12th May 2020

The hidden costs of laying a gravel driveway

The hidden costs of laying a gravel driveway

There’s much more to calculating the cost of a new gravel driveway than simply working out how much gravel is required. Here, we consider all the hidden costs involved in laying a gravel driveway and look at why investing in proper ground preparation and a professional gravel grid system will ultimately pay dividends.

Cost #1: Existing surface removal

The first step you will need to take before you can do anything else is remove the existing driveway surface. If that surface is concrete or another hard permanent substance, this may require the use of jack-hammers, sledgehammers and some intensive labour. If it is a worn away gravel driveway then this stage could well be incorporated into the next – excavation.

Cost #2: Excavation

To get a good and level finish to a new driveway, thorough preparation is essential. Depending on the size of the driveway, a digger may be needed for the excavation stage. Although if it’s a small driveway, excavation might be possible by hand.

The amount to be excavated will depend on whether or not a gravel retention system is being installed and the type of gravel grids being used. Unlike others on the market, Beauxfort’s Gravelrings gravel grids are just 25mm deep. This shallow grid depth means generally less excavation is needed, which can help to reduce excavation costs.

Other potential hidden costs at this stage of installing a new gravel driveway include damaging cables or pipes that deliver essential services to your home. Be certain to employ a reputable contractor who will ensure the job will be done properly by locating services such as water, electricity and gas before starting excavation work.

Cost #3: Muck-away

Of course, all that excavation produces material that’s no longer required and will need removing from your property. The overall cost of a new driveway will need to factor in the cost of removing it from your site. Again, using the shallower but just as sturdy Gravelrings as your gravel grid system means less excavation and therefore reduced muck-away costs.

Cost #4: Ground stabilisation

Once the ground is prepared correctly, a geotextile membrane should be laid. It should be a heavy-duty type that helps to stabilise the soil, yet permeable and SuDS-compliant to allow water to flow through. When calculating the cost of your driveway, work out how many square metres of geotextile membrane is needed, along with the correct fixing pegs to hold it in place.

Cost #5: Sub-base

Laying a load-bearing SuDS-compliant sub-base is an essential part of a well-finished driveway. It spreads the weight of traffic and creates a solid layer that is resistant to rutting. A minimum depth of 100mm should be laid and increased depending on the required traffic. Again, using the square metre measurements of your finished driveway will allow you to make a sub-base material calculation cost.

Cost #6: Grid system

To ensure a long-lasting finish, a gravel grid system is an essential component of a well-laid driveway. Beauxfort’s Gravelrings provide hidden stability beneath the gravel. In fact, the load-bearing capacity of Gravelrings is more than 350 tonnes per square metre.

The circular design of the gravel mats holds gravel in place, while the mesh base prevents the grid being undermined which can lead to unsightly lumps and bumps and minimises silt build-up which helps resist weed growth. They come in 1m² sheets of four pre-connected tiles and can be easily cut to fit the shape of your driveway. Gravelrings clip together easily, making this stage of driveway installation quick and hassle-free, which also helps to control costs.

Cost #7: Gravel

Gravelrings are designed to be overfilled to give your driveway the best possible finish. This design feature ensures even and ample spread of the gravel, filling and hiding the gravel mats beneath to keep it looking good for longer.

Achieve the perfect gravel driveway with the Beauxfort Gravelrings system. Check out our website www.beauxfort.com for more information about the Beauxfort landscape systems and design inspiration, and to download the Beauxfort Distinctive Landscape Systems brochure and request a free sample. Or talk to our friendly team about your project by contacting us on 0330 055 2599 or info@beauxfort.com.

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