The approach to your home or business property can be greatly accentuated by adding a gravel driveway. Hiring a contractor to build a driveway can be expensive. You can do the job yourself with rented equipment. The task itself involves heavy lifting and hard labour, but the rewards of an easy-to-maintain gravel driveway can make the hard work worthwhile.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- Pegs and string
- Measuring tape
- Waste receptacle
- Vibrating plate
- Garden spade
- Geotextile membrane
Evaluate your property and select the location of your gravel driveway. Remember to consider accessibility and that the driveway must be built on firm ground. Consider whether additional space will be required for parking vehicles. Provide for any drainage equipment that may already be in place.
Peg out the area for the driveway and take measurements to find out how much gravel will be needed. You will be digging to a depth of 1 1/2 feet. Work out the amount of gravel needed by multiplying the length, width and depth of the driveway to determine how many cubic feet of gravel you will need. Your local building supply company can furnish the gravel.
Hire an excavator to alleviate the hard work associated with manually digging out driveways. Remove enough soil so the driveway is excavated to the required depth. Fill the waste container with the dirt to be hauled away. Define the edges of the driveway with a garden spade once machine excavation has been completed. Use a hired vibrating plate to tamp down any soft soil to create a solid base.
Add geotextile membrane to the surface of the trench to promote stability. Cover the membrane with approximately 3 inches of broken stones and slabs (known as hardcore), which can be purchased at any builder's yard. Level out the hardcore with a rake, and line the sides of the excavated trench with timber to prevent erosion once the driveway has been completed.
Fill the remainder of the driveway with gravel to complete the project. Use the rake to produce a flat, even surface and leave the ground to settle for 48 hours to check for any signs of shifted earth. Store leftover gravel for future use.
Tips and warnings
- You may need to hire a professional to advise you on excavating earth around pipework.
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