Cape Code Architecture Style

The Cape Cod architecture style, based on homes built in New England during colonial times, is simple, unpretentious and elegant. While early homes were small, today's Cape Cod houses are adapted to meet today's sizing needs, while keeping the traditions of the past alive.

Features of Cape Cod Houses
Cape Cod house styles are typically rectangular in shape, with the front entry centered in the middle of the house. A large chimney is also built in the center of the house, a descendent of the fireplaces  that were originally the only heating source available in these homes. Colonial homes needed a large chimney in the center to service fireplaces in different rooms.

The houses have a balanced, symmetrical appearance. Their roofs are steep and have small overhangs. The exterior of the homes have shake, shingle or lap sidings and multi-planed windows with shutters. While the shutters on these homes may be for decorative purposes today, they were essential for protecting colonial homes from storm damage.

One of the striking features of Cape Cod homes is their lack of ornamentation on the exterior. It's an entirely practical consideration. Decorations were likely to be damaged or destroyed during New England storms.

The modern Cape Cod house may include dormers in its design. Dormers are extensions of a room built out from a roof to allow light and air into the second floor. If the house has dormers, the chimney is likely to be placed next to an end of the house rather than in the center of the roof.

The interior layout is also simple and elegant. The main living quarters, such as the kitchen, living room and dining room are on the first floor. If the house is a one bedroom, the bedroom will also be on the first floor. Any additional bedrooms are built on the second floor, although traditionally, Cape Cod houses were designed to be one or one and one half stories high. Cape Cod homes usually have hard wood floors.

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