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  1. #1
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    Apr. 27, 2001
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    Default Cupolas - Source & do they provide ventilation?

    Hi All -

    We are reroofing our barn and plan to add a Cupola. I was wondering if they help with ventilation. My barn tends to be a bit warm in the summer. I like the look of Cupolas but am hoping between widening the ridge vent and adding a Cupola ventilation will be better without sacrificing warmth in the winter.


    Also, does anyone have a good source for reasonably priced Cupolas?



  2. #2
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    Apr. 28, 2009
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    I'm not the best source since we're just in the process of planning/building now so I don't have any first-hand experience. We are getting a 24x40 with 2 ten foot ridge vents and a functional 2 ft. cupola. They do make purely decorative cupolas so double check! I would be the one to do something like that... I was told that what we have is more than adequate ventilation by our barn builder who's been doing it for ages.



  3. #3
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    Jul. 23, 2003
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    itty bitty town, GA
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    We have a 2 x 2 cupola on top of our barn but even with a fan in it to draw air out, it really doesn't help - just makes noise. I love the look of cupolas but if I ever do another one, it will be larger with a larger fan.

    Our cupola: http://www.horsegroomingsupplies.com...ng-07-035.html
    Susan N.

    Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.



  4. #4
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    I think (correct me if I'm wrong... this is jst my common sense speaking here and no technical knowledge) the main reason cupolas and ridge vents work is that heat rises. These openings are at the top so... voila the heat has somewhere to go other than recirculating back down. Sure, there are fans and stuff like that to literally help pull the hot air out. It's like my barn guy said... if you have ridge vents, they will still work without covers on them even. He said he's stood in the middle of a barn in the rain (same as how it doesn't rain down a house chimney) and you can see the rain split and not come in through the vent. Same effect... the hot air is rising and forcing it's way out. Obviously fans would be more effective, but I think it definitely couldn't hurt!



  5. #5
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    Apr. 28, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by bludejavu View Post
    We have a 2 x 2 cupola on top of our barn but even with a fan in it to draw air out, it really doesn't help - just makes noise. I love the look of cupolas but if I ever do another one, it will be larger with a larger fan.

    Our cupola: http://www.horsegroomingsupplies.com...ng-07-035.html
    Do you have other venting aside from the cupola?



  6. #6
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    Dec. 14, 2000
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    When Morton built our barn we had a cupola put on with an exhaust fan. The fan does great pulling the heat out of the barn. We had talked to Morton about using both a ridge vent and cupola with a fan and they said they wouldn't do that. I don't remember the exact reason but I think it was that when the fan was on it would draw air from the outside through the ridge vent into the barn. I do remember them saying it could cause condensation problems having both.

    So if you have both and the fan doesn't seem effective that may be the reason.

    I know the fan is pulling the air out because when the farrier hot shoes you can watch the smoke disappear out the cupola.



  7. #7
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    Aug. 12, 2002
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    Our loft can get really hot in the summer so we had a big louvered fan installed. It's on a thermostat and really cools things off. When it's not in use, the louvers are shut.

    I love the look of a cupola too, but don't have one.
    "Friend of Bar.ka"

    Oh my god - she's gone and got the eventing bug! I will send you some antibiotics! Take the entire bottle and do two hunter shows and it will pass!



  8. #8
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    Jul. 23, 2003
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    itty bitty town, GA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elghund2 View Post
    When Morton built our barn we had a cupola put on with an exhaust fan. The fan does great pulling the heat out of the barn. We had talked to Morton about using both a ridge vent and cupola with a fan and they said they wouldn't do that. I don't remember the exact reason but I think it was that when the fan was on it would draw air from the outside through the ridge vent into the barn. I do remember them saying it could cause condensation problems having both.

    So if you have both and the fan doesn't seem effective that may be the reason.

    I know the fan is pulling the air out because when the farrier hot shoes you can watch the smoke disappear out the cupola.
    Interesting that Morton could make yours work and when they retrofitted our old barn (the one in the picture), it doesn't work - no ridge vent either. My only thought is we really needed two cupolas and fans for the size barn perhaps.

    dmalbone - we have lots of doors from stalls, front back and side doors in all directions as well as gaps above the outside stall walls.
    Susan N.

    Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.



  9. #9
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    Jun. 11, 2006
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    Berryville, VA
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    Our cupolas really help keep the air from getting stuffy in the barn. I would never build a barn without them.
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    Boarding for Show, Pleasure, and Retirement horses. www.LockeMeadows.com



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
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    7,863

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexus View Post
    Hi All -

    We are reroofing our barn and plan to add a Cupola. I was wondering if they help with ventilation. My barn tends to be a bit warm in the summer. I like the look of Cupolas but am hoping between widening the ridge vent and adding a Cupola ventilation will be better without sacrificing warmth in the winter.


    Also, does anyone have a good source for reasonably priced Cupolas?
    We put one on our barn about 12 years ago and never regretted the decision.

    We built it ourselves and it was not at all a difficult task. We got all the stuff we needed from Home Depot and the Co-Op. Installation is a bit more tricky, but it didn't take but a day to put it in once it was built.

    It's very simple in construction, without fans, moving louvers, etc. In our climate (East TN) we didn't really need them. If I were further North I'd pobabaly want to be able to close the vents in the winter; further south I'd have put in a large vent fan.

    G.



  11. #11
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    Apr. 28, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by bludejavu View Post
    Interesting that Morton could make yours work and when they retrofitted our old barn (the one in the picture), it doesn't work - no ridge vent either. My only thought is we really needed two cupolas and fans for the size barn perhaps.

    dmalbone - we have lots of doors from stalls, front back and side doors in all directions as well as gaps above the outside stall walls.
    I would guess that it's not near enough for that huge of a barn. My mother just built a barn and hers is 40x50 or something near there and the guy urged her to get 2 or at least the 3x3. I'm building 24x40 and one is fine for that, but your barn looks enormous. Can you possibly add another one and see if that helps?



  12. #12
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    Dec. 14, 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by bludejavu View Post
    We have a 2 x 2 cupola on top of our barn but even with a fan in it to draw air out, it really doesn't help - just makes noise. I love the look of cupolas but if I ever do another one, it will be larger with a larger fan.

    Our cupola: http://www.horsegroomingsupplies.com...ng-07-035.html
    A couple of things I notice from the picture. Your barn is a lot bigger. It has a much flatter roof than ours. It also looks like it has skylights? The flatter roof will tend to keep the heat distributed and not funneled up the peak as much. If those are sky lights then you are providing a really good air heating source at the top. I think that would make it hard for the cupola to keep up.



  13. #13
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    Jul. 23, 2003
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    itty bitty town, GA
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    You may be right and yes, they are skylights because that tended to be a very dark barn before we had Morton retrofit it. We actually discussed building the roof up but opted not to because of cost. It was supposed to be a simple reroofing job and they ended up having to replace all the perlins due to rotting, so we kept it the same elevation so the darn roof didn't break our bank account . One thing I wish we had splurged on though, was insulation. We had our other two horse barn ceilings insulated when Morton built them and it made a HUGE difference in the cooling effect.
    Susan N.

    Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.



  14. #14
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    Oct. 11, 2002
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    Colorado
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    I live near Denver where it is usually either hot or really cold. On my barn, and those that I design in this region, I use functional cupolas with a trap door underneath so the cupolas can be shut off in the winter months and open in summer. It pretty much is open in Spring, close in Fall. The trap door is a simple piece of exterior plywood, waterproofed, hinged on one side to a frame under the roof/cupola , with eye screws, and a poly rope that pulls it up to shut and lets it hang down when open. This works like a charm. However, 3' cupolas are the largest I would try this on unless you want to make a metal framed trap door set up. Huge air movement difference when two 2' cupolas are opened in May. As I will not design a barn without exterior stall doors due to fire safety, there is always sufficient ventilation in winter when the cupolas are shut off.
    Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
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