Things to Consider When Planning a New Driveway

The driveway is the first thing people see when they approach your home, so make a great first impression with a driveway that is both practical and stylish. The right driveway can add kerb appeal, and add significant value to your home so it’s important to carefully consider the design of your driveway to ensure it not only looks great, but is safe and functional too. At Bittern Garden Supplies, we are the experts in driveway installation and repairs on the Mornington Peninsula. Here’s our list of things to think about when planning a new driveway.

Do I Need Permits?

If you are building, altering, repairing or removing a vehicle access way from your property to the road across the footpath and kerb (known as a ‘crossing’ under the Local Government Act 1989) you need a Vehicle Crossing permit from Council. If you are simply undergoing driveway installation and repairs within your property, you should not need any planning permission. If you are unsure or need advice, contact your local council or ask the friendly staff at Bittern Garden Supplies.

How Wide Should My Driveway Be?

For a driveway to be practical, it needs to be a minimum of 3 metres wide to allow for an average-sized car, it can be wider if you have the space, wish to park more cars or allow for turning.

Which Material Should I Use?

The materials you choose should complement your home’s exterior and any walls or landscaping in your garden. The façade of your home will also influence the colour of materials used, with darker shades suiting both contemporary and traditional properties and being practical for hiding oil stains. Drainage considerations will affect your material choice, as will ease of replacement or repair in case of damage. There are many driveway surface materials to choose from. Here are the key types:

Gravel and crushed rock – the best option for the budget-conscious, gravel is not only affordable to install but relatively cheap to maintain in the long run. Easy to install and easy to maintain, a crushed rock driveway is an ideal solution should you wish to upgrade to asphalt at a later stage. An environmentally-friendly option, crushed rock ensures that water permeates the ground during wet weather so you won’t experience flooding or pooling of water. A gravel driveway also maintains its grip when wet. A gravel driveway has the ability to adapt to suit the style of the house and also acts as a security feature because you can hear when people are approaching your home.

Concrete and asphalt – although these may not be considered the most attractive options, they are low cost, durable and low maintenance. Some concrete and asphalt is permeable, allowing water to drain away. Both materials can fade and stain over time and may be prone to cracking due to tree roots or extreme weather conditions. Both are suitable for sloping sites and can look very appealing in the right setting.

Designing the Driveway

When considering the design and shape of your driveway, assess your needs and the layout of your property, you may find you are actually quite limited in what you can achieve. The location of your garage also plays a key role in your driveway design since the driveway typically leads to the garage. If you have a side-facing garage or a detached one near the rear of your property, you may need to add curves. The terrain of your property should also factor into the design, if possible, you may want to avoid placing it on a steep slope or near a large tree. Finally, decide what style you want for your driveway – a small front garden may have space for nothing more than the car itself, in this case the driveway itself will be simple and all the design work will go into material choices and landscaping. For larger properties, a long, straight driveway will create a grand entrance, especially if lined either side with trees or flowering plants.

Are you looking for the best driveway installation and repairs company? Look no further than Bittern Garden Supplies. As Mornington Peninsula’s local choice for garden supplies and landscaping services, we understand the challenges that varying landscapes can pose in our region. Our team love a challenge and will happily work with you and help you design a driveway solution to suit your property and your needs. Contact us today to find out more about our driveway installations and repairs.