Driveways give the first impression of your home as the first point of contact into your compound. It is a prominent style statement and comes in different styles and dimensions. How long and wide is a typical driveway?
The standard dimensions for a single-car driveway are 9 to 12 feet in width and 18 to 20 feet in length. A double-car driveway is 20 to 24 feet wide and 18 to 20 feet long.
Other dimensions to consider are a parking stall, which is 10 feet by 20 feet, a single-car turn-around which is 10 feet by 20 feet, and a double-car turn-around which is 20 feet by 20 feet.
Your driveway depends on the type and number of cars you drive or use within the driveway at a go.
Single-car driveways range between 9 and 12 feet. A 9-foot driveway is relatively narrow and may not accommodate large vehicles like delivery trucks. It is suitable for sedan cars, but even so, you may step out on the lawn or dirt as you exit your vehicle because there is no extra space to accommodate your exit.
The ideal width would be between 10 to 12 feet, giving room for movement around your driveway when you exit the car. Driveways between 12 and 20 feet are a waste because they are too large for one car and too small to fit two.
The length of your driveway depends on your property’s size and needs. The recommended length is 18 to 20 feet for regular cars and 20 to 24 feet for big mini-vans and trucks.
Double-car driveways are between 20 and 24 feet wide. A 20-foot wide driveway is enough to let two cars pass. However, parking space will be compromised as you won’t open the doors if the two cars are side by side.
A 24-foot wide driveway is ideal for accommodating both parking space and dual passage. As for the driveway length, 18 to 20 feet for regular cars and 20 to 24 feet is suitable.
Parking stalls require a minimum of 10-foot width and 20-foot length. A turn-around should be large enough to allow a car to back in and out of the driveway. The 20-foot length is not a specific requirement, and you can reduce it if your car is small.
A turn-around cannot serve the same purpose as a parking space.
If you have walls on either side of your driveway, or if you plan on building one, consider a buffer zone on each side. This buffer zone will prevent car doors from hitting your wall and getting damaged as you open it.
The buffer zone can be one or two feet on each side, and you can choose to pave it or leave it as it is.
Your driveway should be aesthetically pleasing even as it serves its intended purpose. That is why you do not just choose any material as you build it. Besides being beautiful, driveways should be durable and be able to withstand extreme weather.
I will highlight the most popular driveway materials, pros, and cons, making selection easier.
Concrete is the most popular material for driveways. It is cheap and durable, and you can easily change its appearance by stamping or color-etching it to add color and texture. It readily moves water and remains cool after direct exposure to sunlight.
A major flaw is that it is affected by freezing weather. Concrete also cracks under extreme pressure and weather conditions, so you need to repair and patch the surface. Oil and fluid leaks from vehicles can also cause stains on a concrete driveway that are difficult to remove.
Brick driveways are an elegant choice for driveways because of their various colors and patterns. You can customize brick driveways in a way that none is similar to the other.
Brick driveways are expensive to install, but this is a worthy investment as they give homes a high resale value. They are also relatively durable and low-maintenance.
Asphalt is a preferred driveway material because of its ease of installation, making it a cheaper option. Asphalt is highly durable and does not crack under extreme elements.
The black color retains heat, which melts snow quickly; however, this can be a con during summers, when the asphalt driveways become too hot. Asphalt driveways come in one color, black, so there isn’t much room for customization.
Asphalt driveways also require sealing every few years.
Gravel driveway consists of small rocks suitable for long driveways and is a cheap option to install. Gravel comes in various colors, so you can easily customize your driveway to suit your home.
Gravel compacts better than plain rocks creating a stable surface that effortlessly sheds water. Gravel holds well to extreme weather, except for snowy seasons.
It is difficult to plow through your driveway to clear snow since gravel’s composition of sand, clay, and rocks cling to snow, making separation almost impossible.
Paver driveways have curb appeal because of their variety of colors. It is highly durable as it is made from tough granite, flagstone, and other sturdy materials and requires little maintenance. Pavers also prevent water from pooling.
The main downside to installing paver driveways is the cost. Pavers are expensive, and installation is labor-intensive.
Basalt is a unique and modern material for driveways. It can withstand the harsh climate and is low-maintenance in terms of cleaning and repair. Basalt is an igneous rock, so it is hard, dense, and durable.
It has a visually appealing grey-black color palette, and it requires a skilled professional to lay down the material to match your home’s aesthetic.
A crushed seashell driveway is beautiful and scenic, gives a serene and beachy vibe, and is unique compared to its stone counterparts. These shells consist of clams, scallops, and oysters that come in a range of colors, in shades of white, cream, grey, and brown.
These shells continue to break with frequent use, creating a beautiful and stable surface. Because of this quality, however, crushed shells are not durable.
The more you drive on the surface, the more the shells break and become compact, so you will need to replace the seashells if you like larger pieces. They cannot handle extreme weather conditions and can easily be blown away by strong winds or washed away by heavy rains.
Seashell driveways are expensive to install as the materials are not accessible everywhere. They are also a dangerous option as the sharp edges of the crushed shells can pierce or cut you if you walk on the driveway barefoot.
Grass driveways are growing in popularity, not just because of their beauty but also their environmental impact. The geo-grid materials in grass driveways provide structural support for cars while protecting the soil and grass.
It can withstand weather, and during heavy rains, the water drains off back into the soil, rejuvenating the grass. Maintenance is low, as you would treat your driveway just as you would your lawn.