Gravel driveway construction takes a number of factors into account:
- Size of driveway
- Existing base
- Type of gravel
Gravel is usually chosen because it is cost effective compared to other driveway products, such as block paving, pattern imprinted concrete or tarmacadam. Generally gravel looks best on larger driveway areas of 100 square metres or more.
Gravel driveway construction:
The existing driveway surface should be removed. Depending on the soil type, this could be between a depth of 50mm and 200mm. When the driveway is excavated you should be left with a solid base to work with. Any soft areas need to be dug out and filled with MOT Type 1 aggregate. The filled in areas then need to be compacted and levelled before the sub-base layers are added.
It is recommended to have raised edging installed to prevent gravel displacement.
Click here for edging options for gravel driveways.
It’s recommended that a geotextile membrane is laid on top of the excavated surface, under the sub-base aggregate. The geotextile membrane is often mistakenly placed on top of the sub-base layer.
Using a membrane ensures the soil and sub-base don’t mix. A membrane will also help prevent weed growth, and is therefore an essential part of the installation.
The membrane comes in large sheets and will have to be cut to size to ensure full coverage. The membrane should be non woven (permeable) and of good quality to promote proper drainage of water.
Find more information on Geotextile Membranes here.
This part of gravel driveway construction is the most important.
MOT Type 1 aggregate is recommended to be used for the sub-base. Alternatively clean crushed concrete can be used. This is a recycled product and more environmentally friendly.
The maximum size of MOT Type 1 aggregate is 40mm.
It is recommended that the sub-base is laid in layers which need to be compacted separately to ensure a stable sub-base. This can be done with a compacting (wacker) plate. If the sub-base is not compacted enough, parts of the driveway may sink once vehicles park on it.
Laying a gravel grid (optional)
Using polypropylene gravel grids as part of a sub-base construction provide extra stability and support. Read more on gravel grids here.
Top layer of decorative gravel
This is the easiest part of gravel driveway construction. The top layer of gravel should not be thicker than 50mm as you will get ruts in the driveway when driving over it.
There are many types of stone to choose from. Cotswold Chippings, Golden Corn and Limestone are the firm favourites, however, there are many different kinds of gravel on the market. More information on gravel types, click here.
The gravel chosen should be angular as this ensures the stones to interlock. This will make displacement of the gravel less likely.
The last job of a gravel driveway construction is raking the gravel in place and levelling the driveway!
Do you have a gravel driveway or are you considering one?
What is your view on gravel driveways, leave us a message!