Historically, the style is characterized by a steep roof with side gables, a small roof overhang, and clapboard or shake siding with contrasting trim.
Cape Cod houses can feature traditional clapboard (with a choice of 3” to 8” reveals), beaded (with a choice of 6” to 7” reveals), or Dutchlap (with a choice of 3” to 5½” reveals).
Vinyl and polypropylene shakes are also common as the primary exterior cladding. Shakes come in a variety of sizes and looks — straight edge or staggered from 6” to 10” reveals.
A light to medium palette in all colors except reds, greens, and browns is typical for Cape Cod houses. Vinyl and polypropylene siding come in hundreds of colors certified to withstand fading. Of course, you can always pick from a line of “weathered” looks, if that’s your preference.
Options suited for the Cape Cod style include crown and dentil molding on fascia or friezes; beaded soffit; decorative front door surrounds with triangular pediments and pilasters; window crown molding or pediments and lineals; gable vent covers; and shutters.