What Type Of Architecture Has Cupolas?

Cupolas have been used in different architectures for centuries. Some refer to them as domes, even though there are differences between them. Nevertheless, cupolas have been known for increasing the value of the architecture when it comes to public attractions. So, what type of architecture has cupolas?

Almost all important architectures used to have cupolas on top of their roof. But in modern times, even rural houses and barns have cupolas.

Cupolas have been used for multiple purposes since ancient times. And if you want to know more about cupolas and their use, this article will help you.

Cupola Vs. Dome

It is a little difficult to tell the differences between a cupola and a dome. People often use the terms interchangeably, which makes things more confusing. However, in architectural terms, the definition of cupolas and domes clarifies that they are not the same things.

Domes are circular in size and have round roofs. Domes are commonly seen in architecture all around the world. Many historical architectures, especially cathedrals, museums, and mosques, have domes.

On the other hand, cupolas come in various shapes, such as hexagonal, octagonal, square, etc. Unlike domes, cupolas have windows or louvers. They are often used for enjoying the outdoor views.

What Type Of Architecture Has Cupolas?

Cupolas came into history several centuries ago. Since then, cupolas are seen in many historical and public buildings, such as palaces, presidential residences, galleries or museums, mosques, cathedrals, government offices, etc.

Some examples of architecture with cupolas are: the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, Cupola House in North Carolina, Faneuil Hall in Boston, the International Space Station (ISS), etc. has a cupola. Even Brunelleschi’s Dome in Italy, which is the world’s largest dome, has a cupola on top of it.

How To Install A Cupola?

Your cupola will come in three parts, and they will have some pre-drilled holes and screws provided for installation. The following steps will help you install the cupola without much brainstorming. Make sure to have a pair of helping hands while installing it.

Things You Will Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Utility knife
  • Saw
  • Two 1″×3″ boards for measuring roof pitch
  • Four 2″×4″ boards
  • Eight 3″ lags screws and washers
  • Screws that come with the cupola
  • Caulk (waterproof)
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Drill gun
  • Screwgun
  • Level

Step 1

Attach two 1″×3″ boards with a screw using your screw gun. The screw should not be tight, and the board needs to be moved back and forth.

Step 2

With a measuring tape, find the center of the roof and mark the width of the cupola’s base.

Step 3

Before measuring the roof pitch with the screwed board, cut the ridge cap with a utility knife. It will help set the cupola evenly on the pitch.

Step 4

Now place the measuring board flat against the roof ridge you have cut. The tool needs to be centered as it is a cutting template. Use a pencil to draw on the tool to mark the angle.

Step 5

Draw the angle on the base of the cupola with a pencil. Then cut it with a saw following the drawn lines.

Step 6

Use a drill to drill two holes on either end of the four 2″×4″ boards. They will help secure the base on the roof.

Step 7

Place the cupola base on the roof. Use a level to check if the base is placed perfectly.

Step 8

Caulk one side of 2″×4″ boards and place the caulked side on the roof, inside the base, and against its walls. Screw the boards to the roof with 3″ lag screws and screw the cupola base to the boards.

Step 9

Apply caulk to seal the gaps between the base and the roof ridge.

Step 10

The next step is to place the midsection on the top of the base. Secure it to the base in the same way you have secured the base, using the pre-drilled holes and screws.

Step 10

The final step is to place the roof section on the top of the midsection. Again, use the same method you have done in step nine. And finally, your cupola is installed. You can add a weather vane on top if you wish to.

Lets’ check a video on installation of cupola.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do I Need To Setup A Weather Vane On My Cupola?

Most people often add weather vanes to enhance the aesthetic beauty of the building. Some of them use it to know the wind’s direction.

But just because you’ve got a cupola does not necessarily mean it needs a weather vane. So if you don’t want to add one, you can skip this part.

Q. How Much Does A Cupola Weight?

Cupolas have three parts: the bottom or base, the middle or louvered part, and the top or roof. Each of these parts weighs differently.

The top part is the lightest among the three. And the bottom part is the heaviest. And the weight depends on the material type, shape, and design of the cupola.

Q. How Much Do Cupolas Cost?

A cupola’s price is decided based on several factors. High-quality cupolas cost more than low-quality cupolas. The materials and design also make price differences.

Based on everything, cupola prices range from $150-$800 or more. The price can be more or less if you choose to build your own cupola.

Q. How Long Does A Cupola Last?

A cupola’s longevity depends on many things. First of all, the material has to be reliable and durable enough to last a long time. Cupolas also need maintenance from time to time.

So, if everything’s the way it should be, a cupola can last for several decades without any issue. All you have to do is look out for particular decays and damages that may need fixing as it gets older.


“What type of architecture has cupolas?” is a common question asked by those curious about it. The journey of cupolas began with being on significant architectures. Later, its necessity and uses moved to households and many other places.

Cupolas do not just make the house look better. You will notice that architectures with cupolas are always full of sunlight. Other than that, they prevent the interior environment from being less stinky and fresher. That’s why people want to add cupolas to their houses, barns, sheds, and even garages.

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