# How to Size a Driveway

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, garage size, and surrounding landscape features. This driveway planning can ensure that you have the proper driveway space without unnecessarily paving lawn space.

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## Step 1: Evaluate Your Parking Needs

Look at the number and size of vehicles your family has to help size the driveway. Larger vehicles, such as full-size SUVs and pickups, require more space to park safely with enough space to get out of the vehicle.

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## Step 2: Check on Local Codes

Research the local driveway codes to determine if there are size and location restrictions. Plan your driveway to comply with the sizing requirements.

## Step 3: Calculate the Driveway Width

Determine the width of the driveway. For a single-width driveway with a one-car garage, the minimum width is 10 feet, but making it 12 feet wide can provide extra space for getting in and out of the vehicle. For a double-width, two-car driveway with a two-car garage, the minimum width should be 20 feet with 24 feet being more convenient.

## Step 4: Look for Nearby Obstructions

Examine the area around the driveway to see whether there are walls — or other obstructions — that could damage a car door as it's being opened. If the walls are more than 8 inches high, the driveway should be at least 14 feet wide to allow the car doors to open safely.

## Step 5: Calculate the Driveway Length

Design the driveway long enough to give each vehicle between 18 and 20 feet of length to allow space between vehicles so you can walk between them. 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's your driveway. The length of the driveway is often dictated by the distance from your garage to the street, but you might have the option for a half-circle driveway to create more length.

## Step 6: Consider a Turnaround Area

Consider your street's traffic patterns. If it's a side street or a two-lane road with little traffic, it's fairly safe and easy to back out of the driveway and onto the street. On a heavily traveled road or multilane highway, you'll often need 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.