How to Lay a New Gravel Driveway On Clay Soil

Gravel adds neatness and appeal to a driveway. It also makes life easier in rain and snow when clay can get really nasty and messy. Installing a gravel driveway can give your home a complete makeover and make it look grand even from a distance. Gravel is relatively less expensive among the paving options like concrete. It is easy to maintain and lasts for long. If you have a clay under base then you are in luck because gravel works great over clay. People with sandy soil usually have to add clay first to build a gravel pathway. The task is a labor intensive one but give it a free weekend and you will be proud of the effort in the end. Our step by step guide shows you how to build the gravel pathway over clay soil the perfect way.

Things Required:

– Shovel

– Backhoe

– Soil compactor

– Landscaping fabric

– Large stones

– Sand

– Medium size gravel

– Crushed gravel


  • 1

    The first step is to clear the top soil and any organic matter that you have over the soil. Remove any weed or plants that you have in the area. Use a shovel or backhoe to remove the top soil which encourages organic growth.

  • 2

    Now use a soil compactor to tap down the soil well. Compacted clay makes a strong base for the clay. This step is particularly important if the clay of your driveway is loose. Smooth up all areas and level them. To level down, remove some clay. To level up, use stones to fill gaps. It is better to level up the driveway in a way that the center part is a bit higher than the edges. This way a drainage system will be established and rain water will drain off the sides.

  • 3

    Spread a layer of landscaping fabric over the driveway length. This fabric discourages the growth of sprouts between the gravel of your drive which inhibit its appeal. However, if you have hardy clay which is not very fertile, you can skip this step.

  • 4

    Lay a first base of large stones. These stones can be as large as fist size. Apply the first layer of stones. Top with a layer of sand to fill down the gaps. Water down the sand. Now apply another layer of sand.

  • 5

    Now comes the gravel. The first layer should be of large gravel pieces. The second should be of crushed gravel which will bring fineness to the driveway.

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