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Home Style Library

It can be hard to put your finger on the exact style you'd like for your home. To help, Andersen has done extensive research into 14 architectural styles and how windows and doors play a critical role in achieving them. We've compiled it all into our Home Style Library so you can browse and land on the perfect style for your home.

andersen cape cod home style

Cape Cod

Although it has English roots, the Cape Cod style home is distinctly American. It evolved in New England from Colonial style houses in the early 1700s, primarily in response to the availability of materials and the area's harsh, stormy climate. Our Cape Cod continues this early tradition of being simple and modest.

Cape Cod Essential Style Elements

Essential Style Elements

• Steep roof with side gables; occasionally a bowed or gambrel roof
• Large chimney mass lined on center with front door and linked to fireplaces in each room
• Shed or gable dormers often aligned with windows on main floor
• Multi-paned, double-hung windows, often with shutters
• Small “prayer” windows in gable corners

Cape Cod Quintessential Doors

Quintessential Windows

Double-hung windows are the predominate window type for both the front and back facade of the Cape Cod home. A popular variation of the double-hung window has the top and lower sash of different heights. The varying heights are determined by the grille pattern. The variation is called a variety of terms, but “cottage style" is the most common. Modern interpretations of the Cape Cod can use casement windows that have a grille pattern that mimics the look of double-hung windows.

Cape Cod Quintessential Doors

Quintessential Doors

A six-panel main entry door is most common in the average Cape Cod style home. More elaborate homes may use an eight-panel door or a double door at the main entry, as well as a modified six-panel door in auxiliary locations. On occasion, top panels are switched out with panes of glass. Dutch doors, which consist of two units divided horizontally so that each half can be opened or closed separately, may also be used for either main entry or auxiliary doors. Although outdoor porches and patios were not common in historic examples of Cape Cod style homes, they can be incorporated into contemporary Cape Cod style designs with the help of hinged or gliding patio doors that resemble French patio doors. Historically, most doors and door frames were painted due to the fact that they were often made of softwoods, which needed protection from the elements. White is most common in original homes, although more recent examples occasionally use other colors.

Colors and Finishes

White window exteriors and white exterior trim were common in original Cape Cod style homes. More recent Cape Cod style examples often feature other colors, although they generally stay within the lighter tones. While darker colors are less common, they are occasionally used today and are appropriate. Shutters, however, are most often seen in darker colors.

Cape Cod Exterior Colors
Cape Cod Interior Colors

Cape Code Color Combinations

Color Combinations

This chart shows the various color combinations that make up the Cape Cod home style

Design Your Own Cape Cod Window Or Door

Start with a pre-designed window or door within our design tool, then make your own adjustments to end up with the perfect design you're looking for.


More On This Home Style

Pattern books from the Andersen Style Library present quintessential details of the most popular American architectural styles, with an emphasis on window and door design. The result of years of research, they exist to make it easier to create homes with architectural authenticity.

Download the pattern book below, or view it in the app (available from both iTunes and Google Play.)
DOWNLOAD PATTERN BOOK google play app itunes app
Cape Cod Home Style Pattern Book