How To Build A Gravel Driveway

Jul 30, 2021

Are you looking to build a driveway for your home? Well, you are in the right place. Besides enhancing your home’s curb appeal, the driveway also enhances your home’s value. While most people think of it as a professional task, you can follow a well-informed step-by-step guide to DIY build a driveway and achieve exemplary results. You don’t have to pay for any skilled labour for the DIY. Let’s dig deeper into the process.

DIY Gravel Driveway

Required Materials and Equipment for the Project

Before you can begin your DIY driveway project, you need to collect all your materials and equipment. Besides having an organised project, collecting your materials and equipment in good time makes the project more convenient to complete. Here is what you need for the upcoming DIY project. 

  • A wheelbarrow
  • Rake
  • Landscaping fabric
  • Twine
  • Safety working gloves
  • Shovels
  • Hoes
  • Landscaping stakes
  • Gravel

A Step-by-Step Guide on How You Can Build Your Driveway 

STEP 1: Think of a Layout

The first step is deciding on a layout. You should pick one that suits your taste and preferences as well as your property scope. If you have a home that’s a little far from the road, you could use a narrowed driveway. On the other hand, if your home is nearer the road, you can go for a more expansive driveway. Find the most suitable, functional, and attractive driveway aggregates.

STEP 2: Mark Your Boundaries Well

The next step is to demarcate the boundaries for the project. You can use a string to measure out the driveway’s length and width for uniformity. Before you start excavating, ensure that you call in another person to help you ascertain the ideality; it is more of a confirmation.

STEP 3: Consider the Driveway Path’s Depth

How deep do you want the driveway to be? Determining this beforehand enables you to know the amount of soil you should dig out and the layers of gravel stones you need to lay down. A standard driveway should be between 12 to 18 inches deep; ensure that yours falls in that range.

STEP 4: Excavate the Working Area

With all the measurements in check, you can begin the excavation process. You will be using your garden hoes and shovels. After digging out the soil, you will haul it onto your wheelbarrows and take it to the rightful place (away from the area). Sometimes the digging process can be long and tiring.

Digging Your Driveway

If you find it so, you can lease special equipment and machines for excavation. Besides speeding up the process, you also get more precise and accurate results. Bear in mind the excavated ground needs to go somewhere, so consider if you can use it somewhere around your house or garden, or look into muck away services to take care of the ground for you.

STEP 5: Calculate the Amounts of Materials You Need

With the area excavated, you have a hollow driveway path that should be filled with driveway aggregates. Before you can fill it, you should calculate the amount of crushed rocks you need for the project based on the open area. These calculations enable you not to spend too much money on materials. The best thing about these calculations is they do not require a lot of expertise. You only need to get the correct volume of materials in cubic yards and tons. To calculate, you should enter the length, width and depth of your driveway project area. Your calculator then gives you the required amount of materials.

STEP 6: Prepare Your Driveway Base

The excavation process is now complete, and you know the amounts of materials to purchase. For the gravel aggregates to sit firm, you need to have a proper driveway base. Lay down your landscaping fabric to prevent the occurrence of unwanted vegetation. 

STEP 7: Carefully Install and Compact Every Layer

Driveways often have three layers, each stacking around 4 to 6 inches deep. You should start with the base layer with large rocks, the secondary layer with smaller rocks, and finish with the top gravel layer. When you pour each layer, you should carefully compact it with a heavy compressor (machinery) or just your car (you need to drive severally over the layers if you are driving). You should do this strategically and allow for some time to dry.

STEP 8: Crown Your Surface

Water is the number one poison to your driveway. To protect it, you should grade the crushed stones and crown your driveway. Incline these stones to the side slightly for proper rainwater drainage. This is a maintenance step that you will keep doing after every three months.

STEP 9: Your Gravel Driveway is Ready

Having followed these steps, your DIY driveway is ready for use. As you have seen, building a driveway is not a hectic process. You only have to collect materials, follow the steps, and enjoy your driveway.

A good driveway can be classic without you breaking the bank. The DIY project is a low-maintenance and inexpensive option that works well with different house styles and aesthetics. You only have to follow our step by step guide to build a perfect gravel driveway in your home.