Cape Cod House

What does an original Cape Cod style house look like?

Traditionally an original Cape Cod style house is a low, broad frame building, generally a story and a half high, with a steep pitched roof usually without dormers.

Usually these houses are about half as wide (deep) as they are long.

The chimney is usually centered in the building to allow heat from the fire to spread evenly throughout the house. The fireplace was the only source of heat in Colonial times and a centrally located chimney was the way to go. (It took roughly 12 to 15 cords of wood to heat a house back then.)

Roof Styles

Cape Cod style homes can have several different styles of roofs—an even pitch or cottage roof (usually an 8, 10 or 12 pitch), a gambrel roof, a salt box roof, or a bow roof.

The even pitch and gambrel are the most popular nowadays. The bow roof cape is rarely built in modern times.


The first Cape Cod homes were built by English colonists who came to America in the late 17th century and settled on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Cape Cod styles houses are now found in almost every state.

See also: How to recognize a Cape Cod house and pictures of Cape Cod style houses

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Recent Posts

A Half-Cape or Cape Cod Half House

What does a half-Cape house look like?

What is a “Cape Cod half house”? Why is it called a half house? It is only half of a Cape Cod house. The half-house is the first step or “starter home” when building a Cape Cod house. The traditional Cape half-house has two windows to one side of the door on the front and can be expanded to a three-quarter Cape, full Cape or larger as a family’s needs for more space dictate.

Cape Cod House
Cape Cod House is a Cape Cod Home Improvement Network website

Cape Cod House

Cape Cod houses: How to recognize one, the different roof styles and Cape Cod style house history.


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