Cape Cods are houses that everybody knows and loves. You can find them in just about every city across the nation with their classic proportions endearing to their design. The typical Cape has a central main entry with a window on either side, These windows are sometimes flanked by shutters. Oftentimes, a Cape will have some small dormer windows just above the first floor windows, which makes the whole front façade symmetrical. Although the roof is normally a single pitch and usually quite steep, occasionally one can find gambrel roofs on Capes as well. Period siding choices are clapboards or wood shingles, and occasionally brick or stucco. The Cape was built with the automobile in mind. This usually meant that it needed a wider lot to accommodate a driveway and garage.
The shape of the house was more than just a choice—it’s a necessity. By placing the fireplace in the middle of the house—literally, the core—the box shape allowed the maximum number of rooms to be crowded around the fireplace. In the blustery, bleak New England winters, heat was a must. The fireplace was used for warmth, for cooking, and for light. It was essential for survival. In the same vein, the roof was pitched in such a way to allow rain, snow, etc., to roll down easily. In addition, the roof allowed more headroom on the second floor.