The Iconic Copper Cupola Roof
A copper cupola roof is the most sought-after roof style for all cupolas. The look, durability, and longevity of the copper roof are just some of the reasons people are choosing it. Could a copper cupola roof be right for you?
Cupolas are a beautiful piece of architectural history that adorn many buildings today. There are a lot of styles and options when it comes to buying a cupola. One of the most iconic pieces you have options for is the roof. Of the popular cupola roof options, the most sought-after is the copper cupola roof. When I think about the words “metal” and “roof” all I can picture is lightning… So let’s take a look at why this option is chosen most by cupola lovers everywhere!
Are Copper Cupola Roofs Dangerous?
The short answer is no. You would hope something architectural that is mass-produced to be placed on people’s roofs will not cause irreparable harm to them or their homes. In fact, according to Decra,
“In fact, as a non-combustible material with the highest Class A fire-resistance rating, metal roofing is the most desirable material for homes and businesses in lightning-prone regions.”
“Extensive research on lightning protection reveals that metal roofing is no more likely to attract a lightning strike than any other type of conventional roofing material”.
Even though it doesn’t seem logical, the material in copper cupolas won’t actually cause harm with lighting strikes, in fact, copper roofing will actually put a stop to a spreading fire. Copper does not burn! As you do more research, you will find places like Roofing Calc saying the same thing! Among all of the cons and reasons you will find for not using a copper roof, dangerousness is not on that list.
Why Choose A Copper Cupola Roof?
Now that we are out of the danger zone, we can take a look at the reasons you would want to choose copper for your cupola roof!
- Lifespan – A copper cupola roof will actually last you the longest out of any of the choices. Places like Western States Metal Roofing & Prestige Roofing confirm this to be the case as well. Even though copper can change (we will discuss this later) its longevity is unrivaled by other materials such as an aluminum roof.
- Quality – Copper is a very quality metal not succumbing to mold or rot! The durability is also paramount, which is why it will not need to be replaced during your lifetime.
- Environmentally Friendly – One of the important things to consider when choosing your cupola roof is how it affects the things around you. Copper reserves are actually still high, giving this natural resource plenty of time left to bless us with its iconic look. The reason is, it is very recyclable! So when it comes time for your great-grandkids to remove the copper cupola roof, it can be melted down to create something brand new!
- Low-Maintenance – Beyond not molding or rotting, copper cupola roofs also will not rust or corrode. If you know the phrase “set it and forget it”…that is exactly what you can do after you install your copper roof.
- Patina – The copper cupola roof will transform over time! Patina is a chemical change that happens to copper when it is exposed to air, salt, and a few other varieties of things. Just think about what the Statue of Liberty used to look like compared to what it looks like now!
How Are Copper Cupola Roofs Made?
Jason from J&R Senior Sheetmetal does a great job walking through the process of making a copper cupola roof! Keep in mind that this cupola is massive, and will take much longer than any traditional cupola.
In this first video, we see Jason begin to work with the copper sheeting, and folding and arranging it to be able to lay on the cupola foundation.
Creating the perfect copper cupola roof starts with copper sheeting. After bending and adjusting the sizes, they are laid into place and bolted down. With a lot of cutting and adjustments, you can see the roof come together as one piece. In this next video, we join Jason after finishing the first process with the copper sheeting. He is heading up on the roof to get ready to bolt the copper roofing down to the giant cupola!
Downsides Of A Copper Cupola Roof
At this point, you may be asking the question “are there any downsides to choosing this cupola roofing style”. We wanted to make sure you were aware of a few things before making your purchase.
- Price – Because of the desirability of copper, it is most often more expensive than other materials. Luckily we are only talking about a copper cupola roof and not copper for your entire home. Price will vary by dealer and by location.
- Patina Timing – As we discussed earlier, many people choose copper for its desired look. However, the timing which copper patinas can take up to 20 years if it isn’t in the right conditions! Here are a few examples of the color of copper over the years.
1 Year Exposed Copper
5 Years Exposed Copper
25-30 Years Exposed Copper
- Other Metals Can Give The Look – You can paint and give other metals the copper tone look. You may be able to buy a cheaper metal and make it look similar to the iconic nature of copper. Notice the subtle difference in color and texture with the copper-tone aluminum below.
- Incorrect Work Can Lead To Expanding – If the work upfront is done incorrectly or poorly, your copper cupola roof can expand and contract eventually needing repairs. Working with a trusted company should put this concern out of mind!
Pairs & Styles Of Copper Cupola Roofs
There are a few different styles and combinations that you can choose for your cupola roof. It is up to you how you want to put these together! You can view multiple options at a time right here.
- Concave Copper Cupola Roof – The concave roof gives a more dynamic style to your cupola. The sloped siding of the roof creates an entirely different design than that of a straight roof.
- Straight Copper Cupola Roof – The straight roof style gives the feel of symmetry on all sides. It has a wider top that reflects the light well to give a focal point to your structure.
On some of our cupolas, you can also purchase the copper roof already with a patina so that you don’t have to wait for it to happen.
When it comes to pairing your copper roof with the other choices of a cupola, make sure to look at all the options to see what best fits your property. Here are 4 choices you can pick from to design your new copper cupola.
- Windows – If the eyes are the windows to your soul, then through the cupola window is the soul to your structure. Whether barn, garage, house, shed, or home…a windowed cupola gives a beautiful adorning.
- Louvers – Functioning louvers can give the flowing air that your space needs. Air out that barn with the addition of a copper roof cupola with louvers.
- Vinyl – The vinyl cupola gives a modern adaptation to a timeless architectural piece. It allows more focus to be brought with the radiant white color in addition to the glow from the copper roof.
- Wood – The wooden cupola is the perfect brother to the copper cupola roof. The antique style with the ability to stain in different colors gives you control over the look of your building.
If you are looking for a beautiful way to top your structure, a cupola with a copper roof is a great place to start. The pros seem to far outweigh the cons, not to mention, copper is still very sought after because of its appearance. You will be environmentally friendly while also making an investment that will last beyond your lifetime. There is a reason that the French gave the U.S a beautiful copper statue. They knew it would be around for generations to come! With the additional choices, you can design your cupola to tie your property together.