How to Install a Gravel Driveway
There are many reasons to have a gravel driveway installed at your Essex property.
Gravel driveways provide a cost-effective way to transform any driveway, large or small and gives your property serious kerb appeal.
There are several methods you can use to install a gravel driveway and the focus of todays article is to show you step by step the process in which we take (and recommend) when installing a gravel driveway.
One of the key steps is to install a plastic cellular grid system. These honey-comb like grids are perfect for any gravel driveway for a number of reasons.
The main benefit is that the grids hold the gravel in place, preventing it from shifting around your driveway, which may result in the bold patches that you may have noticed on other gravel driveways that haven’t used a cellular grid.
Of course, there is an additional cost involved when installing a cellular grid system, but the additional investment is well worth it as your driveway will perform far better, for far longer.
So, let’s begin our step by step process we undertake when installing a new gravel driveway.
The following pictures show the before, during and after stages of a gravel driveway installation completed on behalf of our client based in Chelmsford.
The initial brief was to create an attractive front garden and driveway to give the property increased kerb appeal whilst also providing some much-needed additional off-road parking.
As you can see, the old block paving was certainly in need of a face lift.
Step 1 – Excavation
The first task is to clear the site and excavate approximately 230mm below the finished height of the new driveway.
A laser and string lines are setup to help us accurately achieve this.
As this driveway was 90m2, approximately 21m3 of soil and hardcore was removed from the site during this phase.
Excavations were disposed of using a grab lorry as it is the most cost-effective way of doing so whilst causing minimal disruption to local residents as no skips are required.
It’s also good for the environment too as soil and hardcore can be recycled for use as topsoil and hardcore.
Step 2 – Sub Base Installation
Once the excavations were complete, the next phase was to install a 150mm MOT Type 3 sub base.
We highly recommend using a Type 3 base rather than Type 1 as its permeable – preventing flooding and ensuring that the finished driveway is fully compliant with the 2008 SUDS Regulations without the need for linear drains and soakaways.
Decorative granite setts were used to frame the front of this project, but of course, you can choose any form of sett, cobble or block paving to achieve a unique look.
Installing a small strip of paving across the front of the driveway also helps prevent migration of gravel onto the public footpath and road.
Raised Keykerbs where also installed to retain the outside edges of the driveway and prevent the gravel from spilling out on to flower beds.
Step 3 – Laying Course Installation
A weed membrane is then installed on top of the sub base and approximately 20mm of sharp sand is levelled and compacted with a vibrating plate compactor.
The sharp sand provides a level surface to install the grids on to.
Step 4 – Cellular Grid Installation
The next step is to install the cellular grid system, supplied by EcoGrid.
We use a 40mm grid which has the capacity to withstand up to 120 tonnes per square metre.
The grids are locked into place and any necessary cuts are made to ensure a tight fit across the driveway.
Step 5 – Gravel is Spread & Levelled
To complete the driveway, we spread and level the gravel leaving approximately 20mm above the top of the grids.
Of course, there is a wide variety of differing types and colours of aggregate that you can choose to lay on your driveway and there is something to suit every property, whether its modern or traditional.
We do however recommend choosing a stone of no less than 20mm in diameter. This prevents the stone from getting caught in the tyres of your vehicles.
And here’s the finished project. As you can see, it’s a big transformation from the old driveway and gave our clients the additional parking space they needed.
The use of a cellular grid system will prevent dips and ruts to create a low maintenance driveway that will last long into the future.
It’s vitally important that you install your gravel driveway correctly to ensure a long-lasting driveway solution.
Once installed, your new driveway will give your home serious kerb appeal, whilst adding significant value to your property.
We are highly experienced gravel driveway installers, covering the Essex area.
If you live in Chelmsford, Brentwood, Billericay, Braintree, Romford, Wickford, Southend or any other part of Essex, why not call us today to arrange for your free site consultation or email us your details and we’ll call you.
We’ll be more than happy to explain the installation process in more detail and advise you on how best to design your new driveway, both for practical and aesthetical impact.
We can help you decide on optional extras such as edgings, kerbs and borders to complement your new gravel driveway.
Do you have any comments or questions regarding gravel driveway installations? Is there anything you would like us to explain in greater detail?
Then we want to hear from you! Leave us your comments or questions below and we’ll be more than happy to help you!
Thanks for reading.