Gravel Driveway: How To Properly Plan And Build It
If you are the happy homeowner of a suburb residence, you may find yourself wondering what to do with the distance between the car entrance and your garage door. When it comes to choosing the right material for a driveway, gravel comes up as one of the most popular choices. In this article we’ll be sharing some Useful Tips for Step by Step Getting Started
Types of Gravel
Multiple types of gravel have been recognized. Below we will list most of them giving some brief information about each. But you have to choose which is the best gravel for driveway.
- Bank gravel: Naturally deposited gravel usually found around rivers and streams. It is intermixed with clay and sand. IT is also known as “Bank run” or “River run”.
- Pea gravel: This is gravel mostly used in concrete surfaces, driveways, walkways and in home aquariums. It consists of small, rounded stones.
- Bench gravel:
- Creek rock:
- Crushed stone:
- Fine gravel:
- Lag gravel:
- Pay gravel:
- Piedmont gravel:
- Plateau gravel:
The key to making an effective gravel driveway depends largely on ground preparation. You should make sure you provide a well-compacted base before you even think about installation. You can hire a driveway repair specialist to do the job for you, or else, if you have a way with tools and equipment, you can choose to go DIY. Where should I start?
You will be better off if you landscape your driveway as simply as possible. Avoid excessive curving or hilling. Keep in mind your garden design, especially tree layout. If you build a gravel driveway surrounded by trees that lose their leaves in the fall, maintenance might prove to be a challenge, for example.
Preparing the Ground
Before you go on with the actual driveway installation, you will need to scrape some of the ground underneath. This can be done with the help of proper machinery. Most of the equipment needed to make a gravel driveway is available for rental to the public. You should scrape the right percentage of soil. Suppose you mean to fill in with 8” of gravel afterwards, this is the amount of soil you should scrape off the ground. Remember leveling is highly important in this process. Land should be even, with no potholes, and should have the appropriate draining level. If your driveway holds too much water and is unable to drain, it will not last long. It is wise to use geo-textile fabric over the compacted ground in order to stabilize the gravel and prevent weeding.
Contact Gravel Suppliers
Specialists will recommend the right type of gravel. Generally speaking, round stones are not used. The best type of stones recommended by gravel suppliers should have packing dust together with stones that are irregular in all of their edges. This type of gravel is bound together and can better provide a solid driving surface.
Compact the Gravel
Once the different layers of gravel have been dumped on the driveway site you will need to spread it and compact it properly. The wisest thing to do for long driveways is to hire a heavy roller and a compact truck. If the area is not too big or if you are running on a low budget, the gravel truck driver can sometimes drive the truck over your limestone for you.
Whether your gravel driveway will prove to be a maintenance nightmare or not will depend largely on external factors like type of soil and weather. There are a few general issues most driveway repair specialists recommend:
- Weather: if you live in a wet or snowy area, your best shot is to resort to a paving technique known as chip sealing. This way you can plow your driveway in the winter.
- Edges: Surround the driveway with bark, wood, plastic or brick to prevent gravel from spilling into your lawn.