When designing and building a driveway, one of the first things you need to do is to determine your needs for driveway space. The factors that go into this include how many cars your family has, the size of the cars, how big your garage is and how the area surrounding the driveway is landscaped. This can ensure that you have the proper driveway space available without unnecessarily paving lawn space.
Determine the width of the driveway, basing it on the size of your garage. For a single-width driveway that has a one-car garage, the minimum width is 10 feet, but making it 12 feet wide can provide extra space that allows you and any passengers in your car the ability to get in and out of the car without stepping on the lawn or any plants you have along the edge of the driveway. The same standards apply to a double-width, two-car driveway, but the minimum width should be at least 20 feet instead of 10 feet.
Examine the area around the driveway to see whether there are walls that could potentially damage a car door as it is being opened. If the walls are more than 8 inches high, the driveway should be at least 14 feet wide.
Design the driveway long enough so that each vehicle has between 18 and 20 feet of length available to it. This allows for space between different vehicles which people can walk across without having to go to one end of the driveway. When calculating the length, subtract 6 to 12 feet from the end of the driveway to allow for current or future sidewalks. Technically, that land is owned by the government, and you cannot park on a sidewalk, even if it is your driveway.
Look at the street in front of the house, and study the traffic patterns. If it's a side street in a development or a two-lane road with little traffic, it's fairly safe and easy for people to back out of the driveway and onto the street. On a heavily traveled road or multilane highway, in most cases, it's not safe to back into the street because of the traffic, so you'll need to provide a turnaround area in your yard. For a single-width driveway, the turnaround area should measure 20 feet long and 10 feet wide. It should be 20 feet by 20 feet for a double-width driveway. The turnaround area can also provide extra parking when needed.
Carson Barrett began writing professionally in 2009. He has been published on various websites. Barrett is currently attending Bucks County Community College, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in sports management.