Cape Catastrophe - Restoration & Design for the Vintage House | Old House Online

Cape Catastrophe

"Just an in-Cape-able remodeling!" - Cathie Casey
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remuddled cape home

Don't...mess with windows! Don’t ruin fenestration rhythm; don’t reduce the glazed area; don’t change horizontal and vertical emphasis; don’t use cheap replacements. Don’t forget you’re in public! (Photo: Rebecca Brown)

How can one ruin a tidy little Cape Cod Revival house, we might ask, save for dropping a second storey on its roof? How about by changing out every window, and then calling attention to the carnage with mismatched siding repairs? “Turn back the clock!” says one Facebook responder; “it’s a crime scene,” writes another. The entry appears to have been cut down and the front door hidden behind aluminum. The side sunporch was closed up, as was the wicket door in the garage. A through-wall air conditioner, vent, meter, and pipes all show on the façade: why so much airing of dirty laundry? It’s too bad, because this 20th-century three-quarter Cape had a lot going for it: roof not too steep, chimney generous, “saltbox” garage connected with a set-back breezeway. Now its face is irrevocably scarred.

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