DIY gravel grid drive

Written by steven douglas
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DIY gravel grid drive
Gravel grid is used to for drives and parking areas. (gravel image by YuriyVZ from

Gravel grid drives are increasing in popularity as new surfacing technologies emerge. These technologies allow new drives to be constructed more economically than traditional concrete or asphalt alternatives. The system installs quickly. The work can be done by any homeowner who fancies himself as a do-it-yourselfer. Grid systems are environmentally friendly and are fun to install in just a few steps. The grid system can also be used to create overflow parking areas.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Gravel
  • Grid system
  • Garden rake
  • Weed barrier
  • Utility knife
  • Shovel

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  1. 1

    Lay a gravel base approximately 6.2 cm (2 1/2 inches) deep in all areas that will contain the gravel grid surface. Dig down from the ground surface so the base does not elevate the finished driveway's surface. If the ground around your project is particularly soft, gravel grid manufacturers recommend increasing the gravel base depth to as much as 20 cm (8 inches).

  2. 2

    Level the gravel base with a garden rake. Cut weed barrier fabric with a utility knife and install it on top of the gravel base to prevent weed growth from occurring.

  3. 3

    Lay the grid system down on top of the weed barrier in the shape of the intended drive. Most grid systems allow for each piece to lock into adjacent pieces, so be sure that each piece is fully locked and level with the surrounding pieces.

  4. 4

    Verify that the grid system is in place in the shape and style that you choose. The system is exceedingly difficult to alter once the fill material is in the grid. Check transitional areas where the grid stops and meets other surfaces, and check corners and turns for proper dimensions -- sufficient width to fully meet the garage, for example.

  5. 5

    Fill the grid with gravel. Cover it completely so it is no longer visible. After back filling, pack the surface down to eliminate pockets of air or hollow spaces. When completed, your gravel grid drive will resemble a standard gravel drive, but be stronger and more durable.

  6. 6

    Alternatively, if you prefer the drive to appear natural, use top soil and grass seed for fill, rather than gravel. Mix the top soil with sand in the ratio of 70 per cent sand and 30 per cent top soil. This mixture prevents the surface from becoming excessively muddy when it rains. Back fill the grid so that the top edge of the grid is about 6 mm (1/4 inch) above the sand/soil mix level. Sow grass seed on top. The grass will grow -- thus hiding the grid -- yet the driveway will be as strong as an asphalt drive.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep a supply of back fill material handy. Add the material to any low spots or hollow areas that appear after the initial rainfall occurs.
  • Check with your local ordinance office to comply with all permitting requirements before beginning the project.

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