Residential Project – A Cape Cod House for Today

Cape Cod central chimney 2 - Rendering - elevation view_1 copy


Note: This post was originally published this time last year. I decided to revisit the designs and tweak them to get better flow between the spaces. The new versions of the Cape Cod house are now presented below.

Hello again readers,
This week I offer something a bit more traditional, a Cape Cod house. This style was first created by the English settlers who settled in what is now Mass in the early 1700s; the first documented instance of this style appeared in 1710 in fact. The Cape Cod house was unique in that it was expandable as needs arose. This photo from American Homes by Lester Walker illustrates the evolving size of the Cape Cod over time.

The expanding Cape Cod Home
The expanding Cape Cod Home

This design with its massive fireplace in the center worked for the early settlers who relied on the fireplace for their cooking and heating needs, while today the fireplace is more ornamental then necessary. Also open plan living has replaced the choppy small rooms that defined early colonial houses. People live more comfortably today than in colonial times, but I thought that it would be interesting to see if I could bring this house from the past into the present. This home style remains popular and was last revisited and updated in the post WWII years(1945) evolving to include gables and then dormers to provide more 2nd floor space.

For the 2014 Cape Cod, I ended up designing 2 versions of the house. One retains the centralized chimney while the other version places the chimney against the left exterior wall. Both designs offer distinct advantages. If you like fireplaces, the central chimney house gives you two; one in the foyer and another in the living room. The end chimney cape offers a full front to back living room, additional dormers and a bumped out dining room opening on to a deck. I included a detached 1-car garage in both versions of the cape cod home, however the end chimney plan is more amenable to adapting if you wished to attach the detached garage and enter through the living room. Both plans offer 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths in a very compact footprint. Which plan do you prefer? Leave your comments below.

Media Gallery Central Chimney House

Media Gallery Side Chimney House

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