Cape Cod House (Style Spotlight)

By Bud Dietrich

Cape Cod homes can be seen all across America in differing variations to suit differing climates and norms. This is because the Cape Cod is, in its soul, the one house style that conjures for us dreams of seaside holidays, flower gardens, white picket fences and a simpler, more relaxed lifestyle.

Historically, the Cape Cod house started as a modest and efficient design in response to Colonial America's harsh climate. By keeping the design a simple, one-story rectangular box with a steeply pitched gable roof, the Cape Cod house used an economy of materials to achieve a maximum of interior space.

As Americans expanded west, they took this all-American style with them, and now there are examples of Cape Cods across the country. Initially a modest house, the Cape Cod expanded to keep up with the needs of wealthier and larger families.

The addition of roof dormers, both doghouse and shed types, easily added headroom and usable space to the second floor. When needed, a room or two would be added to the sides or backs of these houses. These additions would, in the best examples, be smaller than the original main portion of the house in order to maintain the scale and charm of a Cape Cod.

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Identifying a Cape Cod Style Home
Identifying a Cape Cod Style Home