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XP from building forum - help with drivway layout!

Posted by Laura12 9 (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 21, 12 at 12:01

We are building a new home and I've been spending a lot of time over on the Building Forum, but I thought this may be a question better suited for the experts over here!

We don't know where our driveway should be located! This is very time sensitive as we need to have this back to the engineer by... well, yesterday!

We are on a large (2.6 acres) corner lot and we would like the driveway to open onto both streets. The actual location of the entrances shown can change.

I've attached what our home designer has drawn up and we aren't completly please with it. We would like some space for guests to leave their cars near the front door, without making a large parking area there.

My thoughts were to have the long part of the driveway in front be 16' wide, and then when it turns have it widen to 20' so there will be room to pass a car parked there.

For some size perspective, the dotted lines are our 30' setback restrictions, and the front of the driveway is to scale at 16'.

There will be a vineyard throughout the entire front yard, and our kitchen has 10' of windows looking out in that direction from the left of the front door (between the front door and the garage). I'd like to be looking out my "vineyard" not the driveway!

Any ideas/help much appreciatted!

Site Plan

Site Plan Zoomed

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: XP from building forum - help with drivway layout!

If you don't want to look out at a driveway then don't put it in the front.
Use the direct North facing driveway and install a circular bump out to the west of the entry leg or a hammer head turn around that extends 10 -15 feet from the 2 car garage and connect a central leading path to the front door.

If the long entry driveway is required you can line it with Olive trees for a pleasant sense of entry.

The entry driveway in the photo below is set in a vineyard on the county line of Napa and Sonoma

RE: XP from building forum - help with drivway layout!

Thanks for the response!

By not wanting to look straight down the driveway I more mean maybe the driveway should be moved to the right or left some.

I'm a bit lost on some of your terminology, "install a circular bump out to the west of the entry leg or a hammer head turn around that extends 10 -15 feet from the 2 car garage and connect a central leading path to the front door" I'm not sure what that would look like, or what that means.

Our county has some very stringent requirements regarding the size of driveways, and having enough room for a firetruck to turnaround. The turnaround has to be completly level and the cost and size of meeting those regulations has lead us to planning on an entrance and an exit (thus no turnaround required).

RE: XP from building forum - help with drivway layout!

Laura, could you move the front drive a good ways to the left with the inner line perpendicular to the garage?

Have you considered seeking a variance from the requirements? This would be a process that takes time.

Small consolation, you're going to have a wonderful place, especially if you don't have a view of concrete, but a peaceful vineyard instead.

RE: XP from building forum - help with drivway layout!


A variance on this one is highly unlikely, and I think if we moved it to the left I am not certain we would have the required turning radius...

How about moving it right, how far would you move it?

RE: XP from building forum - help with drivway layout!

Moving the drive to the south would result in a sweep across the lawn that is typical of circular drives that must span from one side of the yard to the other. If you were interested in a formal approach, you might consider lining the drive up exactly with the front door, which I'm not showing in my diagram. Not having any information about your house architecture or the materials it's built from, it's hard to make very tight recommendations.

I know you asked for "pavement widening" as the guest parking solution; I'm showing it with the dashed lines. I think that dedicated parking would look better. I also like how continuing the paving in a D-shape arc in front of the house would allow for a relatively level, apron-like landscape/lawn area--slightly elevated above the drive--to set the house on a stage-like platform. It could be retained with a low retaining wall or curb for a dramatic effect.

Where I've marked the red "A" your existing proposed plan seriously doesn't allow adequate space for landscape planting. I'd locate the drive farther away from the garage and lengthen the driveway return to the garage. Where I've marked "B" a similar situation occurs. You could stand to lengthen the distance from the drive edge (extended) to the garage face. I know it wouldn't be by much but every foot would help in making room for planting and sometimes small amounts of space make a big difference. I would not go so far as to impede backing-out space from the other garage.

While backing out of the garage it makes sense to have 20' or slightly more of drive width. But 16' width for the longer length main (front) drive seems a little wide. You could cut that back some if you wanted to save some $.

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