When you need a quick way to fix your driveway, gravel is often the way to go. You can find it at virtually every home and garden store, it doesn’t require a lot of equipment, and it only takes a few hours and a little elbow grease to finish.
Despite their advantages, gravel driveways are not suitable for everyone – or for every property.
Are you considering gravel for your home or latest real estate investment? Before you dive in, find out about all the pros and cons.
Advantages of gravel driveways
Probably the biggest benefit of a gravel driveway is the cost. At an average cost of just $ 840, this is an extremely budget-friendly option – especially when compared to the $ 4,000-5,000 that concrete or asphalt typically provides for you.
But that’s not all. Gravel driveways are also:
- Extremely Durable: If you can commit to regular maintenance and upkeep, it can last for many decades.
- Easy and quick to install: even without specialist knowledge or equipment, you can usually lay a gravel driveway within a few hours.
- Good for drainage: gravel doesn’t trap water or cause cracks like on concrete or paved driveways. Instead, water can drain into the ground and evaporate into the air.
- Customizable: gravel comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. It’s super easy to customize for your exact style, preferences, and property.
Disadvantages of gravel driveways
Of course, nothing is without a fault, and when it comes to gravel driveways, there are a few that you should consider before spending your hard-earned cash on one.
Here’s a quick rundown of the drawbacks of these drives:
- Lots of maintenance: Gravel driveways are prone to ruts, sinkholes, and other damage from use and exposure to water and other weather conditions. You’ll need to add more gravel, control weed growth, and redesign the driveway every two years or so.
- Can Damage Your Car: No matter how careful you are, pieces of gravel can hit your car and windshield. If there are ruts or sinkholes, it can even damage the underside of your vehicle.
- Not good for cold climates: blowing snow or scraping ice off a gravel road isn’t easy – at least not if you want the driveway to be intact when you’re done.
- Can Dig Up Dirt: Gravel is quite dirty compared to other materials you might use for a driveway. In windy and dry climates, this can mean cleaning your vehicle more often than wood would normally.
The final result
Gravel driveways certainly have their advantages, but they don’t fit every home. For the most part, they are best reserved for warmer climates and for homeowners who have the time and energy to properly maintain them. If this doesn’t apply to you or your property, consider a low-maintenance option like an asphalt or concrete driveway.
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