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How to Install a Cupola and Weathervane


Crown the Roof, Old or New, with a Simple Project to Install a Cupola and Weathervane Kit

Top a brand new barn or a weathered outbuilding with this simple project to install a weathervane kit. The eye-catching copper weathervane crowns the wooden cupola formed from a base, midsection and top/copper roof. Shape the cupola's base with a jigsaw to straddle the roof ridge, installing it for a close fit before the roof cap is added.

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measuring to position the cupola
Step 1

Mark the Cupola Position on the Center of Roof Ridge

Find the center point of the roof line by running a tape measure along the roof ridge. Mark the center point with a pencil as the position for the cupola base.

building a bevel gauge for the cupola project
Step 2

Create a Bevel Gauge to Help Shape the Cupola Base

Angle two crossed one-by-fours along the roof slopes as a bevel gauge to determine the exact angle of the roof for the cupola base. Screw them together. Draw a precisely vertical line at the intersection of the arms.

Marking a line on the side of the cupola
Step 3

Draw a Plumb Line on the Cupola Sides

Draw a vertical line from top to bottom of the cupola base using a square to ensure it is plumb. Any pair of opposing sides will serve, because the cupola base is square.

aligning marks on the cupola base and bevel gauge
Step 4

Align the Bevel Gauge on the Cupola Base

Align marks on the cupola base and bevel gauge on one side, tracing the bottom edge of the bevel gauge arms. Repeat on the opposing side, ensuring that the bevel gauge intersects the front corners each time.

shaping the cupola base to fit the roof ridge
Step 5

Saw the Cupola Base along the Traced Guidelines

Cut along the traced guidelines on opposing sides of the cupola base with a jigsaw, removing part of the base at the back. Position the base over the roof ridge to test the fit and confirm it is level.

installing flashing underneath the cupola
Step 6

Install Flashing beneath the Cupola Base

Cover the seam between the roof and the cupola base with metal flashing to prevent water seepage underneath. The ridge cap will be installed over the flashing.

screwing the cupola base to the roof with a water-tight seal
Step 7

Secure the Cupola Base to the Roof

Adhere "Water and Ice" barrier on two pairs of two-by-four blocks for a water-tight seal. Screw them to the roof inside the cupola base (a pair on either side of the cupola base) and then to the base itself.

nailing the upper section of the cupola in place
Step 8

Position the Middle Section over the Cupola Base

Center the middle section over the cupola base with equal overhang on all sides and nail it to the base. Position and nail the upper section with the copper roof to the middle and secure with nails.

setting the direction for the cupola weathervane
Step 9

Completing the Cupola Kit with the Weathervane

Insert the cupola kit's copper weather vane through the hole at the top, aligning its points with compass directions and tighten the set screw. Insert the rotating module (here, a sailboat) over the top to complete.

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