Is it time to give your driveway a little TLC? If so, you might be thinking about the different materials and styles you should choose for your property.
Right away, you need to consider some important factors, including your budget, personal taste, the style of your home and long-term maintenance. You should also get to grips with some of the most common driveway materials, including gravel, tarmac and block pathing.
Gravel has been a classic look for a driveway for decades, but is it right for you?
In this guide, we’re going to help you narrow down your choices by looking at some of the pros and cons of choosing a gravel driveway for your home.
The pros of a gravel driveway
There are lots of reasons you should consider a gravel driveway, and below, we are going to highlight some of the key benefits:
Gravel can complement the style of your home
Depending on the style of your home, natural gravel can be the perfect way to complement your property. After all, brand new concrete or tarmac can look very out of place outside a classic property or rustic cottage. Whereas, the natural look of gravel can be more in keeping with its style.
It is easy to maintain
If you don’t have a lot of time to care for your driveway, gravel can be the ideal solution. It doesn’t require much further maintenance once it’s been filled, unlike some of the other materials, which might require regular pointing and/or cleaning.
It can quickly and easily be replenished
Gravel is one of the most accessible driveway materials out there. Therefore, it’s very easy to replace or refill. If you find that over time your stones have diminished somewhat, you can just top your drive back up whenever you need to.
It is durable
As well as being easy to maintain and replenish, gravel is also a strong and durable material. This means it can look better and last longer than some of the aforementioned driveway alternatives.
It is budget-friendly
Gravel is one of the most budget-friendly materials for a driveway. This is particularly true if you have a large area to cover. Plus, as it’s quicker and easy to lay, you can save money on labour as well as materials.
Drainage is a dream
Good drainage can be a problem on a lot of driveways, and the last thing you want is to have puddles pooling around your vehicles. However, gravel driveways are very permeable; the stones allow for more natural drainage routes. This means that rainwater is quickly absorbed and drained away without any fuss.
The cons of a gravel driveway
However, as with everything in life, gravel driveways are not perfect. Therefore, it’s important that you consider some of the reasons why it may not be the best choice for your property. Some of the downsides to gravel driveways include:
Cleaning your drive can be tricky
Block pathing or tarmac driveways can quickly and easily be cleaned using a pressure washer. This is not the case for gravel, and it can be tricky to clean should something get spilt across the stones.
Plus, if you live somewhere occasionally blighted by snow, quickly removing snow from the bumpy surface can be a hassle. This is not something you will have to deal with all the time, but it can be inconvenient should you need to get your car out on a snowy day.
Gaps and holes can form
The loose nature of the gravel means it can become spread around more than you want it to. So if you want something that is always neat and tidy, gravel might not be for you.
Not only this but as these shifts happen over time, grooves and ruts can develop. This can make walking and driving onto the driveway a nuisance and require refilling.
It can be prone to weeds
One problem with gravel is that if it’s not prepared and laid right, it can be prone to weeds. These can be unsightly and annoying to have to remove. That said, if you lay a protective weed membrane underneath the stones, you can reduce the likelihood of this happening.
Of course, this may slightly increase the cost of your driveway.
Gravel can be deemed low-end
Unfortunately, not everyone is a huge fan of gravel and lots of people deem it to be cheap and unsightly material.
That said, this is all down to personal preference and the style of your home, but if you’re hoping to add value to your property, it’s important to keep this in mind.