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Old 09-07-2007, 02:37 PM   #1
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Driveway Pitch


What degrees pitch for the driveway should be considered too steep? I'm looking at an new house, supposedly built on an old foundation, so it was not like they tore down the old foundation, and built a new one further back into the lot. When I drive up the driveway, it seems a bit steep, but my realtor seems to think it's way too steep. Next time I return to the house, I will have to take my angle gauge to find out the exact pitch. Driveway is long enough for about 1.5 length of a minivan.

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Old 09-09-2007, 06:41 PM   #2
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If you walk up the driveway and you're huffin and puffin, the driveways too steep for you. This will be one of those personal opinions based on age and fitness.
Ron

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Old 09-09-2007, 07:08 PM   #3
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Driveway Pitch


I think a good rule of thumb is 1/4" per foot. So a 20 ft. long driveway would drop 5"
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Old 09-09-2007, 07:35 PM   #4
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What good will measuring the slope do?

It is what it is to get from the street to the house. It comes with the house. No matter what evryone thinks about the exact slope, you will have to decide if you can live with it. - Keep in mind bad weather and landscaping problems.

I had a driveway that was steep enough for a car to slide down into the street when the heat of the tires was enough to melt the ice and let the slide start. Only happened once and I quickly learned to leave it with the tires on clean concrete or put the car away when I came home.

Just a side comment - few people can estimate the slope of any road within 30 to 100% (always estimated on the high side). Unless they measure a slope and have to live with it, the opinions are not worth much.

I never measured the slope (even though you would expect an engineer to do it) because I could never do anything but put up with doing what I should. Actually, the slope was probably no any more that the maximum allowed for a freeway, but it sure looked like it.

If you like the home, are aware of the slope and think you can live with it, buy it. - The sellers will not change anything but the price if they are convinced it is a factor to decrease the value, even if you cannot prove it.

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Old 09-11-2007, 05:29 PM   #5
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Driveway Pitch


Hi, I'm new, but have lived w/ drives that slope up & down. You can get used to both if you like the house enough. I live in area w/ ice/snow and we've just figured out what's easiest in inclement weather and deal w/ it.
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Old 09-11-2007, 05:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ron schenker View Post
I think a good rule of thumb is 1/4" per foot. So a 20 ft. long driveway would drop 5"
Wow! 5 inches over 20"? That's really really flat!

We have a 40' section of driveway that drops about 5 feet! To top that off, it's gravel! And we get a lot of snow here. So basically, after the plow packs the surface after the first snow of the season, the driveway is a mixture of packed snow and sand all winter. With good snow tires, my wife's FWD car has no trouble going up it, even with a couple inches of fresh snow.

Friends of ours didn't consider this house because of the driveway, and now they're having a terrible time finding another waterfront house, at a reasonable price. We have to keep good snowtires on the car, and if we need to get out early, we have to take the truck, or leave the car at the top of the hill the night before snowfall is expected. But these are really minor issues. I'm happy to put up with that for the views!

All that to say that there's no absolute number that will tell you whether to buy it or not. If you like the house, you'll deal with the driveway.

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Old 09-11-2007, 06:15 PM   #7
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Driveway Pitch


Leaving the car out before a storm is a proven way to minimize the snow problem. What is better than taking the 8 to 12" of snow off your driveway and letting the city put it where it should go. - Just keep an open spot to see where you are going for the first miles or so.

The other important thing is to kick off the wheel well snow/ice chunks at a local parking lot before you get home. You don't want them to drop in your driveway or garage when it warms up.

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