How to Build a Sloping Gravel Driveway

Written by michael johnson
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How to Build a Sloping Gravel Driveway
. (peterspiro/iStock/Getty Images)

A sloping gravel driveway is a unique architectural element that is very functional. If you prefer not to install a typical asphalt driveway, then a gravel driveway is an excellent alternative. Unlike an asphalt driveway, a gravel path will be permeable to water which reduces the amount of waste water that enters nearby sewers. A gravel driveway also absorbs sunlight more effectively than a paved driveway and the amount of heat given off by the surface is reduced (great for keeping your property cool in the summer season).

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Earth compactor
  • Small bobcat tractor
  • Gravel rock
  • Topsoil
  • Level
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Ruler

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  1. 1

    Rough excavate your path of travel. Using the bobcat tractor dig out the path of travel for your driveway. This can be a very rough dig but try to achieve the approximate slope and layout you want. Use your level to ensure you are achieving the correct slope.

  2. 2

    Spread a layer of topsoil over the driveway. Using the bobcat again, spread a layer of topsoil over your driveway approximately 4 inches deep. Ensure your are now more accurate with your slope and shape. Use the shovel and rake to gain a more precise layout.

  3. 3

    Compact your driveway. Begin compacting your driveway using the earth compactor. Make sure the entire driveway is compacted evenly to ensure you are not altering the slope. You can verify levels of compaction by constantly measuring the slope. Also, you can stick a ruler into the dirt before and after you compact to verify how much it is reducing in height. The soil should compact about 2 inches.

  4. 4

    Lay down the gravel. Using the bobcat tractor, begin dumping the gravel rock directly on the pathway. Once all rock has been dumped, begin levelling out the surface with the rake and shovel. You should coat the driveway with about 2 inches of rock. This will allow for enough rock to prevent exposure but not too much to cause sliding.

  5. 5

    Compact the rock. Once the rock has been spread by hand use the earth compactor to roll over the rock one more time. This will press the rock into place and prevent future movement. Spraying the surface with water before you compact will aid in settling the gravel.

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