Cupolas Rooftop Rules and Guidelines

Cupolas – Guidelines for placement of cupola on the roof ridge.

Cupolas and Weathervanes have some simple guidelines to assist you in understanding the placement of a cupola and weathervane upon your home or garage.

Cupola Guideline 1: Normal placement of a cupola on a roof line is 1” of cupola for 1 ½” feet of unbroken roof line. Using this guideline, a 24’ roof line will give you a size of 30” for your new cupola. This look will give you a majestic look for your new cupola.

Cupola Guideline 2: The smallest size cupola you may want to use on your roofline is the following guidelines: 1” of cupola per 1’ of roof line. This is a simple formula: a customer with a 26-foot shed will choose a 26” cupola.

Cupola Guideline 3: The higher up in the air you plan to place your cupola, the next larger size cupola you will need.

Example 1: Think of a hot air balloon. When holding the balloon, the balloon seems large, but as soon as you let it go free, the balloon will get small quickly and it rises. This will apply to cupolas too. For each story that you go up in the air you may want to add one size larger to your cupola.

Example 2: If you have a two-story garage that you are wanting to placing your cupola on: The Guideline 1 reads that you will want the 30” cupola – but since you are going up to a second floor, this is when you may want to jump to the next larger size cupola such as a 36” size cupola or it may look a little small for your liking. If the garage is a three story, then you should think about adding two sizes to the cupola size and this would enable you to pick the 42” size cupola.

Guideline 3” When choosing a larger cupola, you may want to upgrade your weathervane to a large size. Just like the cupola, when choosing a weathervane to be a topper for your cupola, choose a weathervane you can see from the ground.

Fun Example: – small weathervane placed high in the air on a cupola has been known to cause squinting.

Guideline 4: Multiple cupola placement on a large, long unbroken roof line.

Attempting to break up a 120-foot roofline and the width will be 40” wide. Since cupolas are a decorative way of breaking up the roof line, you can now go back to guideline 2 for a simple plan.

 Example 1: On a 120-foot roof line the smallest you would want to go would be two big 60” cupolas or you could even do three or even four cupolas across the entire roofline.

You can do 4 - 30” cupolas or even change it up with a large 48” cupola in the middle and put a nice 36” cupola on either side of the 48” cupola to give a more majestic look. You can do the math here – 48+36+36=120 so you know these three cupolas will cover the 120 foot roofline.

Now that you have the mix and match figured out – add some amazing weathervanes and you will be very pleased.

Guideline 5: Customer wants a small low-cost cupola to hold their big weathervane. This rule is popular with folks on a budget, but it still tends to look great this way too. Of course, our weathervanes and cupolas always look amazing.

Really folks, these cupola guidelines for cupola placement are only guidelines and in the end the customer is always right since they are the ones that get to see the cupola and weathervane every day.

Guideline 6: Making your own cupola – this happens a often, but you might want to call in and chat with us about making the cupola weathervane ready and other mounting ideas for our great copper weathervanes. We are here to help and love to chat.

Guideline 7: Purchasing a low-cost cupola. If you are purchasing a cupola at a low-cost box store, please remember our weathervanes do not work well on cupolas such as _____ or _______ also ______ because these cupolas are made for the Very Light Weathervanes on the Market or no weathervane at all. Please remember that our copper weathervanes are heavy duty and can weigh up to 40 lbs. (for example our larger eagle weathervanes.) In a heavy wind our competitor cupolas not survived the storm when attempting to hold one of our larger copper weathervanes.

Please do the cupola knock test. Knocking on the top of the cupola – if the top of the cupola is really flimsy, feels like the cupola is going to fall apart just from the knock and the cupola and has a hole with ½” threads in the center – back away slowly. This is not going to work out well and is sure to end in disappointment.


Please note we are working on new cupola on roof line drawings to add to this section. 

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