Whether you are building a new home or just improving your house’s appearance, here are a few tips to consider when adding a road to your property.
Have a Plan
What is the purpose of the road, and what obstacles might arise? Are you planning on pouring concrete or paving asphalt? Are you looking for added parking or a safe place for kids to ride bikes? Draw a scaled plan showing dimensions, easements, and natural obstacles like trees or large rocks. Will the terrain and drainage affect your project? What are the pros and cons of the finish you choose? How will the new driveway affect your taxes? In some areas asphalt might not increase your taxes, but concrete will. Contact your local locating company to locate any water, power or gas lines that are below grade.
Does Your Plan Require Permits?
Verify your plan with the county or city officials; they may require an entrance or driveway permit. If you live in a neighborhood with a home owners association it will most likely need to be approved by them. Some areas require the approval from your fire department, which might have weight and height restrictions along with a required proper turnaround space. If a gate is installed the fire department could also require a key or access code to enter the property. Is it required to pave the approach from the road or pour a sidewalk and curb? Are speed pumps or street signs needed? The city or county might require a maintenance agreement if the road is a shared driveway.
What is Your budget?
Seek out professional advice to get a good idea of what your project is going to cost. It is advised to have a 10-15% buffer for any unforeseen additions to your project. Here are a few labor and material costs to think about while planning your project: permits, excavation, engineering, gravel, erosion control, rebar, concrete, asphalt, pavers, culverts
How to get started?
No matter the finished material used, it is vital to ensure a solid base. Remove any soft soil, sod or vegetation so a good layer of gravel or sand can provide a solid foundation for the finished product. Plate compactors are often used to help avoid future cracks or low spots in your roadway. In some areas with heavy rainfall it is common to use a fabric underlayment to help prevent potholes or cracking. It is also important to be aware of the season in which you start your project. Temperature and rainfall can stall or weaken your roadway, so plan accordingly. While in the excavation portion it might be a good time to install utilities underneath or alongside your roadway.