Adding a classic gravel driveway to your house can boost its curb appeal and, subsequently, its resale value. So, whether you are planning to put your property on the market or are simply looking for an easy and cost-effective DIY project, our comprehensive guide on how to make a gravel driveway over grass will surely intrigue you.
Gravel pathways and driveways are popular in most parts of the country due to their numerous advantages. For starters, they are rather inexpensive. Moreover, compared to asphalt and concrete, gravel is easier to maintain and replenish. All you need to do is add more stones to the driveway to fill any potholes. In addition, it drains better than most of its counterparts. It is also very compact, making it a stable surface for foot traffic and vehicles alike.
While you can hire a professional to convert a part of your grass lawn into a gravel driveway, please note that you will save a substantial sum by doing the job yourself. Even if you are new to the world of DIY home improvement, our article on laying a gravel driveway will help you through each step of the process.
What You’ll Need
Before we begin, these are some of the materials and tools you’ll require to replace grass with gravel and build a driveway.
Landscape edging stakes
Now that you know what to get let’s look at how to make a gravel driveway over grass.
Step 1: Define the Path of the Driveway
You must first mark a path for your gravel driveway, starting from the curb to the end. You can use landscaping stakes for this purpose and connect them with twine to define a clear area. It will help you determine how much grass you need to clear and the quantity of gravel you must order.
Also, don’t forget to put on your working gloves before starting on the project.
Step 2: Remove the Grass
Once you have defined the shape and area of your driveway, it is time to replace grass with gravel. However, to do so, you will first need to remove any grass or shrubbery from the marked-off section.
There are several different ways of removing grass. Most people prefer using chemicals to kill the layer of green. Depending on the turf, it may take a few applications and several days to completely clear the area of any grass.
Alternatively, you can choose the labor-intensive method of digging out the topsoil. Although it requires a lot of physical effort, this technique is usually more effective. To make the process easier, make sure to water the grass a day before the removal, so the soil is wet and easy to dig. You will need a shovel and a rake to complete this part of the project.
Step 3: Install a Weed Barrier
If you have used a landscape fabric before, you would probably know that it needs an even surface underneath to avoid bunching and bumps. A weed barrier or membrane works similarly. Though it prevents weed from growing through the gravel and damaging your driveway, it requires a flat layer of dirt underneath it.
Before laying down the fabric and pushing it to its place, please make sure to remove any debris from the ground. You can secure the weed membrane on the driveway using staples, mallets, and big stones.
Step 4: Choose the Right Gravel
When it comes to laying a gravel driveway, the type of gravel you choose can have a huge impact on its appearance, durability, and functionality.
There are four popular types of gravels that you should know about: pea gravel, crushed rocks, self-binding gravel, and drain rock gravel.
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While pea gravel is smooth and round, it is typically used in gardens, patios, and walkways. Meanwhile, crushed rock gravel has relatively sharp edges, making it an unsuitable choice for garden and patios. However, since it is compact and stays in place for a long time, it can be a good option for your driveway.
Self-binding gravel is another great choice for driveways. It is fine, firm, stable, and most importantly, very low maintenance. You can also consider laying a gravel driveway using drain rock gravel. As the name suggests, this material offers excellent drainage. Moreover, these rocks are on the larger side, making them an ideal option for high traffic areas.
Step 5: Lay the Gravel
Once you have laid the weed membrane and bought the gravel of your choice, it’s time to wrap up your DIY project.
It would be best to remove any sticks or debris on top of the landscape fabric and use a wheelbarrow to slowly pour the gravel. You can also use a shovel to evenly distribute the gravel to create an even surface. Please make sure to move your wheelbarrow along the driveway to ensure you’re not putting too much weight on one spot, as it may cause the membrane to sink.
Continue the process until your marked-off area is covered with small rocks.
Step 6: Soak the Driveway
Although it is one of the most important parts of the project, most people completely forgo the final step of the process.
Once your gravel driveway looks complete, connect a hose to an outside tap or spigot to soak the driveway. This would allow the dust to settle down quickly. Since the weed membrane provides optimal drainage, you don’t have to worry about moisture ruining your brand-new driveway.
However, it is worth mentioning that the gravel may sink a few centimeters as it settles over the next couple of weeks. Therefore, you may have to top it off to avoid an uneven surface.
Our Final Thoughts
If you don’t have time to look after the grass in front of your home or are looking for ways to make the exterior of your property more attractive, these steps to replace grass with gravel will help you determine exactly how to proceed.
Hopefully, our guide on how to make a gravel driveway over grass has addressed all your concerns about this cost-effective and value-adding task. If you are interested in learning about more DIY projects, please stay connected.