Gravel driveways are a great way to instantly refresh your home, and they can be cheaper than the alternatives, such as tarmac. As well as adding colour to your front garden, gravel drives are seen as more environmentally friendly, because they absorb the rain, preventing run off. With all this is mind, Online Gravel have created this quick guide to give you an idea of what’s involved in making a driveway that will not only look great but will last as well.
The first thing you need to do is figure out where you want your driveway to be. Use wooden pegs and string to mark out the area you will be transforming.
Measure the area you have just created. To do this you will need to times the length by the width. If your driveway is not a square shape, break it up into its different parts, then add each area together to get the total. You can then times this by the depth of the gravel to find the cubic meters you will need. You can use our handy calculator to work out how much you will need.
Now the hard work starts! Remove all the grass and topsoil from the marked out area. This needs to be done to a depth of at least 135mm.
Level the surface that remains, making sure to remove as many holes as you can, as this will cause the final driveway to sink and water pooling to happen. Compact the soil down in order to give the driveway a stable base.
Lay a weed membrane on the surface. This will ensure that the finished driveway requires less maintenance and will save a lot of time and effort in the long run.
It is a good idea to edge your driveway with a border to help prevent the gravel from migrating into nearby lawns and pathways. This can be made from bricks, it is worth considering a border that is vertical to the gravel, rather than flush, to help minimise the migration as much as possible.
You’re finally ready to start constructing your new driveway. It is best to begin with a sub base made of larger rocks, which should be around 500mmin depth. Pack these stones into the soils as well as you can as this will create a stable foundation for your driveway.
You’ll then need to add your chosen decorative gravel to the top. Ideally consider using a gravel that is around 20mm in size and harder stones, such as granite, will cope better with heavy traffic. Compact these stones down as well, to make sure they do not move too much once under use.
Finally, grade your driveway using a rake. It needs to have a slight camber, being deeper in the middle and thinning out slightly towards the edges. Most roads are like this because it helps to promote drainage.