how to build a driveway

How to Build a DIY Driveway

Whether you have a giant plot of rural land or live in a residential property, everyone can use a driveway home improvement.

Acres of land can make way for vehicle traffic with an extended driveway that supports your tractors and trucks. This backyard project can cost you a fortune if you don’t choose an affordable foundation.

The same is true for neighborhood concrete driveways that crack and are vulnerable to extreme temperature changes. You can spend the rest of your finances repairing the pad and have nothing left to extend it, such as building a parking area. If you’re unsure about building a cost-friendly, DIY driveway, our team can help.

We’ll give you the ins and outs of the things you should keep in mind before getting started. Also, you can learn how to build a driveway foundation if it’s your first time tackling a backyard project.

Types of Driveway Foundations

Almost everyone has a driveway surface on their property, but your primary concern should be what material it’s made from. That determines the quality of the structure and how long it will last.

When building a driveway, we always tell customers to choose the material that’s durable, permeable, and affordable. The result is a reliable driveway that your kids and their kids can use one day.

Concrete

You may want the concrete driveways that most white-picket-fence homes have. The only trouble is the thousands you’ll pay for hiring a specialist and pouring concrete. Not to mention settling time and restrictions on when you can build.

We believe this driveway material is sturdy and carries curb appeal, which is why most homeowners have them. They hold massive load support capability and drive up your property value, but do have pros and cons.

Asphalt

With regular resealing, you can have a classic asphalt driveway for your home. They are more permeable than concrete and reduce your chances of pooling or ruts. This also helps with preventing erosion on the driveway base layers, keeping it intact.

Living in a rain-heavy area may require installing a drainage system underneath to compensate. But our team is confident your family can enjoy the right asphalt driveway for years to come.

Geocell

Used as temporary access roads by the US Military, you can utilize the same material for your backyard for less. Simply expand, infill, and compact for an instant driveway. Drive all your vehicles for a lifetime with zero structural maintenance.

Most backyard owners don’t consider geocell driveways, but they make for reliable driveways, sheds, and more. That’s because they are as strong as concrete while draining excess water naturally.

Gravel

Rural plots of land can benefit from gravel driveways if you’re on a budget and have dozens of acres at your disposal. It sends stormwater straight to the groundwater level to prevent flooding.

We caution you to know which vehicles will ride on the driveway area, as the structure may sink into the subgrade over time. If your heavy-duty tractors, trucks, and plows travel the surface, a layer of gravel will not withstand the pressure.

Dirt

Building a driveway can be as simple as driving over the same area hundreds of times. This carves out a natural path for vehicle traffic.

We understand this saves the trouble of purchasing and building a foundation and can be a quick fix for your cars. However, you’ll run into issues with cars getting stuck during storms and ruts in your property.

A dirt driveway can work, but it is not advisable when there are other affordable driveway types to choose from.

ConcreteAsphaltGeocellGravelDirt
PermeableNoSometimesYesYesErosion
StrengthStrongMediumStrongWeakNone
LongevityDurableShort-termDurableShort-termUnreliable
InstallationExpertEasyEasyEasyNone
MaintenanceCheck for crackingCheck for crackingNoneReseal every 2-3 yearsErosion
PriceExpensiveCheapCheapCheapNone
Sub-BaseYesYesNoneNoneWeak soil
Settle Time28 days3 daysDrive instantly7 daysNone

Steps for Building a Driveway

We’ll explain how to build a driveway with a geocell foundation as an example. The above bases each have their own instructions for installation. But our team believes these military-approved bases were the cheapest and most reliable.

You won’t need to hire specialists or purchase heavy equipment to complete this driveway. We recommend grabbing your family or friends and a few basic tools to build a backyard structure that will last 75+ years.

Following the 3 basic steps of geocell driveways, you’ll have a durable, permeable, and affordable driveway in no time.

Materials

Tools

  • Rebar stakes
  • Geocell caps
  • Shovel/rake/tractor
  • Plate or hand compactor

Step 1: Prepare the Land for the Base

Prepare Your Driveway Site: The first step to building a driveway is prepping the area for geocell installation. You can do this by raking the space clean of any large rocks, debris, and other objects.

Install Geocell Fabric: Then, measure the area for the amount of geotextile fabric you need and roll it over the desired area (square foot or cubic yards). Covering the entire driveway or sections at a time, you can trim the extra off.

Step 2: Install the Driveway Base

Expand Geocell Panels: Geocell comes as collapsable panels that you expand when they come out of the box. Stretch them out over the driveway and stake with rebar.

Connect Geocell Panels: Although the HDPE honeycomb structure offers tons of strength on its own, the weight disperses across the entire base by connecting them together. We recommend purchasing clips or caps to do the job.

Step 3: Finish Off Geocell Driveway

Dump Infill Material: Dump a truck of angular gravel or other crushed rock and infill into the cells. Don’t worry about driving on the panels: they can withstand the pressure of your heavy-duty vehicle.

Compact Geocell Surface: Finally, take a hand or plate compactor and compact the driveway so the gravel reaches ground level. It solidifies the foundation as a structure that will last your family generations.

Driveway Maintenance

With a lifespan of 75+ years, geocell driveways won’t require any maintenance. They exist on their own and don’t ask for the same resealing and patchwork that concrete, gravel, and asphalt bases do.

Driveway maintenance is just as important as building the actual driveway since it must be built for long-term use. That’s why you should consult a backyard specialist to consult your specific location, slope grade, etc. to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Build a Driveway that Lasts

By following our guide on building a driveway, your family can enjoy it and even make extensions at an affordable price.

This comes in handy if you have a large piece of property and install a long driveway that lats your kids and their kids. It also builds a better residential driveway and can even expand for a wrap around your property and a parking lot in the back.

Our team wants to open up the backyard possibilities with building a geocell driveway and show how it can save you time and money. We can also tell you more about other budget bases for sheds and other projects.

Feel free to reach out to our backyard specialists with any questions by calling (888)-897-2224.

Shopping Cart