Bob Vila Radio: Driveway Aprons 101

Know the facts about updating the approach to your driveway to ensure it follows community regulations while still looking great.

By Bob Vila | Updated Apr 17, 2019 12:34 PM

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

The driveway apron, also known as the approach, is the 8 to 15 feet of the hardscaping located closest to the road. It’s usually made from the same material as the rest of the driveway and indistinguishable in appearance, but any homeowner who has ever looked into widening or repairing the driveway likely knows it as, indeed, its own part.

Driveway Apron Detail


Listen to BOB VILA ON DRIVEWAY APRONS or read below:


Driveway aprons, along with sidewalks, are often owned and regulated by local building codes because they’re considered public access.

This makes replacing yours complicated. Homeowners may be surprised to find they don’t own the driveway apron yet are responsible for maintaining it—a local Code Compliance officer may even ask that it be updated. That degree of responsibility varies: Some communities will pay a portion of installation costs, while others require the homeowner to cover the expenses. Failure to make repairs or installations up to code can result in a fine and a mandated do-over. Or, the city may tear out and replace your non-compliant driveway apron and then bill you for it!

Check with the local building authority to find out how your community handles these issues.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!