How To Lay And Maintain A Gravel Driveway

Reader Success Tales

  • Patricia Ferguson

May 25, 2018

    Patricia Ferguson Might 25, 2018

    “A step-by-step right manner from begin to end. I didn’t notice I must dig and stage my drive as a primary step. It helped me to comprehend that the job can be extra labor-intensive than what I may deal with. So glad I got here to this web site.” …” extra

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5. Degree the Path of the Driveway

Earlier than the primary layer of gravel is delivered, stage the trail of the driveway. You are able to do this by hand or with a backhoe. Additionally, we advocate laying down a weed barrier to forestall grass from rising via your driveway.

The 5 secrets and techniques to an excellent gravel driveway

No doubt one of many secrets and techniques to a fantastic and purposeful gravel driveway is what lies beneath.

The bit you by no means see, the sub-base, is essential on the subject of this kind of drive and there are some key components to grasp:

  • A great high quality weed membrane

  • A well-compacted MOT sub-base

  • Gravel mats

  • Good strong edging

  • The precise measurement gravel

  1. Weed membrane – Easy however efficient. Lay this down over the naked floor earlier than you lay the sub-base. A great high quality one will cease the weeds rising and nonetheless permit water to previous via. Don’t use a large plastic sheet or your sub-base will maintain water and water-log.
  2. Sub-base – go as deep as you may on the sub-base, we advocate 150mm.
  3. Gravel mats – or gravel holders are a comparatively new addition to the sub-base however completely important as they cease the gravel ‘travelling’. These are interlocking, plastic mesh, inflexible sq. grids that lay on prime of the MOT and then you definitely rake all of the gravel into them. They will’t be seen via the gravel, however they do an excellent job of preserving all of it localised and in the identical place, irrespective of what number of instances you drive on it.
  4. Edging – generally your driveway will probably be self-contained between partitions, but when not, ensure you have good strong edges to comprise the sub-base and the gravel. Should you don’t do that, your driveway will begin sprawling. Typically, you’ll see a single row of block paving as a beautiful however efficient edge to a gravel drive.
  5. Dimension is every little thing – There are lot’s of actually nice trying gravels to select from nowadays however the golden rule is making an attempt to not go lower than 20mm in measurement.

    Something much less will are inclined to get caught in your automotive tyres tread, get walked into the house in your shoe tread, and act as a large cat-litter-tray for the native cat clan.

Okay, all that stated, let’s go although methods to set up a gravel drive.

2. Clear Grass and Topsoil

Subsequent, clear away grass and topsoil from the trail of the driveway. Relying upon the scale of your path, you might need to have your driveway professionally excavated to save lots of time and power.

The way to clear and preserve a gravel driveway

Holding your gravel driveway trying enticing and clear requires little effort. Right here’s how one can maintain your new driveway trying pristine all yr spherical:

  • Semi-regularly rake your gravel driveway, particularly through the Autumn months, eradicating undesirable twigs, leaves and different particles. This can even assist break up any compacted gravel – a win win!  

  • Though a weed prevention membrane is in place, wind-swept seeds could sometimes trigger weeds to type. Merely take away these by hand, utilizing gardening gloves. Within the areas affected, spray weed killer (or herbicide) containing glyphosate.

For extra details about eradicating weeds out of your gravel driveway, read our guide to weed busting.

  • After years of use, your gravel driveway could skinny, creating sparse areas. Fortunately, that is simply rectifiable by topping up the affected areas with extra gravel.

TOP TIP: It’s a good suggestion when ordering gravel to buy an additional bag or two, that manner you may make sure the gravel you employ to prime up with is identical because the stone used within the unique driveway design.

Make Positive You Have The Appropriate Instruments

You will have to buy or lease particular instruments and gear to excavate the driveway and compact it down. Most gravel suppliers will have the ability to join you with an gear rental firm. Established suppliers could have helped 1000’s of house owners and contractors with tasks just like yours and can have the ability to offer you recommendation that may prevent money and time.

How To Lay A Stone Driveway

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Venture from Markdevlinn

All of us need that good driveway. Generally, that appears unattainable. In any case, laying driveway stones could seem overwhelming at first, and hiring somebody to do it for you could be expensive. Nevertheless it seems, there’s a technique to DIY this factor.

Add Landscaping Material

Earlier than you add stone, you’ll have to first lay down a layer of landscaping material. This may assist stop the expansion of vegetation and weeds from beneath the driveways floor, and also will assist management erosion and shifting.

Disadvantages of Gravel Driveways

Now for the dangerous information: the downsides of gravel driveways.

1. Low-cost, Unfinished Look

Gravel lacks the aesthetic attraction of paving stones and the crisp, uniform look of asphalt and concrete. It’s low-cost, and it seems to be it. Should you’re trying to enhance your property’s curb attraction, and particularly when you’re making ready to list your house for sale, a costlier choice could also be a worthwhile funding.

Professional Tip: In search of DIY tasks that really pay for themselves over time? Verify our roundup of straightforward home improvements that help reduce homeownership costs.

2. Potential Compliance Points

Unhappy to say, gravel driveways aren’t fashionable with everybody.

Should you dwell in an upscale group or belong to a owners’ affiliation, your driveway challenge could also be restricted or stymied altogether by legally enforceable covenants (rules). Your HOA’s bylaws would possibly mandate a sure kind of driveway floor, as an example – say, black asphalt or stone pavers. Earlier than you spend any cash in your gravel driveway challenge, be certain that it received’t go to waste.

3. Supply Difficulties

Dump vans are huge. Once they dump their hundreds, they get even larger. Truly, they get taller – their beds carry as much as create a slope down which no matter they’re carrying can slide. With its tailgate absolutely engaged, the standard dump truck grows to 16 toes tall. That’s stage together with your second-story home windows.

On slim driveways with facet or overhead obstructions, taking a gravel supply is more durable than it ought to be. That is widespread in densely constructed cities, the place driveways straight abut homes and aren’t constructed for something wider than a normal passenger automotive. Overhanging eaves additional complicate issues – a driveway that’s vast sufficient to deal with a dump truck at floor stage won’t have sufficient clearance 10 or 15 toes overhead.

If in case you have a slim lot, you’ll seemingly have to dam off a portion of your avenue and get the gravel dumped there. Which will require you to tug a allow (or at the least notify your municipal authorities) and will certainly create much more be just right for you, because you’ll have to schlep the gravel as much as the place it’s truly wanted.

4. Snow Elimination Woes

Gravel driveways are tough to shovel by hand and even harder to plow. We’ve given up making an attempt to clear our gravel driveway fully. I mainly scrape as a lot snow as I can off the highest and belief our newish tire treads to claw their manner up the slope.

Our driveway is brief, and its slope is temporary sufficient that we are able to energy our manner up with out a lot hassle. Owners with longer, steeper driveways aren’t so fortunate. If springing for asphalt means you’ll truly have the ability to make it up your hill within the winter, it could be definitely worth the added funding.

5. Ruts, Bumps, and Normal Sloppiness

Cautious grading can maintain your gravel driveway comparatively even for some time, however the killer mixture of gravity and heavy use will win out ultimately. Wheels inevitably produce ruts and bumps, which get ever sloppier over time because the driveway’s gravel thins.

Earlier than we resurfaced it, our gravel driveway had two deep, parallel scores left by 1000’s of car transits. The skinny gravel cowl wasn’t satisfactory to maintain these scores mud-free after rains. In winter, they’d fill with ice and snow for months on finish, and take weeks to empty following the spring thaw. I can’t let you know how sick we obtained of dodging mud puddles, and the way glad we’re with our recent, fairly clear gravel floor at this time.

Who Is a Gravel Driveway Finest For?

Gravel driveways work finest for properties in rural areas, they usually even work in some city areas. It helps to have a buffer zone across the gravel driveway to seize these inevitable stray items of gravel.

In case your property is liable to motion or you probably have giant tree roots, gravel driveways are versatile and intensely accommodating. Homeowners of huge properties typically desire gravel driveways over concrete and even asphalt, as a result of it’s cost-effective.

Properties that want frequent snowplowing or scraping don’t work as properly for gravel driveways, as a result of the plow tends to scrape up the gravel, as properly.


Verify together with your native constructing division earlier than laying down a gravel driveway. Some city areas don’t permit gravel on smaller tons, or they might require {that a} sure measurement of rock be used.

Continuously Requested Questions (FAQ) FAQ

How A lot Stone Do I Want For My Driveway?

Calculating the quantity of stone you want for the driveway is dependent upon the scale of the stone. The extra symmetrical the stones are, the better it will likely be. Plan them out on paper and lay them out earlier than you start.

How A lot Does A Stone Driveway Price?

Relying on the kind of stone you employ, a stone driveway will price a median of $2 to $5 per sq. foot. Should you do the work your self, the associated fee will probably be a lot much less as labor is half the price of putting in a stone driveway.

Is A Stone Driveway Cheaper Than Asphalt? 

Gravel is the most affordable kind of driveway. So far as stone vs asphalt goes, the associated fee is analogous. The distinction is that the massive equipment that you simply want for asphalt can add to the associated fee. 

How Do I Edge A Stone Driveway?

Not like gravel, stone driveways don’t want edging. However be at liberty so as to add it. Railroad tiles and rectangular stones could be good for edging a stone driveway. For an inexpensive and simple choice, use CMUs.

How Lengthy Does A Stone Driveway Final? 

A stone driveway can last as long as 100 years if taken care of. Driveways in gentle climates will last more on common than these with flooding and ice regularly.

Is A Stone Driveway Totally different Than A Gravel Driveway?

Sure. A stone driveway makes use of bigger stones that pave the pathway. However a gravel driveway makes use of gravel that’s poured over the world. Gravel is cheaper however stone is high-end. 

Closing Phrase

Once you personal a indifferent single-family or multiunit house, your property upkeep duties don’t finish at your threshold. You’re not simply the king or queen of your private fort – you’re additionally lord of the outside area inside your property strains. Putting in a gravel (or asphalt, concrete, or stone) driveway is simply one of many many tasks you’re prone to sort out exterior the partitions of your own home throughout your tenure as a house owner.

Are you planning a gravel driveway challenge within the close to future? Will you go the DIY route or rent an expert to assist?

How A lot Does a Gravel Driveway Price?

The cost of a gravel driveway can range, from about $1 per sq. foot to over $3 per sq. foot. Even on the excessive finish, nevertheless, a gravel driveway continues to be concerning the least costly driveway you may construct.

One main issue within the discrepancy is how far the gravel needs to be trucked. One other issue is the thickness of the driveway.

building strategy of a gravel driveway

As with all sorts of hardscaping, the preparation and set up course of for gravel driveways is essential to make sure an enduring job. 4 are the steps for gravel driveway set up. First is the excavation of the bottom, second the set up of the geotextile membrane, then the laying of the sub-base materials, and eventually the laying of the gravel. Beneath, we are going to describe you step-by-step the development course of.

Excavation course of

Also, attention must be paid to level the surface Firstly is the bottom inspection and excavation in-depth 5cm – 20cm. The depth is dependent upon the consistency of the bottom and if there have been any earlier driveways or patios there. The usage of a tiller makes the method simpler because it looses up the soil and the digging course of turns into quicker.

Additionally, consideration should be paid to stage the floor of the driveway; any remaining gentle space is eliminated and crammed with compacted sub-base materials. All that is essential as a result of any areas which can be deeper than different areas could later result in water pooling and trigger mud puddles that should be crammed in with extra gravel afterwards.

On the finish of the excavation course of, we should always compact the dust. That’s potential with a compactor machine or driving over the world a number of instances with a heavy automobile.

set up of the geotextile membrane

Within the second step, the geotextile membrane ought to be positioned betweenThe amount of the weed barrier should cover comple the excavated space and the sub-base. The explanation for laying a geotextile membrane is to assist stop weeds from rising via the pebble after set up. Additionally, to forestall the soil binding to the bottom stone, which may have an effect on drainage negatively sooner or later.

The quantity of the weed barrier ought to cowl fully or exceed the floor of the driveway. Another operate of the geotextile membrane is to separate the sub-base materials with the bottom and to permit the passage of the water. That’s important, particularly in areas the place the bottom circumstances are poor.

laying the sub-base materials

The third step contains the laying of the sub-base and is essentially the most essential a part of the driveway building. The sub-base helps to unfold the load of visitors from above and creates a strong Depending on the size of vehicles using the drivewlayer immune to rutting and channelisation. This defines the load-bearing means of the driveway.

Relying on the scale of automobiles utilizing the driveway, its depth varies from 10cm to 15cm.

The consistency of sub-base is crushed rock graded from 40mm right down to mud. Totally different sizes make sure that the fabric interlocks when compacted whereas nonetheless remaining permeable to water. In international locations like Eire, the place the flooding points turn out to be extra prevalent, that’s of excessive significance.

All sub-bases ought to be put in in skinny layers and compacted with a vibrating curler or wacker plate to make sure full compaction all through the sub-base layer.

Lastly, on this step could be positioned any desired edging that may work as a visible border, and creates a barrier between the driveway and garden.

laying the gravel

Laying the gravel, that’s the full course of, could be thought of as the simplest step in comparison with the earlier ones.

The aim of the gravel is to offer an ornamental finisImportant to mention is that the size of the graveh to the driveway, and its laying shouldn’t be too deep. An extreme amount of gravel will increase the price of the challenge and the time for its completion. Additionally, it doesn’t profit the efficiency of the completed driveway. For these causes, the depth of the gravel ought to be between 3cm and 4cm.

Vital to say is that the scale of the gravel ought to be round 2cm. Smaller than 1cm dimensions may get stack in automotive tyres and is healthier to keep away from.

Ultimately, the world ought to be graded in such a manner that gravels peak in the midst of the driveway and incline barely to the perimeters. The center half ought to be by 2% to five% increased than the perimeters. This construction helps to advertise water drainage.

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