Apr 06 2011
With the first homes being built in the New England area, specifically Cape Cod, MA, by English settlers in the 1700s, Cape Cod house plans are deeply rooted in American history. They were basic structures that contained only a single room or a couple of rooms. The chimney was placed at the center of the floor plan so the entire home could be warmed throughout the harsh New England winters. Original Cape Cod homes did not contain bathrooms and most did not provide a kitchen either. Typically, the exteriors of these houses offered very little exterior ornamentation reflecting the Puritan values and sentiment of the early East Coast settlers. The homes were usually symmetrical with clean and simple lines and an exterior covering of shingles or clapboard siding. Steeply angled roofs helped protect against the stormy weather characteristic of the Cape Cod area.
In the 1930s Cape Cod houses became popular again. These simple and easy-to-build structures appealed to Depression Era builders and thus were mass produced due to their small and economical size and efficient features. Furthermore, they were quite affordable to build and became popular with home buyers as a result of their very affordable prices. Their practical floor plans were an added bonus. After World War II, Cape Cod style houses began popping up all over the United States in an array of variations from their original design.
Today’s Cape Cod house plans maintain their simple and symmetrical nature showcasing an exterior with clean, straight lines and little exterior detail and trim. Windows and the main entrance are neatly arranged across the front of the home. Designs can be one or two stories. Like their ancestors, they feature a steeply sloped roof with little overhang. Today’s Cape Cod designs often offer a loft or full second floor with a couple of bedrooms tucked inside the roof. Often, protruding dormers increase headspace and usable area on the upper level. Present day Cape Cod home plans continue to offer a functional floor plan and practical features. They incorporate many of today’s most requested design elements into their historically popular floor plans such as a kitchen island, walk-in closets, deluxe baths and specially appointed rooms like an office or study. Furthermore, their simply design makes them highly expandable with some popular versions offering an attached garage or basement foundation. The practical floor plans, functional features and budget friendly price of these New England style homes make them especially appealing to young families with one or two children.
From the past to the present, with promise for the future, Cape Cod house plans are a timeless American classic.
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