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Designing a Driveway

What is the recommended length and width for a driveway?

~  The standard width for a single car driveway is between 10-12 feet wide. Driveways less than 10 feet wide will be too narrow to drive or park  comfortably.  Twelve feet will be enough to assure you can get in and out of your vehicle without stepping on lawn or landscape material.  If buildings, retaining walls or garden walls surround your driveway, you should add another 2 feet to allow enough room to open car doors without damage to either the walls or car.

~  If you plan to park more than one car in your driveway, you should allow at least an 18-20 foot width.  This will enable you to park two cars side by side.  Again its is best to add another 3-4 feet to this if you are surrounded by buildings or walls.

~  The driveway length should be about 18-20 feet long per vehicle.  This will allow room to walk between vehicles, garage doors and other walls.

Where does my driveway begin and the Town or State road end?

~  On most streets, (State, Town or Village) you should allow approximately 6-12 feet at the entrance of your driveway for public sidewalks, road widening and utility installation.  Even if no sidewalk exists now, there could be someday.  You can check with your local town or state government as to how much area they own and take this into consideration.

What else should I consider when deciding on the layout?

~  Of course you want your driveway to fit on your property, providing you with adequate access to your home and/or garage.  Whether that means straight in, and straight out or a long meandering driveway, you’ll want to consider the rest of your property layout and landscape. You should try to avoid negative terrain whenever possible, such as extremely steep hills or low-lying areas and swampy or marshy wetland.

~ Other items to consider during the driveway layout would be turn-around areas additional parking and passing areas.  If you live on a busy road or have a long driveway, you may want to consider a turn-around area.  A small turn-around would allow you to back in and pull forward to drive out of the driveway.  A larger turnaround could also accommodate additional parking. Extra space alongside or behind the house or garage is often used to allow additional parking, either permanent or temporary.  Passing areas are useful in very long driveways to allow two cars to pass when entering or exiting at the same time.

~  It is important to consider the turning radius also when incorporating curves, bends or parking areas and turn-around into the design.  (17 feet is a comfortable turning radius for most vehicles.)

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