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Cape Cod Architectural Style

Cape Cod homes were designed to weather the winds off the eastern shore of Massachusetts.

Cape Cod
Ship-shape, snug and sturdy — these are the words to describe the homes designed to weather the winds off the eastern shore of Massachusetts. Our forefathers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony built the prototypes in the 17th and 18th centuries, low to the ground to withstand seaside weather, but with enough space for one full floor, and another set of low-ceiling rooms and windows below the roof. The particulars of a Cape Cod varied little and are still popular today, including the foursquare plan, and a sweeping, fairly high-pitched roof.

Ordinarily a Cape Cod house was symmetrical, with the front door in the center of the front wall, two windows on either side and a good-sized chimney opposite. Wooden shingles — red cedar or pine — covered the outside walls and roof, and were allowed to weather unpainted. A Cape Cod might boast as many as five layers of shingles on the roof to guard against driving rain. For those who didn't need as much space, the "half-house" was popular. It looked like a full Cape Cod with one end cut off at the chimney.

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