Should I have a gravel driveway installed?

Your driveway is one of the first things people will see when they go past or visit your home. To ensure your home makes a good first impression, it is therefore highly important that the driveway doesn’t let down your exterior. When you decide to install a new driveway, or just update an old one, there are many stylistic options to choose from. In this article, we will be considering the option of a gravel driveway by looking at the advantages and disadvantages of this paving material.

gravel driveway

Advantages:

Low cost – one of the most attractive benefits of a gravel driveway is that it is an inexpensive option but still looks good. If you don’t want to pay a large upfront cost or if you have a lot of square footage of driveway to cover, gravel is a good choice.

Easy to lay – gravel driveways are an easy option to lay. An experienced contractor will therefore be able to prepare and install your gravel driveway in a short amount of time, compared to other surfacings.

Choice – when you first think of gravel, you may not consider how many options there are. However, there are in fact a wide range of finishes available when using gravel including different sizes, colours, textures and prices. This is particularly appealing if you want to add a personal touch or landscaping to the front of your home.

Aesthetically pleasing – a well-maintained, gravel driveway can look very attractive. Out of the driveway surfaces available, when done right, gravel is a stylish option compared to others, such as asphalt.

Relatively low maintenance – although other surfacings may be more low maintenance, gravel is by no means difficult to maintain. You should expect to carry out maintenance tasks no more than twice a year.

Good drainage – due to a gravel surface’s somewhat loose structure and permeable composition, this is a good option for rainy areas. Alternative, impermeable surfacings can have problems with runoff and sitting water. Good drainage and permeability have environmental benefits, too.

Disadvantages:

No gradients – unfortunately, gravel is an impractical choice for sloping driveways as the gravel will not stay in place well. For very sloped drives, a gravel surface may even be difficult and dangerous to walk on due to reduced stability. Resin bound surfacing is a great alternative, maintaining the look of gravel but without the instability.

Loose structure – similarly to the issue above, other problems with gravel can often be due to its loose structure. Gravel will inevitably move about a bit with use and so can become a bit untidy without maintenance. Furthermore, if you live in a snowy area, be aware that it will be difficult not to displace gravel if you need to shovel your driveway clear. For a more low maintenance driveway, consider tarmac or concrete.

Top ups – gravel does require specific upkeep which generally involves topping up the surface to avoid ruts and gaps from forming. Professional installation should give you a strong basis and result in less maintenance being needed in the long run.

Weeds – as with many types of driveways, weeds are a common frustration with gravel surfaces. Spraying a weed killer over the area before the gravel is installed can be helpful for long term weed reduction; regular applications of weed killer will be the best option for reducing sproutings though.

 

UK Surfacings Ltd provide top quality surfacing work to meet a variety of customer requirements, such as creating new driveways, pavement lowering and thermoplastic line marking. We have more than 30 years of experience in the surfacing trade and have built a reputation as a leading surfacing contractor in Surrey and the surrounding areas. For more information on the services we offer and general enquiries, contact our friendly and knowledgeable team today.