I'm a new DIYer and my first project is to cover my sand driveway with bluestone gravel. My question is how do I take measurements of driveway to determine how much gravel to buy? Thank you in advance for your help!

  • When you say blue stone is this shale? I have put down a heavy mesh similar to what road crews use for keeping crushed rock /shale from sinking in but the mesh allows drainage. I put 6-8" of rock down and packed it spraying with water while packing, this was over 100' long and there was only 1 area that had problems after 5 years, a heavy rain(storm) filled a low spot on 1 side and washed out some of the sand, I added a drain under that section with more mesh under the pipe and filled the trench with rock until level with the original gravel, this has held up, not sunk , the new owner paved it – Ed Beal Feb 20 '18 at 18:48
  • It's not clear what you're asking. What part of the measurement or the math has you stumped? The basic formula for volume is length * width * height. You can then divide into whatever unit you're after (cubic yards, say). – isherwood Feb 20 '18 at 18:51
  • @isherwood I think that's what I was looking for! The bags are sold by pound to cover a certain cubic yard measurement. So say for example, the driveway is 9*4*2 (assuming the 'height' would be how deep the sand is?), would that be considered 72 cu yd? – mspatient10 Feb 20 '18 at 19:04
  • Your driveway is to be two yards deep? – isherwood Feb 20 '18 at 19:05
  • @isherwood no, I think that's how many inches deep the sand is now! :-) I think the answer below might be a good start to what I am looking for. I only want to add about 2 inches of gravel after I compact the sand. I'm totally novice as you can tell but it really doesn't seem that hard. I suck at math/measurements/conversions so I just want to make sure I'm doing that correctly so I get enough gravel the first time around!! – mspatient10 Feb 20 '18 at 19:16

Measure the area of the driveway using a tape measure, walking wheel, or whatever is most appropriate for the size and layout of your driveway. If your driveway is rectangular, just multiply the length (in feet) by the width (in feet). If it's a more complicate shape, break it into smaller shapes that are rectangles, and add the area of each smaller shape together.

Take the area and multiply it by the depth of sand you wish to have, in inches. Divide that by 12, and the result is the number of cubic feet of sand you'll need. Divide that by 27 to get the number of cubic yards you'll need.

You'll probably want to add some fudge factor to account for measurement errors, the driveway edges not being straight, dips in the driveway, etc. How much depends on the size of your driveway, but 10% is probably a good starting point.

  • Triangles: l * w * .5 – isherwood Feb 20 '18 at 19:07
  • @mmathis I'm not adding sand, I'm covering it with gravel. But I'm thinking I only want the gravel to be about 2 inches or so. But thank you, I think this will be helpful. Please see my other question about temporarily covering sand driveway! – mspatient10 Feb 20 '18 at 19:09
  • Sand, gravel, whatever you're putting down, this method will work :) – mmathis Feb 20 '18 at 19:10
  • @mmathis So, I just measured the driveway and it's a lot longer than I thought!! The driveway is rectangular so the measurements are 34Lx8W measured in ft. So would this be the correct calculation: 34 x 4 x 0.20 (actually, 0.17, but allowing for fudging :-) and then divide by 12? – mspatient10 Feb 20 '18 at 20:38
  • @mspatient10 For 2 inches of gravel on a 34'x8' driveway, you'd want 34x8x2/12 = ~45 cubic feet. Dividing that by 27 gives ~1.75 cubic yards. – mmathis Feb 20 '18 at 20:44

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