Why Gravel Is A Good Driveway Material When You Need An Affordable Option

Posted on: 10 May 2017

If you're looking for an inexpensive solution for a driveway or extra parking space on your property, then you should consider going with gravel. Gravel is a good choice whether you just need enough for extra parking or if you need a lot of it for a long driveway to a cabin in the country. Here's why gravel is a good driveway material, even for homes in the city.

Gravel Is Inexpensive

When compared to other driveway materials, gravel is an inexpensive option. The materials cost less and since the driveway is easy to install, you can save on installation costs as well. If you have a truck and you're doing a small area like a parking pad, you can pick up the gravel yourself and spread it around for a quick and affordable solution. If you have to spread a lot of gravel, you'll probably want it delivered to your home and spread by a truck so it doesn't take so much time.

Gravel Driveways Are Attractive

When gravel driveways are kept in good repair, they have an appealing appearance that looks good on your property. Gravel looks its best when it is thick with defined borders. Eventually, the gravel will thin out as it gets tracked off your property or embedded in the soil. When bare spots show through or when weeds come up through the gravel, the driveway looses its appeal. The solution for these problems is easy. Just have more gravel delivered and your driveway looks like new. A gravel driveway isn't something you can have installed and then neglect for years, but as long as you keep up with it, it's a nice alternative to more expensive asphalt, concrete, or pavers.

Gravel Eliminates Runoff

One big problem with asphalt and concrete driveways is that rain runs off them and into the street where it flows into a storm drain. When thousands of driveways in the city do that, it adds to the pollution in the river or bay where the storm drains empty. You can do your part in preventing this runoff problem and keep all the rainwater on your property by putting in a gravel driveway. The rain filters through the gravel and goes straight into the soil where it will water your trees and lawn and be put to good use.

You Can Install A Gravel Driveway Yourself

If you really want to save money and you have some DIY skills, you can install a gravel driveway yourself, which is something you can't do with asphalt. The most important step is prepping the soil base. You'll need to strip off the topsoil and grass and compact the soil underneath. This goes much easier if you can borrow or rent a backhoe. Once that's done, you may want to put down a weed barrier so you never have to worry about weeds and grass sprouting up through the gravel. Next, you'll need to pick up the rocks or have them delivered. You'll need large pieces of crushed rock for the base layer. This layer is topped off with a layer of smaller rocks and then the top layer of gravel is added and spread around. If you're working on a small area, you can spread the rocks and gravel with a rake, but if you're doing a long driveway, it's better to have the gravel delivered and spread by the delivery truck.

Putting in a gravel driveway is a lot of hard work, but it's an affordable DIY way to get an attractive driveway that looks much better than driving on ruts and parking on grass.