The pros and cons of gravel driveways

T&R Contracting, Powell River
Published On: June 16, 2023/Categories: Driveway, Landscaping/

Now that spring is in full swing, it might be time to look at the curb appeal of your home or commercial property. Is the entrance, access road or driveway looking a bit tired? Gravel driveways offer several benefits compared to asphalt, pavers, bricks or concrete driveways. When deciding on what the best solution is for your driveway evaluate the pro and cons to determine if the solution fits your budget, how you manage your property and the aesthetic appeal. T&R offers a wide variety of aggregates and is a way to create beautiful, individualized landscaping.The colours and materials available are vast to create a unique driveway that matches your home style. Not only does the driveway need to be functional it can be part of the visual impression of the home.

Benefits of choosing a gravel driveway

  1. Cost-effectiveness: Gravel driveways are more affordable than asphalt or concrete driveways, both in terms of installation and maintenance. Gravel is readily available and requires less equipment and labor to install, making it a cost-effective option.
  2. Installation flexibility: Gravel driveways and paths can be installed easily and quickly. They do not require complex machinery or specialized expertise, allowing for a more flexible installation process. Additionally, gravel can be laid on various surfaces and gradients, making it suitable for different types of terrain. Our landscape experts can install most driveways within a couple of days, minimizing disruption on your property.
  3. Drainage and erosion control: Gravel is permeable, allowing rainwater to drain through the surface and preventing the formation of puddles and water runoff issues. This helps to minimize erosion and water damage, making gravel driveways a good option for areas prone to heavy rainfall or soil erosion. In the time of atmospheric rivers this can be a smart choice for properties in Powell River.
  4. Low maintenance: Typically, gravel driveways require less maintenance than asphalt or concrete. While occasional grading and levelling may be necessary to ensure an even surface, gravel does not crack or require sealing like asphalt or concrete. It is also easier to repair localized damages by adding more gravel.
  5. Aesthetics and customization: If you have an acreage or rural property this style of driveway can provide a rustic, natural, or country-style look to your property. Gravel comes in various colors, sizes, and textures, allowing for customization to match your desired aesthetic. You can choose from a range of gravel types, such as Salt & Pepper Limestone or the more affordable Road Mulch.  T&R recommends a ¾ minus Granite aggregate which is great for driveways and decorative capping.
  6. Eco-friendliness: Gravel is a more environmentally friendly option compared to asphalt or concrete. It allows for natural drainage, reducing the strain on stormwater systems. Additionally, gravel is a reusable material that can be recycled or reused in other construction projects, minimizing waste.

Drawbacks of aggregate driveways

Along with the benefits of gravel driveways; it’s worth noting that they also have some potential drawbacks. Such as the possibility of gravel displacement and the need for occasional regrading. Additionally, gravel may produce more dust or be more susceptible to ruts and potholes and weed growth when compared to other options. Consider your specific needs and local conditions when deciding on the most suitable driveway material for your property. In regions with snowy winters, gravel driveways can be a bit tricky to clear. But the porous nature also eliminates slicks of icy patches.
According to MachineFinder, the best way to clear a gravel driveway of snow is to use a snow blower with skid shoes.

Regular maintenance of gravel driveways

Ensure optimal performance and prevent costly replacement. When small potholes form, they should be filled and compacted. The best course of action is to have the gravel driveway graded once a year. Call T&R to book in your spring maintenance. 

With proper attention a gravel driveway will last decades. The clear benefit is it can be repaired and replenished on an annual basis. Gravel is less vulnerable to damage from seasonal thaw and freeze cycles. Your gravel driveway will never crack! And our weather patterns are changing drastically in Canada.

Complete the look around a gravel driveway

Gravel driveways and be the sweeping center piece into your property. Spruce it up with the following ideas:

  • Use similar colours to your home colour. Or go with a complete contrast.
  • Border the driveway with a retaining wall.
  • Add garden beds with plants and beautiful mulch.
  • Add a gate, or stone pillars to mark the entrance.
  • If you have a circle driveway add a curved lawn.

The pros are much greater than the cons when considering the installation of a gravel driveway. One of our current projects shows how within a few days on an affordable budget you can transform your property.

Call today for a free quote. gravel driveway by T&R

Resources for benefits of gravel driveways:
Gardening Etc: Gravel driveway ideas 
Home decor bliss: Gravel driveways