September 22, 2023

Home Architecture

The Extraordinary Design

Barn and Gazebo Cupolas – 10 Tips For Choosing a Cupola

3 min read

Are you planning a remodeling of the exterior of your house this spring or summer? Perhaps that roof needs a touch up, or you just want to spruce up the outside of your house with some fresh decorations?

If your roof is where you need some home improvement, consider adding instant curb appeal to your home with a cupola. Cupolas are a small dome-like structure on top of a building. In domestic use, cupolas come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You’ve likely seen one on the top of an old home or barn, as well.

With so much interest these days in classic home design and architecture, cupolas are a great way to add something extra to your property that will force your neighbors to take notice.

Below are 10 quick tips to consider when shopping around for a cupola for your barn, roof, garage or gazebo this season.

1. Because your cupola is going to be a permanent addition to your roof, you need to make sure it is of highest quality. Many people would recommend a style of cupola that requires no-maintenance. Most commonly, that means the cupola should be made with a weather-resistant material like vinyl PVC board.

2. As an addition to making sure the base of your cupola is made with a no-maintenance material, the same rules apply to the cupola roof. You need to make sure the roofing material is also weather resistant. Copper sheeting tends to hold up even through tough weather (it also looks very elegant).

3. I know design of a cupola typically comes down to personal preference, but who doesn’t love having decorative windows or louvers on them? I’ve even seen some cupolas with double louvers. Obviously, how many louvers you have on your cupola comes down to choice and cost.

4. Vented window cupolas allow wind to pass through them easily and are a great addition to sheds and attics. In warmer climates, the vented windows can be left clear. If you’re going to use a vented window cupola in a four-season region, consider filling it in with stained glass for a beautiful design and winter weather insulation.

5. Before you get ready to order a cupola, make sure you know the pitch of your roof. Also, you should probably try to factor in at least a few inches of clearance.

6. Cupolas come in many different shapes. The most common cupolas are four-sided. However, if you’re looking for a more custom shape, try a hexagonal cupola.

7. Depending on your cupola preference, a variety of roof styles might also be available. Crown moldings, copper bells, and copper concave roofs are just a few of the most common roof choices for a cupola. Make sure you pick one that best fits the design theme of your house.

8. If you’re considering the purchase of a cupola for a barn or shed, make sure the cupola has a standard hole and interior mount for weathervanes.

9. There are other types of finials you can add to the top of your cupola for a custom design. If you aren’t a fan of weathervanes, try a distinct spire or other ornament.

10. Make sure the company you select to purchase your cupola from isn’t using cheap products or products that weather easily to build your cupola. If a cupola company you are considering uses plastic, fiberglass, plywood, or a metal that easily rusts – consult another company.

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