I would love to see pictures and hear details of your weathervanes mounted on your barn cupolas!
I'm in one the fun parts of barn building: I get to pick a weathervane! It will top the 48" cupola on top of the 72' ridge of a center aisle barn (barn also has an apartment coming off the side, so it is an L shaped building). Barn is 36' wide plus 10' overhangs on both sides, and the size of the building has dictated the size of the cupola.
Rule of thumb I've read online is that the weathervane should be roughly the same size as the cupola, within about 6". That indicates I need a monster weathervane, as in 42" or more.
Holy cow. Does that mean the figure itself needs to be 42+" long? Or is that more of a height (figure, directionals, rod) extending above the building?
We rather like the brass, three-dimensional ones, but my first choice only comes in a 30" long, 26" wide, 19" high version (that's the figure's height, the whole weathervane would be more like 39" high). Does it sound like it may be better suited for a 3' cupola than a 4' one (this design is not made in a larger size)? Or would it work fine for our building?
Here is a picture of the weathervane I currently fancy, but it is installed on what appears to be a smaller cupola (3'?):
I have an artist friend who can make me a steel weathervane if I wanted to go with a 2-D silhouette instead of a 3-D brass figure. However, we rather like the three-dimensional brass option. I'm okay spending a few hundred on this little venture but I'm not okay spending several thousand....
I have seen a lot of weathervanes, but can't say I have ever seen one the same size as the cupola...maybe heightwise, but not width wise. Usually it seems they are about a 1/3rd the size of the cupola.
Our old barn was built in 1956 and is a Quonset barn.
It has three cupolas that are round and fit the building shape.
We looked high and low for the right kind of weathervane for us, one with a standing horse, before we found one.
Why a standing horse? Those horses running seem tired, never resting.
They have all kinds of trotting and running and breed specific horses (and eagles and dolphins and boats and antique cars!), but no standing horses.
We finally found one and decided to put it in the front of the building, on the end, not on a cupola.
You may find you can put any size weathervane, with any design and color you want, wherever you want, don't need to follow anyone's rules.
mg: it is not a function issue (though the cupola is functional and we are adding it specifically for the added ventilation, along with a ridge vent). The weathervane size is a question of proportion and aesthetics.
In the last link posted (thanks Zwarte) there are pictures of weathervanes that are clearly close to the cupola size and I do think they look good. Maybe I will try to reduce a the size of the weathervane in question and tape it onto the architectural elevation of my barn and see if it looks adequate or not.