A limestone driveway is easy and cheap to build. They are usually made up of crushed limestone laid out on the surface and then compacted over time.
If you know what you are doing when it comes DIY projects around the house, this shouldn’t be a problem. A note that you should take into consideration: if you driveway is going to be big, you may need some heavy duty machinery and some helping hands.
What we are going to do is show you how to build and setup your very own limestone driveway.
Step 1 – Preparation For Your Limestone Driveway
Anything that involves construction, especially a driveway, needs a bit of planning. The first thing that you want to do is ensure that you have all the proper tools before you begin.
You will need the following:
- Landscaping Stakes
- Construction String
- Tamping Tool
- Landscaping Fabric
- Crushed Limestone – Various Sizes (this is usually bought from a local landscaping company)
Once you have all your tools together, you are ready to move onto the planning stage for your driveway.
You will need to get a pretty good idea as to where your driveway is going to be in relation to your house. You will also need to start getting a feel for the dimensions of your new driveway, taking into account both width, length and depth. For most driveways, you typically want to dig down to about 8-12 inches, and this is no different when dealing with limestone. The deeper you go, the more weight your driveway can support (as long the sides are properly compacted).
Once you figure out the dimensions of your driveway, you will then know how much crushed limestone to order to. All you have to do is multiply the width by the length by the depth in terms of foot. This will then give you the total square foot of the excavated area and then the total square foot of limestone required to fill that excavated land. Be sure to take into consideration any twists and turns.
One last note, if your limestone does come before you are ready to fill in the driveway, place a tarp over it to prevent it from getting wet.
Step 2 – Mark It Out
Using your Landscaping Stakes, place them along the perimeter of you driveway according to your measurements. Sink them about half way into the earth. Now wrap Construction String onto one stake in one corner and tie the other end of the string to the other corner.
Repeat this process until you get a box outlined by the string. This represents the perimeter of your soon to be limestone driveway.
Step 3 – Digging
This will probably be the most labour intensive part of this whole project. Make sure you plan for good weather as, depending on the size of your driveway, this could take up to two or three days to complete.
With the construction string outlining the perimeter, use your shovel and dig about 8 inches down into the earth. You are going to want to dig all the land up that is within the marked out section. Be sure to note if there is a slant in the surface and adjust your depth accordingly. You also want to make sure that there is a slight incline leading up to the end of the driveway. This prevents any water from pooling on the surface.
To do this, simply dig about a half an inch deeper at the driveway’s entrance and gradually reduce the depth to the end.
Once all the digging is complete, use your tamper to compact the base’s surface. This is extremely important to do as it prevents any future water eroding your driveway from underneath.
It may make it worth your while in the long run to hire some industrial machinery to do the digging and compacting, depending on how much time you are willing to spend on this project.
Step 4 – Lay The Fabric
Once you have made sure the driveway base is completely compacted and level, you should begin laying out the Landscaping Fabric.
What this fabric does is prevent any weeds roots from growing up through your driveway. A lot of the time, these roots can burrow and crack a concrete surface and this is even more common when it comes to limestone.
Step 5 – Laying The Limestone Driveway
This is the last step!
Make sure you have order all your crushed limestone and it is ready to get spread out. Using your shovel and wheelbarrow, unload the limestone evenly. You will want to distribute the limestone in stages. So for the first stage, fill in about 2 inches worth depth and then use your Tamping Tool to compact it. Repeat this in two inch steps, compacting after every stage until the limestone reaches the surface.
I know it is a pain to compact the limestone more than once but this is extremely important if you want the driveway to last. Compacting makes sure the driveway is stable and able to support a decent amount of weight. Doing it in stages ensures that the whole driveway is compacted but doing it at the end means only the surface is sturdy.
Step 6 – Enjoy It
Thats it, your all done!
If everything has been done properly, you should have a nice new limestone driveway on your property.
A Few Things To Consider
- Before you begin excavating your land, make sure there are no electrical wires or water mains that you could accidentally bump into. You can check this by giving your local county administrators a call.
- Also, make sure you are legally allowed to build your own limestone driveway without a builder’s licence. Some states vary on this law in it will pay in the long run to make sure everything is okay before you begin.
- Consider hiring a contractor. Sometimes, the amount of time you spend on a project ends up costing more than it would have been to simply hire someone else to do the job for you. Get a quote, see if you are able to actually do the job. If you are comfortable with your own abilities, GO FOR IT!
Got any questions? Chuck them in below and we will be sure to get back to you ASAP.