A roof cupola is a small structure similar to a dome that is placed on top of a larger building. Older buildings often used for a variety of cupolas in order to help ventilate buildings, allow for natural lighting, or even to create a viewing area. Many manufacturers use them solely for decoration.
Roof Cupola Types
First determine what type of cupola you want to build. This is your first and most important step. You have to ask yourself a few important questions: Is your roof cupola meant to be useful or merely decorative? For example, a cupola can be a stylish alternative to a waiting metal roof or if it is properly located, can replace a roof. However, it can also serve as decoration or the mount point for weather vanes or other interesting architecture that provides a classic touch to otherwise plain structures.
What form will it take? While we usually think of a roof cupola and related structures, historically, they were built in a variety of forms. Dome-shaped cupolas were popular in the past, but now square and octagonal shapes are also common.
Will it contain vents? Although many cupolas have openings, there is no rule that they have to. Some sort of ventilation or window is best.
With these thoughts in mind, it is much easier to find suitable cupola plans. In addition to “pay” plans, you can find many free cupola plans on the internet. In addition, magazines and television shows provide good plans for use by anyone.
Roof Cupola Planning
When planning your cupola, you should also give some account of its position on the roof. Since most of cupolas sit on the ridge of a roof, you need to choose a location where you can safely work at the same time to install it. You will also need to determine where the bottom corners of the cupola must be cut so that it fits tightly against the roof line. You can do this by creating two straight wood pieces and laying them on the roof so they can go to the top of the ridge line and locking together to mimic the corner. You can then use this model to move around the bottom of the pieces of your cupola.
One advantage of using a cupola is its relatively small size. It can be installed in a shop in pieces if necessary, where there is no danger of falling from the ceiling. Mounting hardware can be installed prior to work, and then the pieces of the roof cupola can be taken to the roof and easily installed.