Can You Expand Your Driveway?
My eldest’s sixteenth birthday just came along, and at the risk of spoiling her, we decided to buy her a car. Nothing fancy- just a little one. Safe enough to give us peace of mind and stylish enough to not get her mocked. With its small size, we were surprised when it didn’t fit in our driveway. I began to wonder- can you expand your driveway?
For all those with similar problems, I’m happy to say- yes- you can expand your driveway… maybe. Surely you could expand your driveway- but whether or not your locality will actually let you depend upon rules and regulations that are years in the making.
There is some fine print. Local laws and regulations may mean that you need a permit to get the show on the road. Not obtaining this permit could incur any number of punishments- fines included. It all depends on your locality. Once you get this, however, with a little research (some of which we’ve compiled here) you’ll be on the road to an expanded driveway.
Permits and Laws
This is the most important part of your driveway journey, as it will decide whether or not you can pave your driveway at all!
The first thing to know about permits is that there’s no way I could possibly tell you what the regulations are in your area. It depends on local regulations, all the way down to the neighborhood you’re in and if you own your house.
If you’re out in the country on a piece of land you own yourself, things will likely be simpler. In a neighborhood or a city- the red tape can be cumbersome.
The first thing to do for any major project is to check your local building department and ask. You might also be wise to check with the local home owner’s association if you’re in a neighborhood. Taking all necessary precautions will keep the authorities from breathing down your neck.
How to Expand Your Driveway- DIY
The first thing you’ll need to do when expanding your driveway is to acquire an expansion joint.
Basically, expansion joints are a useful tool that allows the concrete or asphalt you’re laying down to expand and contract. This is necessary because of fluctuating temperatures. Without it, you might find cracks in your driveway.
Next, you will need to get concrete- lots of it. A good rule of thumb is to take however much concrete you think you need, and get more. You’ll also need to secure some reinforcement bars- rebar- so that your driveway doesn’t break into a million little pieces.
The average cost for all of this will be high. While some projects (like insulating a structure) might run you below a dollar per square foot, building a concrete driveway will likely cost between $4 and $7 per square foot!
According to homeadvisor.com, an extension on your driveway will likely run you about $3,000. So, following all the necessary steps is an absolute must. If not, you could end up with a $3,000 pile of cracked concrete.
Also, make sure you clear all obstacles before building. Finding a rock or an immovable stone beneath your proposed building area can throw a wrench in the works. You might end up having to start all over. Make sure there are no obstacles in your way before you start any work on your new driveway.
As per the HomeAdvisor site, you should also keep in mind a high price of about $6,000- especially if you’re an amateur. There will be a whole lot of mess-ups, and most likely, you won’t be able to optimize for space, price, and sturdiness if this is your first project. Leave a little legroom for your finances.
Cost of Professional Installation
This gets a little high- especially if you account for all the labor and management you’ll end up footing the bill for.
Getting your driveway professionally installed can run you up to $15 per foot! Now, let’s do a little math. If the car you’re looking to accommodate is six feet wide, and you want a 50-foot expansion on your driveway, that comes out to about 8X50 square feet, or, $6000!
If you can, we’d recommend you do your driveway DIY. Don’t engage in an expensive project you don’t know you can finish- but- you’ll definitely save a load of money doing it yourself. If you put in the time to do your research and get permits straightened out, you’ll probably be able to get things done right.
All in all, expanding your driveway can be an expensive project. In addition, getting all of your finances worked out with permits and building permits can be brutal. But, in the end, with research and perseverance, you can expand your driveway. DIY will be much cheaper.