5 practical considerations when installing a new driveway

These expert design considerations will help you get the best result when installing a new driveway.

By Becca Green | 24 July 2020

These expert design tips go beyond the basics of installing a new driveway, ensuring the approach to your home functions perfectly.

This  home renovation by XUL Architecture has a simple gravel driveway to fits its classic style. Photo: Matt Clayton

The Grand Designs magazine team spoke to Trevor Knight, head of technical operations at Marshalls, about the regulations and considerations that your contractor or designer should be incorporating into the design of your new driveway.

Turning circles

It is not advisable to reverse onto a public highway from a driveway. Plan a drive that is wide enough to accommodate reversing into it from the road. A turning circle or small reversing bay makes life much easier.

Planting plan

A good designer or contractor will advise on planting trees and shrubs that won’t send roots into the driveway, to avoid pushing up the surface. Ensure existing tree roots, water pipes or cables will not be damaged during the build.

Stonemarket Beachside Setts driveway modern house - If the slope of the driveway is towards the house, all installed paving and drainage should be 150mm below the damp-proof course. You can’t run your new drainage system into an existing one without getting planning permission. For new-build properties, if you replace a free draining area with hard-standing, permission is normally required.

Photo: Stonemarket

Light it up

Consider driveway lights that burst into life as you drive past them. Lighting can also be built into the driveway, emulating blocks. You’ll need permission for a ‘crossover’, for access across the pavement from the road.