Tips for building the best gravel road
If you want to build a road (alley) from the access road to your garage, you have a couple of options in term of materials: gravel, asphalt, concrete and cobblestone. There are more selection criteria, such as: budget, climate, distance and the option of building it as a DIY project.
The cheapest option for small distances is the gravel road. It is durable (handles fine the low car traffic) and it looks very good, but will require maintenance. This road can be easily completed, with standard tools and materials. If for example, you have already an asphalt road in the location, it should be removed and for this task you will need professional tools. This could be completed as a DIY, yet quite impossible unexperienced people. Here are the steps for building this road:
1. selection of materials – for this road you will need 3 types of gravel. For the base, 2 – 5 cm size gravel and 2 – 4 cm grain size gravel for the other layers. You will also need marble dust for a special look. Necessary tools: pickaxe, spade, shovel, rake, perhaps you can rent a small excavator, jumping jack tamper, polypropylene foil (herbicide), rubber mallet, sand.
2. preliminary measurements – so that you can estimate necessary materials
3. removal of vegetation and preparing substrate – removed by hand; later the soil is compacted
4. excavation – by hand (spade, pickaxe, shovel) or with a small excavator; depth: 20 – 25 cm
5. applying a foil or herbicide treatment – there are two solutions for preventing weeds. The polypropylene foil is used for lining the bottom of the pit and prevents weeds from growing. The alternative is spreading over the surface a total herbicide.
6. installing kerbstones – you have many options, depending on your preferences in terms of look. For taller kerbstones, you need to dig more. Install first one-two layers of gravel, then pour over one layer of sand. You will find kerbstones of marble, slate, granite.
7. spreading the first layer of gravel – choose 2 – 4 cm gravel, place it in the hole, level the covered surface and compact. Among other things, the benefits of using such a gravel are the fact that it ensures a good drainage, functioning also as a barrier that prevents smaller gravel, from the layers above, to be absorbed into the soil. This layer will have approximately 10 cm thickness. It is recommended to carefully choose your gravel (crushed stone, not flagstone, since it is round and creates an unstable surface). The order of applying layers is also important, the layer at the base has a larger grain size compared to the other two. Lay the gravel so that you can create a ridge in the middle of the road, creating a higher area for allowing water drainange. Water drainage can also be achieved with lateral grooves.
8. spreading the second layer of gravel – choose smaller gravel, 1 – 2 cm grain size, lay it over the compacted gravel layer, level it and compact it. The current layer has approximately 8 cm thickness.
9. spreading the third layer of decorative gravel – choose a marble gravel or a sandstone gravel, 1-2 cm grain size and even smaller and possibly mixed with marble dust.
Gravel roads withstand fine any weather and have an authentic, special look. Weather is important when choosing this type of road, because in areas with plenty of snow (mountains) you should wait for the snow to melt, because otherwise, by removing snow you will also remove gravel. Besides, in autumn, when raking the surface for removing the leaves is necessary, you will have problems with your gravel. On a yearly basis, you will need herbicidation (if you’ve used for fighting against weeds) and regularly, gravel needs to be raked for ensuring a smooth surface. Finally, you must add gravel for completing the layer every 2-3 years.
However, the low budget needed for this type of road and its look makes it a popular choice for many situations. PIATRAONLINE recommends the use of decorative gravel and we suggest visiting our website for #generatinginspiration!
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