Gravel Driveway Installation Austin TX

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What Are the Benefits of Gravel Driveways?

Want to know a secret? Gravel driveways are just as long-lasting and great to look at as any of the other material alternatives out there. Most companies won't give you the exact benefits but we are happy to do so.

Just a few of the benefits of choosing a gravel driveway over more "traditional" methods are:

Enhanced Security
Easier Installation
Easy Maintenance and Repair
Better Material Costs
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Starting with security, have you ever tried walking quietly on a bunch of rocks? Well if not, it's extremely hard to do. The immediate benefit of a gravel driveway is the added security of always hearing when a car, unwanted animal, or person(s) is on your property. If for some reason the crunch doesn't wake you at first, your significant other or loyal pooch will definitely notice and alert you to potential intruders.

Installation, maintenance, and repair efforts compared to gravel's competition for driveway installation aren't even close. Unlike other less malleable alteratives, gravel can be installed and maintained by many DIYers. The process, in its base form, involves creating multiple layers for weatherproofing and containing the loose aggregate materials. Once installed, maintaining the gravel surface from then on will typically involve weed pulling or adding a little bit more gravel if any bare spots appear. The final look though is unparalleled in both style and design.

Finally, gravel is pound by pound a more affordable option than other driveway materials while maintaining equal levels of durability. On average, gravel is anywhere from two to eight dollars cheaper per square foot than the alternatives. This really adds up when you factor in that the average two-car driveway in the US is around 640 square feet. That's a savings of $1280 - $5120 on costs! Not to mention the cost of labor/machines required when contracting a company to lay and smooth those other materials.

With improved security, easier installation & maintenance, as well as better costs overall - the benefits of choosing gravel over its alternatives should be clearer than ever before.

The Gravel Driveway Installation Process

As mentioned in our benefits of gravel driveway section, installing driveway gravel compared to its alternatives is straightforward enough that you can even attempt a DIY gravel driveway installation and succeed. However, we want to make sure you know all the steps needed to begin building.

Creating the Base Layer

After choosing the style of gravel you'd like that will complement your property best, the first and possibly most important step is to measure your driveway in cubic feet to estimate how much gravel will be needed for the job. Typically, you can assume that one bag of gravel will cover about five square meters (53.8 square feet) of space at a depth of 50 millimeters (5 cm).

In addition, you'll want to consider if edging is necessary for your driveway. Edging refers to a perimeter created to keep the gravel where you intended and not fall into the street with ease. For example, you can use stones, a small brick fence, or even other types of gravel to keep everything where it belongs.

Once you have these preliminary steps complete, next comes the manual work. You'll need to remove any existing driveway as well as any excess debris or topsoil that can get in the way. Once this is completed, you'll need to dig to a depth of at minimum 5 cm but we recommend going down at least 20cm ( to provide room for the base layer. Use measuring tape and tools to ensure this is maintained throughout the whole area you're preparing as you'll want your driveway as level and even as possible.

Once the digging is done, it's time to lay the base layer. This is typically done by using MOT type 1 across the full area of the expected gravel driveway. Mot type 1 is a fill and leveling material that helps with allowing water through among other things. While you can skip this step, we don't recommend it to ensure a long-lasting driveway.

What to Do With the Middle Layer

Once the base layer is set, the middle layer can be added. The middle layer is most regularly used to prevent the growth and sustainability of weeds in your driveway. This is done with the use of a weed prevention membrane or similar layer.

This typically is a sheet-type material that allows water to pass through but prevents plants from taking root. You'll want to cut this to match your construction area (including any corners and irregularly shaped places) then place the sheets over the base layer Once placed, you'll want to make sure it is lined well against your edging (if needed) and is flat enough to not cause bunching once the final layer is lain.

Time to Fill Gravel On the Top Layer

Finally the fun part! Now that you've gotten your base and middle layers as they should be, use a shovel to spread your gravel along the surface. It's recommended to start from the outside perimeter in to make a makeshift perimeter for the rest of the gravel. Once you have all the gravel lain, make sure all areas are at least 5 cm deep.

Once all the gravel is shoveled out, use a rake or other tool to spread it around evenly and finish your beautiful new driveway!

Gravel Driveway Maintenance

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After the install is complete, maintenance of a gravel driveway isn't nearly as difficult as it may seem. In fact, with proper care, most gravel driveways can last decades. The primary issues that may arise with a gravel driveway are:

Weed Growth
Gravel Loss Resulting in Bare Spots
Drainage Issues

Weed growth, even with the prevention membrane will happen from time to time. By no means is it a regular maintenance item but knowing what to do when you see it occur will help tons. When you notice weeds beginning to sprout up in your driveway, you'll want to pull them by hand. Since there isn't tough soil beneath the gravel, weed roots are often not fully set resulting in ease of removal.

The next, and most common, maintenance item is bare spots. This occurs over years of cars driving in and out, foot traffic, kids playing, or even a dog trying to bury one of its toys! Regardless of the reason, fixing the problem is easy. You can add all new gravel to fix the spot or rake your driveway to fill in empty spots with existing gravel. More often than not, you'll notice the missing gravel has just been moved which makes this one of the easiest low-maintenance fixes there are.

If for some reason, drainage becomes an issue, you'll need to redo a bit of the process. Once you've located the problem area, rake the gravel from the top layer to expose the second layer and the base you've created. You may need to adjust your base layer (add MOT type 1) and then replace the weed prevention membrane. Once this is fixed, however, adding the removed gravel back over will restore its natural beauty.

Our Favorite Types of Gravel Used for Driveways

While there are plenty to choose from, below are just a few facts about our favorite types of gravel.

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Pea Gravel

Pea gravel is a popular choice due to its natural appearance, low cost, and ease of installation. There are a few issues such as shifting due to the small size of each rock but this is offset with increased drainage and weed fighting properties.

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Marble Chips

If you've always wanted a gravel driveway that you can show off, marble chips may be the way to go. Although slightly more expensive than the other varieties listed here, it makes up for the price difference with a beautiful aesthetic that shines in the sunlight. The biggest drawback of this variety is the necessity for edging but our team is happy to help make this an easy process once you're ready.

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Crusher Run

Perfect gravel for driveway surfaces, crusher run (also known as quarry process) is made up of smaller stones that have been crushed (see what we did there) and the dust left behind. An expert contractor may be required to set this type of gravel as it does pose a significant challenge for beginners but going with a gravel driveway contractor like ourselves will make it a breeze. The best thing about using this as a top layer stone is that the dust will settle between the spaces and make for a smooth and durable surface.

Blackstar-Gravel

Blackstar

Blackstar (or blacktrap rock) is a customer favorite and for good reason. This type of gravel comes in an appealing dark grey color which is the perfect contrast to red brick, green grass, or just the usual tan/white street roads and sidewalks. While durable and great looking, the cost is a bit higher for this premium gravel.

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Jersey Shore Gravel

While it shares many of the properties of its pea brethren, Jersey Shore gravel differentiates itself with its more varied rock size as well as a more appealing color scheme. Just like the pea variety of gravel, however, it also suffers from shifting due to its nature.

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River Rock

While it shares many of the properties of its pea brethren, Jersey Shore gravel differentiates itself with its more varied rock size as well as a more appealing color scheme. Just like the pea variety of gravel, however, it also suffers from shifting due to its nature.

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Item #4 Gravel

This type of gravel has a lot to be proud of. Unlike others on the list, it has its own sub-varieties such as quarry item # 4 which is crushed limestone, and recycled item #4 which consists of recycled materials such as concrete. While this is a great option, its primary use is as a foundation so results may vary depending on the skill of the installer.

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Decomposed Granite

This is a material so close to gravel that we had to include it on the list. The biggest difference here is it is much finer in nature which allows it to be packed very easily and create solid, flat driveway surfaces. Unfortunately, this comes with the trade-off of being very easy to cling to shoes and tires meaning you'll have to be careful of tracking it in and out of the house.

4 Benefits of Working With a Gravel Driveway Company

There are plenty of local companies out there who claim to do what we do. However, when it comes to premium gravel driveway installations or delivery, ATX Gravel Driveways just can't be beaten. Here are just a few benefits of working with us.

We Have Trained Professionals With Years Of Experience In Gravel Driveway Installing.
We Ensure You Get The Best Value Per Square Foot.
We Provide Gravel Delivery As Well As Everything Else Needed For The Job.
We Can Help With Every Step Of Your DIY Gravel Driveway Installation.
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Our team is filled to the brim with talented workers who have been in the construction field, especially gravel driveway installation, for years. Their accumulated experience helps when discussing crushed limestone or the prospect of changing the material on a long driveway. This means that you'll always receive educated, valuable insight from our group whenever you need it.

That insight extends further when we speak on value. With so many types of gravel out there, it's difficult as a customer (especially if it's your first time doing it) to know what will last your lifetime or what is just a waste of time. We'll do the math, crunch the numbers, and provide plenty of estimates so you have the full view of what to expect.

Things only get better once you're ready to order. Not only do we offer gravel delivery anywhere in Austin Texas and surrounding areas, but we also can secure and deliver any aggregate or materials needed for the three layers required. If you have a specialty need, just let us know and we'll see what we can do.

Oh, before we forget! Unlike concrete driveways or asphalt driveways that require heavy equipment, most gravel surfaces can be done as a DIY project. We understand and encourage this approach and are ready to assist you every step of the way. Whether it's creating a solid foundation for a new install or just trying to add gravel to an existing driveway, we're here for any of your gravel needs!

Gravel Driveway Services

Gravel Driveway Installation

Our gravel driveway installation service begins with an estimate from a member of our team based on average driveway square footage. If needed, we'll perform a secondary evaluation onsite to ensure our measurements are correct before we begin the work. The actual process involves choosing the gravel you desire, our team pulling the existing driveway up, creating the layers including a weed preventative membrane, adding any edging to avoid run off, and finally filling the gravel you chose as directed. After we're done, you'll have a gorgeous, low maintenance, driveway to show off to the neighbors.

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Crushed Granite Driveways

Crushed granite (also known as decomposed granite) is a great material due to its finer nature allowing it to be packed more compactly. Our team is trained in how to ensure this type of crushed granite is properly installed to avoid the costly issues that could arise. Primarily, ensuring that the draning water still occurs during rainfall or other sources of moisture and the least amount of the material rubs off on your shoes and tires.

Pea Gravel Driveways

Pea gravel is a very attractive choice and provides excellent weed and drainage control. A regular issue you may encounter is the shifting of rocks on the final layer (top layer) which can cause a loss of surface area that will need to be replaced. Our team can assist with adding edging and other preventative measures so your pea gravel driveways remain as beautiful as the day it was first installed.

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Caliche Driveways

Caliche is a great material choice for long driveways or roads where using other materials may be exceedingly expensive. Caliche is very similar to limestone and is great for rural areas where ensuring that plant roots do not take hold along its path is a requirement. As caliche is not very permeable, contractors must consider how water will drain when asked to install it.

Crushed Concrete Driveway

Gravel such as Recycled item #4 is a great choice. The biggest benefit of crushed concrete versus laying concrete is the affordability of the crushed aggregate as well as the positive environmental impact of using already created resources. Concrete is known for its durability as well as heat distribution making it a great choice for a gravel driveway.

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Gravel Paving

While driveways are great, gravel can also be used in other areas of your property. Just a few bulk bags of gravel is all it takes to add gorgeous stone to your garden or backyard. This process is very similar to creating a driveway but can be built with elevation in mind if you are looking to make a beautiful deck or eastern-inspired design. Gravel can also be used as a way to deter plant growth in areas of your lawn that you instead want as a semi-permanent walkway.

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For Further Inquiries Call

(512) 877-5112

Call us today to speak with our staff. We can walk you through every step of the process, provide an estimate, or help you decide if an iron fence or gate is the best choice for your property.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the average cost savings when using gravel over its alternatives?

On average, using gravel can yield savings of up to eight dollars per square foot of material when compared to its alternatives. Factors that could affect this are the use of heavy vehicles for traditional driveway creation as well as the type of gravel.

What are the basic considerations for the first layer of a gravel driveway?

When considering the top layer of a gravel driveway, the primary things to consider are edging (to avoid your gravel rolling away or becoming lost) and the gravel material / look.

Why should I not just have a dirt or sand driveway instead?

While you can definitely let nature rule your driveway, most HOAs as well as family members will have something to say. Outside of those people, leaving your driveway au natural invites weeds to take root, pests to burrow, and everything in between. Installing a solid new driveway will not only improve the look of your home but prevent costly bills in the future.

If there is gravel needed, do you offer delivery?

Yes! We absolutely do. Whether it is gravel, base, or second layer components, we deliver to anywhere in the Austin, Texas area. We do also take on special requests so feel free to ask if you are unsure of a service provided.

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ATX Gravel Driveways

Austin, TX 78704

(512) 877-5112

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