A gravel driveway is an attractive and inexpensive addition to your home. Gravel roads last longer than paved roads, and are more environmentally friendly. Rain and snow are absorbed into the ground under the rocks. This can help prevent water runoff and minimize the risk of flooding. Gravel paths are also great for keeping cats out of mud. In addition, this road can be used to separate the yard from the parking area. If gravel roads are not carefully planned and constructed, the results can be disastrous. You should also maintain the gravel road in a different way each season.
Part 1 of 4: Planning Road Construction
Step 1. Decide where the path will be created
Survey the yard and determine where the driveway will be built. In addition, also determine whether you want a parking lot or a circular road. Remember, the larger roads will cost more than the smaller ones.
Pay attention to drainage problems where the road will be made. You have to make the path such that the water flows alongside it, not pooling in the middle
Step 2. Decide if you want to add a roadblock
You can design the area that will be made into the entrance using wood or bricks. This is optional.
Step 3. Mark the new path area
You must mark the new road area before starting the project.
- Plug landscape posts or poles every 2.5-3 m, on one side along the area where the driveway will be.
- Drive another set of poles 3-3.5 m from across the first set to mark the width of the path. If the shape turns, the width of the road should be made at least 4 meters.
Step 4. Measure the area to be paved
You need to know the length and width of the entire area to be paved. If there are turns, measure the sections separately and then add them together. Don't measure everything at once.
Step 5. Consider using 2 to 3 layers of gravel
For a really stable road, experts recommend using three separate layers of stone of different sizes. Projects like this require more money and more in-depth planning. So you have to decide from the start if that's what you want.
Step 6. Realistically determine how much work you can do on your own
Making your own path, even if it's quite short, will take time and hard physical work. If you're physically unable to do heavy, repetitive work (such as chopping rocks), hire someone to help.
Part 2 of 4: Collecting Materials
Step 1. Count how many pebbles are needed
To find this out, you have to multiply the length, width, and in the path, to get the number of pebbles in cubic meters.
- The depth of the gravel path can vary, depending on how many layers of gravel will be made. However, the depth should be at least 10-15 cm.
- If you plan to make two to three layers of gravel, each layer should be 10-15 cm deep. So, count each layer separately.
Step 2. Purchase gravel and schedule delivery time
Call your local material store and tell them the amount, size, and type of gravel you need.
- Usually, material stores have a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes of pebbles to choose from.
- If you plan to make several layers of gravel, schedule each delivery separately, say several days apart so that you can apply each layer and allow it to stabilize before adding the next.
Step 3. Find the tools you need
You'll need a shovel, a sturdy metal rake, thick gardening gloves, and maybe a wheelbarrow. If you don't have this tool, borrow it from a friend or buy it from a materials store.
Step 4. Rent the bulky equipment you need
Ideally, you will need a mechanical compactor to compact the soil and gravel. This tool is too expensive to buy just for one project. So, rent it from a hardware store or rental company.
Step 5. Rent a backhoe or tractor
Alternatively, you can get this heavy equipment by hiring someone who has a backhoe. They can work much faster than if you did it yourself by hand.
Part 3 of 4: Preparing the Road Area
Step 1. Dredge the grass and topsoil
Use a shovel or hire a backhoe operator to remove the top layer of grass and soil from the area marked for driveways.
- You may want to use a tiller (hand tractor) to loosen the soil and make it easier to dredge.
- The amount of soil dredged will depend on how many layers of gravel you want to install. Dig about 10-15 cm of soil for each layer of gravel to be installed.
Step 2. Level the road surface
It doesn't have to be perfect as it will be covered in gravel, but make sure the road surface is fairly even. Areas that are more sunken than others will cause water to pool and create mud puddles that must later be filled with more gravel.
Step 3. Compact the soil
Use a mechanical compactor, level the ground with a bulldozer, or use a heavy vehicle such as a large truck and drive back and forth in the area.
Step 4. Lay down the weed barrier material
If you want to prevent grass and weeds from growing between the gravel, place a weed-blocking cloth underneath.
- Weed barriers are landscape woven fabrics that can still absorb water but weeds cannot penetrate. These fabrics are available at plant supply stores, materials stores, or at hardware stores.
- Weed barriers are usually available in roll form. You can spread it from one end of the road to the other.
- Most weed barriers are 1 meter wide, so you will need a few rolls. Make sure the amount of weed barrier you buy is sufficient or more than the area required to make the path.
Step 5. Place the border
If you are using wood or brick to demarcate the path, install it before the gravel is spread so that the barrier can hold the gravel in place. Otherwise, just skip this step.
Part 4 of 4: Laying and Scattering Pebbles
Step 1. Ask the person who sent the pebbles if they can help spread it
Some types of trucks can only spill rocks in one big mound, but some types can spill rocks little by little and scatter them along the road. This will greatly simplify your work.
Step 2. Spread the pebbles
Use a wheelbarrow to distribute the gravel evenly along the driveway. After that, use a strong metal shovel and rake to spread the gravel thoroughly all the way to the edge.
Step 3. Compact the gravel with a mechanical compactor
You can also drive back and forth heavy vehicles over the area, for example with a large truck.
Step 4. Repeat this spreading and compression process for each layer of gravel
If you're only applying one layer, just move on to the next step.
Step 5. Observe the road area
The driveway should be slightly higher in the middle and lower at the edges to facilitate water drainage.
- You can do this by raking the gravel from the edge to the center, so that the stones pile up a little higher there. You can also add gravel to the center of the road, then slowly scrape it to the side.
- Don't be too extreme when it comes to handling high levels. You certainly don't want the driveway to look like a pyramid. The ideal level of height of the center of the road should be very thin, which is about 2 to 5% higher than the edges.
Step 6. Clear the new path
Complete the driveway project with a clean-up. Unplug the landscape poles and marking thread. Keep or return equipment you rent or borrow, and pay and/or thank everyone who helped with this project.
Step 7. Treat the driveway
If necessary, rake the pebbles out of place and return them to their original location. Also, consider adding new gravel every 2 to 3 years on sunken or bare areas, which appear over time.