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How To Make A Copper Cupola Roof

What Is A Cupola Used For

ARSM – How to create a Copper Cupola Part 1

In modern times, the purpose of a cupola is threefold. Most importantly for ventilation, to let in the fresh air. Secondly, for natural lighting. And simply for curb appeal.

Roof cupolas at one time were crucial for survival. By letting in plenty of breathable fresh air, livestock lived longer and was healthier, but also to keep hay dry. Moldy hay can make animals sick. And the natural light was helpful for people and horses to move around without the need for a lantern.

In Medieval times, cupolas had a bell and light. Sentries stood as lookouts in cupolas and would ring the bell or light a fire as a warning in case of invasion by enemies. Legend has it that wives would use it a widows walk to keep watch for husbands coming home from war.

Having a weathervane on the spire helps farmers to know the direction of the wind. The design of the cupola and weathervane once upon a time was specific to each ruling family, like a family crest.

In Latin, cupola means small upside-down cup. In Italian, it means little dome. Roof cupolas can come in many different shapes and sizes and colors and can be made of different materials such as bronze, iron, wood, copper, vinyl and siding.

Please enjoy this free cupola plan and happy building!

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How To Clean Outdoor Copper

The best advice about cleaning copper roofs is not to bother. Normally, theres no need to ever clean a copper roof. One of the worst things you can do is scrub hard or pressure wash and disturb the patinas natural protection. Regular hosing down is sufficient copper roof care. Itll get rid of bird droppings, leaves and accumulated grime.

However, some purists want to see a fresh coppery look every few years. The best way to clean a copper roof without removing the finish is to use an organic, citrus-based cleaner, along with clean water and a soft brush. There are many commercial copper-cleaning products available in building supply stores. Its important to get professional advice from a roofing company that specializes in installing copper roofs. Theyll know the right way to keep your copper roof clean and prevent damage.

Some copper roofing products come factory-treated to keep your roof looking new and freshly cleaned. Polyurethane treatment keeps a copper roof shiny for a few years, but will require reapplying every so often. Otherwise, copper will do what it does best, and quickly oxidize and turn green.

Install Mounting Boards On Your Roof

The cupola wont sit flush against your roofinstead, youll screw it into two mounting boards that you position over the ridge. Get two 2 by 4 inch blocks, and apply silicone to one side of each.

Then screw the blocks into the roof so that they form an angle over the roof ridge, silicone-side down, and so that theyll fit inside the cupola when its installed. Do the same thing for the other side.

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Cupola For Small Shed

I needed a small Cupola and found the perfect size at cupolasnmore. I loved that it was all vinyl and should hold up to weather well. I was able to extend the base to be able to use it on my 10/12 pitch roof. Now all I need is the brick to complete my project.

Thought you might like to see the finished product Looks stunning

Screw The Saddle To The Roof

Good Directions Westport Vinyl Cupola with Copper Roof 36 ...

If your roof is too steep to comfortably walk and stand on, you’ll want to use roof bracket and/or a safety harness. And remember that rooftop safety also includes keeping away from power lines.

If you don’t want ventilation, simply mount the saddle, without doing anything to your roof. If your shed cupola will be used for ventilation, you’ll have to cut a hole in your roof. The hole should be about 16 in. wide at the ridge and extend 10 to 14 in. down from the ridge, depending on the pitch of your roof.

You can cut the hole with a circular saw or jigsaw, but be careful to cut only through your roof’s sheathing and not into any of the structural lumber underneath. Cutting through asphalt shingles will ruin a saw blade. So either use an old blade or first cut away the shingles with a utility knife.

Fasten the saddle to the roof with 2×2 cleats. First, lay a bead of roofing cement on the roof along each sloped side of the saddle. Then fold the four flaps down over the cement . Drive 2-in. screws through the 2x2s into the saddle and 3-in. screws into the roof. Seal the gap at the ridge with roofing cement and caulk around the upper edge of the saddle. But leave the two low edges of the saddle unsealed so any water that gets in can drain out.

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What Is A Cupola

The direct definition of a cupola is a small dome, especially a small dome on a drum on a larger dome, adorning a roof or ceiling.

Cupolas typically look like little turrets sticking out of the top of a roof and do not have to be round, they can be square, hexagonal, or any shape the builder likes as long as it is sturdy enough to stay intact on the top of the roof.

They are usually made of wood, metal, or plaster depending on the style of the building it is being added to and the local weather conditions.

Shingles or metal plating will often be added to the top of the cupola to protect it from damage during storms or other weather events.

Cupolas rose to stardom in Italy during the Renaissance as decorations on the top of the large, decadent buildings of the time and can still be seen all over Italy today.

Originally used for ventilation on larger buildings that typically housed large amounts of livestock or people, cupolas quickly became another way of expressing style and decorating a house.

Cupolas may also double as skylights or hold a weather vane. People building large barns may still put a cupola on the roof for not just added flare, but ventilation for the animals inside.

Below are some design examples, but all of which can be customized to the needs of the building.

How Long Does It Take For Copper To Turn Green

The aged, green patina is what most people find attractive about copper roofs. A common question from anyone considering having a copper roof installed is, How long does it take for copper to turn green? Green copper is the mature assurance that this wonder metal has settled in for the long run. The answer to this question, however, is not simple or straightforward. How to get green patina on copper depends on a lot of factors.

The copper-roofed buildings location is the main contributor in how to age copper green. By location, that doesnt necessarily mean how its positioned to the elements, though this does have an effect. All building locations across the country and around the world have different local humidity levels. Humidity and direct water exposure have an inversely proportional effect on how long it takes for copper to go green from its bright, shiny new state.

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Contract With A Copper Roofing Professional

Theres no question about copper roofs being expensive. The initial cost of a copper roof is going to be much higher than a standard roof. However, the long-term benefits and payback have no equal. Copper roofs last many human lifetimes, provided theyre professionally installed.

Huber & Associates has extensive professional expertise in installing and repairing top-quality copper roofs. Weve completed projects from simple to highly complex. One of the contracts we completed was on the historic Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C., which was once the magnificent mansion belonging to the Vanderbilt family.

Huber & Associates are award-winning roofing experts. We specialize in historic roof restoration and can design a beautiful custom copper roof for any building. Learn more about our historic roof restoration products and services. For expert installation and professional workmanship of your copper or other specialty roof, call Huber & Associates today at 828-275-7678.

Cap The Roof With Flashing

Tulsa Architectural Roofing Sheet Metal How to Create a Copper Cupola Part 3

Cap the roof by folding a 9 x 14-in. piece of flashing around the peak . Hold the flashing in place while you mark it for cutting. When the cap is cut, fold it back into its pyramid shape, squeeze a large blob of roofing cement into it, press it onto the peak and drive one roofing nail through the side of the cap that has the overlapping seam.

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How To Build A Copper Cupola Roof

Jason Senior of J& R Senior Sheetmetal Inc. illustrates how he forms copper panels for a standing seam roof

Jason Senior of J& R Senior Sheetmetal Inc. walks us through his process for creating customized copper panels for a cupola roof. The roof is from a project completed by general contractor Jeff Sweenor and his team at Sweenor Builders.

Base Cupola On A 24′ Two


This diagram is to help you determine the proper size cupola for your building. The normal rule of thumb is to figure 1″ to 1 1/4″ of cupola base for every foot of unbroken roof line. You can go larger or smaller with your cupola from there, based on personal preference and taste.

This diagram is to help you determine the proper size cupola for your building. The normal rule of thumb is to figure 1″ to 1 1/4″ of cupola base for every foot of unbroken roof line. You can go larger or smaller with your cupola from there, based on personal preference and taste.

This diagram is to help you determine the proper size cupola for your building. The normal rule of thumb is to figure 1″ to 1 1/4″ of cupola base for every foot of unbroken roof line. You can go larger or smaller with your cupola from there, based on personal preference and taste.

This diagram is to help you determine the proper size cupola for your building. The normal rule of thumb is to figure 1″ to 1 1/4″ of cupola base for every foot of unbroken roof line. You can go larger or smaller with your cupola from there, based on personal preference and taste.

This diagram is to help you determine the proper size cupola for your building. The normal rule of thumb is to figure 1″ to 1 1/4″ of cupola base for every foot of unbroken roof line. You can go larger or smaller with your cupola from there, based on personal preference and taste.


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Pair You Copper Cupola With A Copper Weathervane

Add even more character to your home or garage cupola by pairing it with a copper weathervane. Choose from our many beautifully polished copper weathervanes or blue verde copper weathervanes. Though typically used to indicate the direction of the wind, our weathervanes are architectural ornaments, and, depending on which style you choose, they can expose a bit of your personality too.

Heres just a small sampling of our copper weathervane variety:

Copper cupolas, whether paired with weathervanes or on their own, can add charm to and to barns, garages, sheds, and other outdoor structures. We offer the best selection of not only copper cupolas but vinyl and wood cupolas as well. Our customer service representative is ready to help you choose the one thats best for you. We offer ground shipping on all our products being shipped within the 48 contiguous states. .


Fasten The Rafters Together

Cupola,cupola,what is a cupola, how to build a cupola ...

Join the rafters using a 6-1/2 in. piece of 2×2 as a hub. Screw the hub to two of the rafters, and fasten the other two by driving 3-in. screws through the rafters into the hub. Center the rafter assembly on a 26 x 26- in. piece of 3/8-in. plywood and drive 1-1/4 in. screws from below through the plywood and into the lower end of each rafter. Cut a hole in the plywood base so the roof can dry out if water gets in.

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The Different Types Of Copper Roofs

You can install copper roofs on practically every architectural style and building type. Its open to a designers imagination and the installers skill. Youll see copper roofs on luxury homes and on elegant commercial buildings. Some buildings have their entire roof line sheathed in copper, while others have limited accents like a turret or feature awning over a bay window.

While you can add a copper roof can to every type of building design, there are limited types of copper roofing materials. Each one has a specific design intention and installation application. Roofing contractors who are trained and experienced with copper roofing systems are the best sources to advise on what type of copper roof best suits a particular building.

How To Clean A Copper Roof

  • Written by Justin Stewart on Nov 21, 2009To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience.Reviewed by

The vivid warmth of a gleaming copper roof adds a unique charm to your home. Unlike other roofing, however, your copper roof may turn dull, brownish or even black, so that you will want to clean it. Follow these directions to use a chemical or natural cleaner to restore your copper roof to its original new-penny gleam.

Chemical Cleaners

You can clean copper with a chemical-based cleaner such as Brasso, but you will need a large amount for a roof. Ask at your building supply center for a large-volume container of this cleaner. Apply it with soft flannel cloths over your roof starting from the top, in a thick film. Allow it to dry overnight, or for at least six hours out of direct sunlight.

After it dries to a white powdery finish, put on a pair of smooth old leather gloves, and with fresh flannel cloths, buff the entire surface from the top down to remove all the powdery residue. Use a soft toothbrush to get the cleaner out of cracks and under edges. When it is shiny again, coat it with a layer of polyurethane so it will not oxidize again. You may need to recoat it every two to three years.

Natural-Ingredient Cleaners

Preserving the Coppery Shine

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Copper Roof Patina And How To Achieve It

August 19, 2018 by dina

To properly understand whats involved in achieving a copper roof patina one must first understand copper.

Copper is an extremely durable and versatile metal that can last close to one hundred years and even after can be recycled and almost one hundred percent reused.

The thing about copper that a lot of people love is that its natural coloring is very sensitive to the air and certain elements of the air that are geographically relevant, as well as that areas humidity. The environment will affect the color and the rate at which the copper changes colors.

That being said it is still possible to use chemical treatments to advance this copper roof patina process. Its even possible to choose the color of a coppers patina through chemical treatment. There is, however, a major caveat to that unnatural choice.

Coppers natural patina occurs as a gradual progression depending on the coppers physical orientation and the local weather and pollution levels on a grading scale of lighter and lighter greens. The copper roof starts out salmon pink brown and makes its way to the statue of liberty bright green.

Van De Hey Refined Roofing, LLC is a custom roofing company that proudly services the Appleton, Little Chute and the Fox Valley area, Sheboygan, Oshkosh, Madison, Milwaukee, Shorewood, Sheboygan, Oconomowoc, Verona, Waukesha, Green Bay, and De Pere areas in Wisconsin. Call VR Roofing for all of your copper roofing needs.

Why Copper Roofs Change Color

Installing a Standing-Seam Copper Roof

Unlike iron that rusts and deteriorates as it ages under wet and airy conditions, copper undergoes a chemical change where it actually coats itself with a preservative. The gradual slide from appearing as a newly minted penny through its brown, black and green phases is an oxide-sulfate patina or coating thats building up. This coat preserves the underlying metal and prevents it from corroding like most other exterior metals do eventually.

Atmospheric oxidization is responsible for coppers color change. The effects of water, light and atmospheric pollutants all contribute to a molecular process that builds copper carbonate on the exposed side of a copper roof. A similar process occurs on the unexposed side of copper materials, but its far slower than the exterior, weather-beaten areas.

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Nail On The Roof Shingles

Shingle the roof beginning with a starter strip, a full shingle nailed to the roof upside down. The starter strip should overhang the plywood by about 3/4 in. With the starter strips in place, begin nailing on the 4-in. wide shingles. As with the plywood roof sheathing, leaving a gap between the shingles at the ridges. Glue the lower edge of each 4-in. tab down with a dab of roofing cement.

Curved Copper Cupola Roof

Hi, all

Im building a 30 square cupola. It will have glass on 4 sides, and I am toying with the idea of a curved copper roof, but have never tried this. Can anyone give me some direction or resources for laying out the copper sheet?


  • |#2

    Thank you!

    It’d be a concave, about 36″ across at the base. As for seam, I guess standing, but I’m open. . Which would be easier?


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