Cape Cod Siding

Cape Cod siding usually refers to the style of wooden clapboard or shingle siding. It is commonly found in homes in the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts and throughout the northeastern United States. 

What is Cape Cod siding called?

When people refer to “Cape Cod siding,” they typically mean one of two things:

  1. Cedar Shingles or Shakes
  2. Clapboard Siding: 

Both of these siding options evoke a traditional, coastal, colonial-era aesthetic that’s associated with Cape Cod-style homes.

If you are looking for a Cape Cod Siding installation then a professional name like  J Morse Construction is the perfect choice.

Why is it called Cape Cod?

Origin of the Name “Cape Cod”:

The cape was originally named by English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602. During his exploration of the New England coast, Gosnold caught a great number of codfish off the cape’s shores. Due to this plentiful catch, he aptly named the location “Cape Cod.”

Cape Cod and its Significance:

Cape Cod has played a significant role in American history. Its strategic location led to it being a notable landmark for early explorers and settlers

Over the centuries, it evolved into a popular vacation destination, known for its beautiful beaches, quaint villages, and distinctive architectural style

The traditional Cape Cod-style house, characterized by its steep roof, central chimney, and symmetrical appearance, is a testament to the region’s influence on American architectural design.

Today, the name “Cape Cod” not only refers to the geographical cape but also to the broader region encompassed by it. It includes a number of towns and the nearby islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. The area’s natural beauty, history, and cultural significance make it a cherished location for both residents and visitors.

What is Cape Cod siding made of?

The two main materials used for Cape Cod siding are:

Cedar Shingles or Shakes: 

Cedar is the most common material used for this type of siding. These are small, rectangular wooden tiles made from split logs. Cedar is particularly favored for several reasons:

  • Durability: Cedar wood contains natural oils that make it resistant to decay, rot, and insect damage.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: As cedar weathers, it takes on a distinctive silver-gray patina that many find appealing. However, homeowners can choose to paint or stain cedar shingles to maintain a specific color or to match a desired aesthetic.
  • Insulation: Cedar has natural insulating properties, making it a good choice for regions with varying temperatures.

Clapboard Siding: 

This is another type of wooden siding characterized by long, horizontal boards that overlap. Like shingles, clapboard can be made from various types of wood, but cedar is often a preferred choice for the same reasons mentioned above.

How long does Cape Cod siding last?

The lifespan of Cape Cod siding, primarily when referring to cedar shingles or clapboard, depends on several factors such as 

  1. The quality of the material
  2. Installation
  3. Maintenance
  4. The local climate, and 
  5. Exposure to the elements

What Are Hurricane Shutters?

Cedar Shingles or Shakes:


If left untreated, cedar shingles can last around 20 to 30 years, depending on the factors mentioned above. Over time, untreated cedar will develop a silver-gray patina due to weathering. While many homeowners appreciate this natural look, the wood can become more susceptible to moisture, mildew, and decay.


When cedar shingles are properly treated with preservatives, stains, or paint, their lifespan can be significantly extended. Treated cedar shingles can last anywhere from 30 to 50 years, or even longer with meticulous maintenance.

Clapboard Siding:

The lifespan of clapboard siding is similar to that of shingles. Untreated clapboards can last 20 to 30 years, while treated clapboards can endure 40 to 60 years or more, depending on maintenance and environmental conditions.

Maintenance is Key:

To maximize the lifespan of cedar siding, regular maintenance is essential. This includes 

  1. Periodic inspections for signs of damage or decay, 
  2. cleaning to remove dirt and mildew, and 
  3. reapplying protective coatings or sealants as needed.

Proper installation:

Ensuring that there’s a barrier against moisture, using high-quality fasteners, and allowing for the wood’s natural expansion and contraction can significantly affect the siding’s durability.

Environmental Factors:

Homes in regions with high humidity, frequent rain, or proximity to saltwater may require more frequent maintenance, as these conditions can accelerate wear and compromise the wood’s integrity.

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