Layout & Design
The layout & design of your driveway will be governed by the amount of area you have to build upon & your garage location.
Single Car Driveway Widths
A single car driveway width should be 10' wide, anything less than 10 feet will be too narrow to drive or park on comfortably. 12' is often used for added comfort and assuring to get out of your vehicle without stepping on the lawn or landscape.
If the driveway is surrounded by walls over 8" high, then 14' wide is recommended to open the car doors and exit the vehicles without damaging the doors. These specifications will accommodate all cars large or small and full size pick-up trucks and SUV's.
8' - 9' wide driveways are not practical and should only be used if there is no other options. People have told me that they only need an 8' wide driveway because they have a small vehicle, but what happens if they buy a new vehicle or sell there home, will the new owners have small cars too?
Driveway Lengths Rule of Thumb: 18 - 20' Long per vehicle
Driveways should allow 20' of length per vehicle. Every 20 feet of driveway will accommodate all cars large or small and full size pick-up trucks & SUV's. This will allow room to walk between vehicles and park far enough from the garage door to allow foot traffic.
Be sure to allow 6-12 feet at your driveway entrance for foot traffic on the sidewalk. The sidewalks are owned by the state and local governments even if there are no sidewalks on your street now, there could be someday, and you don't want to have your cars parked in the way of pedestrians on state or town property.
You will need to check with your local town or state government as to how much sidewalk area they own and allow for sidewalks to be installed if not already in place. Never take the measurement from the street to the garage, but from the sidewalk or property line to the garage.
As a general rule of thumb every vehicle will fit comfortably on 10'W x 20'L area or 3.05m x 6.10m.
Of course there are exceptions to every rule, and some might say that 18' long is enough or 16' will work, well these numbers will work in a parking lot that is trying to cram as many cars as possible. But for your home you want your driveway to be comfortable and not crammed like the local malls.
An 18'L x 9'W car stall will work well with a small car but as I mentioned earlier what if you don't have a small car the rest of your life or a visitor has a full sized pick-up truck! He may have trouble parking on 18' x 9'.
Double Wide Driveway Width Rule of Thumb: 20-24' Wide
Ideally 20' wide is a comfortable width for a double car driveway. 20' will allow you to park side by side or serve as a passing lane on a long driveway. A 24' width is needed if you have walls on both sides of where you will be parking, to allow the car doors to open without banging the walls.
- 18' wide is also adequate as a passing lane but 20' is best for parking vehicles side by side.
- 16' is just too narrow for passing and parking and should only be used when there are no other options.
- 15' wide is too narrow for a double wide driveway and too wide for a single car and should not be used as a driveway dimension unless there is a reason.
- 10 - 12 feet wide for a Single Car driveway
- 14 feet wide if Surrounded by Walls
- 18 - 20 feet wide for a Double Wide driveway
- 24 feet wide if Surrounded by Walls
- 30 feet wide for a three car wide driveway/parking area
- 40 feet wide for a four car wide driveway/parking area
- Allow 10' for each additional desired car width
Turn Around Area Rule of Thumb: 10' x 20' Single, 20' x 20' Double
A Turn around is an area in which you can back your car, allowing you to drive forward out of your driveway without having to back down a long driveway or on to a busy street.
Turn a rounds are single or double car wide (10 or 20 feet) 18-20 feet deep (long) to accommodate additional parking as well as serve as a turn around. 20' x 20' is the rule of thumb for a double.
There is also a half turn around which will only serve as an area to back the rear end of the vehicle just enough to make the swing, however there is no additional parking on these 10 - 12 feet deep turn a rounds.
The most important thing to understand about a turn around is that they need to be placed at least 20 feet away from the garage door to make them practical.
Most people park vehicles in front of the garage, so in order to back into the turn around you need to allow 20' or more away from the garage door to make it feasible.
Minimum turning radius should be 17' Or 34' feet inside dimension. Take a 17' piece of string, nail one end to the ground, and use it as a compass, and you will get your 17' Radius! Which is a comfortable turning radius for most vehicles.