The Puritans brought the Cape Cod architecture to America from England in the mid-1800s. It was imperative to the early settlers to build a home that could contend with the harsh climate of New England winters. The basic square shape was usually one story with low ceilings and bedrooms under the eaves. This provided a cozy space for the central fireplace to warm the entire home. Shutters were added to close over the windows further protecting the home from the bitter cold.
A common practice for homeowners was to build additions like wings to the square frame on the sides and rear. This provided for extra living space as their families expanded. If the Cape Cod had bedrooms on the smaller second floor than attic dormers might be added to provide extra space and light. These small additions increase the square footage without taking away the charm of the style and symmetry of the home.
When you think classic American cottage you most likely think of a Cape Cod. They are manageable in size and efficient to heat. Conducive to additions they’re considered a popular starter home. The original Cape Cod houses were modest, one room deep wood-framed homes with a central front door and two windows on each side. The roof was steeply pitched and side-gabled allowing snow to roll off easily. The dormers you see in this architecture style today didn’t become popular until the early 20th century when Capes were being built much larger than their predecessors. By adding the second story more space was allowed for bedrooms. This is especially true after World War II when the first housing developments were planned and built for returning soldiers who needed affordable homes for their families.
Cape Cod Addition Ideas
Cape Cod homes are charming and ideal as starter homes in this era as they were in the 1940s. As a small house on a modest lot, a Cape Cod home provides a cozy floor plan for a small family or empty nesters not wanting the upkeep of a larger home. Many of these homes were built in communities in the 1950s and sit in a mature landscaped development with parks, sidewalks, and friendly neighbors. Therefore, becoming a major drawing card for families.
If you own a home with this architecture you may need to expand to meet your family’s lifestyle. Creating a new floor plan is easy enough with a good architect and builder or a Design/Build firm. Remodeling by building an addition can create a home to meet your family’s needs. This will also allow you to stay in your established neighborhood.
Adding a garage addition as a wing to the square shape of this type of home can still keep the same charm especially if you build another addition on the opposite side for a sunroom or master suite. By doing this the home’s symmetry is preserved and a good deal of square footage is added.
Perhaps you would prefer to build upward because your lot will not be large enough to build to the side. A two-story addition can be added to the rear or side of the home providing a family room or sunroom on the first floor and a master suite on the second. As you can see by the photos below the addition looks seamless appearing as if it was always there.
Cape Cod Additions Before and After
A Cape Cod style home can give you and your family the ability to purchase a more affordable home. The sales price is less than many other style homes and the cost to heat and cool will often be less too. As many of these homes on the market were built up to one hundred years ago they may already have additions expanding the home’s footprint. If not, then you can add to the original architecture for your family’s needs and still keep the integrity and charm of the home’s architecture.