What Is The Cost of a Gravel Driveway?
If you are looking for an easy to maintain driveway, then a gravel driveway is the ideal solution.
Gravel driveways have been popular for many years, with homeowners favouring this type of driveway. Unlike block paving, tarmac, or concrete driveways, it adds a different look and character to the front of your property. Also, it’s easier to keep it looking fresh more than the other types of driveways.
If you use your driveway to park your car, it can feel quite country-like to drive over the gravel stones – as if you were pulling up to a stately home. You should drive slowly over the gravel to prevent there being a gravel stone build-up where you park your car.
You also might find that sometimes the gravel stones will fix themselves to your tyres, but there’s no need to worry as this perfectly fine, and they will work themselves out as you drive along the road tarmac.
Also, another benefit of having a gravel driveway is for a little bit of added safety. As when you walk or drive onto gravel, it makes a noise. This could help deter people away due to the sound of someone walking on it. If you care about the environment, having a gravel driveway is good for the ground. The gravel is porous and allows water through to the ground to replenish it.
One of the best features of a gravel driveway is that it’s very long-lasting and will look great for many years. Also, if over time you notice some gravel stones are missing, or areas look a bit patchy, the good news is all you need to do is buy a bag of gravel.
You can fill it in yourself to prevent you from having to pay a further cost of having someone in to do this for you. Each bag of gravel you buy will tell you how much coverage you will get per bag, so you may only need just one bag to get your driveway looking good again.
The price of a new driveway will vary based on a few factors. You’ll need to consider the amount of work that will need to be done to the sub-base to create a surface for the gravel.
You can expect the cost of a gravel driveway to be between £25 to £70 per square metre, with an average cost of around £55 per square metre. If you need a large driveway project to be completed, your driveway gravel cost will be a lot more than for a smaller project.
What Factors Alter the Price of a New Driveway With Gravel?
There are a few factors that will affect the gravel drive cost, from the size of your driveway to the amount of sub-base work that needs to be done.
The Size of Your Driveway
As you can imagine, a smaller gravel driveway will cost a lot less than a larger driveway. If you’re completing a large driveway, you’ll need a lot of materials. Buying the gravel in bulk capacity can reduce the cost per square metre. So instead of paying the top end of £75 per sq metre, buying in bulk may reduce the cost more than the average cost of £55 per sq metre.
The driveway price for block paving driveways will certainly increase with the size of your driveway. With block paving, you pay for each piece of block, and they remain the same in price.
The Condition of the Existing Driveway
This is going to be one of the deciding factors of how much the new driveway will cost you. If your existing driveway is not in a good enough condition to be able to fully support the top layer of gravel that’s poured on, it will need to be removed, and a new sub base will need to be put in instead.
If the new driveway requires the old one to be removed and completely re-done, this will increase the overall cost that you will need to pay. It will also increase the time it takes for your gravel driveway project to be finished.
A good sub-base is crucial to have a sturdy and long-lasting driveway. To create a good sub-base, excavation work may need to be carried out, which will add to the driveway cost.
Once a good sub-base is put into place and had time to set, you can apply the gravel.
If you opt for a tarmac driveway, the condition of the existing drive won’t matter as the tarmac will be poured over the existing driveway and will fill any gaps. The tarmac will then be levelled to the required height.
The Type of Gravel Used
There are a few types of gravel that can be used to create driveways. The cost of some types of gravel will be higher than others, but it’s up to you if you want to pay the price for higher quality gravel. This may be worth it as it will last for a longer period.
If you do want to reduce the cost, then you could choose gravel that’s slightly lower than the mid-range type; it will cost you less per sq meter of gravel.
The Extra Bits
Cosmetic features will increase the driveway cost. Gravel may need to be controlled with extras, such as edgings.
If you want your gravel to stay in place without it moving too far, especially if you’re parking vehicles on the driveway, then edgings are essential. You can get edgings that will go all around the sides.
You can also purchase a hump style one that can be placed at the entrance of your driveway. This is an extra that you should invest in, but it will add to the cost of a gravel driveway.
Another essential extra is the laying of a membrane. This will prevent the growth of weeds and any greenery. This is a must as you don’t want any weeds to affect the appearance of your driveway. Also, you don’t want to have to go around and pull up the weeds. Ensure gravel is positioned correctly to prevent them from appearing again.
You may have a concern regarding the drainage of your driveway; you may need to think about this if you live in an area that suffers from heavy rainfall or is prone to excessive groundwater.
There are a few options for increasing the drainage of a driveway; this includes a soakaway and a system that allows water to seep through to the ground, ensuring it’s not left on top of the surface. Driveway grids create this system, and they are shaped like a honeycomb to allow water through.
The Disposal of Waste Cost
If your driveway requires a lot of excavation work, you’ll be charged to take this unwanted material away. The price of this can range from a small fee to a larger fee. This depends on how much needs to be disposed of and the company that you use.
If you currently have block paving, tarmac or concrete, it may cost more to dispose of these materials than it would a grass driveway.
The Cost of Labour
The price of your new driveway will be affected by the cost of labour. The price that each driveway specialist will charge you for their time and labour will vary. Some larger companies may charge more per hour, while others may charge slightly less. Also, labour costs will be different throughout the UK. If you live in a highly populated city, you may pay more. For example, a company in London will charge more than a company in a Northern town or city.
The longer it takes to complete your driveway project, then labour will cost more – you are paying for their time.
How to Keep The Driveway Cost Low
There are a few things you can do to help you reduce the overall gravel driveway cost.
If you use gravel that has been sourced locally, this will reduce the gravel driveway’s cost as you will be paying less per square metre for the material.
Many companies will design and complete driveways, from small companies to larger companies. Driveways can be expensive, but if you use a local and smaller company, you may be able to save yourself some money. They will generally charge you less than the larger companies as they don’t have so many overheads to pay for.
Make sure the company you use is specialised in completing driveways. You want to make sure they do a good job that will last; you won’t want to pay out again to rectify shoddy work.
Another way to help you reduce the cost of your new driveway is to get a few quotes from different reputable companies. This will help you see the variations in price. From there, you can choose the one that you would prefer to pay for. Have a look at each quote and make sure it includes the basics that are needed to complete a gravel driveway, such as the inclusion of grave costs, edging, excavation, and any other work that will be required.
The ultimate way to reduce your gravel driveway cost is to do the work yourself. You will save a lot of money in terms of labour costs as you’ll be working for free, but it will take you a lot longer than it would a professional.
If your existing driveway needs to be excavated, this may be an issue. If you’re doing it yourself, you may not have access to the tools required or know how to operate them properly. You will also probably need to hire a skip to take the unwanted materials away.
Another aspect to think about is your pipework. Do you know where it runs? You don’t want to affect your water or gas supply by digging too deep. Even though it will save a sufficient amount of money, it’s probably best to stick to a professional if you do need to remove the ground.
If you only need to do top layer work, then this is more achievable for a do-it-yourself driveway project.
How Long Do Gravel Driveways Take to Complete?
As with most aspects above, this will depend on if the ground needs to be removed to create a new sub-base and if you have a large driveway.
Smaller driveways will be quicker to complete. However, some factors can make them take a bit longer, such as the condition of the ground. Your driveway specialist will need to spend a good amount of time perfecting this layer to ensure you have a great foundation.
Driveways that only need the gravel replacing shouldn’t take longer than a day to complete. The removal of old gravel should be easy. A new layer will only require levelling once you pour the gravel on top of the surface.
The average time it takes to complete a gravel driveway is around two days.
A small driveway will take between 1 to 2 days to complete. The good news about a driveway that isn’t made from materials like concrete or tarmac is there is no drying time required. Concrete will take longer to set when the weather is cold and wet.
Medium and large driveways will take around 2 to 3 days to finish.
What Are the Benefits of this Type of Driveway?
There are many benefits of this type of driveway, but the biggest benefit is the low maintenance required to keep it looking fresh and tidy.
The stones will move over time. If you use it to park your car, that will only require you to use a broom to push back any stones that have come out of the designated driveway area. However, decent edging should prevent this from occurring – so edging is a must to give you an easy life.
If you notice a small area with fewer stones, all you will need to do is buy a small bag to top it up and then use your broom to level it off.
If a weed membrane has been laid, it should keep weeds away, although you may find a few areas have sprout weeds. If so, it won’t take too long to dig out the weeds and then apply some weed killer.
Other than those little jobs, you shouldn’t have any other maintenance tasks. The stones are hard wearing and will last a very long time.
Another benefit is that you don’t need to worry about a water surface on top of your driveway. If you have porous stones or a drainage system, the water will filter through to the ground.