If you are planning on installing a driveway, perhaps after renovating your home or having admired the neighbour’s concrete or textured finish approach to their property, there are three factors to consider before going ahead. You need to think about the use of the drive, by both vehicles and pedestrians, about the shape and design that best suits your needs, and about the building materials for the driveway, whether it will be exposed aggregate, brushed concrete or another choice.
1. VEHICLE AND PEDESTRIAN USAGE
First of all, think about the number and types of vehicles that will be using the driveway, as this will inform a number of other factors, starting with the length and width of the drive. An average family car will need a driveway that is about 10 feet wide, but for bigger vehicles, you will have to factor in a larger area. If you are planning on storing other items, such as a camper trailer or a small boat, then this needs to be taken into account also.
The length of the driveway depends on where the garage is situated on your plot of land, or how far away from the road your property is. You need to make sure that cars or other vehicles can be parked on your driveway without encroaching onto the pavement, which can pose a hazard for pedestrians. If your home is on a corner plot, think about bringing the driveway in from the other street because you could get a wider drive, and it might be a safer option.
2. SHAPE AND DESIGN
If you are on a busy road, then you will need to think about having some sort of a turning circle or a T-shape junction if you have the room. This will mean that you can pull off the road, park, and turn your vehicle around easily so that you are facing the roadway and not having to reverse out.
Safety implications should be brought to bear at this point, and you might also want to have a place where you can safely load and unload children, for example. You need to have good all-around vision when it comes to moving the car in case there are children in the way, so a space that leads onto a pathway or porch entrance where children can stand could be important to you.
You want to choose a design that will complement the property it leads to, as well as that blends in with the surrounding area. Curved driveways, although a little trickier to manoeuvre around, provide immediate visual interest and “kerb appeal”, and unique gardens work very well with this design.
If you live in an area that has a conservation order or other special requirements, then you will need to check with your local Council Planning Officer for any planning restrictions beforehand.
3. CHOICE OF BUILDING MATERIALS
This is linked not only to budgetary constraints, but also to the design, overall look and daily usage of your driveway. Concrete is a very popular material for driveways, it being very durable and easy to maintain, and a professional installer would be able to offer up a number of shapes, textures and finishes to suit all tastes. Exposed aggregate driveways provide even more choices when it comes to the finish, and will complement any form of architectural style.
With the above three factors in mind, talk to your professional driveway installation team today about your options, and you will be on your way to a brand new driveway in no time.