How Do I Build A Backyard Driveway?

Constructing a backyard driveway can significantly enhance your property’s functionality and curb appeal. Our latest blog post offers expert advice on how to create a durable, attractive, and practical driveway that suits your home’s style and needs.

Learn how to incorporate other backyard improvements, such as adding lights to your backyard or building a backyard terrace, to create a cohesive and inviting outdoor space.

Embark on your backyard transformation by diving into our blog and discovering the steps to build the perfect backyard driveway.

How to build a driveway
A driveway can be an excellent addition to your backyard space, adding both convenience and curb appeal.
Building a backyard driveway requires careful planning, attention to detail, and adherence to local regulations.
Factors to consider when building a backyard driveway include the size of the driveway, the type of materials to use, and the slope of the driveway.
Gravel, concrete, asphalt, and pavers are some common materials used for building driveways, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Proper drainage is essential when building a backyard driveway, and there are various techniques available to help manage runoff.
Maintaining your driveway can help extend its lifespan, and regular cleaning, sealing, and repairs can all help ensure your driveway stays in excellent condition for years to come.

Make Sure You’re Allowed to Do It

Before you start digging, make sure you’re allowed to build a driveway. Check with your local zoning laws and check with your builder or architect to ensure that the driveway is not in a flood zone.

  • Make sure you have enough space for a driveway (at least 12 feet wide) and garage (at least 8 feet wide).
  • Contact your local building department and ask them if they have any restrictions on the size of driveways.
  • Contact your local fire department to see if there are any height requirements for garages or driveways with attached garages (if applicable).

Planning to beautify your entire backyard landscape? Check out our article on how much it costs to fully landscape a backyard for an idea of what to expect in terms of expenses and how to maximize your budget.

Determine Your Driveway Type

You’re ready to start building your driveway, but how do you actually get it done? There are many options available for building a driveway. Some popular options include:

  • Gravel
  • Asphalt
  • Concrete slabs (poured concrete)

Each of these types of driveways has its own advantages and disadvantages, as well as its own cost associated with them. 

To determine which type of driveway is right for you, it’s important to consider several factors including: budget; land planning; and access point(s). 

Once all these factors have been considered, the next step is selecting the best size and material for your specific situation.

Common Driveway Materials

Hosting a party in your backyard but not sure how to set it up? Take the stress out of planning and check out our pro tips on how to set up a backyard party to create a memorable event for you and your guests.

Decide On Your Driveway’s Size

Your driveway size will depend on the amount of space you have in your yard and how big your car is. 

If you live in a large house with a spacious lawn, then it’s likely that you will have more room for a larger driveway. However, if you live in an apartment or small home then it might be best to build a smaller driveway that fits within the space available.

You should also think about whether or not there are any other vehicles that will park in the garage besides yours, such as motorcycles or dirt bikes. 

If so, then it may be worth building an extra-wide driveway so that other cars can park next to yours without hitting each other when opening doors or turning around corners on sharp turns.

If possible, measure out where your car will go so that it can turn around safely without hitting anything else; this way no one gets hurt while trying to back up into their spot!

Looking to add some green to your backyard space? Our article on how to put turf down in your backyard offers a helpful step-by-step guide to help you lay down some turf and create that lush lawn you’ve always wanted!

Clear and Level the Ground

I like to start with clearing and leveling the ground. I use a spade to remove weeds and roots, then a rake to level the ground. 

After that, I add gravel on top of the cleared area. The last step is raking again to level out any bumps in your driveway area.

Excavate the Driveway Area

The first step is to excavate the driveway area. Begin by digging a trench around the perimeter of your driveway with a shovel. Then, gently remove dirt from the trench with the shovel and level it with a rake.

Pour Gravel to Level the Loose Dirt

Now that the dirt is leveled, use a trowel to fill in any gaps. Make sure it’s level by using a level. Then smooth out your gravel with a rake or broom to remove any loose debris from the surface.

Add a Barrier for Weeds and Roots

Now that you have a solid base, it’s time to add a barrier for the weeds and roots. This will prevent them from growing into your driveway and causing damage.

This is an important step because weeds and roots can damage your driveway over time. If they’re allowed to grow between the pavers, they’ll become tangled up in them and create gaps that ruin their appearance.

The best way to prevent this is by using a weed barrier. Weed barriers are made of metal or plastic sheets that block out sunlight so there are no plants underneath it, making sure they don’t grow back once they’ve been removed from above ground level

Outdoor lighting can add a magical touch to your backyard space. Learn how to create the perfect ambiance with our pro tips on how to put up lights in your backyard and transform your outdoor area.

Lay Down Paving Stones or Concrete Blocks

Now that the gravel is laid down, you can use a trowel to fill in any holes and smooth out any areas where there are large clumps of gravel. 

Then, use a yard rake to remove excess gravel from around the edges of your driveway so it doesn’t spill over onto lawns or into flower beds.

Now that you have a smooth surface and no loose rocks, it’s time to add edging material!

Use a Trowel to Fill the Paving Stone Holes

Once you’ve trimmed all of the paving stones, it’s time to fill in any remaining holes. To do this, use a trowel with a rubber edge (or wooden handle) that is wide enough to cover the majority of your hole.

You’ll want to fill the hole with an even layer of gravel so that it can better support the weight of cars and trucks driving on it. 

If you have any small rocks or pebbles that didn’t get washed away during cleaning, now’s a good time for them too!

Lay Down a Topcoat of Smooth Gravel

Now that you’ve laid down the gravel base, it’s time to add a topcoat. This will make your driveway more durable and smooth out any bumps, which will make for safer driving.

The best way to do this is with a trowel and broom. Trowel some of the loose gravel on top of any holes or gaps in your original layer of gravel, then sweep off excess gravel with a broom. Once you’re done with this step, it’s time to find out if your driveway is level!

Techniques for Managing Drainage
French Drains
Rain Gardens
Permeable Pavers


Building a driveway is an exciting project to undertake, but it’s also one that requires a lot of planning and preparation. 

Do your research first and make sure you have all the necessary permits in place before starting any construction work. 

You’ll also want to ensure that there are no plants or trees growing within eight feet of where the driveway will be placed—this way, they won’t interfere with how smoothly your car can drive over the surface!

Limited backyard space? No problem! Our article on how to make your backyard more small offers easy and practical ideas to help you maximize your small backyard area and make it a cozy haven for relaxation and enjoyment.

Further Reading

Here are some additional articles that may be helpful in your backyard improvement project:

14 Alternatives to Grass Backyard and Why You Should Care: This article provides alternative options to a traditional grass lawn, which may be useful for creating a more unique backyard space.

How Much Does It Cost to Fully Landscape a Backyard?: This article provides information on the cost of landscaping a backyard, which may include building a driveway.

How Do You Install a Sink in Your Backyard? Easy Way!: This article provides information on installing a sink, which may be useful for tasks related to building a driveway, such as cleaning tools and equipment.

How Do You Build a Concrete Backyard Floor?: This article provides detailed instructions on building a concrete floor, which is the most common material used for driveways.

How Do You Put Turf Down in Your Backyard?: This article explains how to install turf, which is an alternative option to a traditional concrete driveway.

How to Build a Driveway: This article provides a step-by-step guide to building a driveway, with useful tips and tricks.

DIY: How to Pour a Concrete Driveway: This video tutorial provides a visual guide to pouring a concrete driveway, with detailed instructions and helpful tips.


Here are some frequently asked questions related to building a backyard driveway:

How do I plan and design my backyard driveway?

To plan and design your backyard driveway, you should consider the following factors:

  • Purpose of the driveway (e.g., parking, access to garage or backyard)
  • Size and shape of the driveway
  • Type of material (e.g., concrete, asphalt, pavers)
  • Grading and drainage
  • Permits and regulations

What are the most common materials used for building a driveway?

The most common materials used for building a driveway are concrete, asphalt, and pavers. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice will depend on various factors such as budget, aesthetic preferences, and climate.

How do I prepare the site for building a driveway?

To prepare the site for building a driveway, you should do the following:

  • Mark the area where the driveway will be located
  • Remove any vegetation, rocks, or debris from the site
  • Level the ground and ensure proper grading for drainage
  • Install a base material such as crushed stone or gravel

How long does it take to build a driveway?

The time it takes to build a driveway depends on various factors such as the size and complexity of the project, the weather, and the type of material used. A typical concrete driveway can take several days to a week to complete, while an asphalt driveway can be completed in a day or two.

Do I need a permit to build a backyard driveway?

The need for a permit to build a backyard driveway varies depending on the location and local regulations. It is best to check with your local government or building department to determine if a permit is required for your project.