by | Jun 10, 2024

Cape Cod House Plans: Top 10 Stunning Designs in 2024



Are you dreaming of a home that exudes New England charm with historical roots and timeless architectural features? Look no further than Cape Cod house plans.

To give you a quick snapshot:

  • New England charm: Cozy and inviting with classic aesthetics.
  • Historical roots: Originated in the 17th century, popularized in the 1930s-1950s.
  • Architectural features: Symmetrical design, steep gabled roofs, and central chimneys.

Cape Cod houses, with their rich historical roots dating back to 17th-century New England, embody simplicity and practicality. These homes emerged from the adaptations of early settlers who needed to endure harsh winters and a stormy climate. The Cape Cod design has stood the test of time, remaining a beloved choice for its charming and functional layout.

The typical Cape Cod house plan is cozy and accommodating. The straightforward rectangular shape, symmetry, and central chimney are hallmarks of this classic design. Significant features include multi-pane, double-hung windows, steep roofs, and either clapboard siding or wood shingles, all contributing to both the home’s beauty and resilience.

Hello, I’m Jerome Bertuglia, owner at Prime Homes, Inc. With over 30 years of experience, I’ve built countless custom luxury homes, including many Cape Cod house plans, in West Hartford, CT. I’m excited to guide you through the wonderful options available for these timeless homes.

Key Features of Cape Cod Homes - cape cod house plans infographic comparison-2-items-casual

Understanding Cape Cod House Plans

History and Evolution

Cape Cod house plans have a rich history that dates back to the 17th century. This architectural style was initially developed by English colonists who settled in New England. They adapted their traditional English homes to withstand the harsh New England winters, resulting in the iconic Cape Cod design.

The term “Cape Cod house” was coined by Reverend Timothy Dwight IV, president of Yale University, during his visit to Cape Cod in 1800. He noted the simple, symmetrical design of these homes, which were built to be sturdy and practical.

Cape Cod house - cape cod house plans

Key Architectural Features


One of the most noticeable features of Cape Cod house plans is their symmetrical design. These homes typically have a rectangular shape with a centered front door flanked by evenly spaced windows. This balanced look is both pleasing and functional.

Central Chimneys

A large central chimney is a hallmark of Cape Cod homes. This feature was essential for heating the home during the cold New England winters. The chimney often accommodates back-to-back fireplaces, providing warmth to multiple rooms.

Steep Roofs

The steep, gabled roofs of Cape Cod houses are designed to shed snow easily. This feature is crucial for homes in snowy climates, helping to prevent roof damage and leaks.

Wood Shingles and Clapboard Siding

Cape Cod homes often feature wood shingles or clapboard siding. These materials were chosen for their durability and availability. Over time, the shingles weather to a beautiful gray, adding to the home’s charm.

Double-Hung Windows

Multi-pane, double-hung windows are another classic feature. These windows are not only aesthetically pleasing but also practical, allowing for ventilation and light.

Double-hung windows - cape cod house plans

Cape Cod house plans have stood the test of time, evolving to meet modern needs while retaining their historical charm. Whether you’re drawn to their symmetry, central chimneys, steep roofs, or classic materials, these homes offer a blend of beauty and resilience that is hard to beat.

Next, we’ll explore Cost Considerations for Building a Cape Cod Home.

Cost Considerations for Building a Cape Cod Home

Cost Per Square Foot

Building a Cape Cod home involves careful budgeting. On average, the cost per square foot ranges from $600 to $1,200. This range depends on various factors like materials, labor, and custom features.

For comparison, building a ranch-style home might be less expensive, but it won’t have the same New England charm. Cape Cod homes often require more intricate designs and higher-quality materials, which can drive up the price.

Factors Influencing Cost

Labor Costs

Labor costs in Connecticut are among the highest in the U.S., averaging around $21.47 per hour. Skilled artisans and experienced builders are essential for the intricate work that Cape Cod homes demand, which can significantly impact your budget.

Material Costs

Material prices can vary widely. High-quality materials like cedar shingles and hardwood floors add to the charm but also increase costs. For a luxury Cape Cod home, expect material costs to start from $500 per square foot and go up to $1,500 per square foot for top-tier options.

Availability of Materials

The availability of materials can also affect costs. Local materials like cedar and pine are often used in Cape Cod homes, but if these are scarce, prices can rise.

Code Requirements

Local building codes and regulations in Connecticut can add to the cost. Obtaining necessary permits is crucial and can cost around $2,500. This includes building permits, zoning permits, and other local fees.

Additional Expenses

  • Land Costs: The price of land in Connecticut can be high, especially in desirable areas. For example, a building lot in Farmington might cost around $200,000.
  • Excavation: Preparing the land for construction involves clearing, leveling, and setting up utilities, which can add to your budget.
  • Architectural Design: Hiring an architect or design-build firm is essential for custom homes. This ensures your home meets your specifications and local building codes.

Quick Cost Breakdown

Expense Category Average Cost Range
Labor Costs $21.47/hour
Material Prices $500 – $1,500/sq. ft.
Permits $2,500
Land Costs $200,000 (example)

Understanding these costs will help you budget effectively as you plan your Cape Cod home.

Next, we’ll explore Popular Layouts and Floor Plans.

Popular Layouts and Floor Plans

Classic Cape Cod Layouts

Traditional Cape Cod house plans are all about simplicity and functionality. These homes are known for their symmetrical facades and central chimneys. The layout is typically rectangular, with formally defined rooms. Each room often occupies one corner of the house.

Central fireplaces are a hallmark of classic Cape Cod homes. They provide warmth and act as the focal point of the main living area. The steeply pitched roofs help to shed snow during harsh New England winters, making these homes practical as well as charming.

Bedrooms are usually located in the upper half-story, making efficient use of the space under the roof. This design keeps the main living areas downstairs, ensuring a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

Modern Cape Cod Innovations

While classic Cape Cod layouts are timeless, modern adaptations have made these homes more versatile and spacious. One key innovation is the open floor plan. By removing some interior walls, these layouts create a sense of space and flow between the kitchen, dining, and living areas.

Another modern touch is the inclusion of a master suite on the main level. This feature is particularly appealing for those planning to age in place, as it reduces the need to climb stairs daily.

Large windows are another popular update. They bring in plenty of natural light and improve air circulation. Dormer windows are often added to the upper levels, enhancing both the interior space and the home’s exterior appeal.

Modern Cape Cod homes may also feature additional rooms like home offices, playrooms, or guest suites. These spaces are designed to meet the needs of contemporary families while retaining the traditional charm of the Cape Cod style.

Comparing Traditional and Modern Layouts

Feature Traditional Layouts Modern Innovations
Symmetry High Moderate
Central Fireplace Yes Sometimes moved or replaced with other focal points
Bedrooms Upper half-story Main level master suite possible
Room Definition Formally defined Open floor plans
Windows Smaller, double-hung Larger, including dormers

These popular layouts and floor plans offer various options to suit different lifestyles and preferences, whether you prefer a traditional or modern take on the classic Cape Cod design.

Next, we’ll discuss the Advantages and Challenges of Cape Cod Homes.

Advantages and Challenges of Cape Cod Homes

Benefits of Cape Cod Design

Functional Design

Cape Cod homes are known for their practical and efficient layouts. The symmetrical design often includes a central hall layout with rooms arranged for easy access and flow. This makes daily living and maintenance straightforward.

Charming Aesthetics

The Cape Cod house plans exude a quaint, timeless charm. Features like wood shingles or clapboard siding, multi-paned double-hung windows with shutters, and a steeply pitched roof create a cozy, inviting appearance that appeals to many homeowners.

Climate Resilience

Cape Cod homes were originally designed to withstand harsh New England winters. The steep roofs help shed snow efficiently, preventing heavy snow loads. Additionally, central chimneys provide effective heating, keeping the home warm during cold months.

Potential Drawbacks

Heating Costs

While the central chimney provides efficient heating, Cape Cod homes can sometimes be costly to heat, especially if the home is not well-insulated. The traditional design with low ceilings helps conserve heat, but modern adaptations may require additional heating solutions.

Second-Story Layout

Many Cape Cod homes feature a second-story layout with bedrooms or additional living spaces located under the roof gable. This can be a challenge for those who prefer single-level living or need accessibility features. Dormer windows are often added to provide light and air circulation, but this can also increase construction costs.

Minimal Ornamentation

The traditional Cape Cod design is known for its simplicity and lack of exterior ornamentation. While this appeals to those who appreciate clean lines and minimalistic aesthetics, it may not suit those who prefer more decorative or elaborate architectural features.

In summary, Cape Cod homes offer a blend of functional design, charming aesthetics, and climate resilience, making them a popular choice for many. However, potential drawbacks such as heating costs, second-story layouts, and minimal ornamentation should be considered when choosing this style.

Next, we’ll answer some Frequently Asked Questions about Cape Cod House Plans.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cape Cod House Plans

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Cape Cod Style Home?

Building a Cape Cod style home can be a significant investment. On average, you can expect to spend between $600,000 to $1.2 million for a mid-sized home. This translates to about $600 to $1,200 per square foot.

Factors that influence cost:

  • Location: Urban areas or coastal regions may have higher costs.
  • Materials: High-quality wood shingles or clapboard siding can add to the expense.
  • Labor: Skilled labor for specialized features like steep roofs and central chimneys can be costly.

What is the Layout of a Cape Cod House?

The layout of a Cape Cod house is known for its simplicity and efficiency. Here are the key features:

  • Symmetry: The front door is usually centered, flanked by windows on either side.
  • Formally Defined Rooms: Typically, rooms are well-defined with clear boundaries, unlike modern open-concept designs.
  • Central Fireplace: A large central chimney often heats the entire house.
  • Bedrooms Upstairs: The space under the steep roof is often used for bedrooms or storage.

This straightforward design makes Cape Cod homes easy to maintain and highly functional.

What are the Disadvantages of a Cape Cod House?

While Cape Cod homes have many advantages, they also come with some challenges:

  • Heating and Cooling: The central chimney helps with heating, but modern HVAC systems can be difficult to install due to the home’s original design.
  • Attic Space: The second-story layout often means low ceilings and less usable space.
  • Minimal Ornamentation: The simple, unadorned exterior may not appeal to those who prefer more decorative homes.

Understanding these drawbacks can help you make an informed decision when considering a Cape Cod house plan.

Next, we’ll delve into the various Popular Layouts and Floor Plans for Cape Cod homes, exploring both traditional and modern adaptations.


When you choose to build a Cape Cod house with Prime Homes, Inc., you’re not just investing in a property; you’re creating a legacy. Our commitment to personalized luxury and exceptional craftsmanship ensures that your home will stand the test of time and bring joy to your family for generations.

Personalized Luxury

At Prime Homes, we believe that your home should be a reflection of your lifestyle and taste. Our Cape Cod house plans are highly customizable, allowing you to tweak every detail to suit your needs. Whether you dream of a chef’s kitchen, an expansive owner’s suite, or a cozy reading nook, we can make it happen.

Tailored Interiors: Choose from a range of interior finishes including granite countertops, hardwood flooring, and custom cabinetry.

Modern Amenities: Incorporate state-of-the-art appliances, smart home technology, and energy-efficient systems.

Unique Additions: Want a wine cellar, a home theater, or an outdoor kitchen? We can add special features that enhance your home’s luxury and functionality.

Exceptional Craftsmanship

With over 33 years of experience, Prime Homes has perfected the art of constructing Cape Cod homes that are not only beautiful but built to last. We use traditional techniques that honor the historical significance of Cape Cod architecture while incorporating modern building technologies.

Sturdy Construction: Our homes are built to withstand coastal weather, ensuring durability and longevity.

Fine Attention to Detail: From seamless shingle installation to custom carpentry, every element of your home is crafted with care.

High-Quality Materials: We use only the best materials to ensure that every aspect of your home is of the highest quality.

By choosing Prime Homes, Inc., you’re not just building a house; you’re creating a sanctuary—a place where memories will be made for generations to come.

Let’s embark on this journey together. Learn more about our Cape Cod house plans and start building the home of your dreams today.

We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights into Cape Cod house plans and how to make the best choice for your new home. If you have any questions or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help you every step of the way.