Creating a Driveway
Any garden path needs a firm surface that is durable so it will stand up against traffic conditions, whether that is foot, vehicle, lawn mowers, etc. All paths will need to be well drained as well, so no moisture can linger and no puddles form. A well maintained and made path will add beauty and comfort to your setting.
Driveways are made for a particle purpose, and therefore must stand up against daily use so it will not crack. The constructions principles need to be similar to those used in road construction.
If you construct the lines of the driveway in a curve, these should be sweeping curves. You certainly do not want any surprises in your driveway, especially at night to guests unfamiliar with your setting. A minimum width for a drive is ten feet.
There are two points of a drive that need special attention, and these are the entrance and the terminal. If the drive enters at a right angle, the gates should be set back from the road, so vehicles have space to turn around. You can do this by making the railings or boundary hedge curve inward toward the gates, or by erecting curved wing walls enclosing a space resembling a semicircle.
If a drive enters the plot at an angle, it needs to break away from the street with a curve that meets the drive on a tangent. If the drive comes off a curved street, the two curves need to blend into one another, meaning they need a common tangent line. It is both a waste of time and material to create a drive that is too long with the intent of impressing guests.
It is best, on level ground, to create a straight drive that leads to the house in the shortest route possible. Curved drives can be favorable provided their lines run in bold sweeps; they can also create an opportunity for screening the house when privacy is desirable. On sloping ground the course of the drive must be determined with a view to ensuring an easy gradient, and in such case it may be necessary to use curves freely.
At the point where the drive meets the house; it should be expanded to allow room for vehicles to turn around without damaging the road surface. The form of the "carriage-turn" is immaterial if it is large enough; but if space is restricted it is better to adopt the circle, or similar figure.
The carriage turn is not needed if your drive is a semi circle with an exit and entrance gate. Although it can add a pleasing element to the eye.
Consider some of these elements that need considered when making a driveway:
- The width between automobile tires
- The direction the driveway takes relative to lines of street curb,
- The width of parking space between sidewalk and curb
- The elevation of sidewalk above curb
- The relative slopes in the walk and curb
- The elevation of the sidewalk above the curb
- The relative slopes in the walk and the curb
- The general character of ground with respect to lines and grades, and
- The textural finish suited to conditions.
The average distance between the centers of tires is four feet nine inches. Add one foot six inches to this allowing for nine inches outside of each tire, and the result, six feet three inches, is a serviceable width for a driveway. Six feet six inches is quite commonly used and is a good width under nearly all circumstances, unless curbs are built on the outside, when the overall width will be increased by about eight inches.