How to design a driveway for outstanding results

Aug 10, 2017 -- Posted by : Merger

If you are building or renovating now is a good time to start planning your driveway. To give you an idea of what to look for and what to think about as you are doing your research we have compiled a number of questions to consider.

Driveway Layout Options

There are basically three types of driveway layouts for the average residential driveway;

  • Circular
  • Curved
  • Straight

Within the Perth metro area most of us have smaller blocks so we need to consider a few questions before we can call in the contractors.

1. How do you want to use your driveway?

Do you want enough room for two cars to sit on the drive together? Do you want a narrow drive that widens out to a two car garage? Do you need space for vehicle turn around? How much parking would you like? How many people in the house have a car? Do you have teenagers living at home that require their own parking area?

2. Where is your garage or carport?

For the majority of us our garages face the road, however some of us have carports or garages to the rear or sides of our homes.

3. What kind of block do you have?

Do you have a flat residential block or a semi-rural block on the side of a hill? Are there any plantings or rocky outcrops as we have in some of the Perth Hills suburbs,that you will need to take into consideration?

4. What ‘look’ are you going for?

Do you want to create a smooth transition from the road to the driveway that you barely notice or would you prefer a grander entrance that makes a statement?

5. What driveway material to use to achieve my look, inside my budget?

Driving around the suburbs of Perth the two prominent choices for driveway materials in Perth seem to be either concrete or brick pavers.

However there is another material that is gaining in popularity especially for households that are building, subdividing or renovating and wanting to save a few $$ and that material is Asphalt.

6. What are the technical aspects of the driveway to be considered?

Safety, access, drainage. A professional contractor will be able to give you advice on all three of these aspects if you are unsure. Your local government authority will also have requirements you will need to meet. The majority of shires have them posted on their websites so they are easy to find.

7. What are the best plants for planting alongside a warm driveway?

There is nothing more disheartening than watching a few hundred dollars’ worth of newly planted plants perish in their first Perth summer. Before you get planting take a good look around your suburb, what kind of plants do well, and in what locations. Then get yourself down to your local nursery and have a chat to them about your requirements. Tim at Dawsons Garden World has given us a few suggestions on planting close to your driveway.

Westringia Zena, a Native Rosemary, which has pale-mauve/white flowers over spring and summer and growing to just 90cm tall. Similar is Westringia Jervis Gem a bit taller to about 1m with white to pale blue flowers. Westringias are super tough, heat tolerant and very low water users once established.

Raphiolepis Snow Maiden is a dwarf form of Indian Hawthorn with leathery, glossy green leaves and attractive white blossom in spring. It grows to just 75cm tall with a very tidy, compact looking appearance.

Dianella Kentlyn is a native grass like plant growing to around 80cm in height with fresh green foliage and slender flower stalks in summer carrying pale blue flowers. It looks very effective in a long linear planting such as when used along a driveway. It is also easy growing and a low water user.

8. Lighting your driveway?

Why not have a think about how you would like to light your driveway for night. There are some cool low voltage and even solar options on the market that will really add a welcoming feeling to your home. Here are some tips to installing low voltage garden lights in your garden from Jason at Better Homes & Gardens.

Your driveway is usually the first thing that visitors notice about your home, so you want it to be attractive and complement your house. The team at Merger offer a free consultation and pricing service and are experienced at installing asphalt driveways on all block terrains.

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