Subscribe or Renew Membership Subscribe Renew

Ideas for Driveway

cidion's picture

Hi folks,

I usually spend my time at Knots, but thought I'd post a question over here.

My wife and I recently bought a house. (photos)

Where the previous owners made a parking space, it is VERY hard to safely back out, of the driveway, so my wife and I started driving around the house.

We made our own circle driveway. There was a driveway there years ago, but now it's all grass.

Well it used to be grass. There is a slight incline on both sides of the house, and when it rains, or even a heavy dew our truck, and sometimes car, gets stuck. It just spins on the grass, making it mud.

I want to make it a real driveway, but we can't afford to much.

The Driveway is about 300 feet long, by 9 or 10 feet wide.

At first I was thinking scattered brick, so the grass would grow through and look pretty, but give us traction. but that would be a lot of work, and we are busy with other things.

gravel would be easy, about about $700, but that's a little much for us to spend, and I don't like the look of grey gravel. (I looked into other kinds, but different colors were even more money)

So, I'm thinking about woodchips now. We would build a border to hold them in, and possibly some sort of drainage (it rains here a lot)

Any thought on that? if anyone has photos, it helps my wife picture things.


Chattanooga, TN

(post #176299, reply #1 of 11)




I see no one came by and had any ideas on your driveway.

You might try goin' to the Breaktime forums  and see if anyone has any good ideas for you. It sounds like you and me are in the same boat, and I am most curious to see what ideas others come up with. :-)


Northeastern Indiana

(post #176299, reply #2 of 11)

I wouldn't go with the woodchips.  It may be fine at first but they will eventually decompose and then you have more of a problem than you started with.  Gravel or roadbase is your most economical choice.  You will need an angular type rock to get good compaction.  Pea gravel has a good look and will do fairly well but will not compact.  I was in France and saw a cinderblock type product that was a kind of square grid with about 4" squares that was laid on the ground and then filled with soil and grass grew through it. It made a very solid driving surface. If I could find that I would lay that down.

(post #176299, reply #3 of 11)

Check with neighbors, friends or a paving company who may have job order to pave where there is now gravel & let them know they are welcome to drop off gravel in your driveway.  Yes, there may be a haul fee which should be less than purchase of gravel though we did not incur any expense.

A neighbor contacted us to find a home for his loose pea gravel pending paving of his driveway.  Timing was perfect as we had just discussed need to either obtain more pea gravel or pave.  I did not like the look of either paving or gray gravel, but pea gravel is attractive & readily available in the Chatt. area.  I would prefer even gray gravel to mud & slipping & sliding.  In time gravel eventually sinks preparing a hard base on which to drive without all the gray shining; even some grass will appear where not even planted.

p.s.  At long last we have paving & would never return to gravel.  Looks better, cleaner & little to no expense for a long time.

Edited 2/28/2005 10:01 am ET by Sadie

(post #176299, reply #4 of 11)

well, i for one am grateful you posted this question.

We have a (really pretty sad) gravel driveway that needs some help, and iwe've been avoiding it! it seems overwhelming!

but, thanks to your post, i have been investigating and thinking and looking, and am getting really inspired.

the outside of a house needs three things, without which, no matter WHAT you do, it won't look good. it needs:

a great roof

great landscaping (not to be confused with a garden)

a great driveway.


if these three items are in place, you can turn a hovel into a palace! without them , you'll never ever achieve palace status!!!!!  LOL

so, here are some links i've been looking at for inspiration. hope you enjoy them!  (i'm really sold on the idea of dark grey gravel!!!) (in europe, gravel drives are the norm for the big ol' houses there!)  (some interesting ideas)  for an article about Grasbloc -- another alternative i would definately consider!  (scroll down a bit for a photo of another concrete block with grass drive)  (some fancy-pancy driveways, with a shot of a nice gravel drive)

ok. that's all i've found so far. gonna go make another pot of coffee and keep looking and dreaming!!

what a fun thread!



Northeast Indiana

(post #176299, reply #8 of 11)

the thread on driveways caught my eye but what i found most interesting was the link to the exclusive UK homes.  I recently purchased a modern (1970's) tudor with the idea of remodeling to a shingle stile.  I've never been a big fan of tudors but we loved the location.  Now the tudor is starting to grow on me and the UK link really highlights some great tudor details.

Nice research job.....

(post #176299, reply #10 of 11)

Heres a link that will tell you almost everything about drive way construction and plenty more as well. The other link shows those interlinking plastic panels you pour gravel into and some other some other driveway ideas .;jsessionid=RZP34SXMDPD0VCJO2C1SJ0Q?_dyncharset=UTF-8&q=landscaping&n=&pn=1&pd=1&pi=1&cn=1&cd=1&x=0&y=0



(post #176299, reply #5 of 11)

We saw something similar in Scotland. They use it there on walking paths and in parking areas but it was an interlocking plastic grid with about 1" holes in it. No one who was around could tell us where to find it.


(post #176299, reply #6 of 11)

I've heard of the plastic grid, but can't help you with finding it. But there is a concrete grid block available at places that sell masonry. They're not cheap though and require landscape fabric and gravel (I think it's eight inches of compacted gravel) under them. Then you fill the holes in the grid with dirt and planr grass or whatever.

(post #176299, reply #9 of 11)

its called GEO-GRID i installed it on jobs where greenspace and fireaccess had to coexist.     base is 8" clear with tile on low end. 8"compacted base then typar then geogrid then dirt. then seed then rake then straw. then water water water. you cannot sod it.

in wi i was not able to keep the lawn green without irrigation. but during a rainstorm you could drive whatever you wanted on it.

oh yea  PRESTO PRODUCTS in wi is where i got it. youl have to come off like a contractor or theyll hang up on you.

you can see this is not a cheep solution.

Edited 3/23/2005 3:02 pm ET by Brian

(post #176299, reply #7 of 11)

Where I just moved from, Nantucket Island, most driveways are paved with crushed shells.  Looks like peastone at first, and stinks for the first few days, but the shells break up over time and drain well.  Don't know how available they are in TN though.

If you go with shells or peastone, or even stone dust or plain gravel, you can really dress up a driveway and maybe even save some money if you run flexible steel edging on both sides of the driveway with a strip down the middle that you plant with grass.  Looks very high-class, keeps the scale of the driveway from becoming overwhelming, and is easy to do. 





I used this driveway fabric (post #176299, reply #11 of 11)

I used this driveway fabric which really helped prevent erosion of it and make it last longer.