Gravel driveways are generally a very cost-effective way of surfacing any driveway, large or small.
This makes it a particularly popular way of surfacing large driveways and sweeping private roads.
Some may consider it to have a more natural look than other forms of driveway surfacing such as block paving, concrete or tarmac.
With the many benefits of gravel driveways its little wonder they are so popular and we’re regularly asked to provide customers across Essex with quotations to carry out such works.
If you are considering having a new gravel driveway installed, then you may be wondering how much it might cost?
If you are, you’ve come to the right place. In our latest article, we’re addressing the many factors that can affect the cost of having a new gravel driveway installed at your Essex home.
We’ll also give you a rough ballpark figure to help give you an idea of how much it might cost you.
But to begin, lets start by looking at some of the factors that can affect price.
This plastic honeycomb grid system helps to retain the gravel on your driveway.
A gravel driveway built using a cellular grid system will provide a far better, more level finish than just putting the gravel straight onto the sub base.
It also means that your driveway will last far longer as the grid system prevents gravel migration – meaning you won’t get any bold patches or lose any gravel off the driveway that will have to be continuously topped up.
But of course, it does come at an additional cost. A good quality cellular grid with a thick wall, may cost somewhere around £15 per square.
In our experience, the additional investment is well worth it for a long lasting, better performing driveway.
For a typical gravel driveway installation, using a cellular grid system, will require 230mm of excavations below the finished height of your driveway.
The important thing to remember here is the phrase ‘below the finished height’.
Under some circumstances, we may need to reduce the levels of your driveway, therefore, requiring more than a 230mm excavation.
One of the biggest costs involved with any new driveway is the waste disposal.
Obviously, the more waste we’ll need to dispose of, the more your driveway will cost.
But in the same way some situations may require more than 230mm to be excavated, it is just as likely that we may be able to raise the height of your driveway from its existing level, requiring us to dig out less than 230mm.
The 230mm excavation allows for 150mm Type 3 (free-draining) sub base, 20mm sharp sand laying course, 40mm grid system.
Of course, should you choose not to have a cellular grid system, you’ll also save on waste disposal costs too as we’ll only need to excavate around 190mm from your existing driveway.
The amount of excavation works needed for your new gravel driveway has a big impact on the cost.
We always recommend using a raised edge around the perimeter of your driveway to prevent gravel migration.
In some instances, you may have a garden fence with concrete gravel boards around the boundary of your driveway, in which case, you won’t need a raised edge installed.
If you do require an edge restraint, obviously these can come in various shapes, sizes and colours, which of course vary in price too.
There are also other optional extras to choose from for your new driveway such as steps, plant beds, borders, paving your driveways entrance or maybe even a new decorative brick wall?
These additional extras will have an impact on the cost of your new gravel driveway too.
There are many different types of aggregate to choose from when it comes to building a gravel driveway.
In Essex, the most cost effective is either a 10mm or 20mm brown/golden or grey shingle. This is because it is easy to obtain in the local area.
However, you could choose from a variety of other types of aggregate including granite chippings, limestone chippings, Cotswold Stone or maybe even Polar White chippings.
Of course, these all vary in cost and will have a significant impact on the cost of your new driveway.
Building a gravel driveway, as we have said, involves excavating the existing driveway and importing aggregates to form the sub base and of course, the finished gravel itself.
To do this in the most cost-effective way possible, having enough space to allow an 8-wheeled lorry access to your driveway is vital.
Disposing of waste in the most cost-effective method means being able to get a grab lorry close enough to your driveway to allow its Hiab crane to reach your driveway and grab the soil and waste from your driveway and crane it onto the back of the lorry.
The aggregates for the sub base and the top layer of gravel are most cost effective when purchased in ‘loose loads’ that can be tipped directly onto your new driveway, rather than purchasing them in bulk bags.
If your driveway is not accessible to these types of vehicle, rest assured its highly likely that it will mean you cannot have a new driveway installed, but it may just take a little more labour to get the job done.
If access to your driveway is tight, we may need to use a mini dumper to cart waste and aggregates to and from your driveway.
But in the vast majority of driveways we have built over the years, it’s very rare that this will be necessary.
There’s little point in writing an article about the cost of installing a gravel driveway without giving you some ballpark figures.
Of course, as we have seen, there are many factors that will affect the price and no two jobs are the same.
This means that we cannot charge on a ‘per-square-metre’ basis but only on a ‘job-by-job’ basis.
But to give you an idea of some numbers, let’s look at what an average driveway may cost.
We’ll assume your driveway is 60m2, we’ll be using a 40mm cellular grid and we’ll need to excavate 230mm for your existing drive.
Access is excellent, you have chosen a standard 20mm golden shingle and there are no steps or raised edges required.
To give the driveway some additional kerb appeal, we’ll be installing 5 rows of granite setts across a 4m driveway entrance.
As a very rough ballpark figure, you would probably be looking at somewhere around £4,000 to £5,000 including all material and labour costs and VAT at 20%. (Please Note: This article was written February 2018. If you’re reading this in February 2019, its probably safe to assume that this estimate is probably 2-5% higher now)
Hopefully this article has helped to give you an idea of what a gravel driveway might cost and some of the various factors that can affect price.
But of course, the figures given above should be treated with a pinch of salt and don’t be surprised if your driveway costs more or less than this as no two jobs are the same!
The only way to get a precise figure for your own individual driveway would be to contact us for your free no obligation written quote.
You can do this by calling us on 01245 697 688 and we’ll arrange for a free site visit at a convenient time that suits you.
We cover the whole of Essex including Chelmsford, Brentwood, Billericay, Southend, Braintree, Wickford, Basildon & South Woodham Ferrers, so if you live within these areas, why not give us a call today?
Should you have any questions regarding the cost of a new gravel driveway then leave us a comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.