6 Ways to Enhance the Appeal of Your Gravel Driveway

6 Ways to Enhance the Appeal of Your Gravel Driveway

A gravel driveway is a low-cost, environmentally friendly choice. Unfortunately, some homeowners worry that a gravel driveway will look cheap or unattractive. But this doesn’t have to be the case!

Here, we’ll share six tips to enhance the appeal of your gravel driveway.

1.   Choose Attractive and Functional Borders

Edging is both attractive and necessary. Without edging, your gravel will thin out over time as it gets knocked into the road and onto your yard. You can add a border to prevent this.

You can line your gravel driveway with wooden posts like railroad ties, larger stones, bricks, pavers, or plants for a beautiful border.

2.   Select the Right Stones

The color of the gravel that you choose is going to make a big difference when it comes to the visual appeal of your driveway. You may be surprised at the range of choices you have.

Pea gravel makes a great surface for walking and driving. However, larger stones are better at staying in place. You can choose a trendy color or material for curb appeal, but make sure that the stones you choose can support the weight of regular traffic to get the most bang for your buck.

3.   Make Sure Your Driveway Drains Properly

Without proper drainage, your driveway will have unsightly puddles. Worse, the expensive stone you chose can get washed away. Fortunately, you can avoid this, but you have to consider drainage during the design and construction phase.

Start by ensuring that your driveway is properly graded. This will ensure that rainwater drains away from the driveway, rather than pooling in puddles. You can also add a layer of crushed rock to facilitate proper drainage.

4.   Do the Necessary Work Upfront

Some people opt for the “dump and spread” technique to construct their gravel driveways. This may look fine at first, but eventually, you’re likely to be faced with issues as stones wash away due to poor drainage.

A gravel driveway is a major construction project. This process includes digging out the driveway and adding layers of sand or stone. Each layer must then be compacted for structural stability. Finally, consider using a weed barrier to prevent grass and other plants from coming up between the rocks.

5.   Use a Designer’s Approach

What is the best placement for your driveway? Should it run alongside your house? Do you need a larger parking pad at the top of the driveway or a turnaround? Will the driveway terminate right next to your home or should you plan to include steps or a walkway?

Think about the overall aesthetics and function. Consider the layout of your home and the rest of your landscaping, as well. You want your driveway to complement your existing structure, rather than looking like an afterthought.

6.   Plan for Regular Maintenance

You’re going to need to maintain your gravel driveway to keep it nice looking. Over time, you’re going to lose stones, as some may get washed out along the edges or compacted. As vehicles drive in and out of your driveway, they’ll eventually leave pits that can fill with water.

You can take the following steps to keep your driveway looking nice:

  • Rake gravel from the sides of your driveway towards the center
  • Smooth over dips left from tires before they become a problem
  • Place a tarp under any vehicle that may be leaking oil or other fluids

Finally, plan to refresh your gravel driveway with new stones each year.

A Pro Can Help

To ensure that your driveway lasts for years, consider getting advice from a professional. Contact Tigard Sand & Gravel for advice and insights on the best materials for your project.