Average gravel grid driveway costs

Weed proof membrane £40
Labour costs £400
Excavation and waste removal £400
Driveway sub-base £450
Driveway grids £400 on average, £12.50 per square metre
Gravel £350-£400 depending on type and amount

Factors which influence the cost of gravel grid driveways

  • The size of the driveway
  • The type of gravel you choose
  • Grid colour and the quality of the plastic
  • The number of grids
  • Whether the plastic is recycled or not
  • How much preparation work is required for the base
  • Is there an old driveway to remove
  • Waste disposal costs
  • Access to the site
  • Postcode – the Southeast and London are always more expensive

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What is a gravel grid driveway?

Sometimes also called plastic grid driveways, this design uses plastic cellular grids fashioned in a honeycomb structure and which are designed to keep the gravel firmly in place on your driveway and stop it scattering.

The plastic grids essentially remove the most common drawbacks of a gravel driveway which is the migration of the stones and the formation of holes and ridges which make walking or pushing a wheelchair or buggy across the surface very difficult. Uneven gravel drives are also a trip hazard for the elderly or people with mobility issues. A fall on gravel can cause nasty injuries. Plastic grids solve all these problems.

Types of gravel

There are lots of different types of gravel with some being more suitable for use in a sub-base and others for the surface layer. They all vary in texture, shape and colour. Generally, there is not much variation in the price of the different types of gravel. 20 KG bags retail at less than £5 each and for an 850 KG bag of gravel, you can expect to pay an average price of £70.

Pea Gravel

Pea gravel is also known as pea shingle and is made up of small stones in varying shapes and sizes. Each stone measures 20MM and each individual pebble has a smooth surface. Pea gravel requires edging to keep the stones in place which is why gravel grids are so popular.

Quarry Stone

Quarry stone is also known as dirty stone or MOT type 1 or blinding. Quarry stone consists of a mixture of 40MM stones, smaller 10-20MM stones, sand and dust. Quarry stone tends to be used as a sub-base material because of its stable surface.

Crushed stone

Crushed stone gravel is made-up of coarse sand and small stones. Crushed stone can be used as a sub-base or a top layer depending upon the ratio of coarse sand to small stones.

Washed stone

Washed stone is similar in appearance to crushed stone with the main difference being that because it is washed, it gives it a shinier finish. The smaller stones are suitable for use in the sub-base and the largest stones are perfect for the top layer.

Blue grey slate chippings

Slate chippings add a touch of colour to your driveway and provide a unique finish. Slate chippings tend to be more expensive than other types of gravel, in some instances almost double the gravel grid driveway cost.

Polished pebbles

Polished pebbles are pebbles that have been polished by a body of water. They have a unique finish and a wide range of colour options. Polished pebbles can be slippery so are not ideal for every driveway. Some people use them for a decorative edging and keep a more robust and safe gravel for the central area where people walk and cars park. Polished pebbles are towards the top end of the price chart of gravel grid driveway costs.

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What are the advantages of a gravel grid driveway?

Although adding grids to a new gravel driveway will significantly increase your overall spend, there are plenty of advantages to the homeowner which can make this worthwhile:-

  • They have a traditional and natural look
  • They suit a wide variety of properties
  • They are stable and prevent migration of the stones by holding the gravel in place. The grids also prevent erosion and potholing
  • The driveway needs less maintenance throughout the year than a standard gravel driveway without the grids
  • The grids are designed to withstand the weight of repeated vehicular traffic and won’t break, split or weaken
  • Installation is easy and straightforward and pretty quick which impacts on labour costs
  • The grids make the gravel surface more stable, and this increases usage and accessibility particularly for small wheels like those on buggies or wheelchairs
  • Because the driveway surface is more level, it is easier to walk across for ladies in high heels and those who have mobility restrictions or a disability
  • The plastic used to make the grids is rot resistant and has a long lifespan. Because the driveway remains more stable, the gravel lasts longer requiring less frequent top ups
  • Gravel is permeable so a gravel grid driveway can avoid the need for planning permission

The disadvantages of a gravel grid driveway

If you have set your heart on a smooth and uniform surface, then this is not the choice for you. Some people dislike gravel because it is noisy although this can be a good security alert at night.

Planning permission

Because gravel is permeable, it will drain so there isn’t usually a requirement for planning permission but always check with your local council and don’t rely solely on your driveway installer. The cost of gravel grid driveways can increase a lot if you do not obtain the correct permissions.

If your new driveway requires a dropped kerb, then this will need planning permission from the council. Again installing a dropped kerb will also increase the overall cost of a gravel grid driveway.

Listed buildings require separate consent as listed building status applies to the land around the house not just the house. There can also be separate regulations if you live in a conservation area. Gravel is a driveway material which is sympathetic with older houses and so there are less likely to be restrictions on a gravel grid driveway than some other forms of surface.

How to reduce the cost of a gravel grid driveway

You could prepare the sub-base yourself or, if that is too difficult then remove the old driveway. This can save on labour costs, but you may well have to hire in pneumatic equipment and/or a skip for waste so it is not totally without expense.

Changing the type of gravel you use can have an impact on the gravel grid driveway cost. If you are really keen on a decorative and expensive stone, then use less of it and just turn it into a feature area and then use a more basic stone for the main part of the drive. Decorative gravel looks very nice as a border or edging. Likewise, choose a cheaper plastic grid, maybe one that is not made from recycled plastic or has a lower load bearing capacity.

Checkout this short video on a gravel grid driveway installation:

If you have room in your budget to try a different driveway material, why not learn more about stamped asphalt driveways for increased durability, shingle driveways for a more traditional look, or cobblestone driveways for a more expensive but long lasting classic design.

If you have set your heart on a smooth and uniform surface, then this is not the choice for you. Some people dislike gravel because it is noisy although this can be a good security alert at night.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I buy recycled plastic grids?

Yes, these are available for those who want to make an environmentally friendly purchasing decision.

How are plastic grids installed?

After excavation of the driveway area, the sub-base is installed, and the grids are then laid across the driveway in an interlocking pattern. The grids are then filled with the gravel to the same level to ensure an even finish. You can install gravel grids directly onto a soil bed, but this type of installation is not suitable for a driveway due to the weight of the vehicles.

How can I stop weeds from sprouting up amongst the gravel?

When you lay the sub-base, install a weed proof membrane before you add the grids and the top layer. Weed proof membranes don’t prevent all growth coming through but they will get rid of most of it. The rest can be hand pulled or spot sprayed with a herbicide.

What weight can a plastic gravel grid support?

Driveway grids can support a car but if you want to park something heavier then you may need to upgrade to a reinforced version. There are uniquely formulated plastic grids which can withstand up to 250 tonnes per square metre, well able to support a loaded commercial van or LGV or a motorhome which is permanently parked for most of the year.

My plastic grids are SUDS compliant, what does SUDS mean?

SUDS means Sustainable Urban Drainage System and is designed to support the correct drainage of surface water on a private property to a lawn or soakaway. Using SUDS compliant grids and gravel will ensure you are obeying planning regulations when it comes to drainage.

Paul Robinson
Hi I'm Paul. After years in the mathematical field, I went on to help rescue a flooring and driveways company and spent 10 years building the company. I’m a property expert with extensive driveway and home improvement industry knowledge.
Mike Alexander

I’m Mike – writer and part-time home improvement expert at Refurbb. Since owning and refurbishing my own property in 2018, I’ve since been developing rental properties, writing about my home improvement endeavours, sharing what I’ve learned and connecting readers to reputable tradespeople in the UK. I’m also head of marketing and technical at Raindancer Ltd

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