Can I Widen My Driveway Without a Permit? (Check This First)
Widening your driveway can provide you with additional parking space and improve the overall look of your property. However, before starting any construction work, it’s important to understand the regulations and requirements that may be involved.
Whether a permit is required for widening your driveway depends on local regulations. Some areas may consider it a minor improvement, while others require a permit for any changes.
You should call the county’s office and enquire if you need a building permit to widen your driveway. In this article, we’ll look at how to widen your driveway legally and what you can expect it to cost.
This post contains affiliate links from Amazon and other stores. This means Yard Blogger may earn a commission if you make a purchase using any of our links. Please refer to our full affiliate disclosure policy for full details.
Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably considering widening your driveway. So, here are some of the tools that you can expect to use during the project.
What you’ll need to widen your driveway
1. Permeable pavers – an eco-friendly alternative to a concrete slab
2. Plate Compactor – to compact the soil underneath your driveway
3. Wheelbarrow– can be used in almost every DIY project
Widening and Extending Your Driveway Legally
Widening your driveway could be a legal hassle if you’re uninformed. So let’s look at the most important legal aspect – permits.
Permit For Widening Your Driveway
If you’re widening the entrance of your driveway from a public road, you will most likely need a building permit. This is to ensure that you are aware of drains or other utility lines in the ground near your driveway. If you attempt this project without the proper building permit, you can expect a fine of up to $500 (per day).
On the other hand, if you’re only widening the driveway on your property (not the road), you might not need a permit – although it would be best to double-check with your local county’s office.
Driveway Increases Home Value
Any project you tackle is probably to improve the property’s home value. Similar to other projects, like building a gazebo, widening your driveway will increase the value of your home. People who are considering selling their house in the future are more set on increasing their home value than others.
Depending on your area and the average cost of properties in your neighborhood, widening your driveway could add up to $10,000 to your total property value.
Deciding How Wide to Make Your Driveway
The standard width of driveways in residential areas in the United States is 10-12 feet. This is enough for one car to drive and park on the driveway. However, for families with two or more cars, this driveway probably won’t be sufficient.
If you want to widen your driveway to fit two cars, it would need to be 20-25 feet wide. This is the minimum, but you can always go wider if you have the proper building permit.
Making a New Driveway
There are building companies that can widen your driveway when you need more space. The contractor will most likely add a concrete extension to your current driveway, as this is the most popular option.
If you want the extension to look seamless, you should use the same material that your original driveway is made of, be it gravel or concrete.
If you’re looking for a quick and cheap way to widen your driveway, you can lay unstabilized gravel. This will not work in the long term, as the gravel will start to dissipate under the weight of cars, but it will work perfectly for the short term.
If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly option to widen your driveway, consider using permeable pavers. These pavers absorb water and provide relief for the ground underneath during dry seasons.
You could install concrete permeable pavers, which are created from molds. Alternatively, you could install a design made of recycled materials.
You might also enjoy our post on Whether You Can Pave a Driveway in The Winter
You’ll probably need a permit if you are planning to widen your driveway from the entrance. Be sure to check with your county clerk whether you need a permit or not. Widening your driveway will always be a beneficial investment.