Suburban homeowners have it easy. Many don’t need to plan for their driveways – they’re just included with the home. When your house is in the country, however, not only will you need to consider how you’ll have access to things like water lines and internet access, you’ll also need to design a functional driveway. These are a few things you’ll need to consider before beginning construction.
Type of Driveway Material
Your driveway should reflect your personal style while also fitting within the constraints of your home and location. Thankfully, driveway material has advanced beyond cobblestones and dirt. Today there are more durable and aesthetically pleasing driveway materials. Consider the four most common materials when deciding on the best design for your rural driveway.
Many homeowners choose gravel because the material is relatively inexpensive and quick to install. When properly installed and maintained, gravel can last a lifetime. Unfortunately, maintaining a gravel driveway is time consuming and constant. Weeding becomes more difficult, and the top layer will need to be refreshed every one to five years.
Concrete can last 30 to 40 years and is a solid driveway material that requires minimal maintenance when properly cared for. It’s not suited for cold and snowy regions because it erodes easily when exposed to road salt. Stains are also particularly difficult to remove from this surface. Concrete can be damaged easily by freezing temperatures, unruly tree roots and improper installation.
Pavers are the most customizable of all driveway materials because they are available in a variety of colors and shapes. They provide natural irrigation for lawns and can absorb clean rainwater. The downside is that they are expensive, and if they should break, it may be difficult to find replacements in your original style.1
Asphalt driveways are stronger and more durable compared to other more costly options and are engineered to withstand freezing and thawing. Porous asphalt allows water to drain through the pavement and can often meet local impermeable surface codes. This cost-effective and low-maintenance option can last for decades.2
When designing your rural driveway, you’ll need to consider traffic safety, visibility, drivability and drainage. If your home sits close to a major roadway, additional considerations will need to be made to ensure your driveway complies with your town’s and state’s regulations.
If you are planning to cut your driveway’s path into a public roadway, your plans will likely require review and approval from your town highway supervisor or engineer. A few aspects they will review include:
- The “setback” from property lines
- Driveway dimensions
- Construction methods
If your driveway will open to a state or county road, an additional permit and inspection might be necessary. Each state has their own regulations.3
In Washington for example, drivers on the highway will need to be able to see far enough ahead to assess whether entry or exit is possible and take appropriate action. For posted speed limits of 50 mph, the driveway sight distance must be at least 425 feet. Other Washington-specific design considerations include:
- Proper drainage infrastructure
- Mailbox placement
- Appropriate surfacing materials and depths
- Paving extended to the right of way4
Your Driveway, Your Way
If you follow the rules and regulations of your state and town, your driveway can be made to match your style without issue by a professional contractor. As the homeowner, you have the right and authority to specify the materials, design and details of your new driveway. When choosing a contractor for your project, be informed, attain multiple bids and get references from friends, family and online referral websites.
Do You Need Help Creating a Driveway for Your Rural Home?
With over 40 years in the paving business, Lakeridge Paving Co. has the knowledge and expertise to produce a high-quality driveway for your home. Our quality paved driveways are inexpensive, durable solutions for any residential project. Our experts are always available to answer your questions. Call us today for your quote at 888-403-8290 or contact us online!