Gravel driveways are a popular choice for many. Although simple in design, they add a certain grandeur to any home, are simple to lay and fairly low maintenance. So what exactly can you do with gravel and aggregates to create your ideal driveway? Let us share a few tips…
Shape and design
When choosing a design for your driveway, it's good to start by looking at the front of your home. Analyse what exactly would complement the style of your home in terms of colour and lines. For example, would a straight design with a walkway leading to the front door look best or would a curved shape look better?
Dimensions are also important. Your gravel driveway needs to be wide enough to fit your car or cars and there needs to be enough room either side of the car for people to step on to the driveway.
Have you thought about adding plants to your driveway? Placing shrubs or sculpted hedging around the border of the driveway softens the look and makes it more natural. Railway sleepers also work well as simple but attractive edging and are strong enough to withstand a few bashes from car tyres over the years.
Choosing the right materials
Texture and colour are important elements in the design of your gravel driveway. When arranging driveway gravel, consider which colour aggregates would complement the colour of your house.
Neutral colours such as beige, white and grey are good options as they will suit most houses. If you want to brighten up your driveway however, incorporating plum slate in the design works extremely well.
Shingle is a versatile product that can be used as driveway gravel. In lighter shades, pea shingle can add a contemporary twist to a driveway and in darker shades, shingle can look more natural and rustic.
Or why not mix it up and use both? Using different colours and textures can create a truly unique and individual look.
What else to consider?
• Bear in mind that gravel does not work well on sloping driveways as it needs regular top-up resurfacing and will drift over time. So choose a different method on a driveway with any gradient.
• Don't not make the depth of the gravel any more than three inches. Deeper than this and it's likely to move around when cars drive over it, showing tyre ruts.
• Gravel driveways need annual maintenance to keep them looking good. Make sure you clear weeds and sweep any escaped gravel back on the the drive.
• Even out any undulations that appear in your driveway. Be aware that you will, at some point, need to refresh the top surface of the drive as the weight of your cars driving over it will inevitably cause it to compact.