How to create a new driveway?
Photo by Zachary Keimig on Unsplash
A driveway offers you the chance to give your house a positive first impression and increase its worth if you decide to sell. It’s more than just a convenient place for off-street parking. But how do you begin designing a driveway? Read this blog to learn what factors you should consider while creating a new drive or enhancing an existing one.
Usability and style
There are two key things to think about while installing a new driveway. First, you should think about the driveway’s intentions and purpose. How many people do you have living there? Do you frequently have guests? Growing families must make the most of available parking space while also planning for future teen drivers. Those planning to sell soon should pay careful attention to curb appeal. Replacing worn-out asphalt with fresh block paving can increase the value of your house.
Determine how wide your driveway needs to be
Every driveway design should consider the number of vehicles that will need parking space and the amount of space required for turning.
A normal UK driveway is typically expected to hold between two and four automobiles. Therefore, a standard minimum parking space would be approximately 2.5m wide x 5.5m long. This would be a space that is 5 meters wide by 5.5 meters long for two automobiles. In addition, it is 10 meters wide by 5.5 meters for four cars arranged in a row.
Consideration must be given to these mechanics at an extremely early stage because it is likely to inform the overall project design. For example, suppose you assume that the minimum turning circle radius for a standard domestic car is around 10.5m and includes the parking zone. In that case, this can all add up quickly.
Ask the planning or transportation department what regulations you must follow. For example, the parking spaces in the garage may count against your needed allotment if your plan includes garage design.
Again, it’s worth double-checking because garage parking spaces will only count toward the required allocation if they match the policy’s minimal requirements. Older garages need to be bigger by today’s standards. Still, many applications ask for them to meet the minimum requirements for parking.
Know how important your entry and exit points are
In terms of driveway design, you will either be working with your current arrangement, in which case it may stay that way, or with new access and an estimate for the cost of dropping a kerb, in which case your planning permit and site-specific restrictions will constrain you.
You should see yourself and, more importantly, your guests entering your property. Then, when you get home, what do you like to see? Do you have a favorite area of your house, for example?
Place your entry point as close to your intended driveway as possible to maximize the first glimpse of the house. Next, you must plan the vehicle route from the entry point to the parking area and then the pedestrian path into the house.
Is your ideal driveway a winding path through the woods leading to a more private parking area away from the house? Or do you like visible open spaces, such as a courtyard surrounded by organized planting? In either case, the design of your driveway will be based on where people enter and exit.
Contemporary or traditional
When constructing your driveway, you can choose from various materials. Still, you should always be guided by the design of your home. For example, natural stone paving is sometimes the first option for people seeking to create a classical aesthetic. However, cobble sets, available in various colors and forms, can also be used to create a traditional look. The most common driveway paving choice is concrete block paving; experiment with laying patterns and color combinations to get something genuinely distinctive.
Budget is a factor, of course, but it’s important to keep in mind the 20/80 rule when selecting your products: 20% of the cost of your project is made up of the products, while 80% is spent on the sub-base and installation. Therefore, verify with your installer if you are concerned that a higher-end paving product would be beyond your price range because it might have less impact than you think on the final bill.
Shrubs and trees
The front of your property can be made more private with trees and plants, but keep in mind that any excavation for your driveway could damage any utility wires and already-existing roots. This is where picking a competent designer or builder is key. They may advise you on how to plant trees and shrubs so that their roots don’t get into your newly installed driveway and damage the sub-base. This will enhance biodiversity. Before the job is done, discuss any worries you may have with your installer.
Generally, you don’t require planning permission if you can keep your surface rainwater runoff inside your property line and out of the current drainage system. With a planning permit, you can connect your new drainage system to an existing one. However, you should check with your local government because they all have different policies about this law. In addition, you will likely need approval on newly constructed properties if you convert a free-draining space into a hard-standing area.
Designing a driveway with surface water management in mind
Understanding the significance of controlling rainwater is critical when choosing materials. Building regulations and planning guidelines now require that your driveway discharge rainwater to adjacent grass or border, a land drain, a soakaway, or a rainwater collection tank. Alternatively, you can discharge rainwater into one of these locations.
Suppose you want to pave over an existing front garden as part of your driveway renovation. In that case, you can do so under Permitted Development (without needing planning permission) if the surface is porous.
However, if the area is wider than 5m2 and the anticipated surfacing is not porous, such as non-porous tarmac, you must apply for planning permission. The 5m2 restriction does not apply to driveways that are not a part of the front yard. However, you should check with your local council or inquire about their experience with your designer or architect.