The axiom, ‘Good things come for a better price’, fails when we talk about gravel driveways. A gravel driveway can be an excellent organic, inexpensive, and low-maintenance addition to any home. It can accent any genre of home construction and style. A gravel driveway is a real bargain when compared to other driveway materials.
More amazingly, it brings upon no hefty costs of designer advice or labor. A gravel driveway can be a fun DIY project for any beginner. With regular maintenance, your dear gravel driveway can last for generations.
The super-secret to a perfect gravel driveway is the right base. A gravel base may come off in several dimensions, volumes, and materials. To get started with your gravel driveway, you must acquaint yourself with the basic tips and tricks to a perfect base.
To learn more about achieving the right gravel driveway foundation, continue reading.
Materials That Go Under A Gravel Driveway:
Gravel refers to loose stones or rocks that vary in sizes, i.e., bigger than sand particles but smaller than cobblestones. To be a little more precise, you can expect them to be anywhere between 1/10 to 2.5 inches in diameter.
The gravel driveway, known to our eyes, is just one top layer. A driveway usually consists of 3-4 layers of different materials.
A driveway base makes the most crucial part of driveway construction. It creates a solid, resistant layer to grooving and keeps the gravel from moving sideways. A firm base is also necessary to bear the load of heavy-duty vehicles and to spread it equally.
Here are different ideas for making up the foundation of your gravel driveway.
The bottom layer of a driveway always constitutes of larger stones. Surprisingly, the bottom gravel layer is the most crucial for holding your driveway well in place. Baseball-sized angular gravel is the best for forming the foundation of a driveway.
It bears multiple tips and flat surfaces that interlock together with other stones and compact perfectly. However, round-sized stones move beneath the weight of heavy vehicles and demand frequent raking back.
Most driveways use three or four layers of variant-sized gravels. Multiple sizes and shapes help to keep the foundation strong and ensure an efficient drainage system.
A well-known choice for the bottom layer of a gravel driveway is ‘clean stone’. Gray in color, this stone is the best for asphalt and concrete blends, driveways, and underneath layers of heavy construction sites. Popularly known as #3 stone, it ranges from 1-2 inches in diameter.
The clean stone gravel is made of machine-crushed stones and rock fragments of irregular sizes.
A clean stone base typically needs to be 4-inches thick and perfectly compacted. It offers a strong foundation for a tough-job driveway and promotes a healthy drainage system.
The next on the list is a mixture of machine-crushed rock, sand, and stone; about the size of a golf ball. Given its sturdy properties, crushed stone is often used to form the bottom layer of a driveway. Crushed stone driveway refers to a driveway composed of small stones intermixed with coarse sand.
Usually, it is also composed of recycled bricks, concrete, rocks, and blacktop. Crushed Stone makes a stern foundation and is pretty suitable to lay down a base for any domestic driveway.
Also, it can be fetched in different colors. Crushed stones that come from limestone or granite are greyish-black in color. Whereas commonly found in municipal paving projects, the crushed blue stone has a dark blue-gray color.
In addition to a durable base, crushed stones can also make fascinating driveway tops.
See Also: How To Make A Gravel Path On A Slope?
If you are still unweaving the mystery of what peeks from beneath a gravel driveway, here it is. The second gravel layer is constructed of smaller sized angular gravel. Typically, the size of a golf-ball, crushed stones make an excellent middle layer for driveways.
Crushed Stone – #57:
The thumb rule of layering a driveway calls for smaller stones as we reach the top. The #57; size of a golf-ball crushed stone, is just the perfect for building the middle layer. The angular shape and size of this stone prevents impervious interlocking and thus promotes a better drainage system.
This rock’s size and shape make it perfect for French drains, concrete mix, and landscaping.
Crushed Stone – #411:
A smaller and finer choice for middle layer gravel is #411 crushed stone. It is a blend of coarse stone dust and rock. It forms a stable solid structure that helps vehicles to drive away easily.
A #411 Crushed stone is often used as the top layer of driveways for its smooth texture. The fine texture of this stone helps to build a stable coarse gravel driveway.
Washed Crushed Stone:
A washed crushed stone is very similar to crushed stone in texture, shape, and properties. The only mark that it makes is being thoroughly washed after the crushing process. Therefore, it comes with no dust and chemical powder but clean and attractive.
A washed crushed stone promotes the perfect drainage system as it comes off clean, leaving back no dust to mix with water and form clogging.
Depending upon size, shape, and smoothness, it can make the right choice for the top layer gravel.
The options for the topmost layer of your driveway are endless. You can opt for pea gravel, the smooth rounded earthy like stones that appeal to the beholder. Or you can go for the sparkling marble chips, perfectly finished to give your driveway the aesthetically elegant look you’ve always wanted.
The list holds many more, including River Rock, Jersey Shore Gravel, Quarry Process Stone, and whatnot.
Selecting and choosing the right gravel type for your driveway is just one part of the driveway construction process. To achieve the perfect gravel driveway, you must bring on some useful tips and tricks that ease your task.
Ensure the site is fully prepared beforehand, ensure an efficient drainage system, and use edgings and driveway borders where needed. Lastly, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice as and when necessary.