Circular driveway ideas have been popular for years but aren’t often used as much as they should. Have you ever looked at a circular driveway on a TV show or movie and thought to yourself that it would be nice to have one? They add such sophistication to a home’s exterior, and they mean no more having to back out onto a busy street.
Today we’ll be looking at different circular driveway ideas and discussing the benefits and drawbacks of having a circular driveway for your home. We’ll learn about the materials that are used in circular driveway construction and how to use plant borders to add to their overall appeal.
What is a Circular Driveway?
A circular driveway has four basic layouts: a full circle, in which a central driveway leads to a true circle turn around; a teardrop, in which a central driveway leads to a teardrop shape turn around; a half-circle or semi-circle, where the two “flat” ends of the driveway connect to the road.
Then there’s freeform, in which the driveway takes an irregular shape to provide separate “sections” – typically in front of the garage and easy to reach, but out of the way location. The most common circular driveways are the half- or semi-circle style.
Why Have a Circular Driveway?
There are a few advantages to having a circular driveway and very few drawbacks. Many people will say that the biggest advantage to a circular driveway is not having to back out onto a potentially busy street. Whether there is one entrance or two, a circular driveway allows you to drive in and drive out, always facing forward. This is especially 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 RV’s 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 poor weather conditions as you will be closer to shelter when you get out of the car.
Requires a Lot of 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 homeowner’s association, you should also check their regulations on driveway size and requirements.
10 Beautiful Circular Driveway Ideas
This full-circle driveway boasted by Upwall Design is accessed from a central entrance located to the side of the house. Its spacious design allows for ample parking and driving room and boasts a covered portion at the grand front entrance. The minimalistic landscaping gives full focus to the stunning driveway and home beyond.
REO Consultants shares with us this driveway bordered with low shrubs and a beautiful central rock garden; this full circle driveway brings you directly to the home’s front door. The concrete driveway offers two entry points into the circle. One that comes in off the street and one leading to the back of the house.
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 a black asphalt of this semi-circular driveway is a lovely compliment to the white and grey home. With separate access to and from the street, the occupants never have to worry about backing out of the drive and can park directly in front of the door. A great feature during inclement weather or when there are lots of groceries to bring in.
This beautiful freeform brick driveway, photographed by Dennis Mayer Photography, provides access to the garage or the front door without one obstructing the other. With ample room to turn around from either direction, you can always drive out onto the street rather than backing out. This driveway is a beautiful variation of the circular driveway design.
C Kevin Coffey Dwellings showcases this full circle driveway fronting a gorgeous modern home. It brings ample sophistication to an already stunning landscape. There are two central access points to the grand circle, one providing access to and from the street, while the other provides access to the garage, leaving the circle free for guest parking and drive-through access.
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.
Another variation of a circular driveway, this freeform drive by Beer Architectural Group allows room to park and turn around without obstructing access to the side garage. The simple greenery in the central garden and the driveway’s gravel finish, give this freeform circular drive a natural aesthetic to match the home’s rustic design.
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 finished with an asphalt surface, this circular driveway lends understated class to this home’s front yard.
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 of the home’s rustic design.
9 Circular Driveway Material Options
In general, 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 snowplows 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. These environmentally 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 little maintenance costs and extremely long life, it is cost-effective in the long run.
Plant Ideas to Border Your 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.
The Wrap Up on Circular Driveways
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.
We hope you enjoyed this article. Leave a comment or let us know if you have any questions about the topics we’ve covered. For more home and garden ideas visit our website!