Gravel Or Crushed Stone For The Driveway: Overview Of Costs

Gravel Or Crushed Stone For The Driveway: Overview Of Costs

Gravel or crushed stone for the driveway? This question is not only asked by future homeowners, but by many people who have decided to build an additional garage or create a subsequent driveway. Each of the two sediments has its advantages, which of course makes the question legitimate. In addition to the advantages and disadvantages, the costs play an important role in the decision.

Gravel or crushed stone is one of the typical materials used for a fixed entrance or driveway. Both sediments are particularly useful if you do not want to lay stones or mix concrete. For this purpose, the sediments are distributed and consolidated after the construction of a simple substructure.

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Because this is not a material that can be cast or properly set, it has a very natural feel and is popular with many people because of the crunching sound it makes. You can find out here which of the two variants is cheaper and what advantages and disadvantages they have.

Loose Sediments

Advantages and disadvantages

Gravel and gravel are loose sediments that are applied to a special substrate and then compacted. In contrast to a driveway made of pure concrete or paving stones, variants made of crushed stone or gravel can be moved, filled and emptied even after compaction. For this reason, these driveways offer certain advantages that are interesting for the project in question.


1. Compared to completely paved driveways, the variants made of crushed stone or gravel are significantly cheaper. No special machines such as a concrete mixer are required, just as fewer specialist staff and the material is quite cheap. Depending on which variant of the sediments you use, even large amounts do not reduce the capital for the realization of the project too much.

2. You can choose from a variety of looks, because crushed stone, gravel and grit can be found in many different colors and shapes. So it is possible to use a rustic variant for a romantic country house or to rely on completely white gravel that suits a modern house.

3. It is much easier to apply and compact gravel or crushed stone for the driveway yourself. With the right instructions, this form of entry can even be made possible almost entirely by yourself. In this case, the time and work required for you is higher, but the costs remain low.

4. Since water can seep through gravel or crushed stone, you do not have to pay any additional fees from your municipality, as is the case with sealed surfaces.

Nevertheless, the sediments have clear weak points that you absolutely have to pay attention to.


1. Due to the loose form, tire and footprint marks are often visible, puddles are formed, or the pebbles end up in the garden or on the lawn. Playing children in particular can carry around many of the stones over time and transport them unintentionally. In this case, a renewed compaction or a filling is necessary.

2. Clearing snow from the driveway is significantly more difficult in the winter. Especially with coarse gravel, it can often mean that you have to remove a large part of the material and fill it up again in the spring. This is also a problem in autumn when the leaves have to be removed.

3. If you want a compacted crushed stone or gravel driveway, the use of honeycomb mats is necessary. The use of honeycomb mats is particularly important for driveways that have to overcome gradients. These are grids of different materials whose honeycombs hold most of the sediment in place, allowing for effective compaction.

As you can see, gravel for the driveway is particularly worthwhile for you if the costs have to be kept low . In the long run, you will have to do a little extra work to keep the entrance functioning, as the sediments are being removed. Below are the individual cost examples for crushed stone and gravel, as well as the necessary excavation, because you can’t just lay a few mats and spread the gravel over them.

Tip: Don’t be surprised if the use of the sediments is referred to as “paving”, as many construction companies and companies call it. Actually, gravel and crushed stone are not paved, because this designation refers to the project itself and is therefore used for better understanding.

Cost overview

Excavation costs

An important element in the cost calculation for a driveway or driveway made of crushed stone or gravel is the actual excavation and its attachment. Since without excavation and attachment, the sediment is shifted by the weight of vehicles and even the steps of people and animals, the cost calculation must be done first so that you can finally offset the cost of excavation with the necessary material costs. The individual positions are as follows.


The excavation can either be done by renting an excavator or can be done by a company. The depth of the excavation is 40 centimeters for a simple driveway, while 60 centimeters are recommended for a garage or carport. The length is up to you, while the width should be around ten feet or more. Larger vehicles also have space.

substructure (gravel)

The base of the driveway is filled with coarse gravel with a grain size of 32 – 63 millimeters. The layer should be 30 centimeters for a 40 centimeter deep excavation, for 60 centimeters around 45 to 48 centimeters.

Angle Stones

Angular stones are essential so that the ballast substructure is not displaced by the weight of vehicles. Even with normal pressure from people, a displacement could occur, which is prevented by the angle stones . Especially at the edge it is important to use this as a fastening. It doesn’t matter what they look like, they should just sit well in the ground and thereby strengthen the substructure.


A six centimeter layer of sand follows which improves compaction of the crushed stone sub-base and provides a good base for honeycomb mats if required. Six centimeters are also sufficient so that the desired crushed stone or gravel is not connected to the substructure.

honeycomb mats

Honeycomb mats are optional but extremely effective in securing the gravel or crushed stone for driveways through the form. Choose a height between three and 3.2 centimeters.

Honeycomb pattern of honeycomb mats

All of these positions provide an effective , non-displacement subgrade that can be filled with the desired gravel or crushed stone. The big advantage of such a driveway is the recommended depth of the excavation, which makes the calculation much easier. In the following calculation for the excavation, including fastening and substructure, an entrance with dimensions of 10 mx 3 mx 0.6 m is calculated. This is a typical driveway for a single-family house with an excavation of 18 m³.

  • 19.7 t gravel (32 – 63 mm) up to a depth of 0.4 m: 350 to 600 Euros (depending on region and delivery costs)
  • 2.4 t sand for 6 cm intermediate layer: 50 to 100 Euros (depending on the type of sand)
  • around 20 L-angled stones measuring 60 cm x 40 cm x 40 cm: 300 to 450 Euros (15 to 22.5 Euros each)
  • 100 honeycomb mats measuring 76.4 cm x 39.2 cm x 0.32 cm for an area of ​​30 m²: 500 – 600 Euros (5 to 6 Euros per piece)

The material costs for an effective substructure amount to a total of 1,200 Euros to 1,750 Euros, which depends on the design of the individual materials used. In addition, there are about 15 percent on the gravel prices due to the necessary compaction and about six percent on the sand. Be sure to always include a little more material so that you don’t end up with too little. The costs for the excavation itself are also important here.

Here you can either rent a small excavator yourself , which can be rented for 100 to 150 Euros per day, or hire a company. You would have to ask for this. If you do not use the excavated earth any further, it must be taken to the nearest landfill . The costs differ from region to region.

small excavator

Tip: Alternatively, you can save the cost of a landfill if you offer the excavated earth through classified ads. Many people use this topsoil in their own garden.

Cost of gravel or crushed stone

Driveway gravel or gravel have very similar properties, but there is a slight difference. Gravel is round compared to crushed stone while crushed stone has distinct edges. Since gravel is ground and crushed stone is broken, different properties must be taken into account when creating a driveway. So it is typical that ballast can be compacted faster and more effectively because the edges interlock.

Due to its round shape, gravel can hardly be compacted unless you use verge gravel for this . The best thing about crushed stone or gravel is the low cost once you’ve completed the subgrade.

Depending on the depth of the substructure, you need the following layer thickness:

  • 40 cm depth: 4 cm gravel or crushed stone layer
  • 60 cm depth: 8 cm to 10 cm gravel or crushed stone layer

Now you have to decide which crushed stone or gravel you want to use.

The following variants are well suited, the price per ton of which is also listed:

  • Crushed gravel (0 – 11 mm or 0 – 22 mm): 60 to 100 Euros
  • Banquet gravel (0 – 32 mm): 50 to 150 Euros
  • different types of gravel without zero content (32 – 45 mm): 150 to 250 Euros

If you want to use ornamental gravel , you often have to reckon with double or triple the price. In addition, these are quickly displaced or are difficult to compact, which requires more material.

If the calculation already started above is continued, the following costs result for the respective types of gravel and ballast for a driveway with a length of ten meters and a width of three meters with a substructure of 60 centimeters.

A layer height of eight centimeters is chosen:

  • 4 t crushed gravel (including 6% compaction): 240 to 400 Euros
  • 4.7 t shoulder gravel (including 6% compaction): 235 to 705 Euros
  • 4.6 t of gravel: 690 to 1,150 Euros

These costs also include the delivery of the sediment, which you can find out from the supplier and the rental fees for a vibratory plate . Vibratory plates cost around 40 Euros per day and 100 Euros per week. Now offset the material costs for the final layer of the finished driveway against those of the substructure. A driveway that is 40 centimeters deep costs 15 to 20 percent less on average.

Vibrating plate

Tip: When planning the driveway, make sure that it supports a maximum gradient of ten percent. A larger gradient is no longer acceptable and would inevitably lead to a small “landslide” in the long run after a complete refill is necessary.