I built this simple cupola with reclaimed materials. Construction sights are a great place to find wood scraps that would otherwise be thrown in the dumpster. Most carpenters would be happy to help you out.
Many of todays cupolas are just for decorative purposes. I needed more ventilation in my barn since I only had two small gable end vents. The added ventilation will prolong the life of the singles and keep my office cooler in the summer.
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Step 1: Base
I built the base using 3/4 inch sub-floor sheathing. Maybe not as good as Maine-Grade plywood but still very durable.
Screw together a simple box. Transfer the pitch of the roof to two sides and cut.
Step 2: Cedar Siding
I outlined the base with cedar trim and installed the siding. Everything fastened with stainless steel screws to keep it stable. I also painted the back side of the siding to prevent curling.
Step 3: Add a Sill to Base
Around the top of the base I placed beveled siding to shed any standing water.
Step 4: Louvered Section.
Similar to the base in step one you start out by building a square object. I used cedar 3x3''s joined with 1 inch cedar boards.
You can purchase louvered vents at Home Depot for around $30.00 apiece or you can spend a couple hours and make your own.
Step 5: Add Screen
Its important to use aluminum screening rather than fiberglass. Bats will easily chew through the fiberglass and make a mess of things
Step 6: Install Louvers
Attach louver vents with stainless screws and apply several coats of stain.
Step 7: Roof System
Cut a piece of plywood slightly larger than the louvered base and add rafters. These rafters are the same pitch as the main roof.
Step 8: Roof Shingles
I pulled these shingles out of a dumpster. The installation is the same as regular roof with a metal flashing top.
Step 9: Test Fit
Before heading up the roof test fit every component and make adjustments
Step 10: Cut a Hole in the Roof
This is the most difficult part of the project. A 45 degree roof can be scary, take your time and have proper staging.
I cut the hole with my circular saw 4 inches smaller than the base on all its sides.
When i opened the roof a rush of warm moist air can out. I knew then the added ventilation would be helpful.
Step 11: Assemble Everything
Screw everything together and fasten base to the roof with 6 inch timber-lock bolts
Step 12: Add Weathervene
I bought a weathervane off of Amazon. Its made by Swen and very affordable and well made.