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Quick Tips For Purchasing A Cupola

Updated on July 3, 2011
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Jonathan Bentz has been 'getting rank' online since 2004. He is a Digital Marketing Manager and been featured on many top sites and blogs.

A Quick Lesson In The Development Of Cupolas

Q: What is a cupola?

A: A small, dome-like structure that sits on top of a building. Many old barns and classic buildings in Europe are adorned with fashionable cupolas. Years ago, they served a purpose of ventilation during summer months. Cupolas with vented windows are a definite example of this.

You've likely seen these most frequently in the US on top of government buildings or old barns. While cupolas are generally used on older buildings as a way to keep historic buildings cool, cupolas are also very popular products today as a roofing addition.

Barns, sheds, and gazebos get adorned with cupolas today for vanity purposes. Why are cupolas so popular today despite the fact they are used most for vanity? Because cupolas add monetary value and curb appeal to properties. As home values continue to fluctuate in today's market, homeowners that need to sell will do whatever it takes to improve the value of their property. Adding a cupola can be valuable in that process.

If you're shopping for a cupola for your home for the first time, or are just curious about how one might fit into the exterior design plans of your property, read below for a list of 10 things to consider when buying one. There are tons of websites online that have a great selection of cupolas, so if you begin searching the web you are sure to find a site that has the right cupola for you.

Ten Quick Tips To Help You Shop For A Cupola Online

  1. For most cupolas, the best shopping approach would be for no maintenance material. The typical recommended finish on a cupola to insure little to no maintenance would be a weather resistant material like vinyl PVC board.
  2. Roofing material should be attractive and also weather resistant. Look for copper sheeting, as it provides an elegant look and holds up through tough weather.
  3. Some styles of cupolas include decorative windows or louvers (even double louvers). However, the addition of louvers and decorative windows can raise the cost considerably, so plan on spending extra if you're looking for this style of cupola.
  4. Vented windows on a cupola allow wind to pass through easily. If you are adding a cupola to an old home that doesn't have central air, this can be a great inclusion to increase ventilation in the summer. However, if you're going to use a vented window cupola in a four-season region, consider filling it in with stained glass in the colder months. It makes the design more elegant and acts as insulation against the winter wind.
  5. Know your roof pitch before purchasing. Also, make sure you factor in at least a few inches of roof clearance. Many people know the pitch of the roof, but forget the clearance. Not knowing the clearance can be a problem when trying to purchase a cupola that fits properly on your roof.
  6. Cupolas come in many different shapes, and some shapes are better suited for certain buildings. The most common cupolas are four-sided, and look great on standard suburban homes and barns with a traditional triangle roof. However, if you're looking for a cupola to go on a gazebo, try a hexagonal or octagonal cupola, as it will probably sit in the center of the roof on the building.
  7. Depending on the building you will place your cupola atop, there are a variety of roof styles that you might also want to consider. For sheds and barns, crown moldings and copper concave roofs on your cupola are very fashionable. For gazebos, copper bells look very classy. Make sure to pick a cupola with a roof that best fits the design theme of your building.
  8. Weathervanes are very popular with cupolas - in particular on barns and sheds. Make sure the cupola you purchase has a standard hole and interior mount for weathervanes.
  9. Hate weathervanes? Consider a finial or spire instead. There are other ornament options than weathervanes.
  10. Guarantee that the company you select to purchase your cupola from doesn't use cheap productsthat weather easily. Stay away from any cupolas that have a lot of plastic, fiberglass, plywood, or metal that rusts easily in their design. You might spend more money, but it will be worth it in the long run, and for the life of your cupola.

Check out the blog posts listed below for some more tips on selecting a cupola for your building.

amish crafted cupola
amish crafted cupola
double louvre cupolas
double louvre cupolas


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