Not every house has a driveway, but everyone needs a walkway to get to their house – so I’ll start with that!
How to design your walkways
DynaScape make a good point on their blog here, separating Primary Walkways and Auxiliary Walkways.
Basically, the “main walkway” from the entrance to your house, and “side walkways”, like to a bench in the front yard.
Side walkways can be pretty much anything – even just flat stepping-stones in the grass can be great! (like here)
But I’d still make sure it’s actually comfortable to walk there. And maybe not too high in maintenance.
But for your main walkway, there’s more to it!
First off, I would definitely make it big enough for two people to comfortable walk there side-by-side.
If your front yard doesn’t allow for that, make it at least wide enough for one person to comfortably walk.
And no, 20 inch wide is not comfortable.
I’d go for at least 25, better 30+ inch. It just gives you a way better feeling.
Here, size actually matters!
Next, don’t make to slope too steep. About 2% is the most I’d go. Especially when it’s freezing, this can get quite dangerous. You don’t wanna slip on a slippery slope and slide down the whole walkway on your butt, right?
Use stairs when needed, but don’t use these super-small steps, please. I hate them. And they are easy to miss and trip over. And they often look quite awkward. Too small for a real stair, but too big to be ignored. But if you like them, go for it – it’s your walkway! They aren’t bad, I just don’t like them.
Oh, right – freezing. Pick your material with care. If you have a simple, boring, flat cement walkway, it’s gonna be slippery quite fast. If you go for pattered stone, like tiles, there’s usually enough space between each stone for water to trickle through into the ground. Also, it just looks much nicer 🙂
And I almost forgot: if you were thinking about anything but a straight walk way, think about this: We humans are lazy. If there’s a shorter way, I will take the shorter way. If the shorter way is across your lawn, then I’ll take it. And thus, the walkway becomes obsolete.
What about driveways?
You might be thinking “It’s just a driveway, whatever.”
It’s one of the first things people see when they look at your house.
So invest just a little bit of time and decide on something prettier than plain concrete.
Also, if you ever need or want to sell your house – good looks is what makes a house sell for more! (Not only, but still!)
On ConcreteNetwork, they recommend at least 12 feet width for the driveway.
I’d say: you got to have enough driveway to easily get in and out of your car.
So don’t just take your car’s width and add a feet or so. Add like 4 feet or more. And keep the immediate area left and right of the driveway plain and clear, so there’s more space if needed.
If you’re looking for a really fancy driveway, they have some really cool examples and tips in their post here. Check it out!
Otherwise, anything better than concrete is enough if you don’t want a fancy driveway.
IF you do, check out ConcreteNetwork’s post above or sit down with a local contractor – they will always be able to help you best in person!