Laying a gravel driveway is an inexpensive way to replace an asphalt driveway that is in disrepair and a legitimate way to lay a permanent, functioning driveway at a new home. Gravel driveways drain efficiently and, if they are installed correctly, have no places where water pools or fills. Although laying a gravel driveway requires hard work and time, with regular maintenance, it will give you years of use.
Excavate a 10-inch-deep path the length of the driveway usng a backhoe or tractor. A tractor makes the job less strenuous, but if you don't mind doing the work yourself, a shovel can do the job. Remove sticks, leaves or other material that will disrupt a smooth, level surface.
Add a 4-inch layer of large, softball-size gravel to the driveway. Heavy stone at the bottom adds a solid foundation. Choose gravel that is angular and not rounded. Round gravel doesn't sit closely next to another piece of gravel; it pushes the piece next to it away when pressure is put on top. Angular pieces of gravel mesh into their neighbors and fit like puzzle pieces. Use the tamping machine to flatten this layer.
Lay down the final layer of stones that are even smaller in size. Pea gravel is a good size to use for this top layer. Build a mounded crown down the center of the driveway so the water drains down the sides.