Window Styles for Cape Cod Style Houses

Window Styles for Cape Cod Style Houses

If you're an owner of a Cape Cod home, then you may have a feeling of pride to reside in such a lovely, cottage-like house. As with all buildings, there comes a time when window replacements need to be made. Or perhaps you're still in the design stage of your old English-inspired home and need to make some decisions on window fixtures. 

Minimalist design and clean features make these homes highly sought after. Choosing the right window style is essential to stay true to the simple symmetrical characteristics.

What is a Cape Cod House?

Cape Cod homes tell an English tale of the architectural style of homes in the early 1700s. This architectural style is actually a type of Colonial-style home. At the time, Colonial-style houses were designed and favored to provide insulation and protection from cold, snowy climates. Eventually, the simple symmetric design became popular in America and has since become a favorite American home-style throughout the country. It's prevalent on the East coast of the U.S. but is not limited to this region.

While Cape Cod homes have evolved, the cottage appeal remains. Cape Cod houses are similar↗ to the 1600s American Colonial architectural style, although with less frill and one less floor. Their shuttered windows and evenly symmetrical features are what places them in a similar style category. 

Cape Cod homes have a unique look, and unlike most other styles, their footprint is typically rectangular, allowing for additions at a later stage.

Common characteristics of Cape Cod homes include:

  • Symmetric design
  • Rectangular footprint, ranging in size from 1000 - 2000 square feet
  • Unadorned by frills or exterior ornamentations
  • Dormer gabled↗ windows are a standard adaption but were not part of the typical style.
  • Side-gabled steep roof
  • Focused use on local materials
  • Central chimney
  • An equal amount of windows on either side of the front door
  • Commonly have shutters, window boxes, pedestrian paths, and white picket fences for curb appeal.
  • Uncolored, cedar roof shingles that turn grey once weathered
  • Low ceilinged rooms for warmth
  • Low home with one to one and a half floors
  • central front door that includes flanked multi-paned windows in modern adaptions
  • Shingle siding or simple clapboard siding.

Window Styles for Cape Cod Style Houses

Traditional Cape Cod homes opted for small windows to reduce the cold from seeping in. Contemporary adaptions of the style make way for larger windows that still have the cottage look. To maintain the Cape Cod symmetry, evenly space windows on either side of the main entrance. If you're replacing windows in your old Cape Cod home, larger windows can be added without veering from the style. 

Andersen Architectural Collection Windows

Andersen is the perfect partner for architecturally authentic windows and doors. 


Cape Cod House Windows

  • Single-hung windows
  • Double-hung windows
  • Casement windows

Quintessential windows for Cape Cod homes are double-hung or single-hung windows, usually with multiple grilles. Both these styles are tall, rectangular windows that consist of one (single) or two (double) operational parts that move vertically to allow airflow. They are favored for the following reasons:

  • Easy to clean
  • Maximum ventilation
  • Double-hung windows can be opened from the top and are therefore safer for children and pets. 

Aside from vertical hung windows, casement windows can also be used. Casement windows are attached to their frame and open outwards or inwards on a hinge at the side, much like a door would open. Casement windows can also be made with multiple grilles to mimic the double-hung window aesthetic. 

Shutters are sometimes added to Cod-style homes to make the windows look more prominent, but they can also serve a functional purpose. Add a fresh touch to old shutters by giving them a lick of paint for curb appeal. Darker shutters are standard and can offer a contrast in color to lighter window frames.

Featured Property

Patrick Ahearn's↗ 2015 HGTV Dream Home is a Cape Cod home↗ on steroids. While bursting with elegant additions, the house is still loyal to the simple and symmetrical Cape Cod characteristics. By looking at this lavish home, you can see that the middle structure could stand on its own as a Cape Cod example. The extensions on either side continue the living area and bedrooms. The dormer gabled windows allow natural lighting to flood into the double volume living area from the inside.

Cape Cod Homes, A Timeless Option

Cape Cod homes offer a graceful architectural design. Their style is timeless. These cottage-like homes provide a humble haven by using available materials, staying true to natural coloring, and keeping adornments to a minimum. Aesthetically beautiful while plain, Cape Cod homes windows welcome in the fresh air and natural lighting. These features set it apart and make this ubiquitous style fit into the 21st century, just like it did in the 17th.


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