I personally love the appearance of gravel on a driveway, it looks simple but traditional. I have also like that fact that you can hear the footsteps of anyone walking on it – I genuinely believe that thieves want to stay quiet when breaking into houses, not alerting homeowners and neighbours to their presence with noisy footsteps.
Unfortunately, I’m put off choosing this material as I know it’s difficult to clean, it gets walked into the house and spreads onto the road, so it does require more maintenance than I would like.
I guess you could say I have a love-hate relationship with gravel.
Regardless of how you feel about this material, on this page, you’ll discover:
- a guide price for driveway gravel
- a poll so you can let us know how much you think it should cost (and see how much other people think gravel should cost)
- a works schedule so you can see the steps involved with laying a gravel driveway
- tips and products on how to stop gravel migrating onto the footpath and road
- alternatives to gravel
Are you thinking about laying a gravel driveway and want to know how much it costs to have this work professionally completed?
On this page, we provide you with a realistic costing for the materials, the labour and even the profit margins a driveway installer would charge.
We are tradespeople ourselves and have many years experience within the construction industry. In recent years we have also renovated several properties in the UK, so we know how much various projects such as driveways cost.
Gravel is one of four popular materials you can use on a driveway:
Pattern Concrete – A concrete slab but with a patterned and coloured surface, this is cheaper than block paving and similar in price to tarmac.
Tarmac – Black is the most popular colour but red is an option. Tarmac can also be laid around other materials such as blocks, to create a unique pattern. Tarmac is quick to lay and if done so correctly can last for decades but how much does it cost?
The page you are currently reading is all about gravel/stone driveways and how much they cost.
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What’s Included in the Price Below?
This is a works schedule for installing a gravel driveway, our prices on this page assume the following:
- Excavate existing area to around 180mm
- Compact existing soil sub-base with a vibrating plate, ensuring there is adequate provision for drainage to meet current regulations
- Lay weed proof material
- Compact MOT type 1 base material to a depth of between 125 and 150mm
- Lay gravel to a depth of around 40mm
- VAT is included in our price example below
Representative Cost Example for Gravel Driveway
The three examples below are for 40 and 100 square metre driveways.
We have made some assumptions when calculating these costs, so keep reading to see if they apply to your driveway.
The third price is to remove and dispose of an existing gravel driveway and then replace with new decorative gravel at a depth of 40mm:
|40 Sq Mtr||£2360.00|
|100 Sq Mtr||£5500.00|
|40 Sq Mtr Gravel Replacement Only||£1200.00|
Here is a list of the material costs for a 40 square metre driveway:
Weed proof membrane – £40.00
Sub-base (to be compacted t0 150mm) – £450.00 delivered in large bags
Decorative gravel (variable as it depends on choice) – £350.00
Waste disposal (depends on existing driveway, what type of material and its weight but will be several tonnes after excavation) – £325.00
Edgings, rainwater channels and drainage – No allowance made, we assume it’s already in place
Labour (inc employer NI contributions) – £400.00
Net profit for company – £400.00
VAT – £393.00
How to Reduce the Cost of Your Driveway (read this to save £££)
Our price guide above makes several assumptions; the first is that the contractor is a medium-sized company that charges for labour then expects to make a profit as well.
Most smaller firms have fewer overheads and many only expect to cover wages. You could save several hundred pounds by going with a smaller firm.
Also, many smaller businesses operate below the VAT threshold, meaning they don’t need to charge the tax and thus you can make a further saving.
More information about how you can legally avoid paying VAT can be found here.
Don’t forget; our price includes a new base and that involves a lot of excavation work and waste disposal. If your base is in good condition then you may not need to replace it, saving more money. Some people also recycle their excavated soil by re-using it in their garden, such as in raised flower bed, this cuts down on waste disposal costs which are very high.
Any Extras to Consider?
Yes, the prices above assume that the driveway doesn’t need any new edgings or entrance humps, these are used to prevent the gravel from migrating out of the driveway area, they will cost more and add extra time to the project.
Gravel mats can also be used to keep the material in place, they are best used on driveways with a slight slope but do work very well.
Also, there is no provision for additional drainage. To meet current regulations you may need to install water channels to prevent rainwater from spilling into the public highway. These channels usually divert rainwater into a soakaway, that would cost extra too.
What is a Rough Price to Lay Onto an Existing Base?
If you already have a sound base under your driveway then the top layer could be replaced with gravel, you just need to calculate the square metres and the required depth. Don’t forget to add in the cost of removing and disposing of the existing material (most likely one large skip if you’re not digging out a base).
Many aggregate suppliers offer calculators on their websites, similar to this one here.
Can I Lay Gravel Without a Base?
No, without a suitable base, the weight of the vehicles using the driveway will cause the ground to sink into the soil, large grooves will appear and hold water making the area boggy and susceptible to even more sinking.
Also, laying gravel to a deeper level won’t compensate for not having a base as the gravel will be difficult to walk on.
Gravel should only be laid without a base if it accepts foot traffic only, no vehicles.
Are You in Need of Inspiration?
We love Pinterest as it’s such a great place to find ideas and suggestions.
Below are a selection of images we sourced from Pinterest (see more here).
Get Quotes Online
We hope your found our research into gravel driveway prices helpful. We have done our best to break down the typical costs charged by companies and provide a realistic figure. Don’t forget that every business will charge a different price, it all depends on overheads, the quality of the materials and the level of workmanship.
The next step is to get a fixed written quote for your driveway.
Hit the button below to find out more and begin the process: