(New Orleans, La, USA)
Hello, we are planning our families dream home and have found your site very helpful! We have a conundrum that we think you could help us with.
Our property is about 1200 feet deep (N to S from the street to the back line) and 400 feet across (E to W). About a third of the way back, there is a 6-7 foot deep creek that runs roughly East-West across the property. The bridge across the creek is on the East side of the property and the garage is on the West side of the house on our current plans. We are trying to figure out how to get the driveway from one side of the property (crossing in front of the home) to get from the bridge to the garage and vice versa. We have about 300 feet of depth (traveling North to South)x 150 feet of East to West distance to get from the bridge to the planned homesite. There are no obstructions from the bridge to the homesite currently. We are worried that having a driveway cross in front of the home will have a negative affect on the appearance of the front yard. We have come up with several ideas and the only one that we like so far is to dig a pond in front of the house and have the pond placed in between the driveway and house. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks so much for your help!
It sounds like you have a wonderful property for your dream house.
A driveway is the backbone of your landscape design and determines how you and visitors view your house and property. A successful driveway also brings you to the front door and gives you clear access to the front door. In your case, you also have to get to the garage. Down play the access to the garage because this is your private area. I meet with a number of clients that don't want to interrupt the front of the house, and they quickly learn that to make the driveway functional in most cases it needs to be brought in close proximity to the front door. This can be done with style that actually integrates the house with the rest of the property. It's hard to comment about the pond in front of the house without seeing a picture. Ponds don't always look great and they do have maintenance to keep algae under control. I'd keep that in mind. I think you can make your house look great with the right driveway and plantings.
There is a photo on this site that has similar dimensions in the front yard. Go to the circular driveway page and scroll down to the picture of the blue frame house. This circular driveway is 120 feet wide (outside dimensions) and there is about 300 feet in front of the house to where the horse fencing starts. You may not want a circular driveway, but this gives you an idea of what can be done with the amount of space you have.
On long driveways, I have also brought a driveway from east to west with the driveway curving to the garage area. A parking area is done off the driveway in a place that it relates to the front of the house and where a sidewalk can nicely lead to the front door. The driveway crosses in front of the house fairly far away from it. The sidewalk should be built in a place that shows off a nice view of the house, not right beside it.
Whatever you do, don't run the driveway up the west side of the property to the garage. In most cases and it sounds like in your case too, that it would not do a good job of accenting the house.
Hope this helps,