An introduction to circular driveways
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Well-maintained and elegant residential driveways are one of the first things that catch the eye of anyone visiting or even just driving by a home. A front yard with an attractive landscape design complementing a beautiful driveway does wonder for a home’s curb appeal.
However, straight driveways that you drive into and reverse out of can tend to be a tad bit boring and inconvenient as well. So if you’re planning on renovating your driveway, consider a circular driveway.
Why choose circular driveways
Circular driveways, also known as horseshoe driveways, are a great choice because they make entering and exiting the driveway a lot easier. The shape allows for a much better turning radius without having to reverse.
Another advantage of circular driveways is that they give you space for parking multiple automobiles with ease. In fact, if you plan it right, you can even park an RV on a circular driveway.
However, these driveways need a fair bit of space. While the actual amount of space needed varies according to which state you live in, the average circular driveway is at least 10 feet wide and has a length of at least 12-14 feet deep.
This makes them ideal for bigger residences with enough space in the front.
All circular-shaped driveways are built in a way that allows for access to either a direct driveway or to the road. However, not every curved type of driveway is a full circle. Semi-circular driveways are very popular as well, with one end allowing you to enter the driveway and the other allowing you direct access to the road.
Teardrop driveways are another popular driveway design that falls under the same category.
Measuring a circular driveway
Here’s how you can measure an existing circle driveway area. Doing this should give you an idea of how much space you’d need to construct one for yourself.
What you’ll need
The tools needed to measure the driveway are pretty simple.
- A tape measure
- A calculator.
- A straightedge measuring 8-10 feet
- A marker
- Find the center of the driveway by using the tape measure to measure from one outside edge to the other outside edge at the widest point.
- Then, use the straightedge and marker to draw a line from the center to the outer edges.
- Measure this line using the tape measure. This is the circle’s diameter.
- Dividing the diameter by two will give you the radius of the circle.
- If you’re measuring a circular driveway instead of a semi-circular one, the formula you will need to apply to calculate the area is to take the radius, square it and then multiply it by the value of pi (3.14159).
- You may have a smaller circular area in the center that cannot be driven on, but may be a landscaped green space or may even feature a fountain. Repeat all of the steps above to arrive at the surface area of the smaller circle.
- The surface area of the smaller circle subtracted from the area of the larger circle will help you arrive at how much area is drivable.
- If you’re measuring a semi-circular driveway, the first four steps remain the same. Once you have the radius of the semi-circle, square it, divide the number by two and then multiply that with the value of pi to get the entire area of the semi-circle.
- If there is a smaller lawn area that you cannot drive on, use the same method to arrive at the measurement of that area. Subtracting the smaller semi-circle area from the larger semi-circle area will give you how much drivable space the driveway has.
- All the measurements you’ve taken so far would have been in inches. You will need to divide the results by12 to get the square footage of the driveway.
Planning for a circular driveway
Here are certain things you will need to consider while planning for a circular driveway.
- Building codes for curved driveways vary according to the state you live in. For example, in Florida, the codes state that the driveway must be at least 10 to 14 feet wide, but no more than 20 feet wide where it meets the curb. You also need to have a space at least 60 feet wide to have a circular driveway.
It is always best to check what your local codes say before you begin your project.
- The average turning radius of a car is around 35 feet. Keep the turning radius of your automobile in mind while planning your driveway. This is especially important when you want to accommodate large SUVs and RVs.
Circular Driveway Costs
How much your circular driveway will cost you depends largely on two factors: square footage and materials. Once you know the size of the driveway, calculating material cost becomes easier.
Concrete driveways cost around $6.70 per square foot, while stamped concrete will cost between $18 and $40 per square foot.
An asphalt driveway is more affordable, costing between $3.50 and $4.50 per square foot. A brick driveway could cost between $10 and $50 a square foot, while the cheapest is a gravel driveway at $.50 to $2 per square foot.
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