How Much Does a Gravel Driveway Cost?
If you want the look of an elegant driveway without maintenance headaches, a gravel driveway could be an excellent option.
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Gravel driveways often require a significant financial outlay, but they're a breeze to maintain and stay looking smart year after year. Let's explore how much a gravel driveway costs to install, including a handy labor and material cost breakdown.
How Much Does a Gravel Driveway Cost on Average?
According to Bob Vila, the national average cost to install a gravel driveway is around $1,500 (CAD 2,000). This amount includes the materials required to cover a typical 16-foot by 38-foot driveway and installation labor. Installing a smaller gravel driveway could cost as little as $300 (CAD 400). Meanwhile, some homeowners spend up to $60,000 (CAD 80,000) to install an extra-large driveway.
How Much Does a Gravel Driveway Cost Per Square Foot?
Generally, installing a gravel driveway costs between $1.25 and $1.80 (CAD 1.70 to CAD 2.40) per square foot, depending on the condition of your existing driveway and its landscaping features. For example, excavating a new driveway or removing tree stumps and other obstacles could significantly increase your spending per square foot.
How Much Does the Gravel Itself Cost?
Purchasing gravel for a driveway is one of the most substantial costs involved in this type of project. Several types of driveway gravel are available, and most cost between 40 cents and $2 (CAD 0.50 and CAD 2.70) per square foot. You should also factor in an extra $50 to $100 (CAD 70 to CAD 135) for delivery.
However, it's more common to purchase driveway gravel by the cubic yard or ton, and some suppliers offer discounts if you order a substantial amount. Pea gravel is the most affordable option, costing around $40 (CAD 50) per cubic yard. The cost of crushed clamshells is broadly similar.
Crushed stone is significantly more expensive, with most suppliers charging around $55 (CAD 75) per cubic yard. Selecting colored gravel can also increase your total costs. Colored products typically cost between $20 and $50 (CAD 30 and CAD 70) more per unit, regardless of the material type.
So, how much gravel do you need to install a gravel drive? Most gravel driveways require three layers, each measuring between 4 and 6 inches deep. You can calculate how much gravel you need by multiplying the length of your driveway by its width (in feet) and multiplying the result by your desired depth.
For example, imagine you have a 20-foot by 40-foot driveway and want three 4-inch-deep gravel layers:
20 feet x 40 feet x 12 feet = 9,600 cubic feet or 356 cubic yards.
However, it's often worth ordering a small amount of extra gravel to fill any dips appearing in the months following installation.
How Much Does Installation Labor Cost for a Gravel Driveway?
Most contractors charge around $30 (CAD 40) per hour for gravel driveway installation services, but rates may vary according to the cost of living in your area. Installers usually include the cost of equipment and supplies in their hourly rate for straightforward jobs, but it's wise to check with your contractor before work begins. Your contractor may charge a higher hourly rate if they need to hire specialized tools to remove an existing driveway.
What Other Factors Affect the Cost of Installing a Gravel Driveway?
As you might expect, the size of your driveway is the most significant factor affecting the overall cost. Installing a single-car gravel driveway costs around $360 to $900 (CAD 480 to CAD 1,200), while a two-car driveway could set you back about $1,000 to $2,200 (CAD 1,330 to CAD 2,900). Three-car gravel driveways often cost between $1,500 and $3,000 (CAD 2,000 and CAD 4,000).
Installing a gravel driveway could be much more expensive if you need to remove an existing driveway. For example, the average cost to remove a concrete driveway is around $970 (CAD 1,300), with a typical range between $250 and $3,000 (CAD 335 and CAD 4,000). You could pay toward the upper end of the scale or more if you have a reinforced concrete driveway or another hard-to-remove material.
Drainage is another crucial consideration to prevent water from accumulating around your house and driveway. Depending on the soil conditions of your plot, you may need to install a drainage system at $2,000 to $5,500 (CAD 2,670 to CAD 7,350).
Some municipalities require homeowners to obtain a permit before installing a gravel driveway. Permit costs vary widely between areas, but you should expect to spend between $500 and $2,000 (CAD 670 and CAD 2,670) — or more if you need a right-of-way or land-disturbance permit.
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