We have just introduced a new informational page on the website, 'Homeownership on Cape Cod'. We will be adding more information to it in the future, but for now here is the third part of that page with some useful information regarding basements, sump pumps and dirt roads. As always contact us for information about both buying and selling on Cape Cod.
Basements and Sump Pumps
Cape Cod's proximity to the ocean is part of what makes it such a treasured and wonderful place to live. The water that makes up our aquifer floats on the saltwater and, when the groundwater is high, can be seen in basements. When the Cape was first settled basements were dug by hand and, as a result, often were shallow or limited to root cellars under only a portion of the house and many antiques on Cape Cod still feature these stonewalled and circular cellars close to kitchens. As development progressed and heating requirements changed from hearths to furnaces, the 'Cape Cod Basement' was born. In these instances a small section of the basement is accessible from an exterior bulkhead and is often deep enough to stand in. These smaller areas sometimes feature furnaces, water heaters, oil tanks, washing machines or dryers - whereas the rest of the basement is frequently an earthen floor and only small enough in which to crawl, affectionately known as a 'crawl space'. Another commonly seen aspect of basements on Cape Cod are sump pumps which act to keep the groundwater below the floor of the basement. Like any appliance these should be maintained and specifically checked after significant rain storms and during the spring.
Dirt Roads and Wooden Bridges
The Cape’s rural past still has other remnants including dirt roads, wooden bridges and low bridges. Picturesque examples of wooden bridges can be seen crossing Bell’s Neck Road and North Road (the walking bridge pictured at right) in Harwich, and the bridge to Lieutenant’s Island in Welfleet.
Living on a dirt road comes with the advantages that the traffic is limited generally to locals and the poetic benefit of being able to say ‘turn down the dirt road’ when inviting friends to dinner.