Consider the lowly and unappreciated driveway, a bland slab of concrete void of character and charm...but used all day, every day. It's typically one of the first things we see with the home, part of the critical first impression. Everything and everyone in and out of the home traverses this hard slab; the ultimate role player like an offensive line for an MVP running back or quarterback. All is good, unless something shines a light on a shortcoming. Sometimes, there hints but the scope of the problem may not be fully understood until regular use.
Driveways must be functional and compliment the home. Ideally, they will be ample in width, level to generally level and wide enough to allow easy ingress and egress to the home. They will have easy curves (if any) and amply area to maneuver in and out of a garage. Builders typically set the footprint of the home first and fill in the rest after that, this can result in less than ideal driveway design. Terrain is also a major factor in design, it may impossible to avoid a sharp incline or decline.
Concerning Driveway Characteristics Include
- Sharp inclines or declines. Here we can see issues with approach angles (bumpers hitting), drainage (toward the home), walk ability (garbage cans, strollers) and ease of use of the area. Unloading a car on a steep incline or walking it is a challenge, as is use by very young or older less mobile residents.
- Narrow width. A driveway needs to be wide enough to navigate with confidence and provide a turn around area.
- Sharp turns. Vehicles have different turning radius and wheel bases, these can present problems with severe turns.
- Drop offs and walls. Damage or worse can occur if drivers hit walls, fences or leave the pavement on drives with retaining walls.
These are few things that can contribute to safety and appeal concerns, the extent of which might not be fully realized until living in the home. This short video reviews several driveways and highlights things to consider.
Cluster homes and homes with detached garages to the rear are popular around the Atlanta area. Here's a look at a great starter or investment home with a driveway so narrow that SUVs really need to crawl to avoid rubbing the home. Once to the garage however, the challenge then became getting in and turned around...
The driveway has a number of functions and buyers should take time to run them. Consider who will be living in the home, the vehicle type and quantity and any special requirements for residents. The driveway is a critical component of every home, make certain that it adds to the overall appeal and doesn't detract.
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