Great Plans Since 1978

Complex Cupola Installation Simplified

Installing a cupola is easier than you think! In this article, we will install one of our popular Brooke Cupolas on a complex roof that has a different roof angle on the front compared to the back. Also, this roof has a front gable that is at a third angle compared to the main roof. In this installation, there are six cuts and three different angles.

However if we approach this in systematic phases with some simple equipment, the installation is as easy as a simple cupola installation involving only one roof angle.

Here it the cupola. We've installed a scaled shingle roof in black to match the main roof. (Please see our article on how to shingle a cupola here.) We've primed the cupola and finished it with a white enamel with ultraviolet inhibitors.

Now we'll get up on the roof and determine the various angles we'll need to cut the base. We've taken a common shop angle finder as well as a stringle bubble level and taped them together as shown to create a simple way to determine roof angles.

We'll use this tool to determine when the black arm is level and place the steel arm against the existing roof to get the correct three angles for the front, rear and gable roof. When the bubble is level, we have the right angle....

We repeat this process and determine each angle. While up on the roof, we transfer the angle to a piece of ccardboard...

We now make the cuts with a skill saw and finish the cuts with a hancksaw blade sot hat we do not overcut the openings...Note that the back of the shed has a shallower roof slope and needs a cut across the back....

We test our cut on the main roof before we make the gable cuts. The fit is perfect so we cut our front gable cuts in the front of the base and test fit the cupola on the center of the roof where the gable and main roof meet.

The cupola fits perfectly! We can attach the cupola with 3 1/2" screws to the roof, metal "L" brackets or internal installation blocks.

The cupola is installed on a complex roof! Now we'll add some 3" by 3" black flashing and the cupola is ready to stand the test of time...

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