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Cape Cod House Plans

Our cape cod house plans have been purchased by people from all over the country, not just in the Northeast. These people are searching for cape cod floor plans because they love the look and style. Building from cape cod home plans boomed after World War II, partly because of the simplicity of the design and the ease to build. Our cape cod house plans, while not exact duplicates of the original style, are nonetheless inspired by the original designs.

Cape Cod House Plans

Common Characteristics of Cape Cod-Style House Plans:

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What follows are excerpts from “American Shelter”, written by Lester Walker, and published by Overlook Press in 1997

Cape Cod

American Shelter by Lester Walker Early Cape Cods were built by ship’s carpenters as though they were “land boats” made to ride shifting sands and withstand lashing wind and rain storms; they were low and broad, averaging twenty-five by forty feet, with only a seven foot ceiling height. They were built on large hewn oak sills, which steadied the house on it shifting uneven sand site. The Cape Cod had no projections or exterior extraneous decoration, so they could resist ocean gale forces.

Inside, the rooms were clustered around a huge chimney that contained as many as four fireplaces, used for heating, cooking, and light. The attic level was partitioned into numerous tiny bedrooms, each with a single window in the gable wall. A borning room was located on the first floor near the kitchen for the care of newborn children. 

Many Cape Cods were ingeniously constructed so they could be partially built, then expanded when the family grew larger. The half Cape Cod was the “honeymoon cottage.” The three-quarter Cape Cod was the answer when children arrived, and the full Cape Cod was used for the large family.

The Cape Cod used plank construction amazingly similar to the Northwestern Indian plank houses. Eighteen-inch wide planks, nailed to purlins on the roof and to sills and girts on the walls, not only stabilized the post-and-beam frame, but provided sheathing for shingles on the outside and plaster on the inside. They were built so sturdily that in many cases they were hauled by teams of horses across the sand or floated along the water to more suitable or desirable sites.

Until 1850, the basic design of the Cape Cod remained the same except for a few minor variations such as the Greek Revival’s influence on the design of the front door. The Cape Cod is essentially a fisherman’s cottage and during its years as a popular building type, the Cape was a successful fishing center.

The era of the original Cape Cod cottage came to an end in the mid-nineteenth century when the invention of the wood-burning stove made the huge central chimney, with all its fireplaces, superfluous. But after 1930, modern versions of the Cape Cod began appearing in home magazines and soon the house became the most familiar building style of the twentieth century. The style was particularly popular with the prefabricated home industry because of its simple shape and romantic past.