Basic Driveway Design
When constructing or replacing your driveway, the thought of how wide your driveway should be is often asked. Your present and any future needs should be considered, along with your driveway construction budget.
In this article on driveway design, we will discuss the width of common driveway sizes, based on the number of vehicles it will serve. Let’s take a look.
How to Decide Your Driveway Size.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is how many cars will the driveway hold. Do you want the cars side by side or is one in front of the other okay. Do you like room to open the vehicle door and stand on concrete? Home builders often install concrete driveways following minimum standards for width, making it difficult to step out of a vehicle and stand on concrete or asphalt, based on which material you use to build your driveway.
The standard driveway width for residential use ranges from 8 feet to 24 feet. The width of your driveway will vary based on whether you want a single car drive or double car drive. Additionally, the width may change to accommodate parking, play areas for the kids or other uses.
Factors that go into driveway construction are:
- Budget Building Codes (set-backs, limits of pervious areas, easements)
- Uses (drive to garage, parking, play or work areas)
- Materials (concrete, asphalt, stone/gravel, concrete pavers)
Average Car Width:
The average width of a car is 5.8 feet, so round up to 6 feet. From a design standpoint, I like to leave at least 2 feet of space on each side of the car. So 10 feet is a good width for a single car driveway, 12 is even better.
Single Car Driveway Size
As with anything there is a good, better and best size. Designing a driveway with one lane the bare minimum width should be 8 or 9 feet. This allows your vehicle enough space to be parked on a solid surface, but does little to give you room to exit the vehicle and stand on the concrete or asphalt. Our pick for the perfect width is 12 feet. Anything over 12 feet but under 20 feet is wasted. The width, although wider, still only has enough room for one car. If you decide you need a one lane driveway, but want some play room for the kids, the choice is yours on the width.
Single Lane Driveway Width
Good = 8’
Better = 10’
Best = 12’
Double Car Driveway Size
A bare minimum for a 2 vehicle driveway width of 18 feet provides enough space for two cars to pass. This width is okay for those who park in a double car garage, but not quite enough room for parking side-by-side and opening doors. If you need space for parking two cars, consider making your driveway at least 20 feet wide and 24 feet wide is ideal.
Two Lane Driveway Width
Good = 20’
Better = 22’
Best = 24-28’
Things to think about before you build or replace your driveway.
The driveway has more functions than only parking your car or making a solid path to your garage. Will you have kids riding their bikes on the driveway? If so, you should design your driveway as much room for them to pass the vehicle so they don’t scratch them.
Another thing to think about is shoveling snow. If your driveway is at a bare minimum, shoveling snow past your car or truck may be a pain as there will be little room. In the case of deep snow and a narrow driveway, you may not be able to open the doors.
In the summer, edging the driveway and mowing the lawn puts your vehicle in the danger zone of getting dinged, scratched or dented.
A good rule of thumb for the width of your driveway is to multiply the vehicle width by 2. So 12 feet per vehicle is ideal.
Simple Driveway Design Ideas
For multiple car driveway (3 or more) you can install pull off or slanted parking spots. These can be used for cars, RVs, boats or other items you want to have parked at your home. These pull offs can be added with concrete, asphalt or stone.
They are a great way to add parking space for properties or codes that don’t allow large width driveways.
The beauty of a slanted parking space in your driveway is that because of the angle of the vehicle the doors are off set and if two cars doors were open at the same time, they don’t align as with side by side driveway parking.
Another advantage of a slanted pull-off driveway is that you still have an open lane to the garage and your don’t have to change the driveway entrance width at the street.
See the diagrams below for a visual.
Remember the rule of two times the vehicle width and you won’t go wrong constructing a driveway.
If you need help to plan and building your driveway, our concrete contractors, asphalt companies and excavation contractors will be more than happy to assist you in constructing the perfect driveway to fit your needs in Burlington County, New Jersey.
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