Redesign the Driveway - possibly a circular driveway

FredfanJune 12, 2014

Would really appreciate your advice and comments?
Photo1: You see our house has a straight driveway. We wont to modify this existing driveway so that the area marked with a red x has more usability/accessibility to us. That said, we want to avoid any silly temptations as well, which is why need your feedback.
Photo2: It shows a traditional circular driveway (marked with yellow). I like this design (it is symmetrical, can be decorated with a fountain/sculpture in the middle etc) but this driveway does not 'completely' fulfill our goals/objectives.
Photo3: L-shaped. It is not as conventional and nice looking as the prior circular driveway, however fulfills the objective.
Photo4: ZigZag-shaped. It is totally out of convention (so we are not sure how it will actually turn out), however it does satisfy the goals.

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Posting again so you can see the larger image.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 4:57PM
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What is so important with the red X?

The L doesn't seem to arrive at the red X.

The zigzag looks odd.

Why can't you access the red X from the cul de sac with a separate driveway?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 7:18PM
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Our lot size is a little over 1/2 acre and we currently only get to use 10% of our yard. I think making the driveway of a larger size, will bring usability to most of our yard (primary objective), as well I am hoping increase the value of house (secondary objective) with 2 entry/exit points for vehicles.

The red x only points to the vicinity area. The L-shaped driveway does arrive significantly closer to the red x (compared to circular driveway option)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 8:56PM
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Why do you need to be able to drive to various points in your yard? Can't you walk to it? I'm not sure I understand because 1/2 isn't huge, and I would think the more of it that's covered with driveway the less usable it is for anything else.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:47PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Silly reason to spend money that adds zero value to anything. Pave the whole thing if you want. It makes a yard less usable, not more. And wastes your money.

Now if you're planning a garage or workshop for that area of the property, that's something entirely different.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:52PM
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I like both of the circular options. it allows for nice landscaping that can bring the focus on the front of your house.

Would also add a walkway from the street to your front door. I always dislike when you can only get to a front door by using the driveway. It seems to bring the garage more into focus than the house entrance.

I would also check with your city, town or county to see if they even allow two exit points from your property. Depending on location they may not.

And I do think that for resale purposes a circular or otherwise two-exit driveway is a plus and loved by people who hate to back their car up....

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:04PM
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I love each and every feedback received so far. Thanks so much.

Shrubbish: you said 'i like both circular options', you mean the option1 (circular) and option2 (L-shaped)???
Your idea of walkway from street to front door really appeals me ... attaching the frontal photo ... do you think the house design we have, it will blend in well with such a walkway?

HollySprings: I like your idea of a separate worshop

Pixie_Lou: the area marked with x has a lake closeby, which is reason I want to bring access to that part of lawn. I am thinking building a 'separate' driveway to that part will look odd ... I think architecturally a house should have a one integrated driveway?.

This post was edited by Fredfan on Thu, Jun 12, 14 at 22:40

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:37PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Why do youneed a driveway to the sceenic lookout? Just build a gazebo there and walk to it. If you have someone with mobility issues that needs a smooth surface, a curving landscaped path that they can roll down would add more value to a home than any driveway.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:42PM
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Fred, are you saying there is lake access in the x-spot, or just a good viewpoint? I can't make out the light green shrub/tree area. Could that be trimmed back or replaced with something that uses less space but still provides a screen from the neighbors? Then there is more room to get to the back.

With your lot I would probably work with a landscape architect, especially if you have slope challenges where the x is. In my head I keep seeing the x area as a seating area that has a lattice or other nice wood work toward the neighbors and allows you to sit viewing the lake. If you need shade there, nice overhead beams and climbing plants on that?

You could have a gate by the neighbor with the white fence? Make it wide enough so that landscapers or contractors can go thru with machinery if you ever have the need for that (arborist, septic repair, etc)

Though saddened by the tone in which the opinion is expressed, I agree with Holly that a flat surface path might be nice for handicapped access or elderly people. Based on the house design, I suspect though that a wheelchair bound person might not look at a two story house unless a master suite is on the 1st floor. Realtor friends and a landscape architect should be able to advise better than we can.

And full disclosure, I ripped out my own circular driveway, but my lot is smaller plus the garage side exit point was shared with the neighbor so we had a sea of asphalt in front of our houses. The previous owner Is still in shock....just give me time to landscape :-)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:13PM
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Given that you live on a cul-de-sac, and your current driveway services the house just fine, and is the one that people would see first, I too don't understand the desire to have a connecting driveway to the further location of the culdesac.

A "separate driveway" will not look odd, because no body but your neighbors, tucked around the end of the culdesac will know about it.

I think you need to figure out a different way to access that area of your yard, than a driveway to it. Pull out some trees, or put in some french doors out that end of your house, or... But, the driveway seems extreme, and expensive, and ... permanent.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:32PM
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Not sure where you are located, but. . .

If you get snow, your plowing bill just doubled or tripled or quadrupled

Asphalt is hot - that will be a lot more heat being trapped in your front yard. This could have an effect on your grass and other plantings.

I still don't understand why you need to be able to drive to the far corner of your yard. You don't seem to have lake access, so I can't imagine trying to haul a boat down there.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 7:28AM
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I'm with the others - I don't understand the need/desire for paving more of the yard. Even a turnaround so one doesn't need to back into the street seems unnecessary on a low-traffic cul-de-sac.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 11:13AM
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Most people who want to "use" the yard, as you are saying (terminology issue here??) eliminate paving from the yard to be able to have more green stuff. That's what having a yard is all about! More paving=more commercial parking lot look.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 11:40AM
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What do you mean by "... only get to use 10% of our yard"? How do you want to use it that you currently can't? What are the obstacles to using it in that way?

Is it steep? Overgrown? Have some large object in the way that can't be circumvented?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 12:39PM
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Okay, now I see the lake and realize that your house faces the driveway with its side to the street. I don't see the point of any modification (esp. the circular drive, what does that accomplish?) unless you plan to launch a boat and it's too hard unless you can get a vehicle back there.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 1:43PM
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