Paving Gravel Driveway Price Summary
Price range = £25 to £65 per square meter
Average cost = £50 per square meter
Cheapest price = £25 per square meter
When choosing a driveway material, you’ve probably heard about the ‘top 4’: block paving, pattern concrete, Tarmac and, of course, gravel. They all sound exciting, and indeed they each offer their own perks. It all depends on what you’re looking for and how much you have to spend.
So, what makes gravel so special?
You’ll be happy to know that the first reason is price! Gravel driveway systems are typically cheaper than the competition, especially when you compare them with options like natural stone (despite gravel being, well, natural stone…)
Gravel also has a lot to offer in terms of design. The stones vary considerably in terms of size, colour and even quality. ’Premium’ brands are more likely to last longer, though they come at steeper prices. Gravel also offers a more natural look than alternatives like stone paving slabs and Tarmac.
With the right choice of stone, you could end up with a unique and beautiful driveway that will last a decade or more.
How Much Do Gravel Driveways Cost?
Gravel’s popularity, presumably with people who don’t mind the crunching sound it makes, comes largely from its price. However, creating a gravel driveway is not as simple as dumping and spreading the stones!
Any patio or driveway needs to be able to take the weight of whatever is using it, especially when it comes to vehicles. A gravel driveway built without a proper foundation will be prone to plenty of problems, including warping and drainage issues.
This option may be cheap, but if you want your driveway to last many years, you cannot afford to skim on anything.
What Does The Price Depend On?
Size - It goes without saying that larger driveways will cost more in terms of materials and labour. That said, large areas of gravel can offer a unique ‘stately home’ look that many homeowners will enjoy. It is also worth pointing out that with larger jobs you will often find yourself paying less per square meter.
Gravel type - The types of gravel you can get vary extensively in terms of size, colour, quality and shape. The composition of the stone will have a particularly important impact on the success of the project, simply because better quality gravel will last longer. Be sure to watch out for local varieties, as these may be cheaper and more easily available.
Firm size - Anyone who has organised their share of home improvement projects will know the disadvantages of hiring larger companies: overheads and VAT. A smaller company will be able to do the job more cheaply, without having to factor in with rising operating costs or taxes. This will translate directly to a smaller quote for you.
Quality - Your choice of gravel is not the only thing that will decide the longevity of your driveway. For example, you may want to add edgings or entrance humps to help keep the driveway’s shape, or a soakaway to improve drainage. Each of these will increase the lifespan of your driveway, albeit for a higher cost. One thing you may want to consider in particular is a ‘cellular grid system’. This will help keep the driveway neat and level. However, not only will it force you to pay for extra materials, it will also require deeper excavation. Still, it can certainly be worth paying this much now for the sake of your peace of mind.
Existing driveway - A great deal of the cost associated with gravel driveways comes from excavating the area and creating the foundation. However, if you already have a well-built driveway with a good quality foundation, you could save money by simply replacing the top layer with gravel. Easy!
Access - This is absolutely crucial for any home improvement project. Good access will allow your tradies to bring on the equipment they need for excavation without any issues, while also making it easier to remove the waste produced by the work. The longer this takes, the more you will have to pay.
Average Cost For A Gravel Driveways
Remember, ‘average’ costs for projects like this only go so far. A number of factors will vary between projects, such as access, drainage and elevation. In short, two driveways which are the same size in square meters could vary significantly in price.
That said, there are certainly a few proven ways to reduce your costs. Locally sourced gravel will often be cheaper (the same applies if you are looking at alternatives like stone chippings). It can also be good to use a smaller company if possible, as lower overheads will allow them to offer cheaper quotes.
One thing you should never do to save money however is to cut back on the quality of your sub base. This is vital for the longevity of your driveway, as a poor base will be prone to failing drainage and even warping over time.
If you want to find accurate quotes for the work, your best bet will be to collect them from at least three to five local firms. Not only will this give you a good idea of the ‘average’, it will also make it far easier for you to spot when tradesmen are trying to charge too much or too little.
You should also be sure to ask your candidates what they can offer in terms of discounts from local retailers. We all know that tradies can enjoy discounts on materials, but a real professional will be able to assess a range of options before choosing the best one to suit you.
Something that we cannot over-emphasise here is the importance of looking at examples from previous customers. This can be a great way to assess the quality of each of your candidates. You can also look for examples on websites like Pinterest. These tend to offer a great deal of artistic inspiration. You may even discover new materials to use in your own project!
Get FREE no obligation Gravel Driveway paving quotes and see costs in your area now!