How to install a gravel driveway

Discussion in 'Garden and Lawncare' started by bructa, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. Mar 13, 2014 #1

    bructa

    bructa

    bructa

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    Can someone please give me some information on installing a gravel driveway. Over the years of parking my car on the dirt next to my house it gets very muddy when it rain or snow. I would like to put down gravel in that area, I need to know if there should be a underlayment of another material and how far down to go. Any information or websites would be helpful, Thanks.


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  2. Mar 13, 2014 #2

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Welcome to the site, if you want to do it like a pro you dig out the top soil and refill the area with gravel or you can cheat with a layer of 3/4" crushed gravel and then a layer of road mulch over that. The crushed wedges into the soil and makes a pretty good bed. I have done it that way and it worked fine but you also want to be carefull not to overfill the side of the house, you want 6-8" of foundation showing and still have a slope away from the house.
     
  3. Mar 13, 2014 #3

    slownsteady

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    Just make sure you have a way of containing the gravel in your driveway. If not, it will eventually spill out / kick out onto the roadway...or your lawn....or your neighbor's lawn.....
     
  4. Mar 13, 2014 #4

    slownsteady

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  5. Mar 14, 2014 #5

    bud16415

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    Drive ways have a way of sucking up gravel around here. My old house over 30 years I put at least 4 tri-axle loads of stone on a 100 foot drive way. By all rights it should have been 3 feet up in the air but it would just work its way down. Eventually I had a great base built up and it stayed nice much longer. Take a look around your property and see if you have a place for the top soil to fill and level out some place and if you do rent a skid steer or have someone come and dig it out for you with one. It’s the only machine you will need to make the job easy and if you can’t get the gravel truck in to where you need it to tailgate the material out the skid steer will make that easy also. You can have the gravel dumped in a pile and when you have the machine dig out the top soil and place the gravel all on one rental.

    I like to use something that compacts. Just like concrete is made up of lots of different sized stones where the small ones fill in between the larger and lock it all together is what you need. Many places have different names for this type stone some call it washed gravel. Talk to a few gravel pits and see what they have that makes the best base. You can always add a thin layer down the road of something decorative. Even with taking off the top soil if you have clay you will slowly loose the gravel and need to add some in a few years. They sell fabric that goes below the gravel that helps a lot with this. Ask around and see if it’s commonly used where you are.

    Quite a few years ago I helped my nephew build a house and he was on a super tight budget and needed a very long drive way and was in the worst clay soil I ever saw. We raised the drive way about a foot to help with water using a lot of clay we dug out of a bank on his property and he was going to put an inch or two of gravel they call shot or slag around here. I talked him into going to all the carpet stores around town and empting all their dumpsters of used carpets I forget how many pickup loads of dirty rugs we hauled but the price was right. (Free) We laid them all down upside down and covered them in 4 to 6 inches of bank gravel and that drive way has held up really good for at least 15 years now. I’m not recommending the carpet idea but it gave a layer to stop the movement and worked really good. A roll of road fabric would have been a lot simpler.
     
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  6. Mar 14, 2014 #6

    Chris

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    After you put the gravel down you can rent a vibraplate/ plate compactor and run that across it which will help lock the rock together. I did this a few years ago on mine and it is so tight it is like parking in concrete.


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  7. Mar 14, 2014 #7

    guyod

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    Where do you live? I have thought of doing that but figured come winter it will all be undone.
     
  8. Mar 15, 2014 #8

    bructa

    bructa

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    I live in the south/ east region of Michigan, and this winter was brutal. So I need something that will hold.


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  9. Mar 15, 2014 #9

    slownsteady

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    A mason had once mentioned to me that you could dust over the stone with limestone (maybe also try mortar mix) and that will set up on its own and hold things down.
    Never tried it, can't vouch for it.
     
  10. Mar 16, 2014 #10

    Chris

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    I did it at my mountain house. We get four seasons there.


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