How Deep to Dig for Pavers

How Deep to Dig for Pavers

How Do I Keep Grass From Growing In My Gravel Driveway?

– Sprinkle table salt over the graveled area with your hands. … – Pour 1 gallon of undiluted 20-percent acetic acid vinegar into a garden sprayer. … – Saturate the borders of the graveled area using the garden sprayer, being careful not to spray the vinegar onto plants you wish to keep.

How Do You Lay A Gravel Driveway?

– Stake out the path of the driveway. – Clear grass or topsoil from staked area. – Calculate cubic yardage of gravel needed for each driveway layer. – Schedule and prepare site for gravel delivery. – Level the ground along the path of the driveway. – Spread and compact the base layer of gravel.


Can I pave my own driveway?

Making your own asphalt driveway is hard work, and not a job for one person. If you have friends who will help you, it is possible to save a lot of money by doing your own driveway, even after the cost of rental equipment is factored in.

What to do before the excavation?

To start, good planning is essential to a successful paver project. The first step is to measure the area and then use graph paper to make a scaled drawing of the immediate area. Also, it’s important to check if there are any underground pipes or cables to avoid while digging.

Then, mark or outline the project area, which helps to see exactly where the work area will be. 

After marking, create a slope of one inch to every 4 feet of length, your pavers must be slightly above the surface of the surrounding ground at all points and this slope must be added in the direction you want the water to flow, this step is super important to avoid water pooling on your pavers.

Many professionals recommend gravel or sand bases because they offer the best support for pavers, they allow moisture to get in and drain, and it also absorbs ground tension, which prevents the pavers from sinking. 

What machines do I need to build a driveway?

Depending on the type of driveway you are building, you will typically need one or two of the following machines:

How deep do you dig for asphalt?

Two inches is the industry standard for asphalt overlays and surface courses because it properly bonds the surface course to the binder course. If a surface course is too thin it won’t have the surface area and other properties to properly bond which will result in raveling, cracking, and other asphalt issues.

Gravel driveway benefits

Design Versatility – There are many gravel colours, shapes, and sizes to choose from, allowing you to be creative and design the driveway to complement your home and personality.

Low Maintenance – Gravel driveways help suppress weeds and don’t require mowing, trimming or watering.

Affordable – Compared to other driveway solutions such as tarmac, paving or turf, gravel is cheaper and easier to install and maintain.

Drainage – Gravel provides excellent rainwater drainage, leaving your new driveway puddle free.

Security – As a loose aggregate, gravel produces a distinct crunch sound when walked on, alerting you when someone is outside.

Simple to lay – Unlike other driveway surfaces which may require hiring a contractor or professional landscaper, a gravel driveway is an undertaking any novice DIYer can succeed at.

What costs are involved in driveway construction?

  • Labour hire costs
  • Costs for materials like gravel, cement, sealer, and or bricks
  • Machinery and equipment costs
  • Miscellaneous – water, electricity, and gas

Image via Florida DrivewayImage via Florida Driveway


Once your trench is filled with sand and gravel and compacted, you should place base restraints to prevent your base and pavers from shifting due to age or weather conditions. Restraints are normally made from back polymer or plastic and can be purchased from any gardening center.

Place the restraints along the edges of your pavers. They should be dug in every 16 inches and dig them into the base at different angles to secure them.

How to clean and maintain a gravel driveway

Keeping your gravel driveway looking attractive and clean requires little effort. Here’s how you can keep your new driveway looking pristine all year round:

  • Semi-regularly rake your gravel driveway, especially during the Autumn months, removing unwanted twigs, leaves and other debris. This will also help break up any compacted gravel – a win win!  

  • Although a weed prevention membrane is in place, wind-swept seeds may occasionally cause weeds to form. Simply remove these by hand, using gardening gloves. In the areas affected, spray weed killer (or herbicide) containing glyphosate.

For more information about removing weeds from your gravel driveway, read our guide to weed busting.

  • After years of use, your gravel driveway may thin, creating sparse areas. Happily, this is easily rectifiable by topping up the affected areas with more gravel.

TOP TIP: It’s a good idea when ordering gravel to purchase an extra bag or two, that way you can ensure the gravel you use to top up with is the same as the stone used in the original driveway design.

Manual or Mechanical?

Once you know how far down and how wide your excavation needs to be, you need to decide whether you are going to do the job by hand or get some mechanical tools in. Often the bulk of the work is carting the rubble away and disposing of it rather than the actual digging. But that also depends on the type of ground you have. (Read our article Waste Disposal When Making a Driveway on this site.)

If you have soft, loamy soil, and you can make use of it in the garden, you may be better off saving some money. Just get a few friends and family in to help dig out the soil and take it to its new home in wheelbarrow loads.

If you live in a mountainous area, and there’s solid rock under your topsoil, you may well have to get specialist in. That could blow the driveway budget out of the water, so do some exploratory digging before you commit to the job.

Should You Get a Builders Excavator?

You’ll need to consider the width of your driveway and whether you need it to conform to current regulations regarding vehicle access. If you’re planning on excavating for an asphalt or concrete driveway, then a mini-digger is going to be your best bet.

If you want something more traditional like a gravel driveway with bricks down each side, then you’ll probably be better off with a regular digger.

If you own your plot of land but not the house and have to ask permission for any excavations, don’t assume that it will be granted. If your neighbour has recently moved in or is planning to build soon, they

2. Making foundations too shallow

Another factor to consider is how deep you need to excavate to accommodate the base layers you are going to use. Not leaving adequate room for a proper foundation is a major cause of problems later on. By not digging deep enough or inadequate sub-base layers means you risk your driveway sinking, cracking or becoming uneven over time, regardless of the type of surface material you choose. Excavating to the right depth and choosing the correct substrate as a base material will give you a good firm base to create a driveway that will remain level, stable and pristine for years to come.

How to Grow Moss Between Pavers

by Team Western Pavers | May 18, 2020 | Resources | 0 Comments

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