Gravel makes the world go ’round – the world of landscaping, anyway! It’s such a beautiful, versatile and affordable aggregate material.
This is why home and business owners from all walks of life have fallen in love with it’s ability to completely transform the look and feel of their landscapes.
If you’ve been giving any thought to landscaping with gravel, you’re in for a treat, but there are some things you should know first. This inside look at the dos and don’ts of landscaping with gravel will help you to complete your project successfully.
DO Your Research on Gravel Types
Contrary to popular belief, there’s more than just one type of gravel! While you may have come to think of gravel as just small, grayish rocks, there are actually numerous types of crushed aggregate that can be used for both decorative and functional purposes throughout your property.
Take the time to check out all of the benefits and uses of popular materials like pea gravel, yellow “Jersey Shore” gravel, washed clean stone, white marble chips, quarry process and others.
The more you know about the types of gravel that are out there, the better suited to your needs and tastes your completed gravel project will be.
DON’T Just Settle for Any Type of Gravel
Don’t make the mistake of settling for the cheapest type of gravel available because you think it will be “good enough”. Sometimes the lowest priced gravel is the best option for your needs, but your final call should be based upon how the material will look and function within the scope of the rest of your project.
After all, you want your work to pay off for the long haul, so it’s important that the gravel you choose be up to the task of facing the tests of time.
DO Measure Your Project Area and Use a Gravel Calculator
It’s very important that you take the time to carefully assess your project area and determine precisely how much material you’ll need when you’re landscaping with gravel.
This is best accomplished by measuring the length and width of your project’s coverage area, talking with an expert to figure out what depth requirements may exist and enter the numbers into a reliable, online materials calculator. This will tell you how many cubic tons or cubic yards of material to order so that you can complete your project efficiently and affordably.
DON’T “Eyeball” or “Guesstimate” Quantities
Don’t be fooled into believing that you can just “guess” how much material you need by taking a good look at your project area, or even by basing your project’s needs off of a friend or neighbor’s.
This could result in you purchasing too much or too little material, thus derailing the entire schedule and budget of your work. Measure twice, order once.
DO Learn the “How Tos” of Landscaping with Gravel
Regardless of whether you plan to handle landscaping with gravel as a DIY project or would like to hire a contractor, it’s always a good idea to take the time to learn about what goes into the type of work you are going to have completed.
This will help you know what to expect throughout the duration of the project and will allow you to keep an eye on things in order to ensure that the best and correct steps are being taken to get the job done.
DON’T Try Completing Work That’s Too Challenging
If, after doing your homework and learning the steps involved in landscaping with gravel, you determine that you may not be completely qualified to handle the work, we strongly urge you to seek out the help of a professional landscaping contractor.
Trying to save a few bucks on labor costs will only create more expensive headaches down the road if you’re not sure that you know what you’re doing or feel that something is beyond your skill level. Talk to a trusted gravel supplier for recommendations on reliable, honest and affordable gravel contractors in your area.
DO Carefully Select a Quality Gravel Supplier
Your project can only be as good as the materials used during the construction process, so choose your gravel supplier wisely. Make sure that you find a company that offers a wide variety of types of gravel to suit your every need.
You should also verify that your supplier is an industry leader that is qualified to answer your questions and provide you with valuable tips on landscaping with gravel. Be sure to look for a company that offers fair and competitive pricing and that is willing to bulk deliver your materials right to your front door.
DON’T Work with Cheap/Free Loose Fill Material
Sometimes an individual may be attempting to clear out a pile of loose gravel from their backyard, or attempting to sell some loose fill material on the side of the road for just a few bucks.
Don’t be tempted by the low or non-existent price tag. There’s no telling where the “gravel” came from, what it is comprised of and if it has been properly screened for safety and integrity for landscaping purposes. The risks far surpass the potential savings, and could create major issues for you in the future.
DO Take Pride in the Upkeep of Your Gravel
One of the best things about landscaping with gravel is that gravel is very easy to maintain, and that maintenance is also extremely affordable. You’ll get the best results when you establish a regular schedule for routinely raking over the surface of your gravel in order to remove any sticks, grass, leaves, or debris.
At the same time, you’ll be making sure that the gravel is evenly distributed throughout the coverage area, and will have the opportunity to rake driveways to a peak for ample drainage. You will also be able to wrangle any loose gravel that may have been displaced, returning it to its proper place.
In addition to this, you should also plan on applying a fresh layer of gravel each year. This will add to structural integrity and beauty.
DON’T Take Shortcuts with Gravel Maintenance
If a low spot or a pothole develops in your gravel driveway, path, or walkway, you may be tempted to simply rake some gravel from another area into the dip. This quick fix isn’t really a fix at all, though, and it will only make your problems a lot worse as it will create more weak spots throughout the gravel space.
The better move is to fill these holes in with fresh gravel. Are you interested in learning more about landscaping with gravel? As an industry expert, Braen Supply is more than happy to answer any and all of your questions about your upcoming gravel projects.
Because we are the leading gravel supplier in NJ, we are also able to connect you with the best and most affordable materials on the market. Our gravel is manufactured from our locally operated quarries and is available at competitive wholesale prices.