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6 Things to Consider for New Driveway Plans

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A driveway is a pretty simple concept: it’s a path that leads from the street to your house or garage, giving cars a space to pull in without ruining your front lawn. With such a simple purpose, it should be easy to add a driveway to a new or renovated home, right?

While it may not be the most complex construction project, adding a driveway still takes some consideration, and you should map it out on your site plan before you start building. Here are six things to think about when adding a new driveway.

Budget. There are several different materials you can use for your driveway, but your final decision is probably going to depend at least in part on your budget. Gravel is the cheapest material up-front, typically running about $1-3 per square foot. Asphalt is about $2-4, concrete is about $4-6, and specialized concrete pavers can be even more expensive.

Maintenance. Notice that we only mentioned the “up-front” cost above. That’s because different materials are going to require different types of maintenance, which could cost you time and money in the long run. For instance, pavers are going to require less regular maintenance than gravel, so you may find that the up-front cost is actually worth it for you.

Size of vehicles. If you just need to drive one average-sized car into the garage, your driveway only needs to be about 10 feet wide. If you have a wider car or need to park multiple cars in the driveway—maybe you have guests over frequently or have more cars than your garage has room for—you’ll need to plan accordingly.

The road in front of your house. For those who live on a quiet street, it shouldn’t be too hard to just back out of a driveway. However, if your house is in front of a busier street or a narrower lane, backing out could be more of a challenge, and you may want to create a T-shaped or arc-shaped driveway so that you can easily turn around in front of your house before entering the road.

Style of your house. If you’re not constrained by your budget, you may want to choose a driveway material that matches your house’s architecture in order to improve your home’s curb appeal. For example, two colors of concrete pavers arranged in an interesting design might complement a modern home nicely, while gravel might work well for a house with more of a rustic look.

Climate. Don’t forget to think about the weather where you live. Concrete may crack during freeze-thaw cycles, while asphalt will hold up better to temperature fluctuations. Gravel is prone to erosion, which can be problematic if you live somewhere that gets a lot of rain, snow, or hail. Be sure to read up on the pros and cons of each type of material before deciding what to use for your driveway.

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  • Ryan Crownholm
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