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Gravel Driveway? Y/N, and how?

(21 Posts)
ChaseAvenal Wed 17-Aug-16 23:49:06

Hi, I need some help with our driveway. We bought our first house a few months ago and currently we have a concrete section for parking on, and a concrete pathway up to the door. There is gravel in between but the plastic underneath is very ripped and the entire gravel area is covered with weeds that have come through.

I was originally hoping for a paved driveway but apparently it's very expensive! So I'm considering something like the picture instead, gravel with a slab pathway. We don't have a car at the moment but are looking to get one in the next couple of years, so I'm interested to know how gravel driveways are for parking on.

If it does seem like a good idea, how we would go about getting rid of what we have currently and creating something like this, and how much this would it be likely to cost, either to get the materials and do it ourselves if it's not going to be too difficult, or get someone to do it for us if it's more complicated than that.

Sorry, I know I sound very naive, I've never really done anything like this before!

PiafPilaf Thu 18-Aug-16 00:07:41

Parking on it will be fine as they put enough underneath it to make sure the car doesn't sink. We had our old, battered Tarmac drive ripped up and replaced with gravel. Cost about £2500 but it's pretty big - I reckon about 100sqm.

You could do it yourself but in order for it to be suitable for driving on you need 4 inches of hardcore (big rocky chunks) which are then levelled / partly crushed down with a fun device called a whacked plate, then the weed block and then the gravel. Plus whatever edging you need. That's after you've somehow broken up and removed all your Tarmac. Took three men three days with all the right equipment here. I'd get someone else to do it - there are some jobs that it's not worth doing yourself unless you have the tools and the expertise!

Propertyquandry Thu 18-Aug-16 00:10:51

Ours cost about 8k but most of that cost was the membrane and the hexagonal plastic things they put down to prevent too much movement. It's fine to park on although I have ruined 2 pairs of heels trying to walk across it.

Rollercoaster1920 Thu 18-Aug-16 00:11:21

Pay for tarmac, paving or even concrete. Buggies are crap on gravel. Bicycles too. Gravel spreads, needs sweeping back into place. Gets weeds and dirty too. Looks and sounds nice though!

The path to the front door on that picture is annoying, not gravel, not paved. Worst of both worlds. Imagine pulling a wheelie suitcase or mcclaren type buggy across those gravel bits.

Propertyquandry Thu 18-Aug-16 00:19:09

Rollercoaster, we don't get weeds and it barely moves at all. It's all tightly packed into the hexagons. But yes, buggies and heels. Not good.

PiafPilaf Thu 18-Aug-16 00:24:41

Yes buggies are a pain. Keeps me fit though grinAlso great for security as nobody can come near our house without us hearing!

Fuzzywuzzywasabear Thu 18-Aug-16 00:26:18

We have gravel the builders did a crap job we have weeds everywhere and it goes all over the pavement I'd get it paved and wish we'd not let the builder bully us into letting them put the gravel down it does not "look better" hmmsad

ChaseAvenal Thu 18-Aug-16 01:01:09

Yes, I was a bit concerned with that path, stones getting all over it, and even before DCs come along we would have to drag our wheelie bins across it! That was my reason for changing from previously thinking a stepping stone path, but still could be an issue.

That sounds pretty good pricewise Piaf, would definitely prefer someone else to do it as I feel too much could go wrong, and ours can't be more than 40sqm.

As i said, paved would be my longer term preference but I've seen people say that's usually 5k+ depending on area. Open to other suggestions, but really can't see us wanting to spend more than 2k when we've got the rest of the house to do, so if it can't be done for that it might just have to stay as it is and we'll keep attacking the weeds!

GiddyOnZackHunt Thu 18-Aug-16 01:07:03

Is it bad to say Giant Cat Litter Tray?

ChaseAvenal Thu 18-Aug-16 01:41:23

Sadly my cats might see it that way grin

OttoTheOnly Thu 18-Aug-16 03:08:20

My cats have never used the gravel driveway as a litter tray - they prefer the garden borders. Grrr.

Gravel is lovely and scrunchy underfoot, but is a pain for wheeling anything over - buggies, bicycles, scooters, dust bins...
Pain to keep in place and needs occasional sweeping and weeding for the bloody odd weed that peeks through.
And small boys like grabbing handfuls and chucking it up in the air - although that may just be my small boys who enjoy doing that. Grrr again.

It is good security though - you can't get near the house without making a noise, and it looks lovely. So much nicer than block paving, and allows the rain to actually soak into the ground, which is a bonus.

ShortLass Thu 18-Aug-16 07:51:12

I've you get stones of a certain size (larger) then cats don't see it as a litter tray. They will do with smaller stones (I think pea shingle is bad for that). So it's worth checking.

PigletJohn Thu 18-Aug-16 08:01:57

Hoggin not gravel.

And a thick rolled base.

Propertyquandry Thu 18-Aug-16 13:38:02

It's fine if you do it properly. It doesn't get weeds and it hardly moves. It's also brick edged where it meets the pavement so very little if any gravel gets onto the pavement.

The problems start when you see it as a cheaper alternative to block paving and get it done by Cowboys. They rarely use a proper membrane or use the hexagonal frame which are necessary unless you want weeds, uneven surfaces and gravel everywhere.

thelionsleepstonight Thu 18-Aug-16 13:45:14

Is it not cheaper than paving then?

Propertyquandry Thu 18-Aug-16 13:56:55

I think the thing is that you can get it done cheaper than paving. But having it done properly so you don't get weeds and movement makes the price very similar.

We opted for gravel for security after next door were burgled. Plus the outside of the house was a bit dark and the gravel lifted the look of that makes sense.

thelionsleepstonight Thu 18-Aug-16 14:10:21

How did you find someone reputable? We need to get ours done. I would prefer paved but thought it would be much more costly, so would be good to get both quoted for.

bojorojo Thu 18-Aug-16 15:05:34

Ask local landscape contractors. We have lots advertising in our local town magazine. For what it is worth we have paving from the gate to the front door and Tarmac for parking. The drive is circular and the outer edges are gravel but edged with plants. Gravel takes more effort to keep looking good and I would never have it as a path. We have pea shingle not larger gravel. That looks like a beach. We have a second gravel area that is used for additional parking when needed but it is edged with granite setts to keep the gravel off the grass. Nothing is ever cheap!

Mrsladybirdface Thu 18-Aug-16 15:28:20

We have a quote coming for a very similar sized drive hopefully coming this week. This is from reputable people who have just done our garden...he said roughly it would be double for block paving.

Also with block paving you may need planning permission

Propertyquandry Thu 18-Aug-16 16:17:20

We found our contractors on a local rate my services type of website. They were local and also advertised in the parish mag.

PigletJohn Thu 18-Aug-16 17:28:34

hoggin is a mixture of small stones, sand, and enough clay to bind it. It can be rolled into a smooth surface that does not kick up or easily form ruts like shingle will. Serious paving and drive contractors will know it.

I had to dig a trench in one that was a hundred years old, it was still firm and flat. It needed a pickaxe. Somebody had thrown shingle over the top, it had all migrated downhill.

Have a look at the Paving Expert website.

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