Tips For Laying a New Driveway


Tips For Laying a New Driveway


Part 1 of 4: Planning your driveway

Decide where to put your driveway. Survey your yard and decide where your driveway should be. Also, decide if you want a parking area or a circular driveway. Remember that a larger driveway will be more expensive than a smaller one.


Decide if you want to add a border for the driveway. You may delineate your driveway area with landscaping timber or bricks. This is optional.


Mark the new driveway area. You will need to mark off the area of your new driveway before starting the driveway project.

Place sticks or landscape stakes in the ground every 8-10 feet along the length of one side of the area that will be your driveway.

Place a second set of stakes at least 10-12 feet across from the first set of stakes to mark the width of the driveway. You may want to make the width 14 feet if your driveway curves.


You will need to know the length and width of your entire driveway. If your driveway curves, you might want to measure in sections and add them together instead of trying to measure all at once.


Part 2 of 4: Gathering Materials

Consider laying 2-3 layers of gravel. For a really stable driveway, experts recommend laying 3 separate layers of different sizes of stone. This will take extra money and planning, so you need to decide early if this is the type of driveway you want.


Determine how much of the work you can realistically do yourself. Laying a gravel driveway yourself will require time and physically intense labour. If you are physically unable to do heavy lifting and repetitive work (such as raking the gravel), you may need to hire someone to help you.


Calculate how much gravel you will need. To determine this, you need to multiply your driveway’s length ,width x depth.


The depth of the gravel can vary, but should be at least 10-15cm.

If you plan to do 2-3 layers, each layer will need to be 10-15cm’s thick, so you will to calculate each layer separately.


Order the gravel and schedule your deliveries. Call a local gravel company and tell them how much gravel you need and what size and type of gravel you prefer.

Find the hand tools that you will need. You will need a shovel, rigid metal rake, thick gardening gloves, and possibly a wheelbarrow. If you do not have these tools, consider borrowing them from a friend, buying them, or renting them.
Rent large tools that you will need. Ideally, you will use a mechanical compactor to press the dirt and rocks. This would be very expensive to buy for one project, so try to rent it from home improvement store or tool rental company.

Hire someone with a backhoe or tractor. An alternative to obtaining your own tools is to hire someone who has a backhoe. They will be able to do the work much faster than you can do it by hand.


Part 3 of 4: Preparing the Driveway Area

Level the surface of the driveway. This doesn’t have to be perfect since it will be covered by rocks, but your driveway surface should be pretty level—any areas that are deeper than other areas may lead to water pooling and cause mud puddles that have to be filled in with more gravel later.

Compact the dirt. Use a mechanical compactor, have someone drive over the area with a bulldozer, or drive over the area repeatedly with a heavy vehicle such as a large truck.

Lay down a weed matt. If you want to prevent grass and weeds from growing through your driveway, you may want to lay a weed barrier underneath your rocks.

Place your border. If you are using landscaping timber or bricks to edge your driveway, you may want to place them before the gravel is delivered so that they can hold the rocks in place. If you do not want a border, you can skip this step.


Part 4 of 4: Laying and Spreading the Gravel

Ask the gravel deliverers if they can help spread the rocks. Some trucks may only be able to dump the rocks in one big pile, but some trucks can let the rocks out a little at a time, spreading them across the span of your driveway, which will save you a lot of work.

Spread the rocks. Use a wheelbarrow to distribute the rocks evenly along the length of your driveway. Then use your shovel and hard metal rake to spread the rocks evenly across the width of your driveway.

Tamp down the rocks with the mechanical compactor. You can also try driving over the area repeatedly with a heavy vehicle such as a large truck.

Repeat the spreading and compacting process for each layer of gravel. If you only have one layer, you can move to the next step.

Grade the area. Your driveway should be slightly elevated in the middle and lower on the sides to promote water drainage.

Don’t go too crazy with the grading; you don’t want your driveway to look like a pyramid.

The ideal grade is very subtle, with the middle 2% to 5% higher than the sides
Clean up your new driveway. Be sure to “finish” your project by cleaning up. Remove the landscape stakes and twine markers.

Maintain your driveway. When necessary, rake gravel that gets displaced back into your driveway. Also think about adding gravel every 2-3 years to any low or bare spots that emerge over time.

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