Maybe you’re tired of the look of your old concrete or asphalt driveway.
Perhaps you’re eager to install a home driveway that completely stands out from the others on the block. Or it could be that your current crushed stone driveway simply needs to be redone.
Regardless of the reasoning behind your interest in working with crushed stone, there are some things you need to know before you jump into the construction phase with both feet.
Taking just a few moments to brush up on your crushed stone driveway design, installation and maintenance facts will go a long way to ensure that you have a positive experience with your next big project.
Crushed Stone Driveways: Benefits and Considerations
First things first. Before you can take any steps towards installing a crushed stone driveway, you need to determine that this type of drive is actually the right fit for you. This is accomplished through taking a good, hard look at the various benefits and possible drawbacks to the project:
- Pro: Unique Appearance – One of the biggest advantages to working with crushed stone is that you will have a lot of freedom in terms of the overall look that you desire to create for your driveway. There are many different types of stones available, each of which can be used to create a specific look or theme throughout the property. The loose stones also tend to attract attention as they stand out and are very unique when compared to other driveway surfacing materials.
- Con: Moveable Stones – Because it is loose, crushed stone can be kicked or otherwise displaced into yards and surrounding areas. To remedy this issue, you might make the decision to use an edging material which will work to keep the driveway in place.
- Pro: Very Affordable – Crushed stone is, most certainly one of the most affordable options for homeowners looking to install an attractive and reliable driveway on a budget.
- Con: Non-Permanent – Unlike concrete and asphalt, crushed stone isn’t permanent and a fresh layer of gravel will need to be applied every 1-2 years in order to keep it looking and functioning correctly.
- Pro: Ease of Maintenance – There isn’t a lot involved in the crushed stone driveway maintenance process. Simply raking debris away from the driveway and filling in low spots with fresh gravel will do the trick.
- Con: Winter Care Concerns – Although winter care is a concern, it’s an easily resolved one. Homeowners only need to adjust their snowblower blades to skim the top of the rocks or shovel to a depth of just above the drive’s surface.
After weighing the advantages against the considerations, it’s time to make a decision. If you still feel positive about a crushed stone driveway installation, proceed to the next section.
Crushed Stone Driveway Installation Process
The process of installing a new crushed stone driveway is pretty simple and straight-forward. Even so, we recommend that unless you’re an ambitious or skilled do-it-yourselfer, you seek out the help of a professional contractor for the work. In either case, however, it’s important to know what goes into the installation process. This will ensure that the work is done correctly.
Once the driveway’s layout has been designed and marked off, you’ll need to carefully excavate the area. For the most part, contractors and homeowners choose to utilize special equipment for this process, as it is very labor-intensive.
You’ll need to make sure that the depth is even throughout the driveway coverage area and that the bottom and side walls are cleared of any roots, rocks or other debris.
Next, a layer of landscaping fabric should be applied to act as a barrier against weeds and a deterrent to pests. Once in place, the first layer of stone should be poured into the driveway and compacted, followed by the second layer, and so forth.
From here, it’s wise to rake over the surface of the new driveway to make sure that the crushed stone is evenly distributed, and to create a slight peak running down the center of the driveway for runoff drainage. Lastly, you might decide to create a border or edge around the driveway that will make the surface “pop” and help to keep stones in place.
Crushed Stone Driveway Materials Needs
It’s important to understand that a crushed stone driveway is comprised of multiple layers. In order for the drive to be strong and durable enough to support the weight of your vehicles, it will need to have a base layer that consists of 4″-6″ of very large crushed stones.
Next, a second layer of slightly smaller crushed stones will need to be applied. This should also be 4″-6″ in depth. The final 4″-6″ of crushed stone will be comprised of the gravel or other material that you have selected for its esthetic purposes.
In total, you will have a driveway that is 12″-18″ in depth. In order to determine how much crushed stone you’ll need to purchase for the project, you will be required to use a stone calculator for each layer.
Simply enter the length and width of the project area as well as the depth of the layer to reveal how many cubic yards or cubic tons of material is needed. You may also want to order a bit of extra material to store for replenishing your top layer over time, as needed.
Crushed Stone Driveway Cost
Most of our customers have concerns about how much money they’ll need to invest in their crushed stone driveways. Fortunately, crushed stone is the most affordable surfacing material and, as such, projects using this material can be suitable for most any budget. Generally speaking, a crushed stone driveway’s cost will depend on several factors.
First, you need to consider the overall size and scope of the project. The more complex and intricate the design or layout is, the more labor expenses will be required, whereas the larger the coverage area, the more your materials expenses will increase.
In addition to this, you should think about the type of rock that you are planning to use. Certain materials are costlier than others, so it’s a good idea to get an estimate on your different options before making a decision.
Finally, be sure to shop around for the right crushed stone supplier. The best course of action is to find a local, direct manufacturer and supplier that has your best interests at heart.
Are you interested in learning more about how to move forward with plans for your crushed stone driveway? Feel free to reach out to the professionals at Braen Stone. After more than a century in the industry, we have the knowledge and expertise required to help you make the best decisions about your project.
You’ll find all of the crushed stone materials that you need to get the job done. Our crushed stone is available at wholesale prices and can be picked up or bulk delivered to locations throughout parts of NJ, NY, PA and CT.