The Brunner Custom Copper Copper Clad Cupola Details & Photo Page

Sioux Falls, South Dakota (2/12)
Updated 3 / 2013

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Getting it All Worked Out

This client Clint and Erin Brunner live in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. After finding our web site and falling in love with the cupola (shown above) we had built for Emil and Norma Bardana here in Lake Oswego, Oregon they wanted us to build them my Tuscany arch style cupola a 25% smaller, but with a steeper roof line. They had been remodeling their home and added a brick gazebo (shown here below). It has a 36.25" wide base with a 4.75" eave for a 45.75 wide roof line.

They had first contacted me on 10/2/11 to discuss the details. At first they wanted a concave curved roof line, but just before fabrication we discussed aesthetic options again and they opted to just go with a straight line roof that was a steeper 12/12 pitch.

From: W C Brunner <Clint.Brunner@usd.e*u>
Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2012
Subject: Re: Copper Covered Cupola


David,
Overall, everybody has been quite impressed with all aspects of the design and craftsmanship. As you may be able to tell in the photos, the finial isn't perfectly plumb. It needs to be adjusted, and I haven't climbed up there yet to see if I can adjust the finial down-rod, or if I need to adjust the screw placement in the finial cap/piece. In retrospect, I may have stuck with the Bardana-style cap instead of adding more pitch to the slope, but it's almost a toss-up to me. It definitely looked much bigger sitting in the garage than it does sitting on the gazebo roof, but I think the proportions look nice. I really like the way you package everything, and include the install hardware, right down to the correct bit. Several people have asked who did the work, and I refer them to your website. Thanks again!

Clint

Cupola Creation

I first got these 40 pieces of wood cut for the framework to build this. They were angle cut on my table saw and miter saw and sanded. The darker brown wood is reclaimed redwood from a deck I had rebuilt with a hardwood called ipe.  I quickly assembled them with expanding Gorilla Glue and stapled them together before adding the deck screws. This way the boards are much less likely to shift or move as I add the screws for added strength.

I added the arch pieces, so I could attach the eve ring. Then I got the roof joist for this cupola made and attached over the center hub I had made with another 16 2X4 boards. This is very sturdy. Easily twice as strong as house construction. I think of this more as unrefined cabinet work.

With the plywood covering this it adds up to 72 pieces of wood in all with hundreds of screws for this construction.

Underlayment Applied over this Wood Cupola

Now that this wood work is done before the copper can go on I needed to cover this with a special high temp Water & Ice Shield underlayment called Blueskin by Henry's. This underlayment is even more expensive than typical roof shingles. It is to make sure the condensation that may occur under the copper will not mildew the wood structure underneath. Most Fabricators would consider what I do as way overkill and unnecessary.

Above right shows the wood attachment ring I made that will get screwed down to their gazebo roof before this gets put in place. I decided to add this aluminum soffit inside, so this has a clean look when viewed from below. This way you are not looking up into the bones of the structure. Another detail that in not done with most construction work.

I had then lined the seams with these 1/2" copper pipes to dress it up.

20oz Copper Sheeting Applied over the Cupola

The sides were formed in a single sheet that wrapped all the way around for a single seam to be position in the back where it's not going to be seen. Then one by one I had to cut open the windows and form the metal inside the frame adding the upper and lower pieces separately with a drip edge along the bottom.

Once the side window framing was completed and the eve shields were in I was ready for the 8 copper roof skins that attach under the eaves and the tops bent down into the center hole.

I discussed what to do with the window openings: louvers, stainless steel screen, tinted plastic, or stained glass windows. They want to have the opening screened, so I added the 6X6 stainless steel screen inside and added these 3/4" copper pipes in the corners to help hold them in place.

This screen has a little wider holes than standard window screen, so they do not become clogged with dust, yet small enough to keep out most flying insects. I suppose small nats could squeeze in.

Weathervane Mount & Finished Look

The roof peak cap is made separately to adjust the vertical alignment after the cupola is installed, so the finial will stand true no matter how slight the cupola may attach to their gazebo roof, which may not be perfectly level. Another detail you would not find elsewhere. It attaches with 16 SS screws I supplied. They have sealing washers, so they cannot leak.

Here is a couple daylight shots of the assembly w/the segmented globe finial from the Smithsonian Collection by Good Directions.

Cost Breakdown

I kept track of the weights for these different parts. The weights and cost breakdown of these pieces are as follows.

235.9# cupola weight w/cap
- 134# wood/underlayment weight
- 5.26# aluminum soffit weight
- 4.8# SS screen
= 91.84# total combined copper weight
X 0.8
= 73.47 sq' 20oz copper including copper pipes inside
X $35 rate per square foot
= $2,571.45 for all the copper
+ $1,250 for the wood structure and attachment ring w/fasteners
+ $125 for the finial support pipe built into the roof
+ $382.50 for the large 7" X 48" Segmented Globe finial
+ $550 for a custom wood shipping crate ($50 less than quoted)
+ $630 for the truck freight ($30 more than quoted)

This brings the total cost of this project to $5,508.95 -  $452.40 discounted cost delivered in a sturdy wood crate via truck freight w/lift gate. That's $390.95 less than the original quote.

Here is some more shots this proud client was nice enough to take for me to share with you of their lovely home.

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Click in this photo to go back to Cupolas main info page

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Below is a photo of our
Better Business Bureau's
NW Business Integrity Award
for the year 1998

1999 Better Business Award

We were also a 1997 finalist for this same award. See our referral web page to see how we managed to be honored with this special award

 

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