Gravel driveways have a kind of elegance about them that concrete or asphalt fails to show. Unlike gravel, which is much more flexible in that respect, these materials are difficult to correct if they were not laid properly to begin with.
How many stately homes have you seen in movies where a limousine drives up the sweeping driveway made of concrete or even asphalt? It's the characteristic crunch or gravel under car tyres that typify those movie scenes. Perhaps that's why we associate gravel driveways with class and style.
A gravel driveway isn't difficult to prepare and fill. In many ways it's less difficult than concrete, which is messy and difficult to achieve a great looking surface with. Asphalt is easier to lay, and easier to have looking good, but it's costly and it can be a bit messy too. Concrete and asphalt are not particularly easy to maintain either.
Concrete and asphalt do score well when it comes to cracking as a result of extreme frost and cold, but gravel scores even better. Heavy rains just drain away with a gravel driveway while concrete and asphalt need drainage considerations built in from the start.
Gravel driveways don't have to be boring. They can be made from a variety of different coloured stone of reds, blues and greys. You can even use different coloured stone to form patterns on large areas to provide a bit of contrast.
It's important that you prepare properly for any gravel driveways you plan to create. As with other surface materials, a rule of thumb guide is the more heavy use your driveway is likely to get, the deeper and more robust the driveway should be.
In other words, if your gravel driveways will only have people walking on them, then you can get away with a relatively shallow depth. If a car will travel on it, then it needs to be deep enough to cope with the additional wear and tear.
Gravel driveways should be prepared by having the drive marked out and dug down to a depth of about 150 millimetres, or six inches. At that point, drive a wooden peg into the dug out ground. If it is difficult to drive down further, then the base is solid and firm. If not, you may have to dig deeper. If you encounter any soft spots they may also need digging out.
You should lay a base before laying the gravel. Scalping stone is leftover quarry material and makes an excellent inexpensive base. Order it during dry weather as rain will add considerably to the weight, which is what you will charged on. The scalping stone should be compacted by being vibrated in to a depth of at least 75 millimetres.
Your driveway is now ready to accept the gravel. There are various sizes of gravel stone you can use. gravel driveway repair. gravel driveway repair. A size of 10 millimetres is probably too small as the stones will become wedged into most car threads. Stone of 40 millimetres size is generally too large, so the best all round size to use is gravel of 20 millimetres. Gravel driveways are a joy to have, easy to maintain and will look great for a long time to come.