Driveway width is a pretty important feature when it comes to the entrance on your property. This is especially true if you have a large SUV or if your mailbox is located close to the corner of the driveway entrance. So what is the typical width of a residential driveway?
Normally, residential driveways are as small as 10 feet in width but usually no larger than 12 feet in width. The standard width for a large vehicle is 10 feet, so 12 feet has you more than covered. Its also recommended by experts to pave residential driveways between 10 and 12 feet.
On paper, that sounds like plenty of widths for just about anything that you need to pull into your yard, however, there are always other things that may change those factors, such as pulling a camper or how the approach to your driveway is designed.
How Wide Is The Average Car?
The typical car width is anywhere between 5’10” and 6’8”. That’s small enough for the average, residential driveway to swallow up with minimal issues, with plenty of room on either side remaining.
SUVs add a bit of width and depth. Of course, there are several different types of SUVs to measure from:
- Mini SUVs
- Compact SUVs
- Full-Size SUVs
- Extended Length SUVs
Your mini and compact SUVs are going to average around 5 and a half feet wide. Of course, there are going to be differences based on trims and how the hood and rear, quarter panels are designed.
Full-size SUVs can easily get up to 6 and a half feet wide and, like smaller SUVs, that number is anything but absolute.
When it comes to driveway width sizes, there are no SUVs that aren’t easily accommodated by 10’ and 12’ wide driveways. It’s starting to become a little easier to understand why the recommended width is what it is.
What Is The Width Of A Double Driveway
This is one of those instances of the word “double” meaning exactly that. Double driveways are exactly double the size of standard driveways, so you’re going to see anything between 20 feet and 24 feet in width.
These are the kind of driveways you want if you like being able to pull two vehicles in at the same time or have less trouble with multiple vehicles entering and exiting the property. Now you don’t have to pull over in the grass.
Paving out a double driveway is also a great idea, beyond just two-vehicle traffic coming and going. If you own a mobile recreational vehicle or if you own a boat or pull-behind camper, a double-wide driveway is very agreeable.
This is especially true in cases where the location of your driveway entrance necessitates wide turns to both exit and enter the property.
If your double-wide driveway is the same length from beginning to end, keep in mind that while it is enough for two cars to park side by side, it may not be enough for the cars to park side by side with the doors open unless you go with a 24 feet driveway.
Should You Widen Your Driveway?
There are a lot of good reasons for widening your driveway or installing one, especially if you’re parking out on the road or across the street.
- Adds value to your home
- Costs are offset
- You have less lawn to take care of
Regardless of the overall cost of installing or widening a driveway for your home, the overall value of the property will definitely increase. In most cases, it will increase enough that it completely offsets the cost of the driveway, to begin with.
When it comes time to sell the property—if that’s what you decide to do—you’ll realize what an extraordinary benefit it was to upgrade or install a driveway. It’s not entirely difficult to do either, whether you decide to take it on as a DIY project or hire a professional installation crew.
Another major benefit is that you’ll have far less square footage when it comes to keeping your lawn in good order. Unless you’re a gardener and a lawn enthusiast, adding concrete or asphalt is nothing less than a boon.
If you’re running a concrete driveway up and around the house, you can easily gain simple access to your backyard as well. This is a great idea in case you have a boat or camper that you don’t want taking up space in the front or side of the driveway.
Are There Negatives To Installing Or Widening A Driveway?
Homeowner’s Associations are the primary culprits when it comes to installing a new driveway or upgrading a current one. For all of the supposed positives of a homeowners association, when you sign that paperwork, you’re essentially handing over your property to them.
Anything you do with your property, even if it’s adding a flower bed, has to be cleared by an HOA and a driveway extension or addition is a major renovation project.
Maintenance is another potential negative, especially if you go with standard concrete because cracking is the inevitable result of time and weather. In order to avoid this, you’ll need to consider many different driveway material options before installing it.
It also may be difficult to find a way to make it work. Some yards just aren’t designed for installing a driveway or expanding/widening an existing one. It can be tricky if you’re looking to widen one, as you don’t want it to make your front lawn look weird.
Surprisingly enough, that’s something that’s easy to do, especially if you’re trying to install a widened driveway and there is a one-car garage that your existing drive needs to run up to. So the entire operation needs to be carefully planned and laid out beforehand.
Just because the average driveway is 10 feet to 12 feet or 20 feet to 24 feet, doesn’t mean that you can’t have a driveway that has some other dimension to it. If an 8 feet wide driveway is all you need, so be it. If you want a 30 feet driveway, go for it, so long as you don’t run into any problems with HOA or property lines