Laying a Gravel Driveway DIY Guide

Laying a gravel driveway
Gravel Driveway

Laying a gravel driveway is an easy and cost effective option compared to laying other driveway surfaces such as block paving, pattern imprinted concrete or tarmacadam. Block paving is probably the only other driveway surface that can be completed to a decent standard by a capable diy-er, and if that’s you….read on!

Generally, gravel looks best on larger driveway areas of 100 sqm or more.

beautiful gravel driveway
A beautiful Gravel Driveway

Laying a Gravel Driveway – Considerations:

  • Size of driveway
  • Access
  • Existing base
  • Type of gravel

Gravel Driveway – Planning and Preparation:

Use a measuring wheel or tape to get an accurate measurement of your driveway, this determines how much gravel to order. Whilst gravel is usually delivered in bulk by a ‘tipper‘ under ordering is not a problem as any shortfalls can be easily made up.

An existing grass or gravel surface is easiest to excavate and if the existing surface is concrete or tarmacadam extra time and cost will need to be accounted for.

Laying a Gravel Driveway in 7 Easy Steps:

  1. Surface will need to be dug down to 200mm. If a gravel grid system is going to be used the depth of the grids will need to be taken into account.
  2. Remove all debris.
  3. Install gravel edging restraints ensuring that the finished level is just above where finished level of gravel will be.
  4. Cover base with Type 1 MOT stone. This will need to be compacted down to approximately 150mm.
  5. Use a membrane. Woven geotextile fabric is best and is laid on top of the sub base. This prevents weed growth. There is no guarantee your driveway will stay weed free, but installing a membrane will certainly help.
  6. Use gravel grids if you want to limit gravel loss but install them properly so they interlock all over.
  7. Fill grids with the gravel of your choice ensuring even distribution.

Features of Gravel Driveway Grids:

  • Each square metre grid is made up off smaller ‘cells’ which are usually hexagon shaped.
  • They usually measure 1 square metre in size, therefore it’s easy to calculate how many are needed.
  • Curves around edges can be achieved by cutting grids to fit.
  • Grid systems reduce the loss of gravel from driveways.
  • Effective on slopes (minimal gradient).
  • Grid systems also stop dips and ruts forming.

Gravel Driveway – Choices

Your choice of gravel will be down to whether a contemporary or a more traditional look is desired. For a more contemporary look choose black basalt and for a more traditional look flint based gravel is more suitable.

Gravel should be a mixture of 14mm to 20mm angular shaped stone.

Don’t use ‘pea shingle’ (ususally 10mm and rounded shape) as you will be forever sweeping from the front of driveway and picking it out of the treads of your tyres and shoes! 

How Much Gravel?


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