Driveways are very important to buildings, especially residential buildings. There are times when you would need an extension of your driveway but would be confused if to go ahead with the extension or get a permit to carry out that extension or even build a new driveway.
Building a driveway or extending your driveway has laws relating to it, but it can be a complicated process. Different regions and city councils have laws regarding buildings, but some of those laws do not extend to driveways.
You would have to confirm from the relevant building regulation agencies of the government to avoid running foul with the relevant laws.
You can also sit back and read through this article to find out if you would require a permit to extend your driveway and how to go about it.
What is a Driveway Permit?
A driveway permit is a government-issued document at the request of a building owner that authorizes the installation of a driveway or extending an existing one. The driveway permit proves that the work can be performed and should comply with applicable laws and regulations.
To obtain a driveway permit, you would need to apply to the local jurisdiction. The application must include plans and specifications for the proposed project.
The plans typically include a site plan that shows the location of any storm drains, fire hydrants, sidewalks, and existing driveways, as well as any trees or other obstructions that could prevent vehicles from exiting the property. The site plan will also indicate where driveways exit onto public roads and streets.
The plans should also include an elevation drawing showing the proposed elevation of the driveway concerning any buildings or structures situated on or near it.
Elevation drawings are especially important when they show how high or low the driveway will sit about any buildings, structures, private roads, or public thoroughfares to ensure compliance with local building codes and zoning regulations.
Can You Widen the Driveway Without a Permit?
To widen your driveway, you require a permit as per building regulations, especially if the driveway extension would creep into the public street, road, or highway. Driveway permits become even more compulsory if you have to dig up your driveway to widen your driveway in any direction of your property.
It is crucial that you get a permit before extending your driveway. With this, the authorities would look at your plan and ensure it would not cause any disruptions to emergency vehicles or any other public utilities. If it passes all these, they will give you the approval to proceed with your driveway extension.
Also, bear in mind that in many cities, districts and countries, there are no stringent laws or any laws at all against extending your driveway. But the permit is out in place to build regulation and safety of the communities.
In places with laws regarding driveway extension, the laws are tailored to the specific types of buildings in some cases. Some do not require you to get a special permit for driveways that were built to the width of the building originally, to the extent of where your land stops. This is as long as you avoid obstruction to the public use lands.
What Happens if You Don’t Get a Permit for a Driveway?
Getting a permit for your driveway extension is necessary for most cities. If you are unsure if your city requires one, then do well to find out from the local authorities.
If you have found out, then you must get a permit as long as you live in such a city that requires you to get a permit before building a driveway or performing an extension on an existing one.
If you fail to get a permit to build a driveway or extend an existing one, there are two options open to you. The options are:
- You can go ahead with the construction of your driveway then apply afterward for a permit. Note that this will come with an extra charge, and if you are caught halfway through your renovation, you may receive very strict fine and consequences.
- You forgo your plan to extend your driveway or perform any building or extension project.
Can You Be Guilty if You Extend the Driveway Without a Permit?
In a region where getting a permit before building or extending your driveway is mandatory, you would be running foul and guilty of the law if you go-ahead to build a driveway without getting a permit. This means you would be in for a fine or any other stipulated punishment for such offense.
Even if you give out the work to a contractor without requesting the permit showing approval for the building of the driveway, you would be guilty to an extent for aiding and abetting. You can also be charged to court depending on the extent to which your driveway leads to an obstruction to a public utility.
Do You Need a Permit to Change Your Driveway?
To be straightforward with you, yes, you need a driveway permit to make any major alterations or changes to your driveway. The only thing is that the permit and what it covers depend on the city you live in.
The permits work differently depending on where you live, as that would determine what kind of change you are allowed to make. This concerns how it affects the city planning, your neighbors, and any public structures on its path.
Also, if you are in doubt or confused about the status of your city or region, stand on getting permits to change your driveway. Then the best process to follow is to call the city council office and make findings to be sure.
This would save you the trouble of authorities coming after you when you go ahead to change your driveway, and it turns out you required a permit to carry out the change.
How Much Does it Cost For a Driveway Extension?
While working on sorting out your driveway permit, you would also consider how deep the extension of your driveway would eat into your pocket. Driveway construction or extension cost depends on the type of work you wish to get done for you.
The cost of your driveway extension would be determined by several factors, some of which are: the value the driveway extension can add to the property potentially, the fee for the permit paid to the authorities.
Driveway extensions are just like building new driveways, just that they are built-in attachments to already existing driveways; the driveway costs are given below:
1. Asphalt slab with curbs usually costs around $3 to $5 per square foot. The actual price you would pay depends on the size of the area to be covered and the type of asphalt to be used since it’s an extension.
2. Driveway built with other materials aside from asphalt can cost between $3 to $15 per square foot to build. Some special materials such as Stamped concrete or bricks can cost up to $150 per square foot.
3. Repaving the whole driveway after extension will cost you around $8 to $10 per square foot. This cost depends on whether you hire someone to do the work or do it yourself.
4. You will incur more costs if you want special decorative features such as colored asphalt, imprinted bricks, or stamped concrete pavers. Adding decorative features will increase the cost by about 10% to 20%.
Note that the price of repairs is likely to be higher if you carry out repairs on the driveway, unlike building an entirely new one. Repairs involve removing and replacing damaged materials rather than simply adding new ones; labor costs are also higher because the job takes more time.
Do You Need a Permit For a Concrete Driveway?
Just like every other type of driveway project, a concrete driveway follows the same driveway regulations and requires a permit to be constructed.
For the concrete driveway, you would need to take note of the specific measurement and the amount of concrete that would be used for the driveway construction.
The construction requirements for a concrete driveway could be complicated. Hence you need to go make findings for specifics from your city building authority. Do not try to proceed with building your driveway without ensuring you get the required permit or at least making inquiries from the city building authority.
This is to save you from getting into trouble with authorities and losing your money. Because in some cases the work you have done could be dug up on the instruction of the city council, with you having to bear the cost of the excavation
Conclusion: Can You Extend Your Driveway Without a Permit?
Driveway construction can be complicated in navigating the requirements in some instances. Before proceeding with your driveway building, make sure you refer to your city council building authority for specifics on the regulations and the permits you would require for your new driveway building or extension of your existing one.