Cape Cod Homes in a Nutshell

Cape Cod Homes

If you reside in Massachusetts, you must be well familiar about how pleasant the Cape Cod homes are. Let us dive into where exactly they are found and what makes them so conspicuous.

A cape cod house features a distinctive style of architecture originating from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Practical designs along with minimal ornamentation, these homes have many characteristics unique to their name.

  • They have a sloping roof to prevent snow from piling up at the top.
  • They have a large central chimney and low ceilings to keep the house warm.
  • In order to protect the home from weather extremities, there is a provision for shingle sliding and shutters.

Shingles on the rooftops

History of Cade Cod Homes

Puritan settlers were the first ones to build such homes in the 17th century, adapting the half-timber, hall-and-parlor homes of England to the harsh winters of New England. Cade Cod architecture has survived for centuries, spreading throughout the US to become a timeless American style.

Although the style has evolved over time, many elements of the modern Cape Cod homes echo the original structures of the settlers. These homes have remained well-liked and popular for their simplicity, charm and ode to American roots.

Types of Cape Cod Homes

Depending upon the plan area, the placement of the chimney relative to the center of the house and the number of windows, Cape Cod homes come in three different variations: they can be half Capes, full Capes, or three-quarter Capes.

  • The half Capes comprise two bays. There is a door on one side of the house and two windows present laterally adjunct to it.
  • The full Cape is an ideal design comprising a symmetrical rectangular house with a massive chimney housed at the center. The entry door has double windows present lateral to it on both sides.
  • The three-quarter Cape has a door with three windows present lateral to it, two on one side and one on the other side of it.

Construction Materials Used for Cape Cods

The traditional Cape Cods were built using locally available construction materials. The intent was to make the house resilient against the weather bashes during the winters in New England. The used materials comprised

A picture showing shingles that are used mostly in Cape Cod homes

House Features

Exterior Look

Exterior look of a Cade Cod Home

  • For a full Cape, the front door is centered and for a half or three-quarter Cape, it is present a little off-side to the center. Modern Cade Cod homes have detailed moldings around the door.
  • The windows of a Cape Cod home are often multipaned and shuttered. The shutters are aimed at protecting the home from harsh weather, however, nowadays, they have become a part and parcel of the design of contemporary Cape Cod homes.
  • The roof of the house is kept high-pitched (i.e., steep) to prevent snow accumulation in chilly weather. The roof is also side-gables which means that it forms a triangle shape on the sides of the building.
  • As a common feature of the revival homes, dormers add more space in the attic, making the upper level used as a living space.
  • The chimney is a prominent feature of the traditional Cape Cod style. Large and present in the center of the house, these chimneys help settlers stay warm during winter. In contemporary Cade Cod homes, the chimney is smaller and present on the side of the house where it serves as an element of design rather than for the intended function.
  • Shingles help protect Cape Cod homes from inclement weather. The original color used to fade over time owing to exposure to salty air, leaving the shingles silvery grey, a color or shade that is now considered iconic for the exterior of Cape Cod homes.
  • Many revival homes have a combination of the white exteriors with black shutters. This classic color combination remains popular, but some other combinations suit the style as well. Today, green Cape Cod houses or red Cade Cop houses have become common.

Interior Look

Beautiful interior of a Cape Cod

  • Cape Cod homes can be considered to have 1 to 1.5 stories. The half story refers to the attic which originally was used for storage but is not utilized for extra bedrooms.
  • Historical Capes feature a steep and narrow staircase called a ‘captain’s staircase’.
  • Traditional Cape Cod homes have a symmetrical interior centered around the living space.

The Pros of Living in a Cape Cod

  • Cape Cod homes have an eye-catching symmetry in their exterior. The pitched roof with shingles on the exposed side picture a nexus between simplicity and aesthetics.
  • Many Cape Cods have second-floor dormers extruding from the roof that initially had no specific utilization but are now used as an added space for living and other indoor activities. They also help increase the inflow of light in the house.
  • If chilly winters and parky evenings make you shiver, Cape Cod homes have you covered. The roof is winterproof and owing to sloping roofs, the snow does not stay long and gets slid down.

The Cons of Living in a Cape Cod

  • The second floor of a Cape Cod home is essentially a half story and the clear ceiling height available to the residents sometimes makes it difficult for them to not bump their heads into the ceiling.
  • In summer, the heat gets accumulated and concentrated in the attic area and makes the upper story super-hot. This is one of the striking drawbacks that pulls back people from actually investing in a Cape Cod home.
  • If an expansion of the home is intended, the default architecture of Cape Cod homes might make it a tad challenging.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where are Cape Cod homes most commonly found?

Cape Cod Homes are most commonly found in Massachusetts and the geographical region of greater New England. The contemporary Cape Cods have a great resemblance to their traditional counterparts.

Why are Cape Cod houses so popular?

The architectural design of Cape Cods and their symmetrical exteriors make them attractive and this compels people to invest in buying one. The houses are simple in style and the interiors are not very decorative but even with minimalistic ornamentation, these Cape Cods provide a comfortable living to the dwellers.

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