# Sunday, July 31, 2011
To break up the monotony of large expanses of roof, especially non variegated roofing and oftentimes long unbroken rooflines, consider adding a roof top finial. Roof finials provide focal points of interest and accentuate your home or commercial building's roof and architecture. Finials and larger roof structures such as cupolas, domes, dormers and chimneys help to visually break up large expanses of roofing or long unbroken roof lines and make them much more attractive and interesting. Below are pictures first of plain monochromatic roofing and then pictures of more variegated roofing with roof finials and other roof structures.

metal roof line shown metal rooflines shown with expansive metal roofing
Monochromatic - Non Variegated Roofing

copper finials - roof top finials shown being installed copper finials - roof finials shown installed on top of building
Copper Finials on Top of Roof


roof finials - copper dormers and chimneys shown on large residence roof finials - shown installed on top of high steep roof
Roof Finials - Roof Dormers and Chimneys

Roof finials are available in many shapes, sizes and materials. Finials can be simple, streamlined designs, contemporary designs, classic designs or very ornate and intricate designs. Finials can range from under a foot in height to 4 foot, 5 foot or even taller. Most roof finials are constructed from metal with copper and aluminum being the most popular finial materials. Aluminum finials are light in weight, lower cost and are available either in unfinished mill aluminum or can be custom painted to match or color coordinate with any building's trim or roofing. Copper finials are typically left unfinished and really dress up any architecture with copper's beautiful, elegant, timeless appearance. While copper does cost a bit more than aluminum and other materials, copper is also the most durable and longest lasting building material and requires no maintenance or painting. Therefore copper has proven to be a very cost effective material for finials, cupolas, dormers, vents, domes and other roof structures or accessories.
copper finial design shown  copper finial design with copper finial ball shown
Copper Finials - Roof Top Finials
    
roof finial design with copper finial ball shown  roof finial design with aluminum finial material shown copper finial design with ornate copper finial balls shown
Roof Finial Copper - Aluminum Finial - Copper Finial

Rutland has over 50 roof finial designs available in a wide variety of sizes including both copper finials and aluminum roof top finials. Rutland also fabricates custom styles and sizes of roof finials according to customer specifications and drawings, including finials with weathervanes. In addition to roof finials, Rutland manufactures a wide assortment of styles and sizes of roof cupolas, roof vent dormers, roof domes, custom chimney caps and chimney pots. Rutland has extensive expertise in custom architectural metal and copper work and utilizes their in house CAD design, machine shop, TIG welding and professional paint shop facilities.

copper dome roof with copper finial design shown copper roof dome with copper finial design shown
Copper Roof Domes with Copper Finials
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# Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Roof domes are one of the most visually striking and appealing architectural structures around. Domes have been around for thousands of years. Ancient cultures constructed mostly corbel or arched dome dwellings using locally available materials such as mud, clay or adobe. The earliest discovered domed structures may date from around 15,000 to 20,000 years ago in the Ukraine, constructed from mammoth bones and tusks. In ancient times people lived in such domed structures and in more modern times Native Americans constructed wigwams from curved branches and hides and much farther north, igloos from compressed blocks of snow. Pygmies in Africa used mango leaves to cover their similar dome shaped structures. Ancient domes discovered in the Middle East were used for modest structures, such as tombs. The early Romans while constructing smaller domed structures for villas, palaces, baths and tombs also constructed very large, advanced true domes over large interior spaces such as temples and public buildings. True domes are traditionally considered to be a self-supporting hemi-spherical shape structure or roof. Half a hemispherical dome is called a semi-dome and other variations of that are generally called false domes. All of the different types of domes essentially still have a curving or rounded top. Over hundreds of centuries domes have been constructed from a large variety of building materials including mud, clay, stone, brick, wood, concrete, metal, glass and in recent times even plastic. Next we look at some early, historic or notable domed buildings and feature especially those with copper roof domes.

Pantheon with roof dome in Rome, Italy pictured
Pantheon - Rome, Italy
(photo credits: courtesy of uncp.edu/home/rwb/lecture_med_civ.htm)

While much earlier domed structures have been discovered as noted above, the Pantheon in Rome, Italy was one of the earliest buildings with a large roof dome, that is still in existence today, situated above ground and structurally stable. The Pantheon is considered by many to be the grandest dome in existence and still nearly as magnificent today as when it was constructed 19 centuries ago. The Pantheon at 142 feet - 43.3 meters inside diameter and height, was the largest dome ever built for about 1700 years and is still the world's largest un-reinforced concrete dome in existence. The Pantheon, originally built in 27 BC, was destroyed in both 80 AD and 110 AD and rebuilt both times. From it's last completion in 126 AD it still stands today as a monument to grand architecture. The Pantheon's concrete dome used to be covered with copper plates which in turn were finished with copper or bronze tile. The Pantheon, originally a pagan temple to all the Roman Gods, was taken over by the Catholic Church and consecrated by Pope Boniface IVI in 609 AD as a church dedicated to St. Mary and the Martyrs and informally known as Santa Maria Rotunda. The beautiful copper tiles adorning the dome's exterior were stripped off and stolen by Constans II in 663 AD to be carted back to Constantinople. Then almost a thousand years later, Pope Urban VIII had the original copper plating removed, yielding about 200 tons of copper sheets and 4 tons of copper nails, which were subsequently used mostly to construct cannon or bombards and remaining for assorted church projects. Large amounts of fine marble on the Pantheon's exterior were also unfortunately removed and used elsewhere over the centuries.

Florence Cathedral II Duomo with roof domes in Florence, Italy pictured
Florence Cathedral - II Duomo - Florence, Italy
(photo credits: MarcusObal - CCbySA, courtesy en.wikipedia.org)

The largest roof dome built in Western Europe since the Pantheon is Brunelleschi's octagonal brick roof dome for the Florence Cathedral or II Duomo in Florence, Italy, completed in 1436. This double dome, with seperate inside and outside shells, is still the largest masonry dome ever built, constructed with bricks and mortar, 42 feet from face to face. Duomo of Florence has eight vertical stone ribs with red tile roofing in between. Slightly smaller in diameter than the Pantheon and Florence Cathedral is the dome at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, Italy. This double walled dome with inner hemispherical dome and outer vertically ovoid shaped dome, was completed in 1590 and remains today the tallest dome in the world, rising to a total height of about 452 feet from the ground. The drum or base of the dome alone is over 65 feet tall rising to 240 feet from the ground. The style which St. Peter's Basilica introduced became known as Baroque architecture and had a large influence on subsequent designs and buildings. St Peter's Basilica influenced other famous domed buildings, including St. Paul's Cathedral in London, which in turn heavily influenced the United States Capitol Building dome, which similarly inspired many subsequent state capitol domed roof buildings. Mounting a cupola or lantern on top of the dome became popular in medieval times to admit light, provide venting and also serve as added visual interest on both the outside and inside.

St. Peter's Basilica with roof dome in Vatican City, Rome, Italy pictured
St. Peter's Basilica - Vatican City - Rome, Italy
(photo credits: Wolfgang Stuck, courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org)

Modeled after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Basilica of St. Josaphat shown below is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin landmark, featuring one of the largest copper dome roofs in the world and is also listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Another Basilica, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Brussels, Belgium had it's initial construction begin in 1905, then was interrupted by two world wars and was not completed until 1969. This church with it's sturdy brick and concrete reinforced structure, features a large copper roof dome and two slender towers with smaller copper roof domes. A landmark in the Brussels skyline, the apex of it's green patinated copper dome roof rises up to 292 feet - 89 meters above the ground.

Basilica of St. Josaphat with large copper roof dome in Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA pictured here
Basilica of St. Josaphat - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
(photo credits: Sulfur - CCbySA, courtesy en.wikipedia.com)

Basilica of the Sacred Heart with large copper roof domes in Brussels, Belgium pictured here
Basilica of the Sacred Heart - Brussels, Belgium

(Markus Koljonen - CCbySA, courtesy commons.wikimedia.org)

For thousands of years, architects have designed domes made from a wide variety of materials and colors. No other style of roof creates such a feeling of openness, spaciousness and attractiveness. Copper has been the metal most frequently specified by architects. Copper domes make a most memorable and visually arresting statement in any building design, whether it is governmental, religious, commercial, residential, cultural, industrial or institutional. Copper roof domes add an unsurpassed air of richness, sophistication and natural beauty, while also providing more than a century or even centuries of durability along with very low required maintenance. A sampling of buildings with copper dome roofs from around the world continues below.

Berliner Dom Am Lustgarten with large copper roof dome in Berlin, Germany pictured here
Berliner Dom Am Lustgarten - Berlin, Germany
(photo credits: Von Schrader Bernd, courtesy fotocommunity.de)

Opera Garnier with large ornate copper roof dome in Paris, France pictured here
Opera Garnier - Paris, France
(photo credits: courtesy wikimediacommons)
Perth Museum and Art Gallery with large copper roof dome in Pert, Scotland UK pictured here
Perth Museum and Gallery - Perth, Scotland
(photo credits: Paul McIlroy - CCbySA, courtesy geograph.org.uk)

Waterfront Hall with very large copper saucer roof dome in Belfast, Ireland pictured here
Waterfront Hall - Belfast, Ireland (large copper saucer dome)
(photo credit: Architect Robinson and McIlwaine, courtesy copperinfo.co.uk)

Macon Auditorium with world's largest true copper roof dome in Macon, Georgia USA pictured here
Macon Auditorium - Macon, Georgia (largest true copper dome)
(photo credit: Architect Robinson and McIlwaine, courtesy copperinfo.co.uk)

While domes have historically been seen on government capitols, courthouses, churches, temples, museums, auditoriums and stadiums, roof domes have also found favor on many types of commercial buildings including hotels, resorts, pavilions and farm structures and ever increasingly in residential architecture as well. Roof domes continue to be featured and incorporated into modern architectural design as dome roofing provides both functional and visual benefits. Roof domes provide a feeling of spaciousness, allow high sculpted ceilings and a distinct feeling of sophistication, elegance and luxury. Dome roofs will elevate and distinguish a building's appearance and directly increase it's value as well. Many different styles of roof domes can readily be adapted and incorporated into modern homes and commercial properties of quality and distinction.

The Rainbow Torquay with copper roof domes in Torquay, Devon Great Britain UK pictured here
The Rainbow Hotel Domes - Torquay, Devon UK
(photo credits: Derek Harper, CC-by-SA courtesy of geograph.org.uk)

Copper roof dome residential from late 1800's home in Logansport, Indiana USA pictured
Late 1800's Dome Roof Home - Logansport, Indiana
(photo credits: labontebuddy43, courtesy esperanto.wunderground.com)

Rancho Adolfo Camarillo Gazebo with large copper roof dome salvaged from Mary Magdaline Church pictured here
Rancho Adolfo Camarillo - Gazebo Copper Roof Dome
(Salvaged from Mary Magdaline Church)

(photo credits: CA1S.org, courtesy pbase.com)

Copper roof domes, copper dormer and copper flashing on residential construction pictured here
Residential Copper: Dome Roofs, Dormer Vents, Flashing
(photo credits: Union Jobs Clearinghouse, unionjobs.com)

Polygonal copper roof dome - domical vault with copper roof cupola in new architecture being installed by Rutland Architectural Copper pictured here
Copper Dome Roof - Domical Vault - Rutland Construction

Sandals Resort with copper roof domes in the Caribbean with roof dome done by Rutland Architectural Copper pictured here
Sandals Resort Caribbean -  Dome Roof Work by Rutland

Copper roof dome on residential home being constructed on waterway by Rutland Architectural Copper Work pictured here
Residential Copper Dome Roof -  Construction by Rutland

Hexagonal copper roof dome with custom diamond copper roof tile being constructed by Rutland Architectural Copper Work pictured here
Copper Dome - Hexagonal - Under Construction - Rutland
Hemispherical roof dome frame construction with plywood sheathing shown before copper roof tile are attached by Rutland Architectural Copper pictured here
Frame Construction for Copper Tile Dome Roof - Rutland
Copper roof dome polygonal style with copper pineapple finial on top constructed by Rutland Architectural Copper Work pictured here
Copper Polygonal Roof Dome - Pineapple Finial - Rutland

Large copper roof dome, pyramidal copper roof turret and conical copper roof tower on spectacular residential estate home constructed by Rutland Architectural Copper Work pictured here
Conical Roof - Large Copper Dome Roof - Pyramidal Roof
(all constructed by Rutland Architectural Copper Work Craftsmen)

Rutland Architectural Copper will custom build or fabricate any style of metal roof dome, including hemispherical domes, semi-domes, arched domes, corbel domes, polygonal domes, octagonal domes, hexagonal domes, ovoid or oval domes, saucer domes and other dome variations to architect's, builder's and customer's specifications. Rutland fabricates roof domes from heavy weight copper panels, custom copper tile and copper sheets. When a copper tile roof dome is desired, Rutland will construct sturdy framing including a layer of waterproof membrane over the sheathing. Rutland can custom build roof domes from a variety of metals including pure or coated copper and produce polished, very strong TIG welded joints or seams for a very attractive seamless look. Rutland also fabricates ancillary roof dome accessories such as cupolas, finials and vents. Copper is the ideal metal for roof domes and other architectural metal structures due to copper metal's excellent workability, very long life, durability, natural corrosion resistance, weatherability, environmentally friendly, recyclability, green building material, sustainability, natural beauty and timeless elegance. Rutland Roof Domes
9/8/2010 3:03 PM Eastern Daylight Time  #    Disclaimer  |   |  Trackback
# Tuesday, August 03, 2010
A finial can be thought of as an architectural finial, which simply is a decorative or ornamental architectural piece usually mounted at the apex or very top of any architectural structure. Finials can also denote the decorative ornaments, knobs, balls, terminations or tops to posts, poles, rods, furniture or lamps. In typography, finials are the curves terminating type font strokes. This blog concentrates on architectural finials which may be placed on top of a roof, gable, tower, turret, pinnacle, steeple, spire, arch, dome, gazebo, canopy, cupola, chimney cap, wall, garden structure or other architectural device. Finials are used decoratively to emphasize the apex, peak, ends or corners of these architectural structures. Finials also provide heightened architectural interest, flourish, elegance, majesty and provide the crowning touch to distinctive architectural structures, fine homes and distinguished buildings.   
finial for roof top or outdoor garden copper finial shown here with large round base cylinder, finial ball and finial conefinial with large copper pyramid finial base, large finial ball and finial cone shown here
Copper Finials - Outdoor Roof - Garden Finials

Finials are usually thought of as the ornament or decorative piece mounted at the very tip of related architectural structures which are all taller than wider, such as pinnacles, turrets, spires, steeples and towers. These various architectural structures are somewhat similar or related, primarily differing in size, scale, location, shape or historical context. Often one of these structures is placed on top of another and the transition between them may either be obvious or be fairly seamless. Finials mounted at the very peak of these structures have historically been a cross, star, ball, spear, cone, needle or may have been something more elaborate or ornate. Tall finials fitted with an extension and insulated may also be utilized as a lightning rod. Architectural devices such as finials have sometimes been scaled up in size to where some finials start to resemble and perhaps becomes a small spire or pinnacle.  
copper finial spear octagonal finial base and finial cone pictured herefinial aluminum with pyramidal base - hexagonal thick cone - finial ball and needle picturedcopper finial with conical finial base, two copper finial balls, scroll designs,and solid copper spear on top pictured
Octagonal Finial Spear  - - Hexagonal Finial Ball Aluminum - - Scrolled Copper Finial

Pinnacles are simply defined as small decorative turrets or spires historically located at corners of a roof, parapet, buttress, tower, pier, gable or elsewhere. Pinnacles are largely an ornamental structure, usually round in shape like most turrets or else tapering like a spire and are terminated at their peak by a pyramid, small spire or finial. Pinnacle is also described as an architectural ornament forming the cap or crown of a buttress or small turret and used on parapets at the corners of towers and other locations. Pinnacles while decorative also help promote the loftiness or towering majesty of a building structure.

copper finial with octagonal faceted finial base, finial ball, and sharp copper finial cone picturedfinial copper with large finial ball, arabesque scroll design, finial cone and smaller finial ball on top picturedcopper finial with pyramidal faceted finial base, finial ball, and sharp copper finial cone pictured
Finials - Octagonal - Pyramidal Base with Finial Balls - Finial Cones

Spires are simply any slender, pointed architectural structures on top of buildings or other structures such as towers. Spires can be conical, pyramidal and octagonal in shape terminating in a point or else have a decorative finial perched on top. Many centuries ago, spires originally were a simple, four sided, squat, pyramid shaped roof capping on top of church towers. Spires evolved towards ever slimmer and much taller forms with a more organic connection to the tower below. Early spires had crockets or steps at their edges for ease of maintenance by steeplejacks. The word spire is derived from the Anglo Saxon word for spear. In fact many modern spires can be even more pronounced spear or needle shaped than their pointy predecessors. Spires may convey several symbolic attributes. Pointing at the heavens, they can have a celestial or religious connotation which is why they were popular on top of cathedrals and churches. Spires provided a spectacular visual culmination to churches while being a symbol of heavenly aspiration. Spires also connote the religious order's or building patron's wealth and prestige. A spire's spear shape can also be symbolic of martial power, might and strength or in public buildings of civil power and hope. Reaching to the skies, spires can also be symbolic of aerospace, outer space and the future. Modern spires include the Space Needle in Seattle and the extremely tall spires located on the tallest buildings or skyscrapers in the world. The planned Freedom Tower in New York will be topped with a spire. Spires are never out of fashion and continue to be used in modern architecture. At the very top of spires you often will find a decorative or ornamental finial. Modern day finials have taken on many forms or shapes with unlimited designs and the pointy, spear shaped finial designs are reminiscent of spires. Some pointy finials have increased in size and scale and are perhaps considered
smaller spires and called spires by some.  

copper finial with tall, square tapering base with steps, copper ball and square finial cone on top picturedpineapple finial - pure copper finial pineapple with sculpted pineapple sides, green patina pineapple leaves and round finial base pictured herecopper finial with octagonal tapering and faceted finial base, copper finial ball, and sharp copper finial cone pictured here
Finial Square Tapered - - Pineapple Finial Copper - - Octagonal Finial

Steeples are tall mostly ornamental towers usually topped with a spire and finial. Steeples usually comprise a series of stories, each typically diminishing in size and topped off by a small pyramidal roof, cupola or oftentimes a spire. Steeples are very common in Christian churches and the use of the term typically connotes a religious structure or church steeple. Steeples may be free standing towers or else are incorporated structurally into the entrance or center of a building, such as a church or temple. Steeples usually taper towards a point at the top, are surmounted or topped by a spire, or are themselves simply a large spire. Steeple design was possibly originally influenced by obelisks and pillars dating back to ancient Egyptian architecture. Obelisks are simply four sided tapering towers or pillars ending in a pointed or pyramidal top. Obelisks were historically monolithic, meaning carved out of a single stone and were used as monuments placed at the entrance to temples.

Norwich Cathedral with tower, turrets, pinnacles, spires and finials is pictured here Belgium Cathedral with large spire, pinnacles, spires, finials and prominent weathervane is pictured here
Cathedrals with Turrets, Spires, Pinnacles and Finials
(photos courtesy Aleister Crowley and
Georges Jansoone - CC by SA)

Turrets are simply small attached towers or tower shaped projections from a building. Typically most turrets are round with a conical or other pointed roof though sometimes a domed roof. Some turrets are square or octagonal in shape. Turrets are usually topped with a pinnacle, spire or decorative finial. Turrets are always smaller structures attached to the edge of a building compared to towers which are larger and invariably start from the ground. Turrets can extend out from the sides or corners of a building via corbels or extend up from the roof top effectively adding another story. Rounded turrets also provide contrast to angled lines of a building.


Assorted Turrets - Copper Finials - Conical Octagonal Copper Roof

Towers are slender buildings characterized by great height, always much taller than their width or length. Often very tall towers taper from story to story towards their top and often terminate in a pyramidal roof or pointed spire, usually octagonal or conical. Many church towers and public building towers were designed to incorporate a spire. Towers symbolize prestige, supreme power, authority, majesty and might, similar to what steeples and spires convey.

roof finials installed on top of this distinctive fine home on each roof peak pictured here
copper dome with hemispherical dome shape has weathered copper panels and a copper finial, shown installed here at a Caribbean resortcopper dome with pyramidal dome shape made from custom copper roof tile, has a copper finial mounted on top, shown here installed at Caribbean resort

Roof Top Finials - Copper Domes with Copper Finials (weathered)

Modern day finials come in all shapes, designs and sizes to enhance any style of current architecture. Finials add a decorative, crowning touch to most any architectural structure including roof peaks, domes, turrets, towers, steeples, spires, chimney caps, cupolas, gazebos, canopies, landscaping - garden walls and posts. View 50 different finial designs including weathervanes, pineapple finials and ornate finials at Rutland's Copper Finials webpage. Rutland also provides CAD design drawings and specifications for all of their standard finials, located on each individual finial model's webpage. Rutland finials come in many different sizes; many of Rutland's larger finials are 3 to 6 feet in height and still larger finials and spires may be constructed. Rutland's architectural copper work and metal fabrication craftsmen will fabricate any of Rutland's standard finial designs in a number of different sizes, different base shapes and will also custom manufacture finials and spires to your own architectural design and exact specifications.

copper cupola with hexagonal louvered sides, hexagonal copper cupola roof and copper weathervane rooster finial mounted on top pictured herecupola with hexagonal aluminum sides, hexagonal cupola roof, copper weathervane horse finial on top shown here installed on the roof peak of a homecupola with octagonal aluminum sides, tapered octagonal copper cupola roof, finial ball and finial cone on top pictured
Cupolas with WeatherVane Finials and Copper Ball Finial

finial base layout sketches shown here for custom roof finial mounting options
Finial Assorted Base Shapes (may be specified for any Rutland Finial Design)
copper chimney cap with copper lattice work sides, domed copper top, finial ball and sharp finial cone on top pictured herecopper chimney cap with majestic arched legs, copper dome top with copper finial spear on top pictured
Chimney Caps with Copper Finials




 
8/3/2010 3:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time  #    Disclaimer  |   |  Trackback
# Friday, February 05, 2010

Cupolas are a very popular architectural enhancement on top of horse barn roofs and riding arenas. Roof top cupolas are also popular features on homes, gazebos, pavillions, public buildings and businesses. A cupola may be built to be accessible from the inside and thereby provide a lofty perch for viewing pleasure of the surrounding area. Often such cupolas are encircled by a widows walk or roof deck railing. Usually cupolas are chosen for their heightened architectural interest and also to provide substantial ventilation to the roof, attic or building space below. Cupolas may be built in various shapes including circular, square, hexagonal and octagonal. Cupolas typically have a curved conical, bell-shaped or pyramidal domed roof and are often crowned with a ornamental roof finial perched at the very top. Cupolas may be constructed from a variety of materials with wood and metals being the most common. Among metals, rust-free aluminum and copper are the preferred material. Aluminum makes for a generally light weight, manageable cupola design and the aluminum is usually painted to color coordinate with the underlying building's wall and trim colors. Copper cupolas are most always left uncoated and provide the most elegant and distinguished appearance, weather beautifully, are the most maintenance-free, eco-friendly green choice, most durable and longest lasting of all cupolas. Cupolas provide a pleasing, very attractive elegance to any building while cupola ventilation serves as an excellent roof vent.

Rutland's architectural craftsmen hand made several custom large cupolas designed for a massive horse barn riding arena. Structural .063 aluminum was used, with large aluminum louvers in the four walls, a swooping bell-shaped pyramidal domed roof and topped with a finial ball and spiked cone. All joints or seams were TIG welded and polished, which provides the most strength, durability and refined, pleasing appearance. One very large cupola would perch in the center of the horse barn arena's expansive roof line and two slightly smaller cupolas would sit to either side of the larger one. The cupolas would help break up the roof line, provide a high degree of architectural interest and attractiveness and supply substantial ventilation of the underlying roof space. The cupola sides were painted a bay brown to coordinate with the stained wood walls of the riding arena and adjacent horse barns. The cupola's roof was painted hunter green to match the green metal roof on the horse barns. Below are pictures showing the progression of the cupola construction from structural framing to final installation shots on top the horse barn.

cupola TIG welded structural aluminum frame shown here during cupola construction
Cupola Structural Aluminum TIG Welded Frame - Polished Seams

cupola has large louver vents installed for roof or attic ventilation
Large Aluminum Louvers are Inserted Into Cupola Sides

cupola domed roof and roof finial are attached to finish cupola design
Domed Roof and Roof Finial Attached On Top of Cupola 

aluminum cupolas finshed in two tone paint job pictured here
Cupolas Finished in Two-Tone Paint Job

roof cupola perched on top of metal horse barn roof shown
Cupolas Are Installed Top of Horse Barn Arena

horse barn cupola installed on metal horse barn roof in picture
Horse Barn Cupola Construction Project Completed

Obtain more information on roof top aluminum cupola designs and copper cupolas at Rutland Architectural Cupolas.

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# Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Today's blog will take a simplified look at custom copper dome construction. Copper domes are typically constructed with the surface consisting of some variety of either copper tile or copper panels. For this example we will be using copper tile for our custom copper dome roof. Copper roof tile can be purchased from a manufacturer and in this particular case we will be using hand-made copper tile, hand-cut from copper sheets. Diamond shaped hand made, hand cut, interlocking copper tile are shown below - there are approximately 136 per square (100 sq ft).

copper tile


For the framework we will be using aluminum tubing, plywood sheathing and waterproof membrane. We begin by precisely cutting square aluminum tubing to size and bending the tubes using a roll forming machine to form the base and the many vertical support cross members. A partially completed aluminum frame is shown below.

 copper dome frame

After all the aluminum framing tubes have been fully welded together, we then cut plywood sheathing panels to size, to fit precisely between the aluminum cross members and stretch from base to top. We affix them to the aluminum vertical support framework. See partially completed plywood sheathing work below.

copper dome sheathing

After all the plywood sheathing panels have been securely fastened in place with self-tapping screws, we then apply to the partially completed dome a self-sealing waterproof membrane, taking care to completely seal the dome. After the membrane is in place, we draw guidelines and begin carefully attaching the hand-cut copper tile to the dome and to each other. The copper tile have been designed to interlock securely with each other and we use copper ring shank nails to fasten them to the plywood.

copper dome waterproof membrane



copper dome completed

Now this copper dome project is nearly completed as we attach the last of the copper tile to the very top of the copper dome roof. When all the copper tile have finally been attached, we are ready to crown the top of the copper dome with a copper finial. Copper finials come in a multitude of shapes, sizes and designs. They can be simple like the first photo below or more elaborate as in the 2nd picture below.


copper tile roof dome 
Copper Tile Dome with Copper Ball Finial

copper dome standing seam copper panels
Standing Seam Copper Panels With Snap Lock & Copper Finial Pineapple

Although this project may have been over simplified here, it was actually extremely labor intensive, benefiting from knowledgeable construction and metal fabrication expertise. Copper dome construction is very precise work and it can be very exacting just keeping each copper tile perfectly lined up straight and in perfect alignment with each other. All pictures provided herein and this copper dome project very beautifully accomplished by the skilled team at Rutland Copper Gutter Supply & Architectural Copper Work
Also check out our How To article on eHow.com  "How To Construct a Copper Dome"
5/27/2009 1:41 PM Eastern Daylight Time  #    Disclaimer  |   |  Trackback
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