Gravel is an inexpensive material for a driveway when compared with concrete or asphalt. While it saves on the budget, gravel is often considered less attractive than other driveway materials. Maintaining the driveway to keep it looking new and adding accents along the run makes your drive more attractive to those who visit.
The design of the driveway plays a role in how it looks when finished. For interest, add a curve or circular shape to the gravel driveway if you have enough room. Ground under the driveway that is stable and well-drained is ideal to create a sturdy base for the gravel. A sturdy base allows the driveway to remain in place and looking its best over time. You also need to design the driveway with a crown, which simply means the middle is slightly higher than the edges. This design promotes draining of water instead of pooling in the middle that can damage the gravel driveway. A well-designed driveway holds up better over time for a better appearance.
A gravel driveway that is well-maintained has a better appearance than one that is ignored and left to deteriorate. Inspect the driveway regularly to look for signs of washing away or potholes. Add more gravel as necessary in those areas so they don't dip down. If you have a hole to fill in, place sand in the bottom followed by additional gravel. Add a fresh layer of gravel on top of the entire driveway if you notice it washing away, compressing too much or looking dull.
Edging material along the gravel driveway creates a border that helps keep the rocks in place. The edging also gives the driveway a cleaner look with defined lines similar to an asphalt or concrete driveway. The border reduces the chances of the driveway spreading out as the gravel settles and moves outward. Stone, brick or wood edging works best for the driveway border. Measure as you install the edging to ensure the border pieces are an equal distance apart the entire length of the driveway.
Landscaping along the gravel driveway makes the area in general look more attractive. If the driveway is narrow, leave a space between the driveway edges and the landscaping to allow enough room to get in and out of vehicles. Bushes along the gravel driveway help prevent the material from washing away while adding a natural look. Keep the bushes trimmed so they don't grow tall and block visibility when pulling in and out of the driveway. Other options include retaining walls and flowers along the length of the gravel driveway.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images