About Entrance Design Ideas
Where to start? The first thing to consider when coming up with a new entrance design is the location. If it is a new property you may have many options, although Convenience is one of the most important things to consider. You don't want to have to make a "U-Turn" to get into your property, you also have to consider who/what will be coming through that entrance...guests, contractors, builders, cement trucks, semi trucks, all will need the Room to enter your property safely. For existing properties the choices can be limited, but that does not mean you have to have an ugly entrance.
You have the perfect location, now what? Unless you are a contractor or designer, it is best to let a professional do the design work for you. We have always been able to come up with exciting Entrance Designs to almost any property. Through careful planning, consultations and insight, a beautiful entrance can be designed for your property.
Another important consideration for your entrance is the distance from the "turn off" road. All counties will have a minimum "set back" requirement for any gates, fences, stone work, lighting, etc. Be sure to check with the local building department on what their required set backs are (typically the minimum set back is 35-40 feet from the center of the road). If you plan on having an Entry Gate and if it is at all possible, keep the entrance at least 70-80 feet from the turn-off road. This will allow for most vehicles to pull completely off the road while waiting for the Gate to open. Keep the "Flair", (where your drive meets the turn-off road) as wide as possible. This will help to keep your guests/visitors from clipping your landscaping, stone work, lights, mail boxes, etc. as they turn into your property.
So now you have your location, your basic design/layout, it's time to consider the Entry Gate. The Entry Gate should enhance your property while also serving it's main purpose, Security. The Gate design is very important to the Feel of the entrance, and along with the Columns and Lighting should be incorporated into the Entrance Design. Your Entry Gate should be welcoming, interesting and the centerpiece of your entrance. Your Entrance can tie in with the surrounding landscape or it can stand out from the crowd! It is Very Important that you use a Professional Gate Builder/Installer for your gate. You want the best gate operators that you can afford. The last thing you want is to have to manually open your gate in the pouring rain, you will be soaked by the time you get it open! We use only top of the line gate operators and safety devices to try to eliminate down time and maintenance.
Landscaping is next. The plants you choose should all be "zoned" for your specific location. Are you going to have irrigation? If not it is vital that you choose plants that are hardy and native to your area. You can typically expect a 5%-10% loss of plants for a non-irrigated landscape (assuming there is not a drought), so plan on replacing a couple of plants. Use plenty of mulch, 4"-6" around the plants, this will help with retaining water.
Enjoy your Entrance! The above is a very compacted Entrance Design plan of attack, but will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect.
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