Crushed stone is an ideal material for those who are interested in a unique and attractive driveway on a budget they can afford. Homeowners can enjoy the beautiful look and satisfying “crunch” of gravel beneath their feet and tires, and appreciate the many benefits that are associated with a crushed stone driveway.
Before making the decision to move forward with the installation of a crushed stone driveway though, savvy homeowners take the time to research both the advantages and the possible disadvantages.
To help you make the most informed choice possible, this post will highlight the pros and the considerations that go hand-in-hand with a crushed stone driveway project.
Crushed Stone Driveway Pros
There wouldn’t be so many people electing to install crushed stone driveways if there weren’t some perks to doing so. The benefits of this type of driveway include:
1) Crushed Stone Options
One of the greatest things about working with crushed stone is that it’s easy to find a type of material that you like and that works well within the scope of your property. This is because there are so many different types of crushed stone available to work with.
While many enjoy the look of traditional crushed, or washed clean stone, others prefer the appearance of something more decorative. You might fall in love with the shimmering quality of white marble chips or the flecks of interesting colors in pea gravel.
2) Style Versatility
Although some people might associate a crushed stone driveway with a rural residence, the fact of the matter is that crushed stone can look and function beautifully in any landscape or style of exterior home decor.
A traditional and stately home will benefit from the European touches that crushed gravel can offer, whereas those who enjoy the simple pleasures in life may create a setting for their home that evokes a notion of being in a forest. Whether modern and funky or classic and elegant, crushed stone will fit the bill.
3) Design Flexibility
You’ll love the fact that you are virtually free of any limitations in terms of how you are able to design the layout of your new driveway. The crushed stone can be poured into any shape – no matter how irregular – so that your driveway can be just as unique as you are.
Everyone likes to know that the driveway materials they’ve selected are affordable within the scope of their overall budget. Of all of the surfacing options for residential driveways, crushed stone is perhaps the cheapest.
This is especially true when you make the decision to purchase your crushed stone from a local manufacturer and supplier. This will ensure that the materials come at a fair cost as opposed to being resold or transported over great distances which can make prices significantly higher.
5) Ease of Installation
Whether you decide to handle the project on your own or hire professional help, the installation of crushed stone driveways is relatively fast and simple. With the right tools and skill sets, the project can be completed efficiently over a short period of time so that you can start enjoying your driveway ASAP.
The area will first need to be excavated and cleared of any debris. The area must then be compacted down and a sheet of landscaping fabric should be applied.
Next, a layer of large crushed stone will be poured as a base with a second layer of slightly smaller stone, followed at last by the top layer of crushed stone. This should then be raked to ensure that the surface is even before usage.
6) Immediate Usage
Unlike other surfacing materials like concrete and asphalt which need to dry and cure before they can be used, crushed stone can be walked and driven upon right away. You won’t have to mark your calendar or count the hours to ensure that your vehicle won’t cause serious cosmetic and structural damage to the surface. As soon as the driveway is completed, it can be used.
7) Low Maintenance
Save yourself some time and energy on maintenance tasks by installing a crushed stone driveway. You’ll find that very little work will go a very long way in terms of keeping your driveway in tip-top shape. The biggest problem you should have with your driveway is that blowing leaves, grass and sticks might become stuck amongst the gravel.
All you’ll need to do is rake over the surface from time to time to clear this out. At the same time, raking can help you to keep the gravel evenly distributed throughout the drive, and you can continue to rake the center of the driveway to a peak to allow water to run off either side in the event of rain.
In situations where low spots appear, you’ll want to quickly fill in the problem areas with fresh gravel. Taking gravel from another area of the driveway will only end up creating more problems down the line. Finally, a fresh layer of gravel should be applied to the driveway every 1-2 years.
Crushed Stone Driveway Considerations
It’s just as important to anticipate and be aware of any possible disadvantages or considerations associated with a crushed stone driveway. Some things to think about include:
1) Displaced Stone
One complaint that some homeowners have with regard to crushed stone driveways relates to stones becoming kicked around or displaced by both foot and vehicular traffic. When this happens, loose rocks may end up in the grass which can create issues during lawn mowing efforts.
In addition to this, stone needs to be replenished more frequently than it ought. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to this problem. All you need to do is line your driveway with an edging material, such as pavers, bricks or other stones. Your stones will stay in place and your driveway will look even more spectacular.
2) Replenishing Stone
Remember that in order to keep your driveway in good working order, you’ll need to apply a fresh layer of gravel every 1-2 years. Although this may seem like a pain initially, though, be aware that any type of driveway you choose will require some regular maintenance that might come in the form of annual sealing or repairs to major cracks and gaps in the pavement.
3) Snow/Ice Removal
Here in NJ, we have to be concerned with snow and ice removal. When shoveling a crushed stone driveway, you need to make sure that you’re digging to just above the surface of the gravel. If you’re using a snow plow, you’ll need to alter the blade settings so that they don’t come into contact with the rocks.
When these steps are taken, you shouldn’t have any problem with getting rid of snow and ice as you usually would.
Work With a Crushed Stone Driveway Expert
After having considered both sides of the equation, you’re ready to decide whether or not a crushed stone driveway is right for you. Feel free to get in touch with the experts at Braen Stone for further information, to receive answers to all of your questions, or to obtain valuable advice and input. Our team is happy to help you make plans for your new driveway so that you can start making your dreams come true today.