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Gravel Driveway Installation FAQ's

Get Your Gravel Driveway Installation FAQ's Answered

Answer: No two driveways are the same. The cost to install a gravel driveway varies based upon several factors.


  • The size of the driveway.
  • The amount of excavation and grading needed for proper water drainage.
  • The amount a person wants to invest in subgrade preparation to make the driveway strong, durable and able to withstand heavy trucks, RV's, etc.
  • Enhancing the appearance of the driveway with different colors of gravel or crushed stone.

As a result, these many different variables make it impossible to answer the question.


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Answer: There are several factors that will determine how thick the gravel should be on a gravel driveway and the intended use of it.


Many homeowners build a gravel driveway as a temporary surface until a hard surface driveway is installed such as asphalt, concrete or pavers. In this case, most asphalt, concrete and paver contractors would prefer to to the job thoroughly from the bottom up in order to warranty their work. So investing too much money into a temporary gravel driveway just isn't worth the cost. In this case, 3" to 4" of gravel will suffice for 1 or 1 years.


On the other hand, many homeowners want to build a gravel driveway as a permanent structure with no plans to install a hard surface driveway. In this case, a sold base material like recycled concrete, limestone or road base should be installed 4" to 6" thick and compacted well. The variation in thickness is determined by the use of the driveway.


For common vehicles, 4" should suffice. For heavy vehicles like RV's, boats and coaches as well as trucks like trash trucks, propane trucks and septic trucks, 6" would better suffice. This is all dependent on the soil in your area.

Once the base is installed, then 3" to 4" of gravel, crushed stone or recycled concrete can be added to the top to add visual interest to the driveway.

Answer: While there is no way to guarantee water will not wash out a gravel driveway, there are a few ways to minimize washout or washing away.


Some of these include:

  • Designing the driveway with a slope that allows water to drain off in a controlled manner.
  • Using a geogrid or geocell that locks the gravel into place.
  • Using crushed aggregates opposed to using round aggregates.


Answer: Contrary to popular belief, smaller diameter, rough edged, angular rocks combined with "crusher fines" or simply just crushed stone make for a much better gravel driveway as they compact very well.


Round larger rocks, pea gravel or any other round rock do not compact and become displaced and pushed to the edges of the driveway too easily. They are also not a good option for snowy regions where the snow needs to be plowed off.

Answer: It all begins with great quality installation. It's virtually impossible to keep a gravel driveway looking good with gravel just dumped and spread out.


A well designed gravel driveway consists of smaller diameter, rough edged, angular rocks combined with fines or crushed stone.

Here are just a few things you can do to keep a gravel driveway looking clean and tidy:


  • Keep weeds at a minimum by spraying an herbicide or inhibitor regularly, at the first sign of weeds popping up.
  • Keep a rake and wheelbarrow handy. Tidy loose gravel up regularly by adding crushed stone as needed and compact it with a hand tamper or a plate compactor.
  • If possible, edge your gravel driveway with railroad ties, metal or plastic edging, concrete or anything that can be recessed into the soil rather than something just laid on top. This will keep the gravel mix from spilling over onto the adjacent areas.

Answer: Yes. But it takes good drainage planning only experts willing to take the time can provide.


Edging the driveway with concrete, metal or plastic edging and installing Geogrid or geocell can help tremendously.

Answer: Yes. It's certainly possible, but not recommended.

The Short Answer: Some might say yes. I say no.


I've been in the business for over 30 years. I talk about recycled asphalt in this article I wrote. I would avoid recycled asphalt at all costs.

Answer: Absolutely, Yes! However, this is prefaced with one condition. Make sure the recycled concrete is not mixed with dirt or topsoil and is compacted very well.

Answer: Here are several options ranked from 1 to 10:


  1. Concrete -Embedded
  2. Belgian Block - Embedded
  3. Pavers - Embedded and Mortared
  4. Pavers - Embedded
  5. Metal Edging - Embedded
  6. Plastic Edging -Embedded
  7. Creosote Lumber - Embedded
  8. Railroad Ties -Embedded

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