6 Things to Consider for New Driveway Plans
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.
Installing a new driveway costs between $2,500 and $6,500. Length, shape, conditions of the land, and materials all factor into the cost of your driveway. The biggest variable is materials.
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. Depending on the material you use, you should expect to pay between $1-$15 per square foot. Typical driveway materials include:
- 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
- Specialized concrete pavers are even more expensive
Because materials will be your biggest expense, you may want to get several bids to find the best contractor for the job. Having a site plan for the driveway can also save money by articulating exactly what you need. You’ll also need a site plan to acquire a building permit for the driveway.
Related Link: My Site Plan Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Each material has its set of maintenance requirements. Some are more cumbersome and costly than others. 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.
Concrete is the most common driveway material. You’ll need to seal the concrete to prevent cracking, and you should never salt your driveway. Salt can compromise the driveway’s material and will deteriorate quickly.
Size of Vehicles
Depending on how many cars you own, and the number of garage stalls will factor into the size and cost of the driveway. You’ll need to evaluate the space and needs of your vehicles. If you have a boat or RV, you may need to add a concrete pad on the side of your garage.
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
The street you live on factors into the design of your driveway. 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.
Living on a busier street, 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. While this may add more cost to your driveway, you’ll be grateful for the ease and safety it provides.
Do you need a T-shape or arc-shape driveway? Contact My Site Plan to draw up a site plan that will meet the design requirements of your new driveway.
Related Link: How to Convert a Garage into a Master Bedroom
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.
Don’t forget to think about the weather where you live. Different materials behave differently in fluctuating climates. You’ll want to consider the seasons and how they will wear on your driveway:
- Concrete may crack during freeze-thaw cycles.
- 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. You may need to rethink which material is best for your climate. Overall, pavers hold up well but cost significantly more than concrete or gravel.
Build a Long-Lasting Driveway
When you factor in maintenance, need, location, weather, and aesthetic, you can build a long-lasting driveway that will increase your home’s curb appeal and value. If budget is a significant factor in how you build your driveway, you’ll need to weigh upfront building costs to long-term maintenance of your driveway.
Before you build, you should consider creating a driveway site plan to mitigate any issues and address the driveway’s purpose and needs.
My Site Plan has experienced CAD designers who can create a non-certified site plan for a new driveway project. After gathering the required information, My Site Plan can create a site plan within 24 hours for most projects.
Do you have a home improvement project that requires a site plan to obtain a building permit? My Site Plan can create a site plan for your project within 24 hours.
Related Link: Mysiteplan.com and Permitting: What You Need to Know
- Ryan Crownholm