The 20th-century Cape Cod type harkens back to colonial New England, the region where this house type developed. Like the period cottage, the Cape Cod heavily references earlier architecture in its exterior appearance; however, the interior was completely modernized to contemporary standards.
The basic form is a boxy primary mass with a steeply pitched gable roof parallel to the street. The main distinguishing feature that sets the Cape Cod apart from other nondescript period cottage or WWII-era cottage forms is the gabled dormers on the front of the roof. Although two dormers is typical, there may be a single dormer or as many as four. Some examples have attached garages, although these are not common. Because of its distinct appearance, the Cape Cod is also noted as a style.