How to Make Your Front Yard a Legal Driveway

A driveway is a private property erected to guarantee access to a home or for parking. You can likewise call it a little private street that can contain a vehicle or more that leads to a house, garage, or public street.

So when a driveway is too small, you can widen it to make it wide enough for your car and also to make it legal. Therefore the question is, how can you make your front yard a legal driveway?

To make your front yard a legal driveway, you need planning and clearance approval from the planning division to have permission to work on the driveway. You must ensure your property has a Right Of Way (ROW) easement to be sure of the possibility of future installation of a parkway or pedestrian walkway.

Can Front Yard Be a Legal Driveway?

Yes, your front yard can be a legal driveway if you want it to be. It is proven that when you make a little of a stretch to your driveway down into your front yard, the value of your property increases between 5%-10% depending on various factors.

To ensure this happens, rules and approvals need to be taken to avoid having issues with the government.

Getting acquainted with the rules of your state is a good way to start. You shouldn’t ignore planning to ensure you don’t spend more on getting the government away from your neck.

How to Make Your Front Yard a Legal Driveway

Here are the procedures to follow to make your front yard a legal driveway:

1. A Planning and Clearance Approval

Before the commencement of work, you need permission from the planning division to have permission for expansion.

Maybe your previous driveway doesn’t suit your style anymore, or it is too narrow to contain your cars. The planning division gets to be aware of this improvement before any construction or modification can start.

Amongst many things that the planning division gets to be involved with is to ensure you maintain an expansion only within 50% of your driveway without compromising.

Before making a move as a house owner, ensure you are aware of the measurement of the front setback, aside from the exact property line.

2. Verification with the Public Ways

To avoid getting yourself on the wrong side of the law, you must ensure your property has a Right Of Way (ROW) easement to be sure of the possibility of future installation of a parkway or pedestrian walkway.

Whether you want to widen your driveway or get a new one in the space, you will need verification from the public ways and the encroachment ownership.

Before an expansion, planning is required and you can’t plan without considering the planning division, the public ways, or the right of ways.

3. Survey Your Property

After obtaining the necessary permission needed to make your front yard a legal driveway, the next step would be to hire a licensed surveyor to survey your property and determine property lines, easements, and setbacks.

While this is being done, ensure that the proposed driveway complies with all property boundaries and restrictions to avoid going against the laws of your state.

4. Design the Driveway

You need to develop a detailed design for your driveway. The design should include dimensions, materials, and drainage plans. The design must meet the local requirements and must be suitable for the different conditions of your property.

5. Consider Drainage Issues

While developing a detailed design for your driveway, you need to consider drainage to prevent water runoff issues. Some areas have strict regulations regarding how water is managed on your property, therefore, acknowledging this fact at an early stage will help you avoid issues that may emanate from it later.

6. Submit Plans for Approval

Depending on your area of residence and the laws that work there, you may need to submit your driveway plans to the appropriate local authorities for review and approval. It is in their hands to approve your design or not so be prepared to make any necessary revisions to comply with their regulations.

7. Secure Utility Clearances

You should also check with utility companies to ensure that your proposed driveway won’t interfere with existing utilities. While doing this, it is important to obtain clearance from them.

Also, you need to comply with environmental regulations, especially if your property is near wetlands or other environmentally sensitive areas.

8. Construct the Driveway

If the driveway is yet to be constructed in your front yard, now is the best time to construct it. You need to hire a licensed contractor to construct the driveway according to the approved plans. While the construction is going on, ensure the process adheres to local building codes and safety standards.

9. Final Inspection

Once construction is complete, schedule a final inspection with the local building department to ensure that the driveway meets all regulatory requirements.

Keep in mind that each area/locality has its own set of rules and regulations, so it’s important to work closely with your local authorities throughout the process to ensure a smooth and compliant driveway conversion.

Pros of Making Your Front Yard a Legal Driveway

Are you wondering if it is profitable to make your front yard a legal driveway? If yes, here are the flavors attached to it;

You Have More Space for More Cars

The major reason for a driveway is to enable the free passage of a car or possibly ensure it can house a few things.

Getting your front yard into a legal driveway is a decision you have to make. Having enough space is also a decision you make.

Enough space means freedom. If you desire freedom, you will consider making your front yard a legal driveway.

You Increase the Value of Your Property

It is proven that if you make your front yard a driveway; it increases the value of your property. It is an advantage when you want to lease or sell your property.

If you are someone who values investment, having your front yard a legal driveway will produce a higher value between 5 and 15%.

Cons of Making Your Front Yard Be a Legal Driveway?

Some of the disadvantages attached to making your front yard a legal driveway are:

1. You Need to Take Permission

A lot of permission is required before making your front yard a legal driveway. You can’t go for this expansion ignoring the government agencies. Ignoring them will cost you funds and it can have you standing before the judge to plead your case.

You need the hands of the planning division and other agencies, depending on your specifications and the width of what you are hoping to get from making your front yard a legal driveway.

2. It Can be Expensive

Aside from the governmental fees that you get hooked with, you need enough money to turn your front yard into a legal driveway. Away from the price of a regular driveway, you will spend more than usual to set up your front yard.

Advantages Of Having A Legal Driveway?

Some of the benefits of having a legal driveway are:

It Increases Property Value

Truth be told, many of us are all about the monetary significance of a legal driveway to the property. If you are in for investment, having a driveway on your property gives a greater return.

A driveway makes the property good-looking and expensive, selling it is easier and more expensive; you get to name your price and get better returns.

Also, with your legal driveway, nobody can come into it and tow your car without your permission because it is your private property. As long as it is a private driveway, you’re in good hands.

It Creates a Good View

Driveway creates beauty for your property, most especially during the day. Have you ever been in a position where you wish to own a house you saw while you were driving past?

You can also have the same if you choose to put a good-looking driveway structure on your property.

It isn’t a crime if your property is one of the best in the community. It means you can sell at a higher price or enjoy being in a comfortable apartment.

Whichever one, the driveway is that pleasant view you need to turn your property into the most sorted property in the community.

It Makes Your Apartment Spacious

If you love cars, a driveway is your best fit. A driveway gives you a larger space to park your car. You shouldn’t be like other houseowners with lots of cars; it is untidy if over one car is on a property that has no driveway.


Having a legal driveway is your choice but when you decide to do it, consider other settlements in place and never ignore the governmental agency that approves the essential measurements if you need expansion.