The driveway is one of the main transition spaces between your home and the rest of the world. The entrance to the driveway deserves its own design plan because it will impact not only the effect of your driveway but also your daily routines. Below are some important considerations for planning the entrance to your driveway.
Entrance Material and Style
The driveway apron, which is the area that widens to meet the road, doesn't necessarily have to be the same material and style as the driveway itself. This fact is especially true if you have a gated driveway. In fact, many people have a decorative apron and a plain driveway, which helps cut down on costs.
Upscale materials for a driveway apron include cobblestone, flagstone, and brick. You can also choose to construct the apron with a concrete slab that contractors stamp and stain to resemble one of those more expensive materials. Designers usually recommend choosing a material that complements the rest of the driveway to make the transitional area distinctive.
Gate Style in Relation to Fence Style
If you want to gate your driveway, obviously you'll have a fence. The material you choose, ranging from casual chain link to ornate wrought iron, will largely dictate your fence's style.
Your gate material doesn't necessarily have to match the fence. However, you want some connection between the two. For example, say you have a wooden fence for your front yard, but you'd like a decorative wrought iron gate for the driveway. You could choose a decorative gate with wooden panel inserts.
In addition to overall style, you'll need to choose whether your gate swings or slides open. A sliding gate is ideal if you don't want to take up much of the apron's room when opening the gate. With swinging gates, a single panel is ideal for narrower driveways. If you have a wide opening, you'll probably need a biparting gate, which consists of two panels.
Naturally, the old-school style of manually opening the gate is an option. However, many homeowners opt for automatic gate openers. Within that style, you have a wide range of options. Some of the options will depend on whether you've chosen a swinging or sliding gate.
One of the main choices you'll make for an automatic gate opener is its trigger. You can configure it to open when a car approaches. More secure methods require keying in a code or using a key card. You can also choose a transmitter, which is similar to a garage door opener. The transmitter is likely the most convenient option.
Driveway Entrance Lighting
Another important safety consideration is how you illuminate your driveway entrance, which might be part of the lighting plan for the whole driveway area. Part of this illumination plan will depend on whether or not your entrance has a gate.
With a gated entrance, the illumination plan will probably be independent of the rest of the driveway. This may consist simply of installing lights in the gateposts or uplighting to illuminate them. If you need to interact with a keypad, this area needs lighting. You can choose decorative lighting, such as a post lantern, to give your entrance some distinction.
Such decorative lighting works well even if you don't have a gate. With an ungated entrance, though, you want to ensure the lighting complements the rest of the driveway illumination. You may choose some lowvoltage spreadlights to delineate the border of the apron. You can also highlight the area with downlighting from trees or the nearby fence.
Landscaping Around the Area
While the landscaping around your driveway entrance won't affect its functionality, the landscaping will impact the entrance's appearance. Many homeowners prepare planting beds at the base of the gateposts and plant low plants that don't impede the sightline. You can choose some low-maintenance plants or add color with pretty blooms.
Create a driveway entrance that facilitates your daily movements while also creating a favorable impression. Alta Fence Co. will help you design the best driveway entrance possible.