How to Install a Cupola on a Pitched Roof

What You'll Need
Wooden boards
Water barrier
Tape measure

A cupola is a decorative feature which is fitted to a pitched roof. In appearance it resembles a belfry or lantern shape. Their size and shape can sometimes make it difficult to fit onto a roof, as they can be rather cumbersome. Fitting them onto the pitched roof is not always easy, but it is worth it due to the interesting appearance they give the roof. If you are looking to add something to your home which will make it distinctive, then a cupola is definitely worthwhile. You can add this to your home using a few household tools and some wood.

Step 1 - Measure the Area

Begin by measuring out the area on your pitched roof where you want the cupola to go. Make sure that this position is easy to reach by ladder, and where the cupola will be supported by enough roof beams. Try to place the cupola over the roof, rather than the gable ends which will have fewer beams to distribute the weight. You should also check that the cupola will not be interfering with any ventilation or central heating systems. Mark out the area, and record your measurements along each side of the outline.

Step 2 - Add the Wood

Take your wooden boards, and cut them according to the measurements you have taken. Take up the smallest pieces of board, and place them on each side of your pitched roof, so that they touch each other. Screw these boards into place. Use a plumb to accurately mark where the two boards intersect. The boards should look like two wedge shapes, extending from the top of the roof. You may need to build up the boards until you get this shape. At this point, you can also remove any shingles from under these boards, should you wish to do so.

Step 3 - Center the Wood

You can now take the pieces which you want to use on the cupola, and center them using the plumb line. Cut out your board so that they fit along the outside edges of the two wedge-like boards. These upright pieces should then give a height to the cupola, allowing it to extend on either side of the roof. Screw these into position, and then add more boards along the inside.

Step 4 - Add a Roof

You can now add the roof over the upright pieces. Use four triangular shaped pieces of board to cut out the correct shape for the roof. They should meet in a point at the top. Screw these together, and then add more screws to all of the boards, until you are sure that they are secure. You can then add a water-proof film to the surface of your boards. This should keep them dry and protected against rain and frost. Caulk along the edges of the board, so that the roof is also weather-proof.