How Wide Should a Driveway Be?

Are you planning on adding or expanding the driveway for your residential property? While you’re considering different designs, masonry, and materials, you also need to consider how wide your driveway needs to be.

There’s more to this than the width of your garage door, and how many cars you have.

In this article, we’ll talk about what the international building codes are, and the recommended sizes for single and double-car driveways. Finally, we’ll look at what to consider when designing your new driveway.

Driveway Width: Factors to Consider

There are essential factors to consider when planning a design for your driveway. You’ll need to review your property’s size, landscaping needs, and the type of vehicles that will use this space. When you work with a team of professionals, you’ll need to assess the following:

  • The number and size of vehicles will use the parking space, including guests, special vehicles, and RVs.
  • Surrounding landscaping designs and plans to develop these areas
  • Other uses for the parking space in addition to parking, such as recreational activities with guests.

Whether you have a small home with room enough for a single-car driveway, or a large farmhouse, a well-designed driveway will really make your home stand out.

There are various style and size options to consider. You could go with a horseshoe design, a circular driveway, or something custom-shaped and specific to your lot.

Even if you opt for a standard driveway, you’ll have options for different pavers, concrete colors, masonry, or elegant mosaic designs.

The International Zoning Codes specify that a standard driveway should be between ten and twelve feet wide, but this may change. Many municipalities have different requirements, so this can change according to your local regulations.

Assuming you follow the suggestions and keep your driveway between 10′-12′ wide, you still have some additional options.

For example, do you have larger vehicles like an RV or trailer?

Do you want to park cars side-by-side?

What about a turn-around loop?

The answer to each of these will change what size driveway you need.

Based on the average width of a single car, a standard double-car driveway should be between 20′ and 24′ wide. Length depends greatly on your lot size, but, ideally, it should be around 22 feet in length for a parking space.

However, you need to think of more than just two parking spaces.

While a 20′ wide driveway seems ideal for smaller vehicles, expanding it to 24 feet wide is ideal. That allows two vehicles to safely park next to each other, and open their doors without damaging the car next to it.

Circular driveways should be at least 12′ wide. This allows a vehicle to turn around safely and with enough space without running into anything. The wider the turnaround area is, the safer your landscaping, trees, and plants will be.

When planning your driveway size, be sure to consider all of the other features and landscaping on your property.

Designing Your Driveway

Speaking of landscaping, incorporating your driveway design with your lawn, trees, and plants will definitely add curb appeal to your home.

Before you start laying concrete or asphalt for your driveway, there are some things to take care of first.

For example, it’s much easier to take care of any issues with your lawn, garden or trees before you start paving. This is especially true if your have automatic irrigation (sprinklers), like we do here in Florida.

Even if you haven’t planned out your landscaping, it’s crucial to plan the shape and size of a driveway so that it fits well with the rest of your home.

Adding a driveway may seem like a straightforward project. In many parts of the country it’s a straight, flat piece of concrete, after all.

However, you’ll want to work with your local contractors to design a driveway that makes the most of your home’s exterior, and incorporates any landscaping or trees that you have.

They can assess the size of your property, maximizing your available space, as well as giving you custom aesthetic options to make your new driveway stand out.

When talking with the contractors installing your driveway, be sure to ask about these things:

  • Paving materials and pricing.
  • Required\preventative maintenance.
  • Any drainage options for your garage apron.

Proper planning is one of the best ways to improve the appearance and value of your property.

Why Install a Driveway Anyway?

One of the best investments you’ll make for your home is the installation of a driveway. It’s a great place for guest vehicles, RV’s, and other additional vehicles that can make use of this space.

A new driveway not only gives you a place to park your cars, but it ads curb appeal to your home.

There are some significant benefits to installing a new driveway for your home, which include the following:

  • It’s an essential pathway to your garage or space where you park your car at home.
  • You’ll improve the appearance and value of your home
  • It’s easy to maintain and doesn’t require much work or service to keep in good condition
  • A quality driveway is ideal for potential homebuyers if you’re looking to sell your home.

When you install a new driveway on your residential property, you’ll increase your home’s value and overall appearance. If you’re deciding between repairing or replacing your existing driveway, this is the perfect time to widen it to give you more room to park.

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Tim Wells

Tim Wells, the founder of Garage Transformed, has been featured in dozens of home renovation publications, including, Home Stratosphere, House Digest, Livingetc, and SFGate. Since 2018, he has helped over two million people transform their everyday garages into something they can be proud of. He lives in Central Florida with his wife and bulldog.