Cape Cod-style homes were quite popular in the 1940s and 1950s. These small homes are rectangular in shape. They have steep, slanted roofs with dormers, and the second floor is built into what would typically be the attic space. If you're on the hunt for a smaller home, you'll likely come across a lot of Cape Cods. But before buying one, it's important to consider both the pros and cons of this architectural style.
Pro: The roof sheds snow well.
The steep slant of the roof on a Cape Cod home means that snow slides right off. This is good news for your roof, as snow accumulation can damage shingles over time. When you own this type of home, you may not need to replace your roof as soon or make as many repairs.
Pro: Low, slanted ceilings add cozy character.
The second-floor ceilings of Cape Cod homes are typically low and slanted. This gives these rooms a cozy appeal. You also have the little nooks created by the dormers, which make great reading areas or lounge areas.
Pro: The style heats efficiently.
Because the home is shaped like one big box, it's easy and inexpensive to heat. There are no corners for cold air to get stuck in as there are in some more complicated architectural styles. Usually, a Cape Cod home is designed with one big, central air duct that runs down the center wall. This is an efficient way to deliver forced air heating through the home, so your energy bills should stay manageable.
Con: Cape Cod homes do not cool off well in the summer.
If you live in a very warm environment, be aware that the top floor of your Cape Cod home may get a little toasty on the warmest summer days -- even if you have central air. This happens because the second floor is so close to the roof. Warmth travels straight through the roof and into your upstairs rooms. Good attic insulation helps somewhat, but it does not completely correct this deficiency.
Con: There's no porch.
Most Cape Cod homes do not have porches or even large front stoops. The front entryway may be a step or two up from the ground level, but that's about it. Since the bottom floors are placed on ground level, you can't really add a deck to the home either. If you want an outdoor living space, your only option is really to add a flat concrete patio.
For help with finding the best home for you, contact a real estate agent in your area.