We have just finished building one of those country home plans and now it is time to add the driveway. Our new home is beautiful and I want to make sure the driveway is perfect and complements the exterior. It is the first thing visitors will see when entering our property and I want it to welcome our guests. It is a large investment but I know, if done correctly it will never have to be replaced.
Some of the things that need to be planned out are the location, shape, width, extra parking, turn around space, back up room, landscaping and material. This all sounds like a lot and it is. Years ago the only options available were dirt, gravel, asphalt or concrete. Today the options are a little overwhelming.
The first thing is the location. I want to make sure there is plenty of parking for guests entering our front door and also family members coming in through the garage. Then we will need to add sidewalks to both doors. I have read that the walks need to be at least 4’ wide so two people can walk comfortably side-b-side without bumping into one another.
Next is the shape and width. This is also another big decision. They can be circular, angled, curved or straight. Through research it is noted that driveways need to be 9-12’ in width and if there is a 2-car garage that width needs to be doubled. If there are curves or circles the radius should not be any tighter than 10-15’. If there are angles they should be in 18’ or greater lengths. If not, it is too difficult to maneuver a vehicle – especially a larger model. If your driveway is straight and leads right to the garage or carport there should be a minimum of 18’ from the driveway edge to the parking area. These are all standard dimensions and every situation is different but they at least give an idea of what is needed.
There is room on our property for extra parking, turn around space and back up room. For safety reasons this is very important. So many driveways have people backing up into the street. It is much safer to back up and turn around and then enter the street facing forward. I wanted to build one of those beautiful courtyards with fountains and landscaping in the middle but the suggested size is 55’ square and that would take up too much of our front yard.
Since we don’t have any landscaping done around the house yet this shouldn’t be too difficult. I want to make sure it all ties together around the entire home. In talking to local landscaping companies some great suggestions have been made. One that I will for sure want to remember is if I plan to plant any larger plants such as trees and some varieties of bushes to first find out what kind of root system they develop as they grow so they don’t wind under the driveway and cause problems. What a headache that would be!
I have noticed some of the older homes in the neighborhood have recently fixed up their existing driveways rather than have them replaced. Most of them were concrete and they just painted them to accent the exterior of their home. Others lined the concrete driveway with contrasting pavers and some went as far as resurfacing and stamping the driveway with really neat patterns and colors. It is amazing what is on the market today.
For our home design we have made the decision to use brick pavers along the side, pour concrete in the middle and stamp it with a unique pattern that will really set off the driveway and house. There are many professionals in our area and I am going to do some research into who does that best work at an affordable price. Installing a driveway is far beyond my expertise and I want to make sure it is done right. One thing that I have found out while talking to neighbors is to make sure that the driveway slopes away from the house and doesn’t have high and low spots so water can stand and cause damage. Or worse yet, drain around our home and cause damage to the foundation.
After looking into all the option, one thing is for sure – I want our driveway to be trouble free, maintenance free and look good for as long as we own our home. With proper planning upfront I know that the driveway will add to the curb appeal of our beautiful country home plan and will impress all who enter or those who simply drive by.Pin It