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

a large home with a simple gravel driveway - grand designs  

Image: This large 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 

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.

Image: Stonemarket

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.

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. 

Read more: Buyer's guide: what you need to know about a new driveway

Water run-off

baufritz budget s1 build 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.

Image: Baufritz

If you can build a soakaway and keep the water run-off flowing into the flower borders within your boundary then you don’t normally require planning permission but check with your local council. Installing permeable paving such as Marshalls Priora allows water to drain straight back into the ground.

Drainage

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.

 

Are you in the process of designing your driveway? Let us know by tweeting us @granddesigns or posting a comment on our Facebook page. 

 

RELATED ARTICLES

How to successfully landscape a garden

4 real extensions that blur the lines of in and outdoors

Outdoor lighting: what you need to know

Kevins Column

Top self build highlights at Grand Designs Live 2019 hosted by Kevin McCloud

Find top experts, specialist exhibitors and a wealth of inspiration for your self-build or renovation project all under one roof.
visit-award-winning-grand-designs-live-hosted-by-kevin-mccloud
house-of-2030-winners
Self Build Homes

Home of 2030: winning build concepts for housing of the future revealed

A self build concept is among two winners of this government-backed competition. Take a look at these future forward building ideas.
design-a-bespoke-staircase
Self Build Homes

Meer End can design your dream bespoke staircase

Bespoke joinery and staircases can really lift a home. We look at how you can add a classic or contemporary staircase to your grand design.
help-to-build-scheme
Self Build Homes

Help to Build: Government announces new scheme for custom and self builders

With the government's announcement of a Help to Build scheme, discover the details you need to know.
south-africa-narrow-house-frankie-pappas
Self Build Homes

Inside a narrow woodland home, built without demolishing a single tree

With a brief to preserve every tree in this dense woodland site, architect Frankie Pappas created a linear, narrow home that is threaded through this...
baufritz-prefabricated-self-build-homes
Self Build Homes

Discover why a prefabricated house might be perfect for you

German-engineered prefabricated homes are a byword for quality and sustainability. Discover the secrets of the methods in making these fabulous modern houses.
jackon-insulated-concrete-formwork
Self Build Homes

Why Insulated Concrete Formwork self-builds are the low energy homes of the future

Insulated Concrete Formwork Systems have arrived in the UK – a construction method that makes new builds quick to assemble and with stunning insulation properties....