Designing a farm lane | Living the Country Life

Designing a farm lane

Match the terrain and the number of vehicles going in and out

The lane that takes you from the road to your home is also a welcome mat for visitors. Ben Pequeno owns a paving company and offers advice on his website, He says when designing a lane, usually it's a simple straight run from the road to the garage, or wherever you want it to lead you. However the width of the lane is an important consideration.

"You want to make sure it's 10-feet wide because 8-feet is a little too narrow, and 12-feet is probably a little too wide for a single car," says Pequeno. "If you're expecting quite a bit of traffic going in and out, you might want to go double wide. In that case I'd recommend at least 18-20 feet, 20-feet being more preferable. And that would allow one car to be coming in at the same time another vehicle could be exiting without having to back up or move out of the way."

The plan should also include a turn-around area. This allows you to drive forward out of the lane without having to back out of it. Pequeno says the rule of thumb is 10'x20' for a single lane, 20'x20' for a double.

If the lane will be winding on hilly terrain, Pequeno recommends building it on angles because of washout concerns. Your gravel choice on a hill should be made carefully.

"You don't want to get something with a lot of clay in it," says Pequeno. "Clay gravel will tend to turn to mud and get mushy on you when it rains. You don't want to use loose stone for gravel. I'd rather see something that's going stand up and pack every time it rains rather than turn to mud."

Concrete and asphalt are other surfacing options, but Pequeno says for most rural applications they're impractical because of the cost.

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