5:

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With those small, very sharp scissors, poke holes through the pre-drilled holes of the LSYSFS from below.

Step 6 (A nice easy one):

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Cut the canvas out of the middle of the LSYSFS, rendering your beautiful and expensive new yurt cover pretty much useless and definitely worth less.

Step 7:

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Check you’ve got everything (maybe this should be at the beginning). I used a socket wrench, spanner, those sharp scissors again, clear exterior sealant, the nuts, bolts and washers that came with the flashing kit and a ladder. Ignore that screwdriver – I don’t know why it’s there. Also, the tool belt’s not much use, although I did need something to keep the nuts and bolts safe after Step 10. You won’t be needing the hammer or the spade.

Step 8 (not shown):

Undo the side of the yurt and roll the roof up so if will stay in place while you are working. We could do this fairly easily because these days we use Velcro instead of rope to keep the roof and walls together. (We use something cheaper than Velcro, but that’s so you know what I’m writing about.) You’ll have noticed by now that we are not using a star on the yurt any more. This is also one of Her Outdoors’ new design improvements.

Step 9:

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Construct an unsafe-looking ladder that will get you high enough to reach all the way round the stove pipe from above the yurt. Place the lower part of the stove pipe in the stove for guidance.

Step 10 (not shown):

Climb the ladder and ease the top section of the stove pipe through the hole in the roof wheel from above. You have already (i) slipped the silicon flashing over the pipe (sorry for forgetting to take a photograph – I was busy at the time) and (ii) secured the witch’s hat (choose your own expression for this if you like – pretty sure it’s not called a witch’s hat).

Step 11:

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Spread sealant all around the hole where it will be sandwiched by the LSYSFS. At this point, I realised I had made my Enormous Mistake of the Day. So I asked Her Outdoors to get another ladder. First, she took a photograph.

Step 12:

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With your partner gently but firmly holding your nuts, tighten all the bolts on the flashing kit and spread some more sealant around for good measure.

Step 13:

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Secure the roof to the wall again and light the fire. Wait for the rain to see if your work is weatherproof – and hope for the best.