How Deep Do You Need to Dig For a Driveway?
If you’re building a new driveway, you’ll need to determine the proper depth for the foundation of the driveway. The depth of the foundation will depend on the type of driveway you’re building, the soil type, and the building regulations in your area. However, it’s important to know that most driveways don’t need a deep foundation. Generally, a few inches are sufficient. However, some foundations need up to a foot.
First, you need to know the thickness of your existing surface soil. This can affect the thickness of the driveway base. A driveway base should be approximately four to eight inches deep. This is to compensate for the material that was removed and prevent deterioration. A four-to-eight-inch base is recommended for sandy soil, while an eight-inch base is necessary for clay soils. Ensure that your contractor does not cut corners when digging the base, as it can affect the quality of the driveway.
Once you’ve determined the proper thickness for the base, you should decide the material that will make the driveway. Concrete driveways can be four to five inches thick, but it’s always better to go deeper for sandier soil, because shifting soil can damage the concrete. In addition, you’ll need to consider the type of driveway you want. It should be sturdy enough to hold the weight of your vehicle, and the incline of the ground.
The depth of your foundation is also important. Without adequate sub-base layers, your driveway could collapse or sag if it’s not supported by a solid foundation. By digging to the proper depth, you’ll be guaranteed a sturdy and stable driveway.
While digging a driveway can be done by hand, there are certain tools that are better suited for the task. For example, a Bobcat may be good for a lawn, but a mechanical compactor is best for pushing dirt. Although it’s an investment, you can hire one from a home improvement store or a tool rental company. The latter option can be cheaper, and the worker will do the job faster than you could.
If you’re planning to install a gravel driveway, the ideal depth is at least 12 to 18 inches. However, if the gravel is unstabilized, you may need to dig deeper. A gravel driveway can last for up to 10 years if you take care of it properly.
For the subbase of the driveway, you need to prepare the ground by leveling and grading it for drainage. You should know that for every 10 feet of length, the soil will drop about 2.5 inches. If the surface isn’t flat and the ground is not dry, you might need to add a gravel base to improve the drainage. If you live in a colder climate, you may need to add a gravel base.
Depending on the type of pavers and sand or gravel, you need to dig at least six to seven inches below the grade. A heavier vehicle will need a deeper sub-base.