Cupola Buying Guide
If you want to spruce up your home, barn, business, gazebo, or other building, you can by adding a cupola. The cupola has been an architectural enhancement for a long time and today, continues to be a popular choice. With a cupola, you can choose from various sizes, colors, designs, and materials, each looking great. In addition to the visual enhancement of a cupola, this structure also helps with ventilation. When shopping around for a cupola, you want to keep numerous factors in mind.
For starters, you always want to consider the size. Unfortunately, some people will simply buy what they like, giving little thought to the size of the cupola. The result is something that looks awkward, out of place, unbalanced, etc. Instead, a good rule to follow regarding size is that for every foot of roof, the cupola should be a minimum of one inch. Just remember that the goal is to choose a cupola that fits the roof, one that enhances the look without overpowering it.
Usually what happens is that people will go too small, which means the cupola becomes swallowed up. Let us say you had a roofline for the garage, running over a breezeway without any interruption. In this case, the cupola would look best centered but just over the garage area. Keep in mind that while the cupola may look huge on the ground, once you get it placed on the roof, it suddenly loses its massive size. To give you an idea, if your roofline is between 14 and 18 feet, the cupola should be around 22 inches. If the roof is 40 to 50 feet long, choose a cupola between 36 and 48 inches. Then, for a larger roof, one measuring between 60 and 70 feet long, the cupola should be anywhere from 62 to 70 inches in width.
Another consideration when buying a cupola is the pitch of the roof. Typically, a cupola will fit a 6 to 12-degree pitch without any problem. However, if the roof pitch were greater than this, the cupola would need to be installed on a base extension. One important note is that if you need a base extension, we strongly suggest you buy it from the same manufacturer and at the same time you purchase the cupola. That way, you purchase exactly the base needed.
What you will discover when buying a cupola is that most are easy to install, meaning you do not have to be a professional builder to erect one. However, you want to make sure your plans are complete. In other words, they should provide information or suggestions for ventilation. After all, ventilation is an important feature of the cupola, actually helping to reduce both temperature and moisture in a building's attic.
Finally, make sure when buying a cupola that you purchase top quality materials. Since this architectural feature will be outdoors, it needs to be made from material such as redwood, which is weather resistant. Other materials include mahogany and polyethylene. Then, just as the cupola material is important, so is the hardware. For this, we suggest you go with a heavier gauge stainless steel and copper seams.