4 Design Elements to Help Your Driveway Do Its Job

Most home and business owners don’t give much attention to their driveway design. And, in fact, a driveway correctly designed should generally gain no attention on its own. It should do its purpose well and nearly invisibly. 
To achieve this kind of functional and decorative harmony, make sure your design includes these four key elements.

Remember that the driveway is where pedestrians meet vehicles. Safety, then, should always be an important factor in design. Can vehicles easily see all around the driveway as they pull in or out? Are there visual barriers (such as buildings, shrubs, trees, or fences) near the sidewalks or entry points? If you have a business, does the driveway provide safe access for busy customers coming and going? 
Think about safety issues during various seasons as well. Have you chosen materials — such as MODIFIED BINDER — that provide traction during bad weather? What’s going on above the potential driveway location? Are any trees likely to be hazards during or after a storm? Is the driveway located in a place that offers a direct route if you need to leave your home or business quickly? 

To fulfill its main purpose, your drive should be easy to use. For a home driveway, consider the width not just for parking a vehicle but also for entering and exiting it. Most residential driveways work well with at least nine feet of width, but you may need more if you favor wide cars and trucks.
Side-by-side parking requires even more width — often around 12 feet per vehicle — in case both vehicles are in use at the same time. If you have additional bicycles, motorcycles, kids’ toys, or trailers, you may need to leave more room for comfortable maneuvering. Modern residential lots can make it difficult to allow enough room for such a wide driveway, so work with a contractor if you have space issues.
Along with width, think about how vehicles will maneuver around the drive. Can they pull in and out easily without risking any other vehicles and property? If your garage doesn’t face the street, for instance, work with an experienced driveway contractor to find the best way to angle vehicles’ approach to the garage. 

Proper drainage protects the driveway and its materials as well as the safety and comfort of users. Constant puddling and cracks allows water to get into the driveway material itself to cause permanent damage. And pooling of water not only makes the area look unappealing, but it can be dangerous when the temperature drops. 
Generally, driveways leading up to houses or business fronts should slope gently away from the structure — both the rear and to the sides — so that water can drain off quickly into the right locations. If the drive will be made from non-porous materials, does rain water have drainage areas around the edges where it can escape? 

Finally, think about how the driveway will fit in with the yard and house architecture. A rustic, casual drive might work well with the gravel-like look of a tar-and-chip asphalt. A classic, traditional home style might benefit from a driveway border using bricks or wood beams. 
Modern property owners have a myriad of choices about their driveway’s final appearance, so take the time to think about added details that can make it fit seamlessly into your overall style and theme.  
If you’re not an expert in driveway design, a professional contractor can help. At J R Paving & Construction Co., Inc., we know the needs of Tri-State homeowners and businesses. Our experts can help find the perfect location for any driveway, maximize safety, and find the right look for your property. Call today to make an appointment.