Should You Widen Your Driveway?

Matt Marandola
Written by Matt Marandola
Updated June 8, 2021
Widen home driveway
© hikesterson / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

An extended driveway adds value, plus room for parking—and maybe even a basketball hoop

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Parking in the street leaves your vehicle susceptible to swipes from wayward garbage trucks and teenagers who haven’t passed their driving tests. A driveway extension can keep your vehicle safe while adding value to your home, and a bonus: you’ll have a little less lawn to mow. 

What Are the Advantages of a Driveway Extension?

The main advantages of extending your driveway include adding value to your home, you’ll no longer have to park in the street, and you can finally move your vehicles to the backyard with ease.

Adds Value to the Home

You’ll spend around $4,900 for a concrete driveway extension. However, when the job is complete, you’ll find that the property value boost alone recovers those costs entirely, if not more.

No More Parking on the Street

Moving your car off the street can give you peace of mind that your vehicle is safe no matter what comes barreling down your road. Plus, hauling in 10 bags of groceries at once will also prove easier when you’re only a few steps from the house versus in the street.

Less Lawn to Take Care Of

If you’re tired of mowing your yard, a driveway extension can tackle two problems at once. Wherever you once needed to cut your grass, you’ll now find a lovely spot to park your vehicle.

Ease of Access to the Backyard

Extending your driveway into your backyard makes it easy to move larger items in and out. You’ll have a convenient place to store a boat or camper without damaging your grass (or irritating your neighbors).

Driveway of house
© Erik Isakson / Getty Images

What Are the Negatives of a Driveway Extension?

Driveway extensions aren’t possible for everyone. Perhaps your HOA says no way, or maybe an extended driveway doesn’t fit the layout of your house or lot. Or perhaps you simply don’t want to deal with the maintenance and upkeep of an extended driveway come the first snowstorm of the season.

Maintenance

If you’re tired of taking care of your current driveway, chances are you’re not going to enjoy taking care of even more of it. You need to seal the driveway every one to three years. However, you can always hire a driveway seal coating company near you to do this for you.

HOA Might Not Allow It

Unfortunately, if you’ve signed an HOA agreement that says you can’t extend your driveway, you’re out of luck. You’ll either need to petition the HOA board to allow it or you’re looking at fines for your parking pad.

Looks Funky If You Have a One-Car Garage

Extending a driveway isn’t always the best idea for every house. For example, if you’re rocking a one-car garage but your driveway encompasses your entire yard, you might find the property value decreases. But this comes down to personal preference, and you should ask a driveway paving company near you for their recommendation.

How Much Does a Driveway Extension Cost?

There are four main types of driveways you can choose from for your extension. You can choose between concrete, brick, gravel, and paver stones. Ideally, you’ll pick the one that your current driveway is or replace the existing driveway with your choice of material.

Concrete Driveways

Concrete driveways are the typical driveways you think of when you’re pulling up into your dream house. On average, concrete driveways cost around $10 per square foot, which includes labor.

Brick Driveways

With brick driveways, you’re going to pay for the luxe look that they offer. You’re looking at spending around $10 to $15 per square foot. The price fluctuates depending on the demand of the material at the time.

Gravel Driveways

For those that are on a tighter budget, gravel driveways are a great low-cost option. The typical gravel drive costs around $4 to $5 per square foot, but your costs may be higher if you live on a slope.

Paver Stones

Paver stones add individuality to your driveway. You can customize the design to your liking. The cost of paving a driveway may range from $15 to $30 per square foot.

FAQs About Driveway Extensions

How long do driveways last?

Driveways will last upwards of 25 to 50 years, but you’ll notice cracks and possible missing pieces during this time.

How do you maintain a driveway?

Before you apply a sealant to your driveway, consider pressure washing the surface. It’ll take off any remaining sealant and any grime that might have caused a stain.

If you live in colder climates, consider using sand rather than salt to de-ice. It helps melt the snow and ice without speeding up the freezing and unthawing process of your driveway. This helps prevent cracks from forming from the constant fluctuation of temperatures.

Do you need permits for driveway extensions?

Driveway extensions typically need permits. This is because you’re technically paving an extension into a public road. You also need to keep in mind drainage systems, as you can’t add a driveway where one exists.

However, if the extension doesn’t connect to the road, you might avoid needing permits. Check with your city for more details.

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