Gravel Prices and Discounts

Last Updated on March 24, 2022 | Written by CPA Alec Pow
First Published on February 13, 2017 | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popivker

We call gravel small stones of just 0.1″ to maximum 3″ in diameter, with most pieces being of around 0.5″ to 2″. The two known and used types of gravel are the one made out of crushed rock and with sharp edges and the one called water-worn, that has natural smooth edges. Most people use gravel to cover the ground around their houses or owned buildings, like roads, walkways, patios, driveways, or as a base material for paving.

The average cost of gravel

The size, type, and general quality of gravel can greatly influence the final price. You can get it in all kinds of sizes; for smaller projects, you can get a small bag, while bigger projects may even take one or more cubic yards. The general cost will also be influenced by whether you can transport it yourself to the project site or need it transported by the seller. As you have already guessed, gravel is very heavy and its transportation will cost more for every mile you need it moved.

You won’t spend more than $3 to $10 on a small bag of gravel, the big difference between the prices being influenced, of course, on your location, the type, size, and quality of the product. Buying more will help you save, for example, for five gallons or more of gravel you can end up paying around $4 to $12 or slightly more. A great example is a bag of all-purpose gravel at Home Depot, that is currently priced at $3.97.
Buying gravel in even bigger quantities will entitle you to even bigger discounts, meaning that if you’re lucky, you can find places that sell an actual ton of gravel for just $50 if you can transport it yourself, and you might end up spending two times more to move it than the actual on-spot cost of gravel. This, of course, depends on the distance between the buyer and your project site and the quality of the product. If you want quality gravel, then ask for crushed granite, decomposed granite, or decorative products. If on the other hand cost is more important than quality for you, then ask for either pea gravel, drain rock, or crushed rock.

Also Check Out The Cost of a Backhoe

Some people need at least one cubic yard of gravel, which means around 1.5 tons, which will usually cost around $60 to $100 without transportation.
People that built a gravel path report spending anywhere from $100 to $1,500, if not more, on materials alone and $200 to $2,500 or even more for professional labor, depending on the materials used and the length of the path.
People that installed a gravel driveway spend anywhere from $1 to $5 for a square foot. This takes the total cost of an average one-car gravel driveway anywhere from $400 to $2,000. If you want to install a professional roadway-looking gravel driveway, be prepared to spend $600 to $2,500 or more for an average size project.

Tips when buying gravel

  • When figuring out the weight of the gravel you just bought, ask for the empty hauling vehicle to be weighed first, and then weigh it again when it’s loaded, to be sure you’re paying for what you get
  • To avoid some extra hassle, ask for the gravel to be spread along the planned project or driveway instead of just leaving it in one pile away from the project site.
  • Shop around and don’t buy from one place just because it is the closest to you. You might find a seller farther from you that will charge you less
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts, especially when buying in bulk

Pea GravelSome sellers ask for a minimum quantity of gravel to be bought or a minimum fee for the product, to make it a profitable business for them. That means that you won’t be allowed to buy a handful of gravel or you may be charged the same as when buying a full bag.

Building an Entire House Will Cost You This Much

If your neighbors are working on similar projects like yours, it might be a great idea to put your money together and get a bigger bulk discount. Big construction companies usually have a discount, so if you’re already working with one, you might ask them to buy it for you.

Gravel will cost less in remote areas or in areas close to rock exploitation places.

Should the average working Joe buy gravel?

Having a paved driveway can greatly improve your home’s curve-appeal. If this is what you want and you have the necessary funds to do it, then there is no need to delay this project. If you can’t take it as a DIY project, then hire professionals, to avoid having to redo the project over and over again. You can find gravel at big home improvement stores like Home Depot or from smaller construction and home improvement companies. Sand and gravel dealers can also get you the materials you need.

Alec Pow
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