This driveway was extended to have room for a basketball hoop, as well as additional parking along the side of the home. Imagenet / Shutterstock.

There are a variety of reasons people want to expand their driveways: they need more room for parking, the driveway looks disproportionate to the size of their home, they want to add room to play basketball, they want their driveway to connect to a pathway that leads to their home, and more. Regardless of the reason, the answer to the question, “Can you make your driveway wider?” is yes.

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HOW CAN I MAKE MY DRIVEWAY BIGGER?

The most permanent way to increase the size of your driveway is to do a concrete driveway extension. With this option, you can have a concrete contractor add concrete where you would like your driveway widened. After that, you have three options:

  • Resurface the entire driveway. With resurfacing, an experienced contractor can apply a coating to the top of the entire driveway to give it a consistent look, giving you a beautiful driveway that looks brand new. With this option, you won’t be able to see where the old driveway ends and the new section begins.
    Resurfacing gives you lots of options when it comes to driveway design, too. With concrete coatings you can customize the color, pattern, and texture of the surface after you widen your driveway. Some contractors can even create the look of brick, cobblestone, and just about any other material you like.
  • Stain the entire driveway. If you’re not looking to resurface your entire driveway, another option is to stain your driveway so the old and new areas of the driveway look consistent.
  • Leave the concrete as-is. Though it’s possible to complete a driveway expansion by simply pouring the new concrete and skipping the resurfacing step, the difference between the old and new parts will probably be noticeable.

At this home in in Holly Springs, NC, this concrete driveway with a broom finish is plenty big enough to accommodate multiple cars. KMM Decorative Concrete in Holly Springs, NC.

ARE THERE DRIVEWAY WIDENING IDEAS THAT DON'T INVOLVE POURING CONCRETE?

If you’d rather go with an option that’s less permanent than concrete, here are some driveway extension ideas that don’t involve concrete:

Gravel driveway extension.

This option is a common suggestion for people who are looking into how to widen their driveway cheaply.

The pros of this option are that it’s a permeable driveway addition that you can do yourself pretty easily. Many people also love the crunchy sound gravel makes. Additionally, in the short term, the cost is less than if you were to put in a more permanent extension. It’s important to consider long-term costs, though—you will definitely need to replace some gravel over time, as it’s common for gravel to get displaced or wash away from rain or other water runoff.

The cons of this option are that gravel is messy and you may find yourself needing to remove gravel from areas you don’t want it such as on your existing concrete driveway or out of nearby garden beds. It’s inevitable that the gravel will end up in places outside of its designated area. Another downside is that weeds can grow in gravel so you may find yourself doing driveway maintenance more often than you’d like.

Paver driveway extension.

If you choose to extend your driveway with pavers, you need to decide whether you want regular pavers or permeable pavers. Permeable pavers are more expensive, but they also allow for better drainage than regular pavers. Additionally, they’re often created with materials that are environmentally friendly.

If this is a project you’re planning to take on yourself, make sure to do the research on installing concrete pavers. You’ll need to figure out how many pavers you’ll need, whether you’ll need to cut them to fit, how much bedding sand you’ll need, and how deep you need to dig before placing the bedding sand and pavers.

DOES WIDENING A DRIVEWAY INCREASE HOME VALUE?

If you have a very narrow driveway, it’s possible that widening your driveway will increase the value of your home. However, just like all home updates, value is in the eye of the potential home buyer. Many buyers are looking for extra parking space for storing their RV, boat or other vehicles.

If you’re looking to widen a driveway that’s already considered a standard size, it may not impact the value of your home either way. Just like any other exterior changes, you’ll want to carefully consider whether the width of your new driveway will look appropriate. If it appears too wide, you may end up decreasing the value of your home.

DO YOU NEED PLANNING PERMISSION TO WIDEN YOUR DRIVEWAY?

Whether you need permission to do a driveway extension depends on the scope of your project. Some cities have guidelines residents need to follow when widening their existing driveway. For example, you may need to maintain a certain percentage of landscaped area in your front yard setback area. This all depends on your city’s municipal code.

Your best bet is to check your city’s planning department website to see what you need to do before beginning any type of construction. If you’re within an HOA’s jurisdiction, you’ll need to consult the HOA’s guidelines to make sure you don’t end up with a fine.

Workers install a concrete addition to a driveway. Stuart Monk / Shutterstock.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO EXPAND A DRIVEWAY?

The cost to widen a driveway depends on a variety of factors. What type of material will you be using (will you widen your driveway with pavers, concrete, gravel, or a different material)? What’s the size of the expansion area? To figure out your exact driveway extension cost, you’ll need to discuss details with a local contractor, but here are some estimates that might give you a general idea of how much your project might cost:

  • Concrete. Generally, concrete costs anywhere from $4.25 to $6.25 per square foot. Use our concrete calculator for a more detailed estimate.
  • Resurfacing. If you decide to resurface your concrete addition, that’s an added cost. Resurfacing costs anywhere from about $3 to $25 per square foot depending on what type of product and style you want.
  • Gravel. The cost for gravel per square foot ranges anywhere from about $1 to $2.
  • Pavers. Depending on the paver and pattern, you'll pay between $4 and $20 per square foot.

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