What Makes a Cape Cod House?

What Makes a Cape Cod House?

The Cape Cod house is a classic architectural style that originated in the 17th century in New England. It is known for its simple, symmetrical design and charming features. Let’s explore the key elements that make a Cape Cod house unique and distinguishable.

1. Steep Roofline

A defining characteristic of a Cape Cod house is its steep roofline.

The roof typically has a pitch of 8:12 or greater, which means it rises 8 inches vertically for every 12 inches horizontally. This steepness allows for efficient drainage of rain and snow, common in the New England region.

2. Central Chimney

A prominent feature of a Cape Cod house is its central chimney.

The chimney provides functional warmth as it serves multiple fireplaces throughout the house. It also adds visual symmetry to the exterior design.

3. Symmetrical Facade

A Cape Cod house has a symmetrical facade with a centered front door and an equal number of windows on each side. This design element creates balance and simplicity, giving the house an inviting and harmonious appearance.

4. Clapboard Siding

Cape Cod houses are often adorned with clapboard siding, which consists of long, narrow wooden boards that overlap horizontally. This type of siding not only provides protection from harsh weather conditions but also adds texture and visual interest to the exterior.

5. Multi-Pane Windows

The windows in a Cape Cod house typically have multi-pane configurations, such as six-over-six or eight-over-eight patterns. These small panes add charm to the overall aesthetic while allowing natural light to flow into the interior spaces.

6. Dormers

Dormers are another characteristic feature of Cape Cod houses. These small structures project from the sloping roof and contain windows, providing additional light and ventilation to the upper floor or attic space.

7. Shingle Roofing

Although steep roofs are common in Cape Cod houses, they are often covered with shingles rather than traditional roofing materials. The shingles give the house a distinct look and blend well with the coastal surroundings.

8. Cozy Interior

The interior of a Cape Cod house is typically cozy and compact, maximizing space efficiency. The design often includes a central hallway with rooms on either side, creating a straightforward layout that is easy to navigate.

In conclusion,

Cape Cod houses are known for their timeless appeal and classic design elements. From the steep roofline to the symmetrical facade, these homes exude charm and character. Whether you’re considering building or renovating a home, embracing the elements that make a Cape Cod house unique can create an inviting and picturesque dwelling.

Photo of author

Lindsay Collins