Are gravel driveways a good idea?
If your home is out in a rural area, you may not have a driveway or your current driveway may be washing away, disappearing. If you have a gravel driveway, that isn’t uncommon, but that doesn’t mean that a gravel driveway is a bad idea.
Maybe not always in every situations, but a gravel driveway can add charm to a home, even in the city. Depending on the location of your home, or business, whether you choose gravel driveway or asphalt for the drive should fit the landscape and architectural style of the home or structure. It may or may not need to blend in with the neighborhood, and you’ll need to check with building codes and POA restrictions.
To have a good gravel driveway, there are things to be considered in addition to building codes and POA restrictions. A gravel driveway construction is more than just having a dump truck bring a load of gravel. Like what gravel for driveway. What is the recommended rock for a good gravel driveway?
A gravel driveway is usually thought to be a budget, low-cost way to have a driveway. However, they can be stylish and trendsetting when installed and maintained correctly. Yes, a gravel driveway could have vulnerabilities with potential downsides over time, but not all of them are. The quality of the rock you choose, the gravel driveway build up process, and the quality work of the contractor that installs your gravel driveway will make a difference.
Before the gravel you see, there is a base installed that keeps the gravel stabilized. There are few choices in the material used for a bottom layer. The choices of what to put under gravel driveway are:
- A clean stone referred to as “ base gravel #3”. The contractor will install a 4 inch thick layer with 2” diameter stones. This helps with the driveway draining.
- Another base layer option for a gravel driveway is “item #4” which is comprised of dirt, sand, and golf ball-sized stone. There is a recycled version of this type of rock which will consist of blacktop, brick, concrete, recycled stones, and rock.
Other options in gravel driveway base materials are:
- Quarry item # 4, which is a crushed limestone material.
- Gray item # 4, which is dark grey
- Crushed bluestone item #4, common for municipal driveways
Then a middle layer is installed with golf ball size stones, #57 stone or more commonly known as crushed gravel. This material aids in your gravel driveway draining. Now, let’s talk about the options in surface driveway gravel. The following are going to have rock dust combined that will help create a solid-like surface for driving on:
1. CRUSHED STONE #411
This is the same as the crushed up #57 stone but is combined with rock dust and can handle moderate amounts of traffic from heavy vehicles.
2. QUARRY PROCESS
Industry name for this is “crusher run” and is excellent for surface material of driveways and walkways with the stone dust and crushed stone. The stone dust settles and compacts, creating a semisolid smooth surface. This should be installed so that it slopes off the sides for drainage.
3. PEA GRAVEL
The most popular topping for gravel driveways is pea gravel. The small round stones make for great aesthetics and with the different colors, you can match it to your home’s exterior. It easily migrates and spreads though when drove on much, so a good base for stabilization is needed.
4. JERSEY SHORE GRAVEL
A mixture of brownstones, gold, tan, white, and yellow gives this a sandy appearance and is similar to pea gravel, requires good stabilizing base and borders.
5. MARBLE CHIPS
Marble chips is the more expensive material for a gravel driveway with the sparkling white rock. A firm stabilizing base and bordering is a must to keep the aesthetic appeal that it offers.
6. BLACKTRAP ROCK
Also referred to as Blackstar rock, this dark gray gravel is extremely attractive and makes an excellent choice with the angular shape that locks together. Combine this with a stabilizing grid paving system, and you have a beautiful and durable gravel driveway.
Can you seal a gravel driveway?
If you currently have a gravel driveway and want it sealed, this will require paving over it with a hot-asphalt seal-coating. This will need to be done by an experienced contractor. It is not a weekend DIY project.
So, why use gravel for driveway? There are several benefits to having a gravel driveway, so if you’re wondering is gravel driveway good idea, yes, in certain settings. A gravel can be great for a tight budget, especially if you have a long driveway. Compared to having plain rocks installed, gravel will compact better for the long run.
A gravel driveway is porous, so it will drain easier and faster than other materials, and there isn’t much maintenance once it is installed. You’ll have a longer lifespan and even better, you can do this yourself! Just have the gravel delivered after you have the base in place and spread it yourself. Call 512-646-6069 today for gravel driveway installation in Austin, TX.