A circular driveway adds overall appeal to your home. If you have enough front exterior space, then a beautiful entrance like a circular driveway would add curb appeal. Although once popular, homeowners today are rediscovering how the driveway is useful.
You might be surprised by how easy it is to add a circular driveway to your home. The driveways aren’t exclusive to large properties.
On a practical level, they offer added convenience and safety.
We’ll show you the benefits of the driveway style and what makes them unique.
We’ll also look at the different circular driveway designs that are popular today. You’ll learn about the materials used to build the driveways.
And to round it off, we’ll give you a few landscape design ideas that enhance circular driveways.
What Is A Circular Driveway?
Circular driveways come in four styles. The first is a full circle where a central driveway leads to a circle turn around.
Second, a teardrop layout where a central driveway leads to a teardrop shape turn around.
The third is a half-circle or semi-circle, where the two “flat” ends of the driveway are connected to the road.
The fourth design is known as a freeform. This involves a driveway that takes an irregular shape to provide separate “sections.” This is typically in front of the garage and easy to reach, but in an out-of-the-way location.
The most common circular driveways are half or semi-circle styles.
Why Have A Circular Driveway?
Unlike straight driveways, there are advantages to circular concrete driveways, for example, and a few drawbacks. Many would say the biggest advantage is not having to back out onto a busy street. Whether there one entrance or two, a circular driveway allows you to drive in and drive out, always facing forward. This is ideal for new drivers or those who aren’t comfortable backing up.
Another advantage is that circular driveways offer more space to park and work very well for larger vehicles or families with multiple cars.
Oftentimes they are even large enough to park RVs and trailers on without having to back them out when it is time to move them.
It is important to note, however, that depending on the width of the driveway and the width of the RV or trailer, you may not be able to drive other vehicles past, meaning you will have to resort to backing them out.
Circular driveways also add a ton of curb appeal and give you the option of pulling right up to your front door. This is great in harsh weather conditions as you will be closer to shelter so you can get out of your car and not get wet.
Requires More Space
The one major drawback to circular driveways is their size. They take considerably more room than standard straight driveways and are therefore not a good option for small front yards.
What Is the Average Circular Driveway Width?
The average driveway width of a half-circle driveway is ten feet wide and twelve to fourteen feet deep. Full circle driveways are typically twenty-four to twenty-eight feet wide from outside point to outside point. Teardrop driveways are typically the same width as full circle driveways at their narrowest point.
When planning the driveway width and circular driveway dimensions, you must consider the turning radius of the vehicles you plan to park on it. The larger the car, the larger the turning radius will be and the larger your circular driveway will need to become. Also, consider any RV equipment you may be parking or storing on your circular driveway at any given time.
Codes And Laws
It is also important to check local by-laws about size regulation, what type of circular driveways are permitted, and what vehicles are allowed to be parked in a driveway. If your neighborhood has a homeowners association, you should also check their regulations on driveway size and requirements.
10 Modern Circular Driveway Ideas
Here are ten examples of beautiful circular driveways. Carefully handpicked by our team of editors, each design illustrates how the benefits of a circular driveway.
Full Circle Driveway
This stunning driveway by Upwall Design is accessed from a central entrance on the side of the house. The spacious design allows for ample parking and driving space. It also boasts a covered portion at the front entrance. Adding to its curb appeal, minimalist landscaping enhances the stunning layout and home.
Concrete Circle Drive
REO Consultants shares with us this driveway bordered with low shrubs and a central rock garden; this full circle driveway brings you to the home’s front door.
The concrete driveway offers two entry points into the circle, one from the street and one that leads to the back of the house. A new concrete driveway, like this example, will add value to your home.
Complete Circle Style
This full-circle concrete driveway by Old Town Design Group has a stunning central focal point and ample space to park or drive around. The freeform entrance allows access to the garage without obstructing the circle or access to and from the street.
Terra Ferma Landscapes showcases the black asphalt of this semi-circular driveway which compliments the white and gray home.
With separate street access, cars can exit the driveway or park in front of the home’s front door.
This layout is nice to have during bad weather or when you need to offload your car as it provides a front parking area in proximity to the front door.
Freeform Brick Driveway
This freeform brick driveway design is a variation of circular driveway designs. It provides access to the garage and front door without obstructing other cars.
You have enough room to turn your car around in either direction. Also, you can drive onto the street instead of backing out in reverse.
Full Circle Concrete Driveway
C Kevin Coffey Dwellings designed this full circle drive that touches the front of the home. The driveway style provides sophistication for a stunning landscape.
It features two central access points to the grand circle. One entrance provides access to and from the street, while the other offers access to the garage, leaving the circle free for guest parking and drive-through access.
Circular Brick Driveway
This stunning full circle brick driveway is accessed from one central artery and has ample room to park or drive around.
Lined with low shrubs on the outside edges and a beautiful central garden feature, this circular driveway is a beautiful compliment to this charming home.
Circular Driveway Design
Another variation of the circular driveway design, this freeform driveway by Beer Architectural Group provides a turning radius without obstructing access to the side garage.
The green landscape in the center and gravel finish give this freeform circular drive a natural aesthetic to match the home’s rustic design.
Asphalt Circular Driveway
Designed by Stonewood Custom Homes, this teardrop driveway brings you right up to the home’s front entrance and provides plenty of room to park or drive around.
The central access point to the teardrop means you can drive in and drive out, never having to back out onto the street.
Surrounded by minimal landscaping and featuring an asphalt surface, this circular driveway
Stamped Concrete Driveway
This full-circle driveway shown by Trestlewood is accessed by a central artery and gives ample room to park or drive through. The pavement surface is bordered by stone and natural vegetation giving the driveway a natural aesthetic fitting to the home’s rustic design.
Circular driveways are more expensive than straight, or traditional driveways because they require more material to fabricate. However, how much a circular driveway will cost, greatly depends on the type of material you choose. Here are some of the most popular materials used for circular driveway construction.
Gravel is a very popular driveway material in many places throughout North America. It comes in many different colors including earth tones, greys, black, white, and even blue and red tones. It is a great option if you want a very natural, earthy feel. Installation is quick and fairly inexpensive, but gravel driveways do require ongoing maintenance that could add up. Gravel is not an ideal option for snowy regions that require snow plows, or snow blowers.
Concrete is a durable, low-maintenance driveway material option that is suitable for any climate. It is a very versatile material and can come in a range of colors, textures, and design options. You can choose something as simple as a grey concrete slab, or something more elaborate with decorative saw-cut patterns and colors to complement any design. Concrete is a more expensive option initially, but with minimal maintenance costs and an extremely long lifetime, it is a cost-effective choice in the long run.
Pavers are a stone material formed into rectilinear brick-like cubes. They come in an array of natural, earthy colors, and many different design choices. They add a touch of class to any exterior and substantially increase curb appeal. Although pavers are more expensive than other materials to install, they are relatively low maintenance and last for up to forty years, making them a good investment for your home.
Natural crushed clam, oyster, and scallop shells are a great material for driveways in areas where drainage and water run-off are a concern. Colors are typically light beige, gray, or brown and when sourced responsibly they are one of the most environmentally friendly materials available. They are an extremely cost-effective option, but like gravel, they aren’t ideal for snowy regions.
Asphalt is a popular driveway material in the northern U.S and Canadian climates due to its ability to withstand repeated freeze-thaw cycles. It is one of the more flexible materials available and is resistant to cracking, but it does require regular maintenance to keep it in prime condition. Asphalt driveways need to be resealed every three to five years to protect them from moisture and UV damage and extend their longevity.
Pervious concrete is essentially concrete pebbles with little to no sand in the mix and is extremely pervious. It is an ideal material for areas where drainage and water run-off are a concern. Pervious concrete is an environmentally friendly material and, like gravel, provides a natural, textured aesthetic.
Basalt pavers are rectilinear brick-like forms made from igneous volcanic rock. It is a hard and resilient material that requires little maintenance and offers an array of design options. Although expensive to install, this gray-black stone will last the lifetime of your home.
Grass driveways are made up of grass and various geometric grids in materials that will support vehicles. The intent behind grass driveways is to prevent water run-off and aid in drainage. Due to their permeability, it’s also a great solution for preventing the accumulation of ice. The eco-friendly driveways are relatively inexpensive and give a big boost to curb appeal.
Brick is a beautiful and traditional driveway material that greatly positively impacts curb appeal. It is available in rich, earth-tone colors and can be installed in various patterns and designs. Brick is an expensive option to purchase and install, but with low maintenance costs and durability, it’s cost-effective in the long run.
Driveway Border Ideas
After your driveway is installed, you’ll need to design your landscape. Here are a few landscape ideas that will inspire your next circular driveway.
Available in French, English, Spanish, and hybrid varieties, lavender is a fragrant plant with silver-green leaves and lush, purple flowers. It grows anywhere from eighteen to thirty-six inches tall and spreads naturally through the garden. Lavender is a beautiful way to add height, texture, and color to the border around a circular driveway.
Winter Gem Boxwood
Winter Gem Boxwood is a beautiful plant to border your circular driveway, especially if a more formal hedge look is what you want. If you would like to add height around your circular driveway, these hedges grow naturally to between four and six feet tall. Or, if you want something a little more understated, they can be pruned back to only two to three feet in height. Winter Gem Boxwood’s deep green leaves add a rich elegance to any landscape.
Mop Head Hydrangea
Mop Head Hydrangeas are medium-sized deciduous shrubs with deep green leaves and flower globes of blue, pink, purple, and white. These bushes tolerate being mixed very well and can be left alone or arranged with a variety of other plants. They are a beautiful way to add color to the borders of your driveway but keep in mind that they prefer filtered sun over any other.
Hosta is an excellent plant for borders and offers a variety of leaf patterns. Their beautiful green and white leaves combined with white, purple, and blue flowers create an abundance of interest and add a level of charm to any border. Hosta prefers partial sun or full shade and typically grows to approximately ten inches tall, although some varieties can grow as tall as twenty-four inches.
Creeping Thyme is a creeping border plant and ornamental herb. Also known as Wild Thyme, Elfin Thyme, or Breckland Thyme it consists of low-lying deep green leaves and light purple flowers that bloom in late spring. The blooms release a sweet, lingering fragrance when crushed.
How Long Does A Stamped Concrete Driveway Last?
The lifespan of a stamped concrete driveway is 25 years. If the driveway is installed right and taken care of then it might last longer.
Do Circular Driveways Add Value?
A circular driveway adds value to your home, but it will depend on the buyer. Some homebuyers don’t like the driveway designs and prefer more landscape rather than space for their cars. On average, a circular driveway will add $5,000 to $7,000 to a home’s value.
How Much Space Do You Need For A Half Circle Driveway?
You’ll need to allow a minimum of 75 feet to cover the outer diameter of the half-circle. The width of your driveway should be a minimum of 15 feet. This is how much space you’ll need to turn your vehicle in the curved driveway. If your circular drive is smaller, then large cars will have problems accessing it.
What Is The Best Material For A Circular Driveway?
Asphalt is the best material for a circular driveway. The material protects your property and offers better traction for your cars.
What Type Of Driveway Lasts The Longest?
Concrete is considered the most durable for driveways. Most households in the US have concrete driveways. They’re desirable because of their of their long-lasting and low maintenance qualities.
Circular Driveway Conclusion
If your front yard is large enough to accommodate one, circular driveways are a practical and beautiful way to add safer function, increased space, and a ton of curb appeal to your front landscape. With ample choice in color, material, and design you’re sure to find a style that suits your taste and budget.
Before you do anything, you’ll need the circular driveway dimensions. You’ll need to determine your turning radius for your car and other cars. Narrow driveways are an inconvenience. A circular drive is all about easy access and traffic flow. Other types of driveway options are available, but none of them offer the same class and convenience as a circular driveway.