Barn Copola




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.

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    10 Discussions


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Bats = bat guano

    bat guano on roof = Rotting roof.

    make a separate house for the bats. then compost the bat guano for the garden


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I have metal roofs and would just leave the bottom 3/4" open. All guano would exit.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Very well done! I have an unused chimney on my garage and this would look great over it!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I would recommend adding step flashing and counter flashing around the base of that to prevent leaks.

    I like the idea, although I probably would not actually do that on our roof - it is usually too cold for that, either way. But I am also curious as to how you sealed the joint between copola and roof.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    i have the same type of 45 degree roof! wow you are brave to cut a hole in your roof! A spire is an inspiring idea!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Nice job! How did you get the joint between the copola & the roof watertight?