Case Studies

Global Home Improvement Case Studies: Choosing windows, Siding, and a Roof for the Your Cape Cod Home

Friday, March 16th, 2018 by Michael Gabrian


The Cape Cod style home is a popular home in the NJ and PA area with roots spreading back to England. When looking at this style of home, these cottages have a lot of common elements across the board, though modern renovations have opened up new opportunities and styles.

Traditionally, a Cape Cod style home will have 1 or 1 ½ floors, a symmetrical appearance, a steep roof, a large central chimney, windows on both sides of the front door, wood shake, lap, or shingle siding, multi-paned windows. They are relatively simple.

Choosing Replacement Siding for Your Cape Cod Home

Historically, you’d typically see wood shakes, shingles or clapboards on these humble cottages. We know now that wood is susceptible to expanding and contracting with the seasons which can lead to several issues in itself. Moisture infiltration being the biggest one. We see more modern Cape Cod style homes made with stone, stucco, and brick, which may be more practical but takes away from that classic wood style.

My suggestion for replacing the siding of your Cape Cod style home would be to go for Hardie Fiber Cement. The thing is, they can be made to imitate wood shakes, shingles, or boards. Now you have the look of real wood, but you’re weather resistant, your siding won’t warp or rot, and you won’t have to spend time and money maintaining it. On top of all that, your home will be more energy efficient, look beautiful, and this siding will last a lifetime.

Choosing Replacement Windows for Your Cape Cod Home

Throughout traditional Cape Cod style home and even in newer renovated ones, you’ll see either single or double hung, multi-paned windows placed symmetrically around the house. Specifically, there will be windows on both sides of the front door. More modern homes stick with longer double hung windows. You could even experiment with casement windows.

When it comes down to a window replacement for your Cape Cod style home, I’d suggest installing Marvin Infinity fiberglass windows. First of all, their windows are made to fit your home, so they’ll be perfect. You can also get simulated divided lites or grilles for your multi-paned look and the fiberglass frame allows for much more glass space than wood or vinyl. Plus, the fiberglass is resilient to warping, rotting, etc. So your windows performance will last decades.

Choosing a Replacement Roof for Your Cape Cod Home

Traditionally, Cape Cod roofs were cedar shakes but that can pose a lot of issues in the winter and summer when the temperatures could cause the shakes to crack, making the roof more susceptible to moisture damage.

The best way to mimic the traditional Cape Cod roof would be to go for a metal shake roof. It looks identical to the traditional style but it’s also much more durable and energy efficient. If installed by experts, they’ll even shed snow and water much more efficiently. If you’d like to add a modern twist to your Cape Cod home, I’d go with a standing seam metal roof. You really can’t beat the handcrafted style.


The traditional small cottage has made some substantial changes to the interiors but the exterior siding, window, and roof styles have stayed pretty similar over the years. Luckily, modern materials like fiber cement and fiberglass allow for us to strengthen the exterior of our Cape Cod homes. Plus topping it off with a metal roof is a practical way of adding a balance of classic style and durability.

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