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College of Architecture and Planning University of Colorado Denver

Colorado Center For Community Development

Arvada Pattern Book



Across the nation modest homes are being demolished in order to build larger homes that often do not fit the character of their neighborhood. The full impact of this trend has not yet reached Arvada, but development pressures are expected to increase with the return of a commuter rail transit system along the Burlington Northern Rail Road corridor. By looking at the success of similar projects (notably Minnesota’s ‘Cape Cod and Ramblers’ Pattern Book and Wheat Ridge’s ‘Ranch Renovation’ Idea Book), it was decided that a pattern book would be a valuable tool for homeowners to visualize sensitive home modifications. Two pattern books were then developed: one for postwar houses and one for Arvada’s two residential pre-war historic districts. Volunteers from the neighborhood allowed staff to enter their homes to measure and photograph the floor plans of our three housing types to establish a baseline.

With these floor plans and images of the existing housing types, possible renovation solutions were designed by the Colorado Center for Community Development (CCCD). The designs provide practical updates to the houses while retaining their integrity. The designs were influenced by feedback from local realtors and current residents about desired changes. A variety of solutions were established for each housing type. The intent is to create a minor remodel option that stays within the existing footprint but maximizes efficiency, and a major remodel that creates space through an exterior addition. Two popular options were also considered, that of adding an Additional Dwelling Unit(ADU), and adding a second story to the rear of the home, also known as a “Pop Top.”

Project Details

  • Project Name: Arvada Pattern Book
  • Location: Arvada, Colorado
  • Project Team: Steven Cole, Matt Joiner, Matt Rennert
  • Local Participants: Historic Denver Inc., City of Arvada, Arvada Historical Society
  • Time Frame: Spring 2011

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