Making a good first impression starts with a good exterior. Driveways and paving are often the first point of contact visitors may have with your property. They are key components to your outside space. Beautiful gravel work can be created with minimal effort required. Gravel is becoming an increasingly popular material for driveways, paths and landscaping projects. It also boasts from being very affordable, easy to install and low maintenance.
Types of Gravel
Gravel is renowned for being one of the easiest material to be used for exterior projects. There is a huge range of gravel available, varying in size, colour and texture. The cheapest is usually natural gravel, which comes in the form of pea size shingles. Mixed batches of gravel that contain various sizes also tends to be very affordable. There are specialised gravel options available which include custom colours and materials, however these do tend to cost more when compared to natural gravel. Slate mulch is another type of gravel that is another increasingly popular material that can come in various colours including green, blue and purple. Semi-natural colour gravel is also an option that you may want to consider. This type of gravel is covered in dye, with a range of different shades to choose from.
Gravel can come in different forms including loose stones, self-binding or bounded gravel.
Self-binding gravel is especially useful for high footfall areas or lengthy driveways. This type of gravel is mixed with smaller shingles known as fines, which rub together and create a dust covering the stones. The texture of self-binding gravel is effective at creating a semi-hard surface, but is not sealed like hard surfaces.
Over time, wear and tear causes the different sized gravel stones to naturally bond together. This creates a cleaner and more uniform look when compared to ordinary gravel. Another benefit of self-binding gravel is that you can also remove,crush and relay the material.
The type of gravel you select for your exterior will be deciding by your personal preferences and style. The cost of the different materials will also contribute to the decision-making process. Regular or natural gravel is best for driveways. We would suggest avoiding rounded gravel for driveways and these tend to spread easily under moving tyres and are harder to walk on.
In order to add some creativity into our landscaping, you can mix different colours and textures of gravel to achieve a customised look. Patterns tend to look best on paving that will not receive a lot of movement compared to loose gravel. For pathways, we would recommend slate as it is much coarser and hard wearing, making it suitable for high footfall areas. Gravel is a good investment and can enhance the appearance of your exterior.