Driveway Planning & Placement Tips

Safety and Access, followed by drainage and aesthetics should be your main concerns when placing a driveway.

When we talk about driveway placement and planning there are four main points that must be taken into consideration:

  1. safety
  2. access
  3. drainage
  4. aesthetics

First and most important is the safety. It’s simple. A driveway must be functional. Hence, if a driveway is placed incorrectly on your frontyard it may not be convenient for you to use it. It can even become a safety threat. The next thing to think about is how it will look on your property. Let’s discuss each point in more detail.

Safety

As we’ve already mentioned safety is your most important concern when placing your driveway. It is needed so drivers can easily and safely enter and exit the driveway. Here are a few points to follow in order to improve driveway safety.

  • The driveway needs to meet the street in a way assuring good visibility.
  • Avoid building the driveway entrance near a high traffic area or near a corner
  • Keep a reasonable distance between your driveway and the neighbors’ driveways

Access

When we talk ideal placement of a driveway, the access is the second most important concern. In most cases, a driveway must have convenient access to three things: the garage, the parking and the front door.

Example of a good driveway planning.

Example of  good driveway planning.

And here’s our PRO TIP:

We recommend to always build a walkway from your driveway to the front door entry. Yes, even in cases when you have a big fancy beautiful entrance to your home. You need to experience it in order to appreciate the benefits this walkway provides. It is very handy when you are unloading groceries or large box purchases. Also, the first guests arriving to your party will often park their cars on the driveway. This is also valid for family members.

 

Drainage

Properly placing your driveway in a high and dry location ensures increased lifetime and durability.
Areas with wet soil and poor drainage lead to a weak sub-base for your driveway and hence it will not be very durable. Vehicle traffic on such driveways ofted leads to driveway crack, uneven surface or sinking.

If you have poor drainage on your existing driveway, we recommend to consider the “following drainage solutions”.

Planning for Utilities

When installing new driveways it is always a good idea to plan ahead. You can place an extra 3 inch PVC pipe for utilities you think you might need in the future like, main water lines, electrical lines, sprinkler pipes, wires for lighting and speaker. Before burying don’t forget to photograph the conduit placement. That way you can find them later if markings have disappeared over time.

Aesthetics

Finally, once you’re sure the driveway will be functional it is time to think about how it will look on your property. That is necessary because the overall appearance of your home is hugely impacted by the placement of your driveway.
The location of the driveway must be chosen in a way that accentuates both the home and the landscape of your property.
if you place your driveway in the center of your front-yard, for example, this can often lead to a dominating effect. In effort to avoid this effect many landscape designers build the driveways to one side.

Final words

So to sum up the main things you should do when planning your driveway: assure good visibility to the street, don’t installthe driveway entrance near a street corner or high traffic area, keep distance between your driveway and the neighbor’s. Build your driveway in a way so you have easy access to the parking, the garage and the front door. Place it in a high and dry location to increase durability.