What is a Cupola? Uses, Designs & Other Tips

What is a Cupola? Uses, Designs & Other Tips

Beyond beautifying your outdoor space, cupolas once (and often still do) played an integral role in brightening, lightening, and ventilating buildings, barns, and other structures. To better answer “What is a cupola?”, let’s discover their original purpose.

Cupolas, throughout history, have sat on the top of buildings, cathedrals, and barns for hundreds of years. They have been placed atop these structures to increase light, air flow, and reduce humidity.

Their current necessity in rural architecture has been understated – cupolas for barns play a key role in providing a ventilation system that keeps livestock cool and dry. Imagine being stuck in a stinky and stuffy barn all day – the livestock dislike it just as much as we do!

Throughout this blog, we will outline uses, popular designs, and other tips to help you better understand what a cupola is and how it could benefit your outdoor storage shed or barn!


Cupolas for Barns & Sheds: Most Common Uses

Ever gazed upon a building and wondered, “What is a cupola?”. These small, dome-like structures are often perched atop buildings, and they have a variety of uses.

Discover the common uses of cupolas for barns:

  • Ventilation: Cupolas were originally designed to improve ventilation within buildings. By allowing hot air and moisture to escape through vents at the top, they help regulate indoor temperature and humidity.
  • Natural Lighting: Cupolas are equipped with windows or openings that allow natural light to flood into the interior spaces below. This not only reduces the need for artificial lighting during the day but also creates a pleasing ambiance.
  • Symbolic Significance: In some cultures, cupolas carry symbolic significance, representing prosperity, enlightenment, or protection.
cupolas with weathervane

Additionally, cupolas for sheds and barns can come equipped with:

  • Remote controls to easily open and close cupola windows and louvers
  • Window shades for light control during the day
  • Light fixtures for a captivating light display at night

After asking, “What is a cupola?” you may be surprised to realize that this accessory may solve some humidity issues in your outdoor shed or barn.

Cupola Designs You’ll Love!

Subtle, yet beautiful, cupolas for barns or sheds add a critical special touch to a long roofline. Do not underestimate the process that goes into selecting the right cupola for sheds or barns – the best cupola design for your outdoor structure goes beyond matching the color of the building and the pitch of the roof. Barn and shed owners need to consider the cupola’s functionality, shape, style, and design.

cupola designs

Cupolas for barns, homes, sheds, and garages can be functional and decorative. For those who are in the market for charm and beauty, experienced cupola builders will be able to draft a design that complements your home, storage shed, barn, or garage.

Consider the following points when chatting with a professional builder about customizing your unique design:

  • Cupola designs can be classified as Contemporary, Georgian, Classical, Victorian, and Colonial
  • Barn owners generally need one inch of cupola for every foot of the barn’s roofline
  • Cupolas typically come in the form of hexagons, octagons, and squares
  • When using cupolas with weathervanes, don’t forget to carefully select the icon featured on top of the weathervane!

Remember, finding a cupola builder who isn’t taking the one-size-fits-all approach is key in pairing the cupola to your building. Imagine a tiny cupola on top of a large roof – that wouldn’t look too nice! Sometimes putting beauty first is key, especially when we want to maintain the exterior appeal of the building, but do not underestimate the functional power of the small-but-mighty accessory!

what is a cupola

Contact Sunrise Structures About Cupolas With Weathervanes

For over twenty years, Sunrise Structures has crafted custom sheds, garages, and cupolas for sheds and barns in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. We give customers the opportunity to choose from a handful of standard cupola models or customize their own cupola design.

Cupolas with weathervanes are often paired together, adding rustic charm to your outdoor structure. They can be placed on top of residential homes, garages, sheds, or barns. Some popular cupolas with weathervane designs feature the traditional rooster, horse, or bird-in-flight. Inquire about our weathervane inventory today!

With a reputation for excellent customer service and craftsmanship, Sunrise Structures is the trusted shed, garage, and cupola builder in PA, MD, and NJ!

Stop asking yourself, “What is a cupola?” and contact our team of professional builders today to learn more about what a cupola is! Request a free estimate on your unique cupola design today!

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