How to Choose the Right Size for Your Pole Barn’s Cupola

How to Choose the Right Size for Your Pole Barn’s Cupola

People use pole barns for many purposes, such as sheltering horses and livestock, storing hay and animal feed, and even as homes, garages, workshops, and businesses. No matter how a pole barn is used, it needs to be well ventilated.

Ventilation is especially important if a pole barn is used on a farm. Animals need good ventilation and air circulation in order to stay healthy. A pole barn that is used to store hay and grain needs to be ventilated to prevent mildew from ruining the animals’ food. A cupola is an easy way to keep a pole barn ventilated, cool, and dry.

How the Size of a Cupola Has Traditionally Been Decided

There is a rule of thumb that has been used for generations to decide on the size of a cupola, but it may not be right for modern buildings and needs. Many builders recommend using a cupola that is one inch wide at the base for each foot of length of the main ridge of the building. For example, if the main ridge of a pole barn is 24 feet long, the rule would dictate that a 24-inch-wide cupola should be installed.

Even though this rule of thumb has been used since the 1950s, some modern builders believe it sometimes causes property owners to wind up with a cupola that looks too small for the building. The rule would work for low ranch houses in residential neighborhoods or for sheds and small garages with low-pitch roofs, but it does not always produce the best results when used on some modern buildings.

Today’s homes and garages are often bigger than they were in the 1950s and have steeper roofs. Houses and barns in rural areas tend to be bigger than ones in the suburbs. Many homeowners build garages that look like barns. On a large building with a steep roof, a cupola looks smaller because it is farther away from eye level. A larger cupola will look better aesthetically.

A Different Way to Calculate the Size of a Cupola

Some builders recommend using a different formula to determine the size of a cupola that takes into account the building’s overall size and height, not just its length. Add the height of the ridge in feet and the length of the ridge in feet, and then multiply the sum by 0.7. This will give you the appropriate base of the cupola in inches. Round up to the nearest inch.

CHA Pole Barns Can Help You Design a New Pole Barn

A pole barn can be an excellent addition to your property, whether you use it as an animal shelter, house, workshop, garage, or business. A cupola can be a simple and attractive way to ventilate your pole barn and keep it dry and at a comfortable temperature.

CHA Pole Barns can help you choose the right style and features for your pole barn, including a cupola for ventilation. Contact us to discuss your needs and let us help you design your new pole barn.

When you are ready contact CHA Pole Barns to talk about your pole barn project.


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Amos, We are very pleased with the workmanship of your crew, they did a great job. Make sure to tell your guys from us GREAT JOB!!!

Larry & Donna Rozniata