Gravel Driveways

Do you want a gravel driveway?

Some people say they can deter burgalaries as thieves don’t like the noise when they approach your house!

They can look nice. . . . . Just don’t think it is a cheap option.

To do a good job you need to provide a good foundation otherwise the gravel will be punched into the soil and you will finish up with a muddy mess.

Even with a good foundation you need to make sure that the stones don’t get pushed around.

If you look carefully at the above picture you will see there is a geogrid keeping the stones in place.

If you took the stones away the geogrid looks like this:

You can buy these at the ‘Big Green Warehouse’ but they aren’t cheap!

Expect to pay around $40 per square metre.

Worst Service Trench!

This horrible piece of workmanship is just round the corner from me!

How would it have been to:

  • At the very minimum used a straight edge when cutting the concrete?
  • Made a cut parallel to the existing joints in the concrete?
  • Do some planning and either put a duct under the concrete, or wait until the service were in before laying the driveway?

Make sure you have planned for all your services before .he driveway is constructed.

For more Unusual House Photos, Wins, and Fails, have a look at: What the………………….?


Driveway Slope

If your vehicle is a specially adapted off-roader like this Land Rover then driveway slope is not going to be an issue.

For the rest of us it is something you should be aware of.

If you have lowered your suspension, installed a body kit, or have a sports car then it could be critical.

Maximum and Minimum Slopes


For proper drainage of the driveway you will need a minimum gradient of 1 in 100 (1%, or 10 mm per metre)

This could be either along the driveway or cross fall.

Local Authorities rules on maximum slopes do vary (so check) but typical gradients are:

  • Public areas 1 in 20 (5%, or 50mm per metre)  in the public footpath area or
  • Within the property boundary 1 in 4 (25%, or 250mm per metre) .


At the top of slopes there is a risk of the underside of the vehicle grounding.

At the bottom of the slope the front or rear of the vehicle can ground.

For standard vehicles a change in gradient of 12.5% is typically the point where problems can start to occur. (For lowered vehicles it may be much less than 10%)

A typical way to minimise the risk is to have a transition section of around 2m long between the two gradients.

For example

To go from a Flat slab (gradient 0%) to a gradient of 15% a transition section would be 7.5% ( [0% + 15%] / 2 )