Tips For Identifying A Cape Cod Home – And How To Choose The Best Roofing Material

18 October 2016
 Categories: , Blog


Cape Cod homes are one of the easiest architectural styles to identify, but you still need to have a familiarity with the style to know when you see it. Understanding how to identify the style helps you better understand the architectural elements that go into constructing the house. You can then make more knowledgeable choices when choosing building and restoration materials such as roofing materials for a replacement project.

How can you identify a Cape Cod home style and use that knowledge to choose the best materials with your roofers?

Identifying a Cape Cod

A Cape Cod has a one-and-a-half story layout with dormers on the upper story to provide more living space and natural light. The siding is typically wood clapboard, or vinyl made to look like wood clapboard, or masonry. The only ornamentation is shutters on the windows and the possibility of the double-hung windows having at least one pane split up into grid-like sections.

The Cape Cod has a modified, steep-pitched gable roof. Normal gable roofs have a fairly steep pitch with two sides going up towards the peak, but the Cape Cod makes those sides even steeper. Combine that roof shape's characteristics with the siding and you have some hints towards the best roofing materials for your home.

Best Roofing: Wood Shingles

The wood or wood-style siding on the Cape Cod pairs well with wood shingles, which have a similarly smooth and geometric shape compared to the more rustic wooden roofing material known as wood shakes. You can ask for a variety of stain colors and you have some creative flexibility since the siding and shutter colors on many Cape Cods are neutral. Wood shingles can even match up well if you have brick siding since the warmth of the wood and the warmth of the masonry are harmonious.

The shingles weigh enough to be sturdy on the steep roof sides but not so much that the minimal bracing on a gable roof would have trouble supporting the shingles. You will need to invest some time in upkeep, particularly if you live in an area with harsh winters since wood can warp due to repeated exposures to wildly changing temperatures. But working closely with your roofing contractors to establish a maintenance protocol can help keep problems to a minimum.

Best Roofing: Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles can replicate the look of wood at a cheaper price or simply offer a durable, attractive, and budget-friendly roofing material that keeps the simple charm of your Cape Cod intact. These composite shingles come in a variety of colors and cuts to offer your roof the chance to add some more dimension or color to your exterior without drawing away too much focus.

You do need to consider whether the roof of your home receives a lot of oncoming wind since the steep sides can allow that wind to get under these light shingles and cause damage. But this isn't a problem if you have neighbors, woods, or other structures that would keep the wind from hitting your roof with too much strength.

Contact a company like B & B Roofing for help nailing down what kind of roof you want for your Cape Cod style home.