When you imagine a gravel road, you’re probably picturing a run-down road through the country—the type of road that’s hard on your car and unpleasantly dusty. It might be surprising to you, then, that gravel driveways are becoming more and more popular among homeowners. The rustic look of a gravel driveway can add to your home’s appeal, and this material can be much easier to install and maintain. In this post, we’ve listed a few things to consider if you’re thinking about installing a gravel driveway.

Building a Gravel Driveway

The soil underneath a gravel driveway must be firm and well-drained. This means you’ll need to remove the topsoil until you reach the firmly packed layer of soil beneath (this step might be best left to a contractor). Then, lay down a layer of geotextile fabric, which helps preserve the driveway by keeping silt from creeping into the gravel. You’ll need more than one layer of stone—experts suggest installing two layers, one of fist-sized stones and another of golf-ball-sized rocks—before installing the final layer of gravel. Make sure the center of the driveway is higher than the sides; this will facilitate drainage. If the ground where you’d like to build the driveway has a slight slope, you may need to build a retaining wall and create a level surface before you install the driveway itself.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Not only are gravel driveways cheaper and easier to install than concrete or asphalt driveways, they’re also friendlier to the environment. They allow rainwater to seep into the earth, rather than running off an impenetrable surface. However, shoveling gravel driveways in winter can be difficult, so installing one might not be a wise choice if your Indiana home usually gets a lot of snow.

Driveway Styles

Gravel driveways can add style and character to your home’s exterior. A border of river stones or bricks instantly adds style. Pave one end of the driveway with cobblestones to create a focal point. For a European look, transform the area in front of your garage into a gravel courtyard. This creates not only a large space for vehicles but also a unique landscaping opportunity, since this style of courtyard is suited to a wide-variety of gardening techniques.

Choosing what stone to use is arguably the most important part of installing a gravel driveway. Garrity Stone is a trusted, family-owned Indianapolis business with over sixty years of experience. We’d be happy to help you choose the best stone for your driveway—just contact us at 317-546-0893.