Cape Cod Homes: A Classic American Style

April 20, 2023

Cape Cod Homes: A Classic American Style

Cape Cod homes are one of the most iconic and classic styles of American architecture. These unassuming and charming homes originated in the 17th century in the Massachusetts region. In this article, we will delve deep into the history, features and characteristics of Cape Cod homes.


Cape Cod homes have a fascinating history that traces back to the arrival of European settlers in the 17th century. These settlers brought with them the English-style homes that were prevalent in their home country. The harsh winter weather in the region inspired them to modify these homes to suit the local climate. The result was a shorter version of the English-style homes that had a steep roof to protect against snow and strong gusts of wind.

Cape Cod homes quickly became popular among the locals and were soon linked to the area's maritime culture. However, it wasn't until the late-19th and early-20th centuries that the style gained popularity across the country. Cape Cod homes became synonymous with comfort, simplicity, and practicality, and thus became a symbol of American identity.

Features and Characteristics

One of the most prominent features of a Cape Cod home is its steep and pitched roof. Most traditional Cape Cod homes have a roof with a 45-degree angle, although some modern iterations may deviate from this. The roof is often decorated with dormers to add additional natural light and to provide extra living space in the attic.

Another distinct feature of the Cape Cod style is the symmetrical facade. The front door is usually centered, with two windows on either side, and a small shutter on each side of the window. The exterior of the house is generally clad with clapboard or shingles, depending on the local building materials available.

The interior of a Cape Cod home is usually simple yet comfortable. The open concept layout features a central fireplace and chimney that connects to each room, providing warmth throughout the house. The upper level usually has a low ceiling, but the plastered walls and hardwood floors add to the home's charm.


1. Are Cape Cod homes expensive to build?

Cape Cod homes are relatively affordable to build compared to many other architectural styles. The simplicity of their design and compact size leads to lower building costs. Additionally, designing a Cape Cod home is often less expensive than other styles due to its long-established guidelines, which have become familiar to builders and architects.

2. What’s the average size of a Cape Cod home?

Cape Cod homes typically range between 1,000 to 2,000 square feet. However, larger versions of the style can go up to 3,500 square feet.

3. Can a Cape Cod home be renovated or expanded?

Yes! Cape Cod homes offer ample opportunity for renovation and expansion. However, it’s important to work with a reputable and experienced contractor who is familiar with the style's unique characteristics to maintain the home's character and charm.

4. Are Cape Cod homes energy-efficient?

Cape Cod homes can be energy-efficient when updated with modern insulation and heating systems. However, as with any older home, they may require additional work and attention to ensure they maintain consistent energy efficiency.

5. Are Cape Cod homes still popular today?

Yes! Cape Cod homes are still popular today, both as historic homes and as a contemporary style. It’s an architectural style that has stood the test of time and continues to attract homeowners who appreciate its cozy charm and unique features.


Cape Cod homes are an excellent choice for homeowners looking for a classic American style that provides comfort, simplicity, and practicality. This architectural style has a rich history that has become an integral part of American identity. The Cape Cod style is characterized by its steep roof, symmetrical facade, and comfortable interior design. This style is still widely used today as it offers a timeless combination of practicality, style, and charm.



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I enjoy designing and curating experiences both virtually and in 3-dimensional reality. I have a Bachelor of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology and currently practice professionally, but I also manage a few other ventures.
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