Cape Cod House Signature Features

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Cape Cod house is somewhat a representative of American classic house that has been around for centuries. The style of the house is often related to weekends away or beachy look. What makes the house very unique and also popular? Why the structure remains unchanged after decades or even centuries?

The History

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cape cod house floor plan

The existence of Cape Cod house dated back to the earliest Puritan settlers’ time. The design and construction of the house started because the Puritan settlers had the idea of building an English cottage to the US. They then make some changes so they could adapt to the harsh winter climate in New England.

Such a house has its own unique design. It has symmetrical structure that is set around an open and big living space (also known as the hall). And then the steep roof was used to minimize the snow and its weight when settling on the roof. The house has low ceilings as the signature style so the house can conserve heat. What about the (cute) shutters? They were put to block the harsh and cold winter winds.

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Back then, the term Cape Cod establishment wasn’t introduced. The term was used in the 1800s when the President of Yale University, Reverend Timothy Dwight IV, made a visit to Cape Cod and named them. Then his observations were published. And then, the modern Cape Cod term and structure was made popular during the period of Colonial Revival from the 1920s and 1930s. Afterward, Royal Barry Willis, a Boston architect, reintroduced the house as the contemporary housing alternative. He managed to retain the basic exterior elements but changed the interior layout with a modern look –suitable for modern living.

Some Variations

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cape cod house with front porch

The Cape Cod house has several variations and alternatives. Of course, they are all perfect for modern living conditions. What are they?

  • Half cape. The characteristic of the house has one front door within one certain side of the house with two glass windows (with multi-pane) on the other. This is the simplest construction where the settlers can add some constructions until the house grows. It usually grows to three-quarter construction. This kind of house is called the Single Cape.
  • Three-quarter cape. This one has a front door within a side with two windows and also one multi-pane window on another side. This has been the most popular Cape picks from the 18th century to the early 19th century.
  • Full cape. This is also called the Double Cape which was usually inhabited by the wealthiest people. The full design has one central (front) door with two multi-pane windows on either side and they are placed symmetrically. The construction has a massive chimney and steep roof.
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The Signature Features

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cape cod house style

The home can be constructed in various styles but they have some key signature features. For instance, on the exterior, the house has gabled dormers, shingle siding, centralized chimneys, steep roof with an overhang and side gables. On the interior, the house has low ceiling, one or 1.5 levels, symmetrical layout with a center hall, bedrooms under gables, and little aesthetic details. If you are thinking about building a Cape Cod house, think about these features.

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