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Building with Cupolas

Ornate Ornaments

By: Shannon Clark, MWI Components


The Industry's Iconic Combo

Dutch doors, Arcadian sliding doors, horse stalls and, of course, horses, are the key components of a horse barn, right? Well, sure, but what seems to be missing from this picture? You guessed it, the iconic cupola and weathervane combination.

Building with cupola with windows

Cupolas date back to the eighth century when they were utilized in Islamic architecture. As new designs evolved, the cupola became a symbol of cultural superiority. Today, cupolas are an overwhelming interest piece for post-frame structures. These architectural masterpieces add character and charm to ranch buildings, and their partner—the weathervane—is largely popular for further pushing the envelope of post-frame perfection. Though weathervanes show the direction of wind, their main purpose today is to add a personal touch to a structure.

Cupola with pig weathervane and cupola with cow weathervane

Cupolas come in a variety of styles and sizes. From octagon cupolas to the classic square design, this decoration is sure add the exact aesthetic desired for any given project. Cupolas often come in standard sizes of 24”, 36” or 48”, but they can get as large as 66”.

While cupolas take many forms, the weathervane options are endless. Anyone with a unique vision for a building will agree the weathervane is the best way to add personality to a post-frame building. For example, if one were to look at the options at MWI Components, he or she would be met with an outstanding list of weathervane possibilities from extravagant copper weathervanes to the standard metal designs.

Flying pig copper weathervane

The oldest surviving weathervane design is a rooster, which has stood the test of time. However, styles like the motorcycle, tractor, dog, lighthouse, horse, country doctor, etc. can add additional personality to a post-frame building. Custom weathervanes are not uncommon, as they can be tailored to a builder’s needs.

Wine copper weathervane

The size of a weathervane is largely determined by the cupola’s size, so a contractor should be certain to get the right sized weathervane for the project. If a weathervane is too large for a cupola, the weight may not be supported properly.

Cupola and weathervane combination

Assembly is essential to the lifespan of a cupola. Although assembly is fairly simple, when assembled improperly, a cupola will likely fall victim to weather elements. Failure to follow assembly instructions can even result in the collapsing of a cupola or water leakage.

Much like the cupola installation, weathervane installation is considered a straightforward process. Again, failure to follow assembly instructions may result in weather-related issues. For the greatest success, one must follow the assembly instructions to prevent the weathervane from detaching.

Pet Resort and Grooming building with square cupolas with windows and an octagon cupola with windows

These ornate ornaments are taking over the post-frame industry. Add simple charm or extravagant character to your horse barn with the perfect cupola-weathervane duo—just be sure your contractor follows the assembly instructions!

Square cupola with windowed sides and eagle weathervane
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