How to build a gravel driveway

Updated February 21, 2017

Building a gravel driveway is not as easy or cheap as it might sound. Several factors are involved when creating this kind of parking space for your vehicles. When done correctly, a gravel driveway doesn't require more maintenance than other types of driveways.

Measure the length and width of the driveway you want to create and multiply one by the other to get the square footage.

Decide how deep you want the gravel to be.

Multiply your depth (in feet) by the square footage to get the cubic feet of gravel needed.

Figure out how many tons of gravel you will need for your driveway by multiplying your cubic yards by 1.5. This is how many tons you need to build your driveway properly.

Dig out the area where the driveway will be laid. If you find any soft spots, dig out the dirt until you hit a hard surface. Otherwise you will end up with ditches in your driveway as the gravel settles.

Get scalpings for a base to your driveway. Scalping can be purchased relatively cheaply from a stone quarry. It is the leftover residue from an excavation job.

Rent a vibrating plate to stamp down the dirt before the scalping is delivered. If you do not use the vibrating plate to stamp down the soft portions of the driveway, you eventually will have sagging.

Level the scalping with a rake or shovel.

Purchase the gravel you need and level it out on your driveway.


One cubic yard is equal to 27 cubic feet. You can pick gravel in a variety of shades and styles. Visit several stores to see what they offer. You may need more gravel for areas that slope or have holes. Remember you want the gravel compacted down so rainwater runoff won't ruin the driveway.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape Measure
  • Shovel
  • Scalpings
  • Vibrating plate
  • Gravel
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.