What are the Best Tips for Laying a Driveway?

Lori Kilchermann
Lori Kilchermann
Moss growing between cobblestones on a driveway.
Moss growing between cobblestones on a driveway.

The first tips for laying a driveway involve planning rain runoff and ease of traversing the driveway. Other considerations are driveway surface type, width and entry location. Also, simple uses, such as turning a vehicle around, must be factored in when laying a driveway.

The task of laying a driveway is often left to a professional. The ability to understand the grade of the property is a critical component of the project. Improper planning could lead to laying a driveway that sheds its water directly into the garage or toward the house. Many areas have specific zoning requirements and guidelines for laying a driveway.

One area where zoning could override homeowner preference for laying a driveway lies in the surface material of the driveway. Many municipalities zone against variation in driveway makeup, insisting that all driveways in the area are constructed in the same manner, such as black top or concrete only. In this circumstance, a brick- or paver-based driveway would not be legal.

The location at which a driveway meets the road is also often a zoned matter. In a city, laying a driveway is directly regulated by the city planners and the road commission, as well as fire and safety services. The driveway entry and exit onto a street must be approved so as not to interfere with traffic or become a safety hazard. Even rural areas regulate the placement of a driveway onto a county road.

When planning a driveway project, it is wise for individuals to check with the local authorities well in advance in order to file any petitions and requests in a timely manner which will coincide with a desired construction date. In a cold climate, a major factor in planning a driveway is snow removal. While a long, twisting driveway may offer visual appeal, it could foster snow-drifting issues, so a short and straight driveway may better serve the homeowner.

In rural areas, crushed stone offers a cost-effective alternative to concrete while offering sufficient rain drainage and wintertime traction. Often, a concrete slab near a garage is all that is required with a crushed-stone driveway. This combination provides a solid and stable area for children to play outside of the garage as well as a clean area to exit the vehicle in foul weather. Whichever type of driveway is planned, laying a driveway requires much planning and expertise.

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    • Moss growing between cobblestones on a driveway.
      By: Alex Petelin
      Moss growing between cobblestones on a driveway.