As with most things in life, first impressions are everything. The driveway is the first thing we encounter when arriving at a house, and the last thing we encounter when we leave. Unfortunately for those who opt for stone, one of the main problems with crushed stone driveways is that they can look messy to the extreme, due to constant stone displacements.
Crushed stone is an ideal material for those who are interested in a unique and attractive driveway, on a budget that they can afford. However, if you’re looking for a driveway that offers a more sophisticated solution in terms of both form and functionality, you’d be better off looking elsewhere…
Composition of crushed stone driveways
Commonly composed of a mix of clay, sand, silt and a range of larger aggregates, the composition of crushed stone driveways takes driveway diversity to the extreme.
The variety of colours and shapes of crushed stones on offer to homeowners is extensive; indeed, it’s always good to get a second opinion about which one would work best for your home, so enlist the help of the experts if you need any additional advice.
It’s all in the preparation…
The layout for your proposed crushed stone driveway may look great in your mind’s eye, but how you envisage it appearing in principle may not be how it translates in practice.
For many homeowners, a key consideration when choosing their desired stone aggregate will be its ability to blend in seamlessly with the scope of the existing landscape that surrounds it.
Once the area has been excavated and primed for installation, there’s no turning back; the success of such a project really is all down to adequate planning and preparation.
To prevent problems with crushed stone driveways from occurring in the first place, you should take time to use flags, twine or marking tape to map out the designated area for your driveway installation beforehand.
Crushed gravel: the countryman’s choice?
Because crushed stone driveways are relatively inexpensive, they are often the driveway material of choice for homeowners who live in the countryside, where ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ is a far less familiar phenomenon.
Disadvantages of crushed stone driveways
A long, gravel path leading up to a historic home can enhance the rustic charm of a property’s exterior. Yet aesthetically speaking, crushed stones make for a driveway surface that is bumpy and prone to displacements, consequently compromising its overall visual appeal in the process.
In matters of practicality, a crushed stone driveway’s functionality doesn’t quite live up to its more modern driveway competitors, such as resin. It may be perfectly permeable on the one hand, but on the other, the gaps between each individual crushed stone enables rampant weed growth to occur.
Ineffective in snowy conditions
For those who live in Northern England or Scotland, in Wintertime, snow is usually par for the course. Yet removing built up flurries of the white stuff from a bumpy gravel stone surface is a hassle that’s best to avoid.
Frequent stone displacements
Even though a crushed stone driveway can be topped up with additional aggregates when required, frequent stone displacements mean that homeowners would be advised to rake their driveway every two weeks to minimise this, and ensure that the top layer of gravel remains evenly distributed across the breadth of the surface.
In addition to this, a fresh layer of gravel should be applied each year.
Dust and dirt galore
It’s important to bear in mind that driving over gravel can easily produce more dust and dirt than any other driveway material on the market. If you suffer from breathing difficulties, and their consequent conditions, such as asthma, clouds of dust arising from your driveway does little to help matters.
Advantages of crushed stone driveways
When gravel is installed properly, rainwater will penetrate directly into the earth, replenishing groundwater. This enhances the overall drainage capacity of your driveway, which in light of our rainy climate, can prove to be a popular perk.
The sound of security
The crunch of gravel under a car’s wheels is an undeniably satisfying sound, and can also act as a defence measure, alerting you to the presence of uninvited intruders.