House exterior with surrounding yard and driveway

How to Make a Gravel Driveway

Is it time for a new driveway? Are you tired of boring asphalt that ends up with unsightly cracks or pavers with weeds growing up through the edges?

If so, a gravel driveway might just be what your exterior needs. Plus, it’s also a budget-friendly, low-maintenance alternative to other types of materials.

Why Choose a Gravel Driveway?

Gravel is all-around an incredibly practical garden material. It’s naturally sourced, so you can count on it being a sustainable choice. Gravel is easy to install, comes in tons of colors and textures, and it’s long-lasting. Once you build your gravel driveway, you won’t have to redo it for years to come.

Plus, gravel just adds that unique touch to a landscape. You can mix-n-match colors to coordinate your driveway perfectly with the rest of your garden. 

Read on to learn about how easy it is to make your own gravel driveway without having to fork out big bucks to a professional.

1. Create a Perimeter

Start by marking out the perimeter where your driveway will be. Use stakes and string to establish the precise area.

2. Clear it Out

Pile of small rocks on white background

After your perimeter is sorted, it’s time to clear away the grass, topsoil, and any weeds or debris. You can do this yourself, but to save time and energy you could also go with a professional excavator.

3. Gravel Calculations

Now comes the math part- figuring out how much gravel you need to fill your driveway. To do this, you need to establish the amount per cubic yard. Multiply the height x width x depth of your driveway. This will give you cubic feet, which you can divide by 27 to get cubic yards. 

Tip: When purchasing gravel for a large area, consider buying bulk gravel to save time and money.

4. Prep for Gravel

Before adding your gravel, prep the perimeter by leveling and smoothing the area with a backhoe or your hands. You might want to add a barrier material to prevent weeds from growing through. 

5. Base Layer

Start by laying down a base layer of crushed limestone and packing it down. This creates a solid foundation. If you want to hire someone, a bulldozer is great for achieving a compact finish.

6. Second Layer

You’ll want to add another layer of crushed limestone. This further increases stability while also acting as a moisture distributor to improve drainage when it rains.

7. Final layer

This is the pretty layer of gravel that will turn heads! Pea gravel or river rock is popular top layer options for their vibrant colors and patterns. Lay it out and spread it evenly. 

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