Go back
Driveways & Resin Surfacing

Pea Gravel Driveway Pros And Cons To Ponder

Pea Gravel Driveway Pros And Cons

If you have ever thought about giving your driveway a much needed makeover, the idea of pea gravel might have occurred to you at some point in time.

It is true that this is an easy way to transform your driveway in a short period of time, but is it really better than other options, such as resin driveways? Here we will look into the benefits and disadvantages of pea gravel driveways, and see if they really do come out at the top of the table…

What Is Pea Gravel?

If you think about it, the name pea gravel is exactly what it sounds like. This gravel is around the same size and a similar shape to peas – but it is not usually green! Pea gravel in the UK ranges in size from 10 to 20mm and comes in a variety of shapes, colours and textures.

It is usually a mixed gravel and should be laid to a depth of around 4 to 5cm. This size gravel is one of the most popular for driveways and paths because the size is the easiest to walk on, and it is relatively inexpensive as well.

Laying A Gravel Driveway: Top Tips And Tricks

One main benefit of deciding on a pea gravel driveway is the fact that it is a D.I.Y job that most people can achieve. However, that doesn’t mean that it is easy to do! To get a good finish, you need to take the time to prepare the ground carefully.

That means digging out whatever driveway is currently in place, and getting down to the bare earth itself.

You will need to edge the area to try and prevent the gravel from migrating on to the lawn or into the house. Removal of all weeds is essential, and you should put down a weed barrier to prevent new weeds and grass from growing through your new gravel.

Once all of this is done, you can add the gravel of your choice to the mix. This will almost always need much more than you will think – most driveways will need in excess of 2-4 tonnes of gravel to achieve the necessary depth.

Pea Gravel Driveway Pros And Cons

Pea Gravel Driveways: The Plus Points

● Pea gravel is one of the most inexpensive driveway options, and can cost around half what you might spend on a paved driveway; however ,you should factor in the ongoing cost of topping up the gravel when required.
● You can easily buy the materials needed to create your own pea gravel driveway – all you need is some weed resistant sheeting, some edging stones and enough gravel to cover the area.
● Gravel can be very easy to maintain – just top it up with more gravel as it sinks and settles, and watch out for weeds poking through the barrier material. You might need to spray the area with a weed killer from time to time, and wash the stones with water if they seem to get dirty.
● Gravel driveways will drain easily as long as your have a good soil sub-base in place. Water simply will run straight through, making them the ideal choice if you want to prevent water run-off from your property. This makes gravel a great environmentally friendly option.
● A pea gravel driveway can be very durable, and with the right maintenance, can last a lifetime.
● Gravel provides a wonderful rustic look, that blends in seamlessly with the existing backdrop of your home. It doesn’t have the modern aesthetic that many people dislike, making it a nice choice for creating a charming, country look.
● The smaller size of the gravel makes it quieter than other driveways, and much easier to walk on as well.
● Gravel is recommended by the UK police as a good option for putting off burglars who do not like the fact that driveways and pathways are noisy to walk on.

Pea Gravel Driveway Pros And Cons

Gravel is not suitable for driveways that are on a slope. The gravel will simply work its way down to the bottom, and may be slippery to drive up and down

Pea Gravel Driveways: The Pitfalls

● If the gravel becomes icy or covered in snow in the Winter, it can be tricky to deal with. You really only have one option, and that is to add salt or grit to the surface to try and melt the snow, and to give you additional traction.
● The pea gravel on your driveway will shift as you drive and walk across it. This means that your driveway will develop ruts, bare areas, and built up areas. You will need to rake it regularly and top it up from time to time to ensure it remains level.
● Gravel is not suitable for driveways that are on a slope. The gravel will simply work its way down to the bottom, and may be slippery to drive up and down.
● The stones will sink into the soft earth underneath when driven over, leading to bare patches where mud will show through. You will need to buy more gravel at least twice a year to top it up.
● Pea gravel really only comes in a mixed range of colours – this limits the aesthetics of your driveway.
● The small size of the gravel can mean that it is more easily tracked into the house on the soles of your shoes, or it can be caught in the tread of your tyres.

Pea Gravel Driveway Pros And Cons

Resin bound driveways need to be laid onto a carefully prepared base made from either concrete or tarmac, but once correctly laid, they will last for many years!

What Are The Alternatives To Pea Gravel Driveways?

One of the best and most hard-wearing driveway choices is a resin bound system. This relatively new way of paving a driveway gives the attractive look of a gravel finish, but without any of the drawbacks that we have noted above.

In fact, a resin bound driveway has many more benefits for homeowners to enjoy, including:

● Resin bound driveways are designed to look just like gravel, but the stones are bound into the surface, and, therefore, will not move, sink, or wear away.
● These driveways are permeable, and allow water to seep through them into the ground below. This means that they are good for flood risks, even when the entire front garden has been paved over.
● You can choose from a huge variety of coloured stones to achieve the look that you want for your driveway. The type of stone that you can use is entirely up to you, and ranges from white pebbles through to black quartz.
● Resin bound driveways need to be laid onto a carefully prepared base made from either concrete or tarmac, but once correctly laid, they will last for many years.
● Resin driveways require little or no maintenance. A simply wash with a pressure washer once or twice a year should be sufficient.

As you can see, a resin driveway is a great alternative to the classic pea gravel driveway, and will provide a longer lasting and more attractive finish that will really set your home apart from the rest. Simply call 0800 1700 636, or click the button below to get your driveway upgraded today!