Most Common Problems With Cape Cod Houses

Are you thinking of purchasing or building a Cape Cod house? If your answer is yes, you obviously need to know some of the problems which you may experience so that you have enough information before settling on a new home. Below we discuss what a Cape Cod house is and some of the problems which you may experience.

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What Is A Cape Cod House?

A Cape Code house is a house that has a moderately steep gabled roof. This design for houses originated in New England in the 17th century however, it found its way into the U.S. Cape Cod houses usually have the following characteristics;

  • They have a basic rectangular shape.
  • They have a steep roof with side gables.
  • A center door
  • Low ceilings.
  • Double-hung windows.
  • Chimney is usually located at the end of gable end of the house.

Problems With Cape Cod Houses

Now that you know some of the characteristics of a Cape Cod house, let us look at some of the most common problems which you may experience when you purchase this house.

1. Limited Space

One of the problems with Cape Cod houses is that there is limited space in the house especially considering that the ceilings are a bit too low. If you purchase a Cape Cod house that is one and a half stories, the second floor will not have enough space as compared to the first floor. In most cases you will bump your head whilst trying to make your bed or clean the house. This can be very frustrating for most owners.

2. Second Floor Usually Cold In Winter And Very Hot In Summer

When you purchase a Cape Code house you may notice that the second floor is usually cold in winter and very hot in summer. This is mainly because most of these houses were built during the Great Depression when people didn’t see the need to add insulation into their homes since the cost of heating up a home was so low. So if you purchase a Cape Cod house, you may need to fix the insulation problem.

3. Knee Wall Spaces Leak

Another problem which you may experience with a Cape Cod house is that the knee wall spaces tend to leak. The knee wall is a short wall usually 3 feet tall and supports the rafters of the attic or second floor. Air usually leaks into the wall thus, causing the room to get cold.

4. Expansion Problems

If you purchase a Cape Cod house you may have problems when trying to expand it. For starters, this house is built in a rectangular shape and trying to expand the house can result in you losing the Cape Cod shape. Furthermore, you will need a lot of materials in order to expand the house and it can also be a bit expensive. So if you are thinking of purchasing this house with hopes of expanding it, you may need to have some extra cash on you.

Advantages Of Cape Cod Houses

While Cape Cod houses may seem problematic, there are actually some pros associated with owning this house. Below we look at some of the advantages of purchasing a Cape Cod house.

1. Perfect For A Small Family

Cape Cod houses are ideal for small families’ in fact they were built for small families. This is because they have limited space and if you are just looking to start a family this will be a perfect home for you.

2. Roof Is Winter proof

Another advantage of purchasing a Cape Cod house is that the roof is winter proof in the sense that snow doesn’t stay there for long. The pitched roofs makes it harder for ice dams to form on top of the roof after a snowfall. So if you are looking for a house that is winter proof you can consider purchasing this house.

3. Attractive Design

The design of a Cape Cod house is very attractive and if you build or purchase such a house a lot of people will admire it. The sloping roof of a Cape Cod house is very attractive and the center door is also very appealing.

How To Resolve Problems In Cape Cod Houses

As noted in the above article, most of the problems you find in a Cape Cod house are usually influenced by that lack of insulation and space in the house. Below we look at how you can try to resolve these problems.

1. Insulation Problems

As previously discussed, the second floor of a Cape Cod house can either be very cold or very hot because of the lack of insulation in the house. In order to resolve this problem you need to create an air seal with insulation. You should also insulate the knee wall area so that cold air will not enter inside your house.

2. Space Problems

If you want to fix the issue of having limited space on your area you need to expand the house. Although there is a risk that you might lose the original architectural design of the house, you will need to call in an expert to help you with the design and materials you will need.

Are Cape Cod Houses Good?

Cape Cod houses are good if you are someone with a small family. However, if you are looking for a house for a big family you are better off purchasing a house that has a different design.

Are Cape Cods Energy Efficient?

Cape Cod houses were not built with energy efficiency in mind however, if you installer the proper insulation you can turn your house into an energy efficient home.


Before deciding on a house to purchase it is very important that you research on the architectural design of the home. This will give you a general idea of some of the advantages and disadvantages associated with the home. From the article above we have unrevealed that the Cape Cod house has certain problems which can be fixed however, you may need to part with some money in order to fix the problems.