The following information has been reproduced with permission from the book ‘RURAL‘
(R U Ready for A Life Change), page 41, by author Bernie Webb.
RURAL-Driveways.pdf (PDF 203KB)
In suburbia, a driveway is simply a short length of brick paving, concrete or bitumen enabling you to drive from the road to your garage or carport. On larger properties, a driveway is usually much longer and therefore is going to be much more expensive as well.
How far your house sits from the road will determine the length of your drive. What material your driveway is constructed from will partly be determined by its length. The longer it is the less likely it will be constructed from brick paving, concrete or bitumen due to the large outlay of money required. Longer driveways usually start off as a sandy track that is later ‘upgraded’ with crushed limestone, road base or gravel. Crushed limestone and road base can be quite dusty the drier they become and because the drive is near your house, the dust will invariably drift inside adding to the already accumulating dirt and dust in your home.
After a number of years and when finances can stretch far enough, it is quite common for these types of driveways to be resurfaced with gravel, bitumen or recycled bitumen. Bitumen and recycled bitumen will almost eliminate any dust problems, whereas gravel will only reduce the amount of dust. Of course, we are talking many thousands of dollars to surface a large driveway with recycled bitumen and especially bitumen. As an example, we were quoted $35,000 to have our driveway surfaced with bitumen and the very next day we were quoted $19,000 from another company to have the same driveway, plus an additional area of driveway looping around to the back of the house, to be surfaced with recycled bitumen. We opted for the recycled bitumen and are very pleased with the results. The surface is nearly as hard as bitumen, there is practically no dust and it still retains a slight gravely look to better blend in with the environment. A full bitumen driveway can look a bit ‘over the top’ unless you have a formal garden, which is a bit unlikely on a large property.
When constructing a driveway or when you are going to have your driveway resurfaced, it is a good time to bury some lengths of conduit or storm water pipe under the drive in strategic locations in case you may wish to pass reticulation, low voltage wiring, ‘temporary’ 240V extension leads etc. under the driveway at a later date.
In the course of my job I have driven up other people’s driveways towing a trailer, often long and winding, only to discover that there is no turning circle or other means of turning around, necessitating reversing with trailer all the way back to and on to the road. Remember we are talking about properties of a hectare or more, there is lots of room, so please incorporate a turning circle or loop driveway (see photo at left), a ‘U’ shaped driveway with two entrances or at the very least, a large area to turn around in. This is also a good time to mention that you will occasionally be visited by various types of trucks delivering all sorts of items. This is yet another reason why a driveway with a generous sized turning circle and with enough headroom clear of overhanging trees etc. is essential. As you may own, now or in the future, a boat, horse float and/or caravan, the site layout and size of your driveway will also affect how easy it is or isn’t to manoeuvre said boat, horse float or caravan into or out of its storage location.