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What to do with a Cupola on your Home

Updated on March 11, 2011

The cupola isn’t a common architectural feature that you see on homes today. However, it is something that you see now and then. In fact, many people look for cupolas when choosing their home because they are both aesthetically pleasing and potentially functional. Not sure what to do with a cupola on your home? This article can help!

What is a cupola?

First things first, what exactly is a cupola? Basically a small structure that sits on top of the rest of the house. It is traditionally shaped like a dome and is considerably smaller than the rest of the roof. However, modern cupolas may be different in shape (square for example) as well as varying in size (with some being rather quite large). A good way to tell if you’re looking at a cupola on the home is to ask yourself if the home has a crown sitting on top of its head. If it looks like it does then you’ve probably got a cupola!

Function of a cupola

If you know the function of a cupola then you will be in a better position to use yours! Here are the most common functional benefits of a cupola on the home:

o   Lets additional light into the home.One of the main functions of a cupola is to let more light into the house. The cupola often has windows on all sides and therefore serves as an all-day skylight for the portion of the house that it sits on top of. If you have a cupola that lets light into the home then definitely take advantage of this. Reduce your use of indoor lighting by maximizing your use of natural lighting. This is healthier for you and also helps lower the cost of your electricity bills. Bet you didn’t think about the fact that a cupola can lower your home energy costs!

o   Lets additional air into the home. The cupola can also serve the purpose of allowing more air to flow through the home. The windows of this type of cupola can be opened to provide additional airflow. This can also be a home energy saver since it can help reduce your need for home cooling systems. It can also just help freshen up the feel of the house since fresh air is often pleasant to have in the home!

o   Serves as an extra small room at the top of the house. Not all cupolas are functional rooms. Some have no floors beneath them and are just structural designs. However, some of them do function as small rooms at the top of the home. If you are lucky enough to have this kind of cupola on your home then you should celebrate it. Of course, you can always use the space for storage but why not do something more creative with this top-of-the-house space. Turn it into an art studio, writing space or exercise room where you can get away from the rest of the home and enjoy a little space for yourself!

o   A room with a view. In many cases the cupola has that nice high vantage point that allows you a great view of the world below. If you have a functional cupola that offers this then you can use this as a spot for inspiration or an indoor place to watch the kids playing in the yard!

The cupola as an architectural addition

Although the cupola does serve the functions described above and should be used as such, it’s also just a nice architectural addition to the home that you can enjoy when looking at the house from the outside. You may choose to enhance this aspect of the cupola by drawing attention to it with lighting. During the holidays you may emphasize this part of the home with great holiday decorating. Play around with enhancing this part of your home if you’ve got a cupola!


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  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

    They are very attractive.