Curb appeal is characterized by building an attractive exterior of a residential or commercial site. During the housing boom in the United States, prospective buyers sought curb appeal in properties as one of their top priorities. Aesthetics have long been associated with dream homes, regardless of economic crises. The front entrance of your home is the focal point of appeal, which entails a beautiful, well designed and maintained driveway. Many homeowners aspire towards having a front lawn that features a gravel driveway because of its beauty, durability and low maintenance. If you happen to be one of these homeowners, you might be interested in learning these great tips for installing and maintaining a beautiful stone driveway.
Before anything, it is important to know that a gravel driveway installation requires some foresight before the project is undertaken. The maintenance process, albeit, less hectic and takes smaller efforts than of other driveways, should not be underestimated. Stones can shift, loosen and be displaced from its fixed positions with time, which can result in ruts and potholes forming. If the gravel is not constructed and planned carefully, it can be a devastating experience.
Stone Driveway Installation
1. When you choose your driveway location, ensure there are no drainage issues in that area. If you position your driveway allowing water to run off the sides, you can prevent the water from pooling inside your gravel.
2. You can landscape your driveway either using boundaries of timber or brick. Mark off the area according to the width you want. If your driveway is curvy, a width of 14 feet will be feasible. Make sure the measurement takes in extra space for unforeseen conditions.
3. Lay down two to three layers of gravel (bear in mind each layer will be 4 to 6 inches thick). To improve stability, experts recommend using three separate layers that consist of different sizes of stone.
4. Order your gravel once you’ve explored rates with several companies. Choose the color, type, shape and size. You will also order/rent tools and machinery like shovel, metal rake, gardening gloves, wheelbarrow, and a mechanical compactor (this is used to compress the rocks and mud together).
5. Remove grass and topsoil from the area marked off. Dig out 4 to 6 inches of soil for each layer (you can use a tiller to loosen the soil to pull it out easily). Prepare the ground by leveling the surface in order to avoid leaving uneven ground spaces that can trap water.
6. Compact the soft ground using a mechanical compactor and lay down the weed barrier underneath the rocks.
7. Start layering and spreading the rocks by following precise instructions. You can have the center of your driveway slightly elevated so that the water slides down.
Stone Driveway Maintenance
1. Schedule routine debris removal tasks. The more frequently you clean up the driveway, including removing leaves, sticks etc the less difficult it will be to get everything out of the way. We recommend finding the most powerful pressure washer you can get your hands on to help make quick work of the weeds and make the stones shine.
2. If potholes appear in your gravel, get extra gravel to fill that part up without just shoveling some over from the other area. This becomes problematic and affects the entire driveway sooner than later.
3. Add a fresh layer of gravel to the surface every 1 or 2 years.
4. Maintain the borders of your gravel well, since foot traffic can kick away gravel frequently. Use an edging material for the borders to keep gravel in place.
5. Regularly apply a weed killer to the surface layer of the gravel.
6. Driving moderately on your driveway, a high speed can dislodge the gravel and eventually lead to thinning of the driveway areas.