Building a wood cupola

Do you want to add elegance and style to your home? Then a wood cupola is the solution. Wood cupolas have become more and more popular as roof tops. They serve also as a ventilation system for your attic and also as a light source.

Wood types

It’s very important to think about the type of wood needed for the project. Cedar or pressure-treated lumber are the best choices because of their proprieties. They are weather resistant and also rot-free.

Here are the tools and materials that you will need:

  • Skill saw
  • Table saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Screw gun
  • Tin snips
  • Putty knife (for roof tar)
  • Cedar or pressure-treated lumber, 2 inches by 6 inches by 8 feet
  • Cedar or pressure-treated lumber, 2 inches by 2 inches by 8 feet
  • Stainless steel screws
  • Metal roof flashing
  • Caulking
  • Roof tar sealant
  • Plywood, 2 feet by 4 feet (1/2 sheet)
  • Louvered vents
  • Brick mold
  • Regular and flat L-brackets


Measurements are very important. This way you will determine the right size for your roof. If the cupola is too little it will look like a bird’s nest and if it’s too big it can damage the structure of your house. The best sizes are 2 feet wide, by 2 feet deep.


The sill portion of the cupola will be sitting on the roof itself. Cut 4 pieces of 2 feet long each. You will need to cut two angled sections that will go over the ridge of the roof. The other two pieces will run horizontally with the roof.


Secure the base with the help of the L-brackets and screw gun. You can also use roof tar and stainless steel screws. Make a flat base using some plywood sheets.

Plywood box

Now build a plywood box with four pieces of plywood. The width, height and length of the box should be of 2 feet. You will need to make some holes for the louvered vents. Use stainless steel screws for fixation.

Curved plywood pieces

You will need to cu 4 identical curved pieces of plywood. The objective is to make a pagoda look. They will look like portions of an octagon. They should be at least 18 inches high. Secure the pieces using the L shaped brackets.

The weather vane needs to be mounted on top of the cupola wit stainless steel screws.

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