Having a driveway that faces away from the street isn’t generally, the typical set up for most homes. However, often when adding onto a home that originally didn’t feature a garage, there are times that building codes, costs, and other factors necessitate this less conventional orientation.
If you’re handling the addition or construction of a new garage for your home, you need to know the dimensions and layout of the driveway that leads to it. Until you know those plans, you can’t get a reliable quote on the project and compare and contrast the packages that different driveway paving companies may offer you.
Your Driveway Should Fit the Number and Size of Your Cars
But, if you’ve ever had to do a 3-point turn in a tight space, you’ll know that even the slightest increase in the space available can be the difference between a quick maneuver and a headache. Of course, generally, the on-average 45-degree turn of a driveway for a side entry garage shouldn’t require quite as much driving skill, but having too little space can make using your garage a headache.
Imagine having to negotiate and squeeze through a thin margin of space before your morning commute each day. Not only will that add unneeded stress to your routine, but it can also make it difficult to figure out how to park in your garage and/or driveway if you own two or more cars.
With more and more families living in multi-generational households these days, it’s not uncommon to see one driveway juggling three or more cars, especially as children grow older and enter high school and college-age.
The dimensions that you need will differ depending on if you’re planning to have a single-car versus multicar garage. And, if you anticipate having more cars than garage parking spots but want to avoid street parking, you’ll want to accommodate that in your driveway dimensions.
Plan a Driveway that Allows Turnaround and Walking Space
When planning the dimensions of your driveway, you’ll want to carefully consider the length, width, and turnaround space that you need. Generally speaking, single-car garages and driveways would only need a width of about 10 feet, unless additional space is desired to park other cars outside the garage.
You’ll want the length of the driveway to allow room to move between cars depending on how many you anticipate being parked in a row. While you may not anticipate having you own vehicles parked outside very often, keep in mind if you need parking for guests depending on the availability of parking spaces in your neighborhood.
The average car is around 15 feet in length, so having a driveway that is at least 35 feet long would allow two sets of cars parked consecutively.
The Turnaround Space
Now, since you’re going to be building a driveway for a side entry garage, you’ll want to add an extension to your driveway surface that is called the turnaround space. There are different variations to how this can look, and you’ll need to keep in mind your options based on your lot size, aesthetic preferences, and budget for this project.
To create the appropriate amount of space for cars exiting the garage to turn parking in the garage or heading down the driveway, you’ll need the concrete to extend a minimum of 20 feet directly in front of the entrance of the garage.
Once that requirement is met, you have a few options for how the driveway can look. One option is to create a wide turn that meets a straight extension of the driveway further away from the house without having a separate block of pavement at the end of the driveway.
Another option is to create a 20-foot by 20-foot square in front of the driveway and have the length of the drive extend perpendicularly from that section towards the street. That can be an excellent option for households that plan on frequently having multiple cars parked both in the garage and on the length of the driveway because it will allow room for maneuvers.
Other Considerations Before Starting Your Project
Another thing to keep in mind is the size of the cars you anticipate using on this driveway. As mentioned before, the average length of a car is about 15 ft, which makes a 20×20 turnaround space plenty of room for general use.
However, if you plan on owning or frequently parking a larger vehicle, like a full-size truck or SUV, you’ll likely want to increase the size of the turnaround space and potentially the length of your driveway as well.
Planning the exact dimensions is something that can be done with a competent paving company, with which you should make sure to bring up these kinds of details when asking for a quote and/or planning the actual project.
Other facts that you should keep in mind when planning this project include:
- Any homeowner’s association requirements for the outer appearance of your property
- The cost of driveway materials you choose to use
- The difference in price between different dimensions/plans
- The weather and climate of your location and how that can affect the longevity of your chosen driveway materials
Make Sure to Do Your Homework When Hiring Driveway Pavers
When you’re ready to move forward with this project, you want to make sure that you’re hiring the best company for the job both in terms of workmanship and customer service. Driveways are expensive, and it’s important that the final price you pay leaves you with a result with long-term value and satisfaction, especially since the driveway can seriously diminish the curb appeal of your home if done incorrectly.
Do your due diligence and research the companies in your area. The companies that you approach and ask for quotes should have experience building driveways in your chosen material. Be on the lookout for reliable reviews, finished project examples on their website, and a clear, detailed quote that explains exactly where the costs are coming from.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the dimensions that they’re planning to use to create your driveway, as a mistake can mean either expensive corrections or dealing with a headache each time you try to exit or enter your side entry garage. If you thoroughly research and ask direct questions, you’ll be sure to find a reliable company that can create a functional and professionally done driveway that will last you a long time.