Weathervane and Cupola Tips
Cupolas Can Serve Double Duty
Cupolas are indeed unique architectural features. They go well with certain homes and not so well with others. Often they seem to look best on an accessory structure like a garage or a shed. The one I have on my garage would look very funny on my house but it seems very attractive on the garage. Isn't that weird?
Decorative or a Workhorse?
Some cuploas end up being simply decorative. Even though they are built to act as ventilators, the person installing them decides to simply make the necessary angle cuts and just attach the cupola to the roof. In my case I wanted the cupola to serve as an excellent rooftop ventilator. It sticks up in the air and any breeze that passes by helps to siphon hot air from my garage attic space. To accomplish this, I had to cut a hole in the top of my roof. The cupola sits over this hole. You can actually climb into the attic and stick your head up inside of the cupola, much like an army tank turret. Hmmmmm, I better not mention that to my son or he will be up there in a flash surveying the countryside for the enemy!
You need to be careful when you buy a weathervane. Some of them are quite decorative and they look nice, but they are not very functional. The balance of the vane is critical. If the top part of the weathervane is not well balanced, the vane will have a tough time reacting to changes in wind direction. Only the strongest gusts will move it. The best weathervanes are often equipped with a ball bearing. The bearing sits between the top of the iron shaft and the top of the weathervane tube that slides over the iron shaft. If the weathervane is well balanced, it takes very little to get it to rotate.
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