How to make your gravel driveway look good

Offering reliable landscaping services to homeowners in British Columbia since 2013

Picture of Natasha Maerz

Natasha Maerz

Owner/Office Manager

If we haven’t met before allow us to introduce ourselves. We are Back 40 Landscaping and our expertise is in retaining walls and hardscaping. We also like to bring education to those looking for gravel solutions.

Gravel driveways are a popular choice in areas where homeowners have longer driveways, or older homes that pavers or concrete do not match well with.  They are relatively cheap to build, and if installed correctly and maintained properly can look great for a long time.   When getting a gravel driveway installed, it is important to take your time and not rush the process. Many homeowners like the fact that a driveway can be built in a day or two, but if it is done too quickly, the end result can look unruly and untidy, and you will be wishing you chose a different material for your driveway.   Driveways can really add to the value of your home if they look good, but lessen curb appeal if done incorrectly.   So, what can you do to enhance the look of a gravel driveway?

Do not rush the process

  A good gravel driveway needs to be properly prepared. If you are planning on having a gravel driveway installed over an area that has existing material, your contractor should scrape off the old material, and bring in new material to put on top. Once the gravel is put on, the area should be compacted properly. Compacting will give the gravel a nice uniform look, and will allow you, and your guests, to walk easily and comfortably on your driveway.  


  Gravel driveways should have an edge, so that the gravel does not spill everywhere, making the area look untidy. Edging can be done with borders, edging stones, or wooden ties. Installing edging will prevent the gravel from going into your grass and the road, and will help save material costs. Without edging you will need to top up your gravel more often than not.  

Design of your driveway

  Think about how you want your driveway to look, and how it is going to be incorporated into the other aspects of your outdoor space. Planning out what type of edging you want, whether the gravel is going to go right up to your house, or if you want to put a pathway in, will be easier to design before the project actually starts.  

Make sure you are maintaining your driveway

  Raking your driveway every couple of weeks will make your driveway look tidy, and any gravel that has spilled over can be taken care of.   Every couple of years, you should be having a gravel renovation done to your driveway. This will help fill in any pot holes that have accumulated, add fresh gravel to your driveway, and will make the entire driveway look brand new.  

Make your gravel driveway unique

  Gravel driveways do not need to look uniform. There are plenty of touches that homeowners can add to their space to make a gravel drive more aesthetically pleasing.  
  • Edge your driveway with beautiful low flowering plants
  • Match the color of your gravel to your home
  • Edge the gravel with brick
  • Border long gravel driveways with a split rail fence, or trees
  • Add a cement border
  • For long driveways add an entrance, like a dual stone wall or a gate
  • Use natural stone edging
  • Use garden edging to separate the gravel from the beds
      As you can see, gravel driveways can be just as picturesque as a paver driveway if you add a little bit of creativity into your design plan. Since gravel is more affordable than concrete or brick, you may be able to incorporate one or more of the ideas above to truly transform your driveway.