Buyer’s guide: what you need to know about a new driveway

Wondering where to start when it comes to designing your driveway? We've rounded up some genius ways to give your home more kerb appeal.

By Andrea Manley | 25 June 2019

There is more to designing your home’s entrance than providing a place to park a car.

modern house with large wide driveway with greenery, Canford cliffs, David James Architects

Image: This resin-bound gravel driveway, a project by David James Architects & Partners, is colourfast and UV stable. Similar Flex Flooring Stonex Resin Bound surfacing costs from £60 per sqm, including installation

When planning a new-build, your driveway will be influenced by the size and layout of your plot. Drainage, groundworks, road access and the surface material all need to be considered and the design should also reflect the architecture of the house. Where will the driveway lead? A garage? The side of the house? An area at the front? In the case of the latter, ensure that cars can park off to one side so there’s clear access to the front door. Include a mix of practical hard landscaping with planting and greenery to make it look attractive and also help with drainage.

If space allows, a semi-circular driveway with a separate entrance and exit is a practical option for a busy household. Curved designs look more informal than a straight driveway and may be a solution if you have areas of existing planting. The width of your driveway should be at least three  metres for a small car, more for large or multiple vehicles, and plan in lighting to illuminate the way.

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 wood bifold garage doors in a driveway with Urbanfront jersey bifold parma

Image: This concrete driveway contrasts with the stone walls. The automated bi-fold doors from Urban Front have movement sensors and prices start from £12,600 (urbanfront.co.uk)

If you want to turn your front garden or a side access into a parking area contact your local council for advice. The depth of the space should be at least 4.8 metres in length; large enough for a standard vehicle without overhanging a pavement or blocking an entrance. If space is tight, a turntable can be fitted where a car is driven on, then turned 180° and driven off again.

You should also apply to have the kerb dropped. For more information on your area, tap in your postcode at Gov.uk.