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Cupola Installation Tips

Cupola Installation Tips

Most of the cupolas come with installation instructions. Some are well written and others assume you have been a full time carpenter for about 15 years or so. Keep in mind that installing one of these devices is not a very easy job. You need a certain degree of skill and you need certain tools. You also need to be careful since you are working up on a roof.

The first thing to do is cut the base of the cupola so it matches the roof pitch. Be aware that certain cupola bases will only work for certain maximum roof pitches! It is a good idea to determine the roof pitch before you start to make sure the cupola is going to work. Roof pitch is simply the amount of slope measured by calculating how many inches of drop for every foot of horizontal run.

The cupola needs to be centered on the roof. Once you think you have the correct roof pitch, why not transfer it onto a scrap piece of plywood that is the same size as the side of the cupola? Make your cuts and take the plywood up onto the roof to see if it fits. If the plywood was a square or rectangle before you started, then the top of the piece should be level when you place the cut edges on the actual roof surface. If you are satisfied with the fit, then transfer the pattern to the bottom of the cupola base and cut both sides. Take the cupola base up on the roof and see how it fits.


If you decide to make your cupola a ventilator, metal roof flashing is a must. Do not rely on caulk to keep rain from getting under the cupola. The caulk will eventually fail.

The cupola will need to be attached to blocks that are screwed to the roof. The cupola base slides over these blocks. Metal roof flashing is installed under each shingle and butts up against the blocks. You may need help from a roofer with this!

Companion Articles: Cupolas, Weathervane & Cupola Tips, Weathervane & Cupola Manufacturers

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