Loose fill gravel is a popular material for paving driveways, walkways, and other outdoor areas. It is affordable, durable, and easy to maintain. However, before you start your project, there are a few things to consider to ensure that you get the best results. In this article, we will discuss the top three things that every homeowner should consider when paving with loose fill gravel.
Material and Depth
The first thing to consider is the type of gravel you will use and how deep it should be. Loose fill gravel comes in different sizes and shapes, from small pea gravel to larger river rocks. Each type of gravel has its unique characteristics and aesthetic appeal. Pea gravel is more affordable and easier to walk on, while larger rocks are more durable and can withstand heavier traffic.
In addition to the size and shape, the depth of the gravel is essential. It should be deep enough to provide stability and prevent the stones from shifting or sinking. The depth also depends on the intended use of the area. For example, a driveway should have a deeper layer than a garden path.
The cost of the material and depth will depend on the type of gravel you choose and the size of the area you want to pave. On average, a 200 square foot area paved with pea gravel will cost between $400 and $800, while larger river rocks may cost between $1,000 and $2,000.
The second thing to consider is the preparation of the area before laying the gravel. It is essential to remove all vegetation, rocks, and debris to create a smooth surface. If necessary, you may need to add a layer of crushed stone or sand to level the ground and prevent weeds from growing through the gravel.
Another important aspect of preparation is installing an edging material to keep the gravel in place. This can be done using plastic, metal, or stone edging. Edging not only adds to the aesthetic appeal of the area but also prevents the gravel from spreading out and getting into other areas of the lawn.
The cost of preparation will depend on the size and condition of the area. On average, preparation for a 200 square foot area may cost between $200 and $500.
The third thing to consider is the maintenance of the gravel area. While loose fill gravel is low maintenance, it still requires some upkeep to keep it looking neat and tidy. This includes raking the gravel periodically to remove debris and leveling it out when it gets uneven.
Weeds can also be a problem in gravel areas, so it's important to apply a weed barrier to prevent them from growing through. This can be done using landscape fabric or a layer of crushed stone.
The cost of maintenance will depend on the size of the area and the frequency of upkeep. On average, homeowners may need to spend between $50 and $100 per year on maintenance.
Paving with loose fill gravel can be a great way to enhance the look and functionality of your outdoor space. By considering the type of gravel, depth, preparation, and maintenance, you can ensure that your project is successful and long-lasting. With the average cost of $400 to $800 for a 200 square foot area, loose fill gravel is an affordable and practical option for homeowners.