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How to Lay a Gravel Driveway

Read on for our easy to follow guide on how to lay gravel to create a new driveway!

When laying a gravel drive the first thing you’ll need to do is measure the area you want covering and decide how much, and what, materials you’ll need.

The type of ground and the depth you need to raise it by will determine your materials. You’ll obviously be needing gravel but you may also require crusher-run and anti-weed membrane.

As a rule of thumb; 1 tonne of gravel or aggregate (20mm is best for a gravel driveway) will cover approximately 25m² (270 ft²) at a depth of about 25mm (1 inch).

If you need to build up the level or fill in any dips then each tonne of crusher-run (also known as MOT type 1 or hard-core) will cover about 20m² (216 ft²) at a depth of 25mm (1 inch).

To work out exactly what you need, the calculations are…

Metres – length x width x 0.04 = tonnes of gravel you’ll need. Multiply again by 1.25 for the amount of crusher-run you need.

Feet – Length x width, divide by 9, divide by 1.2 x 0.04 = how many tonnes of gravel you need. Multiply again by 1.25 for the tonnes of crusher-run you need.

Ideally you want to clear off or flatten the area you are covering completely.

If you have slabs or paving then you really want to take those up – even if they are broken.

Crusher-run acts as a great foundation for any building project. The dust will settle between the larger, 40mm pieces of limestone and will compact to form a level, solid surface.

If you can, get a whacker plate or roller and go over it once it’s lain down to level it out and form a nice, solid surface. This will ensure that any holes or dips are levelled out and will create a base for the gravel.

If you need to raise the level of your drive then go for a Crusher-run base as you only need 1 to 1.5 inches maximum of gravel.

You can lay a gravel drive directly over any existing slabs etc. but this is not ideal and you will need to form a base for the gravel to sink into.

Gravel is an excellent choice for driveways it comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, colours and tones.

Aggregates create a non-solid, porous surface. It is highly likely that in the very near future you will have to obtain planning permission for paved driveways as during heavy rain the water has no-where to go but off the drive onto the road – this results in adding to the risk of drains overflowing and ultimately flooding.

If you have a gravel driveway then the water can filter through and sink into the ground – reducing the risk of flooding and is therefore less likely that you'll need to get planning permission. However this varies from council to council so please give your local planners a call to check first.

Most planning authorities have a planner on hand every week day between 9am and 5pm who can answer many questions over the phone. A good rule of thumb is; if your neighbours have gravel driveways then a president has already been set and you are less likely to require planning permission.

 
  1. Prepare the ground – remove any paving slabs etc. if at all possible.
  2. Lay a base of crusher-run down first if you need to raise the level or if it uneven.
  3. Roll or whacker plate the crusher-run base.
  4. Lay down a fabric membrane to cover the entire area to prevent any weeds from peeping up in your new driveway – you can edge it if you wish with sleepers/bricks etc. but this is not necessary as the gravel will weight it down anyway.
  5. Order your chosen gravel or crushed slate. You will want to go for a 20mm for a driveway – it is easy to walk on and will not scatter as easily or get stuck in tyre treads as a 10mm would; any larger than a 20mm and you will find it very difficult to walk over.
  6. Spread the gravel over the membrane at a depth of 1 – 1.5 inches.
  7. Get a cuppa and admire your new gravel driveway – you’re all done.