DIY Gravel Installation: What You Need to Know

March 16, 2023

If you’re looking for an affordable and low-maintenance way to enhance your outdoor space, installing gravel may be the perfect solution. Whether you want to create a pathway, patio, or driveway, gravel can provide a natural and rustic look while also being durable and functional. In the following, we’ll provide some tips on what you need to know to do DIY gravel installation.


Choose the right type:

An obvious initial step in installing gravel is to choose the right type of gravel for your project. There are many different types of gravel available, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits. Some popular options include pea gravel, crushed stone, and river rock. Pea gravel is a smaller type of gravel that’s great for walkways and garden paths, while crushed stone is more versatile and can be used for driveways, patios, and landscaping. River rock is a larger type of gravel that can add a natural and rustic feel to your outdoor space. The point is to consider the look and function you want to achieve when choosing your gravel type.


Take good measurements:

Once you’ve chosen the right type of gravel, the next step is to measure the area where you want to install it. This will help you determine how much gravel you need to order. Measure the length, width, and depth of the area in feet, and then multiply these three measurements together to get the total cubic feet of gravel needed. Divide this number by 27 to get the number of cubic yards of gravel needed. It’s always a good idea to order slightly more gravel than you think you’ll need to account for any unexpected changes or issues that may arise during the installation process.


Site preparation is key:

Before you start laying the gravel, it’s important to prepare the site properly. This involves removing any existing grass, weeds, or debris from the area. You may also need to level the area using a shovel or rake to create a solid base for the gravel. If you’re installing the gravel in a garden or landscaping area, you may want to consider using landscaping fabric to prevent weeds from growing through the gravel. Once the area is prepared, it’s time to start laying your product.


Depth is important:

When laying the gravel, start by spreading a layer evenly over the prepared surface. The thickness of this layer will depend on the type of gravel you’re using and the intended use of the area. For example, if you’re installing gravel for a driveway, you’ll need to use a thicker layer of gravel to ensure it can handle the weight of vehicles. If you’re using the gravel for a garden path, a thinner layer may be sufficient. Once you’ve spread the first layer of gravel, use a rake to even out the surface and create a smooth and level base. Continue adding layers of gravel until you’ve reached the desired thickness.


Maintenance is worth your time:

To cap it off, it’s important to maintain your gravel installation to ensure it lasts for years to come. This involves periodically leveling the surface with a rake or shovel to prevent shifting and to create a smooth, even surface. If you notice any areas where the gravel has become thin or worn down, add more gravel to maintain the desired thickness. You may also want to consider installing a drainage system if the area where the gravel is installed is prone to heavy rainfall or snow, as this can help prevent erosion and other issues.

Installing gravel is a great way to enhance the appearance and functionality of your outdoor space. By choosing the right type of gravel, measuring the area, preparing the site, laying the gravel, and maintaining the surface, you can ensure a successful installation that lasts for years. If you’re unsure about any aspect of the process or need help selecting the right type of gravel for your project, don’t hesitate to contact Interstate Concrete & Asphalt. Our team of experts can provide guidance and support to help you achieve the perfect installation for your outdoor space.