Circle Driveway or No?

   #1  

MGH PA

Silver Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2010
Messages
232
Location
Northcentral, PA
Tractor
2005 Gravely 148Z 48" ZTR
My wife and I had a circle driveway designed in the initial plans when we built in 2019, but when we roughed our road in, we left it out because we wanted to figure out where it should go after landscaping and the yard was done. Two years later and we're trying to decide how we want to do this. Right now, this is our approach to the house:

PXL_20210524_105855630.jpg


You can see we started clearing for the left side of the circle this winter (the stumps). The right side would start where the chestnut oak is leaning on the right. We would have to sacrifice some of the front yard (see below):

PXL_20210524_105614920.jpg


The two small cones on the left side marks the inner/outer lane as it was curve and pass by the end of the slate sidewalk before passing into the existing parking area, and then back down into the woods and reconnecting with the driveway (you can see the stumps on the right side that would be the inner edge of the lane as it returns back to the driveway.

We've driven this with my truck, here car, etc., several times to get a sense for how much space we would need along with hauling a trailer. It's going to entail a pretty large radius, and it would ultimately end up being more of a teardrop shape than a true circle.

We planned to do this because we like the looks, and it provides a place for guest parking that doesn't block our garage. It also provides for easier trailer maneuvering as well as delivery drivers to come up and turn around (the trucks from the local lumber yard have to back down 900ft when they deliver material.

Obviously this is going to cost a significant more amount of money vs. keeping it as is, so we're weighing the options. So, if there's something I'm overlooking or should consider first, let me know. Would love to hear from those who have done something similar (or had considered doing something similar).

Thanks!
 
   #2  

EddieWalker

Epic Contributor
Joined
May 26, 2003
Messages
22,732
Location
Tyler, Texas
Tractor
Several, all used and abused.
If I could, I would. Currently, when a big truck comes into my place, it has to drive past my house and turn around in my pasture. It's not fenced yet, but when I fence it in, I'll have to have them turn around before they get to my house, which will probably require some backing up to accomplish. If you have the space, it makes sense to use it.
 
   #3  

buckeyefarmer

Super Star Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2005
Messages
16,126
Location
MD
Tractor
Kubota L3940 L5030 MF205-4
Yes, and leave plenty of room. One thing I didn’t do.
 
   #4  

oosik

Super Star Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
15,171
Location
AMBER, WA
Tractor
2009 Kubota M6040
I see your point. That's going to use up a lot of your yard. I could have made a circle here at the end on my driveway. We decided against it. We want our yard left natural. We have plenty of room to park and back up and turn around.

Your house is beautiful - so is your yard. Just be sure there is a real need for the circle before you do it.

If you will be parking in your garage - a circle driveway is unnecessary.
 
   #5  

repete

Platinum Member
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
656
Location
SW Washington
Tractor
L2550DT IH584-4WD
I have a circular driveway and would not have it any other way. Avoid people backing up as much as possible be they larger trucks, vehicles with trailers or just some people who cannot back up.....
Also, if you do go circular, be sure to plan for water and power to the island you create.
 
   #6  

RalphVa

Super Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2003
Messages
7,020
Location
Charlottesville, VA, USA
Tractor
JD 2025R, previously Gravely 5650 & JD 4010 & JD 1025R
Yeah. Wish we had room for one. Only way would be to pave some of the front lawn. Even a partial circle helps. Here's a picture of our old house at 6 Marianna Place, Morristown, NJ. We always had to contend with a very steep driveway straight down from the garage on the east (right from rear) side of the house. The current or some owner did this.
 

Attachments

  • Our house at 6 Marianna Place.JPG
    Our house at 6 Marianna Place.JPG
    188.2 KB · Views: 74
   #7  

woody

Platinum Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2010
Messages
764
Location
Central Alabama
Tractor
Kubota B26, Kubota ZG222, Kubota L45, 1980 Ford 1700
You have a beautiful home and the back drop of the mountains is great. my last three homes have had a circular drive, two of them went all the way around the house but for privacy reasons my present home is only in the front. My in-laws built their circular drive using a jeep, don't make that mistake it is to small. I went bigger and as long as there is no cars in the way I don't have a problem even with the 24 foot trailer behind my truck. I vote for the circular.
 
   #8  

MossRoad

Epic Contributor
Joined
Aug 31, 2001
Messages
47,872
Location
South Bend, Indiana (near)
Tractor
Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year
My father had a long drive. There was a circle near the house. The drive came in one side of the circle. As you drove to the right, there were three staggered parallel parking spots off of the circle (he had a home office and we often had many guests). If you drove the circle to the left, you could pull onto the double car pad in front of the double carport. There was easily room for 7 cars if you included all that space. Yet it seemed to take up little room.

Do you have an overhead view or drawing of the place?
 
   #9  

cqaigy2

Super Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2006
Messages
5,268
Location
West Cascades, Washington State USA
Tractor
PT 422
We made our circle drive too small and ended up making parking space in place of it.

We also have two spurs that come off at an angle. So far, the largest vehicle was a semi with trailer. He pulled in diagonal across the parking space then backed up into the spur and pulled back out. I have to admit, i was pretty surprised to see someone take a full size semi and trailer up the road, much less into my driveway.
 

ponytug

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Messages
2,455
Location
Bay Area, CA
Tractor
Power Trac PT1445
It looks beautiful.

Not to answer your question, but I have a couple of thoughts/questions that I hope help.

One; how often do you expect to have large trailers or semis drive around, and would your circle accommodate them? If it doesn't, what is plan B? As @EddieWalker points out, can they turn around somewhere else, or will you be ferrying things in from the main road? Would it matter? Our drive is 800'+, and our tandem hay truck shuttles from the road, but the gravel semis can make it in and out of our road, leaving the trailer on the main road. What trashed our drive was a deck and a roof repair and the class seven lumber trucks delivering material. (That added $120k to the repair costs. 900' of asphalt at six inches, plus recompacting the main driveway.)

Second, does your local fire district have any relevant regulations? Our local fire district does, and only a three or four designs (with dimensions!) are permitted, including regulations for pullouts on the main driveway to allow fire trucks to pass each other.

If you do go with the circular drive, I would second @repete's suggestion of pulling power and water to the center, plus a spare conduit for say irrigation control or...

Finally, if the reason you are doing this is to allow trucks in and around, I would make sure that you design and build the roadbed strong enough for the weight. I.e. go deep enough, with enough compaction, and strong enough in the subsoil footings for the roadbed to support the planned weight, and make sure that the concrete itself is reinforced and built for 80,000lb loads. Ditto for asphalt, make sure that the lower layers are coarse enough and thick enough to take the weight. I have seen way too many driveways cracked by trucks, my own included, because they were built "to residential standards". There is a big gap between a 7,600 pound Cadillac Escalade SUV, or a sixteen thousand pound truck and trailer (4,000lb/axle) and a dump truck or semi (16,000lbs+/axle).

Something that often gets overlooked is that an RV can run 22,000lbs on the front axle.

All the best,

Peter
 
 
Top