How to Build a Rock Driveway

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A rock driveway is a great way to create not only a means to access your property but to also add to your landscape design. At one point, gravel drives were pretty much limited to dark or gray rock materials, which did not add much to the overall landscaping. However, the materials today feature hues of gray, brown and reds that add to and accentuate the overall landscaping plan. To build a rock driveway you need to consider the material to be used, the path of the driveway and any slopes or angles to be addressed.

Things You'll Need

  • Small rental front end loader or dozer Drive way liner fabric Road base rock Crush and run Final gravel to suit
  • With a small front end loader or dozer from a rental center, remove about 1 foot of the dirt from the path the driveway will follow. Make sure to remove all roots, stumps and other material that may rot and cause sink holes later on.

  • Compact the freshly scraped soil either with a power tamp or roller, or by making several passes with the loader or dozer. Watch for signs of the earth shifting or rippling in areas, which will indicate the soil needs much more compaction.

  • Lay down a fabric barrier sheet specifically designed to with stand the stress of the rock weight. This fabric barrier will help prevent problems in settling and moisture later on. This material is available in bulk from many landscape supply stores.

  • Add approximately 1 foot of road bask rock to the driveway. This may be referred to by many different names but will typically be the rock sold to paving and construction companies for the specific purpose of road base construction. Spread out evenly and compact once again thoroughly.

  • Next add around 4 to 6 inches of crush and run. This is a mixture of finely crushed rock and rock dust. When wet, crush and run will set up extremely hard almost like concrete. Again, spread this layer evenly and compact completely.

  • The final step is to add 4 to 6 inches of the dress coat of gravel. This may be a brown round river rock or a red sharp gravel. The possibilities are almost limitless and may add a new dimension to the landscape design and plan. The final layer should be spread thoroughly; however, compaction should be done but not to the same degree as previous layers. Do not crush or damage the final layer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Carefully plan and evaluate the path the driveway will take. Consider any sharp angles or possible areas for high erosion as these will need to be dealt with during construction. Although this is certainly a project which can be considered a do it yourself, there are situations when a professional should be consulted.
  • Use caution when operating any type of large equipment. Even though a small dozer, for example, may look scaled down compared to its big brother, the possibility for serious injury certainly exists.

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