A gravel driveway is a simple and attractive feature for a rural or country home. Such driveways are often less expensive to build and easier to maintain than poured driveways, especially in areas where weather is more severe. Gravel provides traction in all weather conditions and can prevent vehicles from sinking when applied correctly. The more work done up front to ensure proper installation, the fewer problems you'll have with ruts and bumps.
Things You'll Need
- Tape measure
- Vibrating plate
Measure the driveway area to be covered by length and width, using a tape measure, and multiply these figures to get surface area. Determine how deep you want your gravel; make the depth no more than 3 to 4 inches as more will result in a loss of traction or gravel being flung by tires.
Multiply your depth times your area (easiest to do in inches and convert to yards) so you'll know how much gravel you need. Multiply cubic yards by 1.5 to determine the tonnage of gravel necessary to complete your project.
Excavate the area for the driveway, using a shovel. Dig down until you have a firm surface that is mostly level. Create a slight bow in the middle of the driveway, called a crown, that slopes gently outward to either side. This will prevent water from accumulating in the middle of your driveway and will promote runoff. Pack soft areas with filler dirt.
Pound your driveway area with the vibrating plate to assure that the dirt is secure. If you don't do this, you risk having a driveway that will sag or rut easily.
Spread the gravel out evenly with a rake and wheelbarrow. Again, pay close attention to creating the crown along the center line of the driveway.
Tips & Warnings
- Save any leftover gravel or order a little additional for touching up and filling in ruts. For your conversion measurements, remember that 1 cubic yard is equal to 27 cubic feet.
- Photo Credit einsamer Weg image by ernstboese from Fotolia.com
- How Deep Should the Gravel Be for a Driveway?
How to Lay a Gravel Driveway
Laying a gravel driveway is an inexpensive way to replace an asphalt driveway that is in disrepair and a legitimate way to...
How to Fill Potholes Properly in a Gravel Driveway
Gravel driveways require some maintenance to keep them looking good. Drainage issues, lack of boundaries and traffic all can lead to the...
How to Increase Traction on a Concrete Driveway
Increasing traction on a concrete driveway is best done during the finishing process, right after the driveway has been poured. By choosing...
How to Build a Gravel Driveway Without Excavating
Gravel provides a low-cost alternative to brick, paver or asphalt driveways but requires more maintenance and different preparation methods. To build a...
How to Prevent Erosion in Gravel Driveways
Gravel driveways, especially those that sit on an incline, can have problems with erosion. Rainfall and water run-off from gardening can erode...
Gravel Driveway Ideas
Gravel drives are not paved but are covered with round loose stones of roughly uniform size and smaller pebbles. They're popular as...