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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Driveways, Pools & Outdoor Living > Gravel Driveway

Gravel Driveway Cost


How Much Does a Gravel Driveway Cost?

 
low costLow: Starts at $300-$1,560average costMedium: Typically $450-$1,800high costHigh: Very Long Driveways Can Run $11,000-$60,000
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Compacted gravel is typically used to create a base to provide support and drainage for a driveway; using gravel as the finished surface (rather than asphalt, concrete, pavers or other options) is generally the least expensive type of driveway. It's possible to create a rough driveway by having a dump truck spread crushed rock in the desired area, but this will not be as durable as a correctly designed, built and maintained gravel driveway, which can last 50-100 years or more.

Typical costs:

  • Complete installation of a driveway with a base and surface layer of compacted gravel starts at roughly $0.75-$3 or more a square foot, or about $300-$1,000 for a 12'x25' single-car driveway, 4"-8" thick. These prices can double for a roadway-quality driveway (geotextile fabric covered with three layers of compacted gravel, each about 3"-4" thick), or $450-$1,800 for 12'x25' and $11,000-$60,000 or more for a driveway 12' wide and a quarter-mile long. Slopes, curves and poor soil conditions (requiring additional prep work) can all add to the total cost.
  • A cubic yard of driveway-grade crushed gravel costs about $10-$60 or more, depending on whether it is picked up by the customer at the gravel yard or delivered to the job site, and the size and type of gravel used. (A cubic yard of gravel is 3'x3'x3' and weighs roughly 1.2 to 1.7 tons or more). A 12'x25' single-car driveway 9" thick requires an estimated 10-14 tons, which can cost $100-$850. A 14'x100' driveway 6" thick requires about 26 tons of gravel, or $260-$1,560 for just the stones.
  • Paving contractors typically do not charge by the square foot, but instead quote their total price for a specific project.
What should be included:
  • Crushed rock gravel is used for driveways, because the sharp edges of these angular stones bind together better under pressure than smooth-edged river gravel. Typically all soil and plants are removed; geotextile fabric may be installed to stabilize the gravel; and several layers of gravel 3"-4" deep are installed and compacted. Ask The Builder provides an overview[1] .
Additional costs:
  • There are often local regulations governing the width of the driveway and the materials used to build it. Typically a permit is required; fees can vary from nominal to pricey, depending on location.
  • A gravel driveway may need an herbicide applied every year or two, to reduce weeds and other vegetation; or weeds may need pulling periodically. It can be necessary to re-grade the driveway (re-leveling and -re-spreading the gravel, and adding more as needed) every one to three years, depending on usage and whether the driveway has slopes or curves. The cost for this varies significantly based on the grading needed, the width and length of the driveway, and the amount and type of replacement gravel required.
Shopping for a gravel driveway:
  • Southern Ground Materials in central Florida describes the right types of stone and gravel for driveways[2] , with photos of typical gravel driveways.
  • LandscapingNetwork.com provides tips for designing, installing and maintaining[3] a pea gravel driveway.
  • To estimate the amount of cubic yards or gravel needed, multiply length by width by depth and then divide by 27. For example, for a 12'x25' single-car driveway with a 9" bed of gravel (in three layers), convert 9" to 0.75'; multiply 0.75 x 12 x 25, which equals 8.34 cubic yards, or roughly 10-14 tons. A 4" layer of gravel to resurface an existing 12'x25' driveway requires about 2.78 cubic yards or roughly 3.33-4.73 tons.
  • A gravel driveway is typically installed by a building or grading contractor. Get several estimates; ask for and check references (if possible, visit a previous project, to see how the driveway looks after use); make sure the company is properly insured and licensed[4] ; and check for any complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau[5] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.askthebuilder.com/build-a-gravel-driveway/
  2.  www.southerngroundmaterials.com/Driveways--Rock-Stone-Gravel-.html
  3.  www.landscapingnetwork.com/driveways/gravel.html
  4.  www.contractors-license.org/
  5.  www.bbb.org/us/Find-Business-Reviews/
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