Capes Can Be Less Expensive

I want to build a 3 bedroom house with a home office.

I prefer an eat-in kitchen with a large island vs. a dinning room that I will never use.

My objective is to build a comfortable and efficient (layout & energy) home.

Would a ranch with finished basement be a better option than a Cape?

I would like the main floor to have an open feel and master bedroom & master

Thank you,


That's a great question. Here in New England, we have seen popular preference swing from Capes in the early to mid 1900s to ranches in the late 1900s and finally back to Capes or small box Colonials.

The primary advantage of a ranch is having all of your main spaces on one floor. The traditional Cape, on the other hand, stacked the bedrooms above the main living spaces and tucked them under the roof.

Capes can be less expensive to build because the 2 story layout has a smaller footprint which means less foundation and less roof. It also uses less energy because it has a smaller surface area.

You might consider what we call a "Contemporary Cape" layout which combines the best features of Capes and ranches. In a contemporary Cape, the master bedroom is on the main floor with additional bedrooms on the second floor.

You can find several of these layouts on my home plan website

Even if you can't find the exact layout you're looking for, perhaps it will give you some ideas.

Good luck with your project.
David Moore, AIA

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