Edwards Custom Cupola w/Concave Copper Roof & Rooster Weathervane Project

 Updated 12 / 24 / 2011

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Most of the work I do is custom, but here's another project I've done that shows the unique diversity and innovative ideas and what I can do to solve your needs and desires. This is also good advice to have a local Contractor build for you if you are not within our area of the Great Northwest and don't want to pay for a crate and truck freight on such a large project to have it made by CBD.

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Steve and Loree Edwards found my web site on 6/1/11 and we worked out the details over the next 7 weeks before they contracted with me to build them a custom cupola for the new house they were having built in Silverton, Oregon. At first they wanted it to be 4' wide at the base, but on 9/13 they let me know there architect redesigned the cupola to be over 7' wide at the base. The architect is Gary McKeon of Drafting by Design LLC 503-873-6595

 

I saw how the roof-line of the cupola shown in his diagram started at a 4/12 pitch in this new diagram, but the house roof was a 6/12 pitch, so I suggested this slight alteration to the curvature to the cupola roof. This much larger cupola design drove up the cost from $5.4k to $8.2k, since the roof had nearly tripled in size.

 

Remember you can click on each of these photos to see them much larger.

Here is a video I shot during the lift with the crane. It starts off a bit shaky as I am climbing a 2 story ladder and my adrenalin is pumping.

Fabrication starts; building the 7' wide frame 10/21/11:

This portion was made with 4x4 beams and is already strong enough for me to stand on at any point of this structure. I carefully notched out the groves for the louvers before assembling this frame. The cross beams are Douglas fir and the corner beams are cedar.

 

The corners are held together with 8 deck screws and 12 lag screws. the louvers are make with 5/8" marine grade hardwood plywood angle cut at 27 degrees and treated with tung oil.

 

Covering the wood w/pre-painted aluminum sheet metal 10/25 - 11/10:

I had to form each of these 20 louver covers and attach them one at a time. Then attach a custom formed stainless steel screen behind them w/140 stainless steel screws, which added a lot of strength and stability to these louvers.

 

I then got the sides covered with 5/8" plywood and 2x6 cedar boards along the bottom that are all angle cut at 27 degrees, which matches their 6/12 pitch roof. I treated the outside of that wood with tung oil to protect the wood if condensation develops behind the aluminum covers. I also added another set of 2x4 inside between the 2x6 cedar and the plywood for added support. I could hardly wait to get to working on the roof, but I need to be patient and get this lower part finished first before I was able to add the crown molding.

 

I had to form and attach the rest of the 12 pieces of aluminum sheet metal to cover the rest of the sides.

 

I angle cut the last 8 pieces at 45 degrees, so it would look like a picture frame around the louvers.

Building the concave roof trusses 11/10 - 16:

The crown molding was added over this to make it 7' 6" wide. It required 174.34 sq' of aluminum to cover the sides like this. I then covered the crown molding with plywood to help strengthen it before the roof trusses go over them. It is now 7' 7.5" wide extending out another 3/4" past the crown molding on each side.

 

It was tricky, but I managed to get 4 of the concave curved roof trusses drawn out, cut, and installed into this center column I made. It is already strong enough to stand on this center column and jump up and down on it, and it will get stronger as I add more wood to it; like the corner trusses that will go in next. This is 5' 9" tall at this point.

 

I managed to get all 24 of the concave curved roof trusses drawn out, cut, and installed over 3 days working on it. If it is not made just right any flaws will show in the copper I will cover the plywood with. Once all the roof trusses were in they had a 13" center span. Floors and walls have 16" centers, but most roofs are made with a 24" wide span between trusses, so this is almost twice as strong.

There is 36' of 4X4 beams, 130' of louvers, 92.33' - 2X4, 53' - 2X6, 44' - 2X8, 16' - 2X10, and 209.75 sq' - plywood.

Covering roof trusses w/2 layers of plywood 11/17 - 25:

I got the first layer of 3/8" plywood on. At 4' wide the sheets of plywood did not reach all the way up to the top, so I had to add another 8.5" above that. The next layer of 3/8" plywood overlapped the seam, so no strength was lost.

These layers of plywood were screwed down with hundreds of screws every 6". With both layers I have a combined total of 3/4" thick roof surface, where most roofs are made with just a single layer of 1/2" OSB chip board, so again this detail is about twice as strong as standard building construction. The roof is now 7' 10" wide.

Covering sloped roof w/Water & Ice Shield, and 20oz copper 11/25 - 30:

I just found out the developed a high temp Water & Ice Shield underlayment for metal roofs that is suppose to withstand 300 degrees, so that's what I used here. It is even more expensive than a good 40 year roofing shingle at $65 a square. It also took about 10 times as long to apply, since the temperature had dropped to around 40 degrees outside. I had to use a blow dryer and clothing iron to heat it us to get it to stick to the plywood like it is suppose to do.

I could finally begin to attach the copper sheets to this. The sheets I had used to cut these pieces from were 4' X 10' long, so this is all I could cover in a single piece for each side. It took 96.3 sq' of the 20oz copper to cover this.

Building the roof peak cap/WV support 11/30 - 12/2:

I worked on the center roof cap that will hold this large Rooster style weathervane they wanted. I made a reverse pyramid shape inside to secure the bottom of the support pipe. I thought this was particularly clever. This will be adjustable after the cupola is installed on their roof to make sure the weathervane shaft is perfectly straight, so it will rotate smoothly.

This Rooster style weathervane was damaged in transit to my shop through UPS. The thin hollow brass tubing of the arrow and base got bent. I had to spend several hours fixing the damage of this fragile thin metal I am not accustom to working with. I noticed the weathervane was tail heavy. Not balanced, so in adding a solid brass rod inside the forward half of the arrow helped bring the proper balance it needed, so maybe it was a blessing in disguise it got damaged?

Delivery Preparation 12/3 - 5:

We had to deliver it to Silverton, Oregon on my trailer and get it installed that Monday, so I worked through the weekend to make sure we would be ready to get this loaded on my trailer that morning. This now weigh about 500# or more.

Since it was so wide we had to tilt it on it's side to get it from the back out to the street. I devised some stilts and this rolling cart to help get it up to slide it on a wood frame I built for this over my trailer.

We strapped it down to withstand freeway travel on my trailer and spent an hour on the road getting it to the job site some 50 miles Southeast of Portland.

Installation 12/5:

Shortly after we had arrived the crane showed up a little early, so we were a bit rushed to get the roof frame mounted and the hole in the top of the roof cut open for proper ventilation into the new cupola. The owner Steve joined up on the roof and dug in to help get it prepped.

I rigged up a special custom wood device to slide down inside the center hole and hook to gently lift the whole cupola up, so there would be no need to have straps wrapping under it, which would need pulled out after it's set in place. Rather cleaver if I do say so myself.

 

 

Then it was time to attach the upper copper cover and the center peak cap, so I could place the weathervane.

Chris got up there one last time to wipe the cupola down and touch up any scratches on the white paint of the aluminum sheet metal as I got these last shots. the clients raved about how nice it looked once it was complete.

Cupola Cost: $8,160 w/enhanced Rooster style weathervane, delivery, & installation
Clients saved over $1k form my under quoting this project

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Helpful Roofing Information
For some valuable advice with regards to roofing and rain management issues check out our:

(a) Gutter Installation
(b) Gutter Debris Protection Options
(c) Roofing Quality Standards
(d) Chimney Flashing

(e) Moss Control & Treatment

web pages for answers and solutions that could save you thousands of $ and a great deal of anguish.

If you do find this information very helpful, feel free to send us a $ tip for the assistance we so freely have published on the web here for your benefit, like you might tip a waitress.  Heck, send us a gift certificate for a candle lit dinner for two.

 

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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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custom sheet metal fabrication

 

custom sheet metal fabrication

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custom sheet metal fabrication

custom sheet metal fabrication

custom sheet metal fabrication

custom sheet metal fabrication

custom sheet metal fabrication

custom sheet metal fabrication

custom sheet metal fabrication

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