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Question DetailsAsked on 1/5/2015

Cost to put in 300 sq ft of decomposed granite? And would it be a good choice for a driveway?

I'm putting in a patio in the backyard and need to find an inexpensive but good looking product. I Looked at stamped concrete, brick and pavers but they are all way too expensive because I also need to have the property graded. I want something rustic looking and inexpensive that isn't pebbles.

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Depending on access issues and how much excavation or grading, sod removal, etc is needed before putting in the decorative fill, could run in the range of $60-100/CY installed commonly for simple filling for your small quantity, to $100-200/cy if ground prep is needed up front, or if there is limited access so it has to be say wheelbarrowed in. Raw material cost, for DIY job, probably about $15-25/CY depending on how common it is in your area, plus about $100-150 delivery fee.

Couple of hints - I assumed minimum 4 inch thickness, so about 3-7-4 CY for your case. Go any thinner and you will have grass/weeds coming up in no time - and NEVER put down over lawn or it willl become both grassy and boggy (except in low rainfall/watering areas). Also, you have to be sure the area underneath is properly sloped initially to avoid ponding under the fill (which will be pervious), or it will get boggy and muddy and become a skeeter haven.

Depending on how cheap that product is in your area, you might look at just normal road base material at a local gravel pit or concrete plant which sells general crushed rock products, or where a contractor is putting down base preparatory to doing a driveway. In many areas, the appearance of normal crushed road/driveway base is little different than fancier material. Look at the parts of the stockpile where the coarser (3/4") material has separated out and been washed by rain - that is more what the color/shade will look like in a patio/walk/drive after it has been rained on / sprinkled a few times. Generally, to avoid a "soft" surface that can turn ankles, you want a crushed, well-graded product - not rounded river gravel, for a patio.

Decomposed granite can be very good for a driveway - pretty much any hard, durable rock type that is crushed works for that. Rounded materials not so much - they tend to kick aside much more easily, so instead of a 4-6 inch or so layer (assuming you have decent subgrade materials, not clay or silt or mud), gravel drives generally need about 6-8 inches initially, a border to retain the material that is kicked aside by traffic, and some raking/shovelling effort every few months to take that kicked-aside material and put it back in the driveway. Also can be a pain with narrow drives, as the kicked-out material lands in the adjacent planters or lawn.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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