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Pea Gravel Cost Guide in 2018

When you are designing your landscape, driveways, pathways, and patios, you want to use construction material that is versatile, easy to install, appealing to the eye and importantly readily available and cost-friendly. Pea gravel fits the above description perfectly. It’s a popular gravel material to homeowners when it comes to landscape enhancement. It’s one of the most affordable landscaping and construction material that comes loaded with multiple benefits.

Pea gravel consists of small rounded fluid stones with a smooth texture that comes about as a result of natural weathering. They are available in sizes ranging from 1/8 inch to 3/8 inch which is roughly the typical size of a pea. Because of its smooth texture, pea gravel is particularly used in driveways, walkways, patios, playgrounds, dog runs and any other high traffic areas in the outdoors.

Pea gravel is available in an array of colors which makes it appealing to the eye. Because of the beautiful colors, smooth texture and its size, pea gravel is commonly used for above-ground construction projects and application. Most homeowners prefer using pea gravel to accentuate and enhance the look of their flower beds, gardens, and pathways.

Its smooth texture offers a soft surface to walk on making it comfortable to walk barefoot. The different colors of pea gravel create a beautiful landscape and enhance its aesthetic appeal which makes it stand out from the foliage surrounding greenery.

Pea gravel is a construction material like a crushed stone; it can be used on underground construction projects. It can also be used on pipe bedding, drainage, and on the installation of a fence post. Some people choose to use pea gravel as a substitute to traditional mulch.

Pea gravel has a natural appearance with a permanent aspect; it’s versatile and cost-friendly. It allows you to enhance your outdoor space without necessarily breaking your budget. If you are trying to make a choice on what type of construction material to use for your driveway or patio, you need to read the points below to know the advantages of using pea gravel for your landscape project.

Advantages of Pea Gravel

Every homeowner desires to have a beautiful, well designed outdoor space. Your outdoor space reflects your lifestyle, its functional and gives you an opportunity to utilize and enjoy your outdoors. If you want to make a difference in your landscaping and your home life in general, you have to carefully choose the right gravel material to create an outdoor of your dreams.

Pea gravel has over the years gained popularity and all for good reasons. Here are the benefits of using pea gravel for your home projects.

Available in Different Colors, sizes, and Shapes

When you are designing your landscaping, your aim is to create an aesthetically appealing outdoor space. Pea gravel can help you achieve your desired look. Its available in different colors which create a strikingly beautiful landscape. Its available in shades of white, shades of gray and black, bright colors such as blue, red and translucent.

You can go for an earthy look with the brown pea gravel stones which works perfectly well for most outdoor gardening projects. You can easily match pea gravel with the color scheme of your house or other stones in your yard.

Or, you can create an interesting look for your walkways and driveways by mixing white gravel pea pebbles with other pea gravel colors such as brown, black, red, etc. if you want to create a natural background for your outdoor decorations particularly around the flowers and plants, you can go for gray and black pea gravel pebbles. A mixture of different colors of pea gravel will give your landscape an appealing color scheme.

In addition, pea ground is available in different shapes and sizes and has a smooth texture. This combination of different colors, shapes, and sizes makes it easy for you to achieve any design you want. You can create any design of your choice by coming up with various patterns consisting of different colors and unique shapes. In fact, you can choose colors that enhance the theme of your home and reflect your landscaping ideas better.

Budget Friendly

Pea gravel is one of the most affordable construction material options. You will be able to stay within your budget and still get enough supply of these attractive pebbles for your project. If you are looking for low-cost construction gravel for your home improvement project that will give you stunning results, then nothing beats the friendly cost of pea gravel. It’s a great investment that comes with a good price but makes a difference in the appearance of your outdoor space.

Easy Maintenance

Not only is pea gravel versatile and cost friendly, but it’s also fairly easy to maintain. 0nce you have properly laid it on the surface, there is nothing much you need to do to keep in good condition. The most you will be required to do is to occasionally even out the stones by re-leveling them back into place using a rake. You also need to replace some of the pea ground stones that get dislodged over time which is a fairly an easy task that won’t take much of your time.

Easy to Install

Installation of pea gravel on driveways or walkways or any other surface is fairly an easy task that even a novice can hack. The process of installing pea gravel does not require any specialized skill or expertize. In fact, it will take you a few hours to install pea gravel on your home driveway or patio.

Easy to Walk On

Pea gravel has a consistently smooth texture with a rounded shape. This special feature makes it fairly easy to walk on especially when its installed in patios. It’s also pet-friendly. If you have a dog, you will not have to worry about their paws getting scratched and injured. Additionally, pea gravel does not retain heat, so it will not burn your feet, and neither will it harm bare feet.

Prevents Erosion

When installed on surfaces in your outdoor space, pea gravel can help a great deal in preventing erosion from taking place. Instead of water running over the surface, it will soak past the pebbles right into the ground. Therefore, if you are installing pea gravel on your patio, you do not necessarily need to grade the surface to create a slight incline. The pea gravel material will be suitable to allow water to be absorbed into the ground.

Rodent Barrier

When installed around the base of your house, pea gravel acts as a rodent barrier. It makes it impossible for rodents to burrow through the exterior of your house or the foundation to get an entry point into your house.

Improves Drainage

Pea gravel can help with a puddling problem especially in your outdoor space in places where water tends to accumulate. Water drains better and faster through gravel especially pea gravel than it does on different types of soil. Accumulation of water can make paths muddy, messy and slippery making it difficult for you to walk around your home. Laying pea gravel will get rid of drainage problems, and most of your pathways will be easy to walk on.

If you have an upcoming home improvement project that requires laying grave, pea gravel should be one of your top choices. However, as much as this gravel option comes with a set of advantages, there are some disadvantages associated with pea gravel that should be aware of before installing it. As you plan your project, it’s always good to know the pros and cons of the construction material you are about to invest in.

Disadvantages of Using Pea Gravel

Pea gravel can easily become dislodged making it easy to scatter or be carried across the surface, grass or to the garden and the adjacent areas. This factor makes it unsuitable for areas with high traffic as it will easily get scattered all over the place. If you are planning to use it in your patio, you have to edge the gravel to prevent it from spilling outside and scattering in the surrounding areas.

Over time pea gravel can gravel can constantly shift from where it’s installed. This will continually force you to keep raking it to take it back into its place and keep replenishing to replace the gravel stones. To prevent the shifting, you have to install a lawn edging underneath before you lay pea gravel.

If you decide to change the location of your pathway, or your patio, it will take a lot of time and trouble to be able to collect and shift the small roundish pea gravel stones to your new location.

If you are installing pea ground on your patio, it might be a bit difficult to place your furniture on the small stones. This is because pea gravel doesn’t provide a solid and firm base to place furniture. If you really want to have furniture over pea gravel surface, you have to lay a thick layer of pea gravel of about six-inch and make sure that you fix a base rock underneath the gravel.

Pea gravel makes it hard for you to be able to drag or push anything such as landscaping equipment across the surface.

Over the years, some types of pea gravel tend to discolor and may lose their original color.

Pea gravel is likely to sink into the soil.

Pea gravel is made of small smooth round stones that can easily be a potential hazard around toddlers and pets. Toddlers or pets can easily slip the small stones into their mouth and risk choking. If you have young children and pets, you need to be very careful with pea gravel.

Once you weigh your options and make a choice to install pea gravel, you need to be aware of its costs and cost factors that will influence pea gravel installation.

Pea Gravel Cost

The cost of pea gravel will vary depending on your location, but the average cost for neutral or plain pea gravel ranges from $4 to $8 per bag. The cost of installing pea gravel will depend on the size of the area. For a 200 square feet are, you will spend between $290 to $400 with the average cost close to $350. For a 200 square feet coverage, you will require 0.5cubic feet bags of pea gravel. Pea gravel is available in most home improvement stores near you.

If you have a larger project, it would be more appropriate to purchase pea gravel by a ton or cubic yard. For such large amount of pea gravel, you might have to look for distributors to purchase in large quantity and get the pea gravel at discounted prices. The cost of a cubic yard of plain pea gravel ranges from $30 to $35, while the cost range for a ton of the same ranges from $40 to $45. If you are purchasing a colored pea gravel variety, you will spend an additional $20 to $50 to the normal price of the plain pea gravel. This means a cubic yard of colored gravel will cost about $50 to $85 while a ton will cost you $60 to $95.

If you are buying from a distributor or supplier in bulk, more than 10 tons of pea gravel, you are likely to get the gravel at discounted prices even as low as $15 to $20 per ton. You can choose to hire a professional to do the installation for you. A professional will charge you about $15 to $70 per hour to lay pea gravel for you. The total cost of the labor charges will depend on the size of the project and the time taken to complete the job.

You may also consider transportation costs when purchasing pea gravel. Most distributors or pea gravel companies usually have a minimum cost for an order to deliver if you are buying in tons. However, the amount varies from company to company but mostly ranges from a cubic yard to 20 tons. For wholesale pricing, you will get free delivery if you are purchasing at least 10 to 20 tons of pea gravel. However, some companies charge a delivery fee which depends on the distance from the point of purchase to the location of delivery.

Pea Gravel Installation Costs 
National average cost of pea gravel$350
Low-end gravel costs$290
High-end costs$400

Professional pea ground installation cost for a landscape of 400 square feet

Landscape area 400 square feetItemQuantity to buyCost range
Material-pea gravel450 square feet$580-$800
Labor hours4hours$60-$280
Supplies and tools$100-$120
The total cost of the project-400square feet$740-$1200

Factors That Influence the Cost of Pea Gravel

If you are planning to use pea gravel for your landscaping project, you need to consider the following factors. Depending on the scope of your landscaping project, some of these factors can influence the cost of your pea gravel project. Here some of the considerations you need to look at when you are budgeting for pea gravel project:

The Type of Pea Gravel to Use: pea gravel comes in different styles. Even though its naturally rounded and smooth; some pea gravel stones are more polished and smooth. Some pea gravel pebbles may have rough or sharp edges, and these are usually the least expensive.
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f you have children and pets who are likely to be playing on the gravel, you should consider installing the type of pea gravel where each pebble is well rounded, smooth and softer. This type of pea gravel is more expensive than the one that has some rough stones in it but its foot-friendly and ideal to walk on.

The Required Depth:  when installing pea gravel, in most cases the depth varies depending on your requirements and the use of the pea gravel. For a path walk, you will only need one inch of pea gravel. If you are planning to lay pea ground around your plants or garden, you might need about two to four inches.

If the pea gravel is meant for a large area which is likely to have high foot traffic, for example in the patio or on your backyard, or on a driveway, you will require to use a depth of about six inches. The deeper you need to go; the more pea gravel you will need. Therefore, before you invest in pea gravel, you need to know your depth calculations to know the amount of pea gravel to purchase.

Consider Drainage: before laying pea ground in your area of choice you need to assess what lies underneath the soil. Pea gravel is likely is likely to pack down in an area that has drainage issues with time and may leave less airspace to allow proper drainage. If this is your DIY project, you might need to consult with a professional if you have issues with drainage to see the way forward.

Adding A Border: before installing pea gravel in any area, you have to do some edging around the pea gravel to contain it. It’s a way of ensuring that the installed pea gravel stays in place regardless of heavy rains or flooding in the area. The height of the border should exceed the depth of the pea gravel. This means you need to use several materials to achieve a fitting border. Creating border will definitely add to the cost of pea gravel installation cost.

The color of The Pea Gravel Pebbles: the beauty of pea gravel is the variety of colors. Pea gravel comes in a wide range of colors for your choice. However, gray pea gravel is considered to be the standard color, and it comes with the standard price. Any other color is considered an advancement and it will cost you more.

However, when choosing the color, you have to be keen on the lower grades of pea gravel. They might come at a lower price, but with time, the gravel may start leaching ochre and end up discoloring anything near the gravel. It might be cheaper, but it may end up disappointing you.

Area Preparation: before you start laying down pea gravel, you have to prepare the location of your project. If the area has weeds, you have to remove or kill them. If you lay pea gravel without killing the weed, they are likely to grow through the gravel and give you a headache later on. You can save money by clearing the land yourself and applying weed killer to completely get rid of weeds weeks before you lay the pea gravel.

DIY or Hiring a Pro: one of the advantages of using pea gravel it’s the ease of installation. Laying pea gravel does require any special skills or expertise. All you need to do is identify your desired spot, and lay it in your preferred pattern.

However, if you if you don’t have enough time to lay the gravel yourself, you can hire a landscaping professional to install the pea gravel for you. If you hire landscaping professional, you will have to consider labor charges which will depend on the scope of your pea gravel project.

In addition, if you have large landscaping project, you will need to transport pea gravel which can be quite heavy to handle on your own. If your pea gravel project is a big one, you might have to consider hiring a landscaping professional to handle the delivery and the installation project,

Different Uses of Pea Gravel

Pea gravel is commonly used for landscaping projects and home gardening. It’s an inexpensive gravel option that is easy to install and maintain. Let’s look at some of its uses in your home landscaping and other projects:

Walkways: pea gravel is one of the ideal gravel material for walkways. Since its made of smooth round stones, it provides a soft and gentle surface to walk on. It’s bearable to walk barefoot on a walkway lined with pea gravel than walking on one installed with crushed gravel stones, or that has large rocks with jagged edges that risk scratching and hurting your feet. Additionally, having pea gravel on your walkways prevents the growth of weed which eliminates the need to cut down weed frequently to clear the walkway.

If you are looking to create a timeless classic garden that takes you back to the historical times, pea gravel is the ideal material for your walkways. It can be used to create a traditional look, where you lay your walkways with pea gravel all the way to the front door. Using pea gravel walkways is also a beautiful way of partitioning your garden area. This way, you will allow people to walk through your garden without stepping on your plants, flowers, and vegetables.

The only problem with having pea gravel on your walkway is the possibility of some of the pebbles sticking on your shoes and transferring them to other places.

Garden beds: pea gravel can be used as an alternative to mulch in gardens. This type of gravel material works well for plants and gardens as it reflects heat much better than the traditional wood mulch. Pea gravel traps moisture and doesn’t allow it to escape. Instead, it traps the moisture beneath the rocks keeping your plants and garden moist.

When used around your garden and plants, pea gravel limits the growth of weed which leads to a healthy garden and plants. However, for the small rocks to stay in their intended place, you need to install a liner for at least an inch higher than the pea gravel. Be careful not to install excess layers of pea gravel. A big buildup of pea gravel can gradually limit the growth or perennials through the gravel. Therefore, for garden beds, it’s recommended that you use 1 or two inches thick of pea gravel.

Driveways: one of the most common uses of pea gravel by most of the homeowners is on driveways. Even some business use pea gravel on their driveways. Its smooth texture makes the driveway surface smoother for cars to pass through. It also covers the driveway making it clear of mud during the rainy season. This way, your car will not get stuck because of the rainy season.

Pea gravel can be installed in two ways in a driveway. You can construct your driveway with concrete or fresh gravel and then lay pea gravel on top as a top layer. The pea gravel will make the driveway surface a bit textured such that it doesn’t become slippery when wet.

In addition, pea gravel is attractive and comes in a variety of colors which can transform a dull looking concrete driveway to unique surface that requires minimal maintenance.

Alternatively, you make your driveway with pea gravel only. However, to make the pea gravel firm and effective for your driveway, you will need to have it installed for at least 6 inches in depth. You will then have to compact it to be firm enough to take in the weight of a car without the risk of the car tires sinking in the pea gravel when driving over the surface or when parked.

Play Grounds: if you have children, you can use pea gravel on their playground areas. When it rains, a playground usually turns into a messy, muddy area and renders the area unusable for some time.

You don’t have to restrict your children playtime indoors due to a muddy playground. You can lay pea gravel on the playground area so that when it rains, the rainwater quickly drains to the ground leaving the area clean and free of mud a few moments after the rains have passed. More so, pea gravel has a smooth rounded texture which makes it ideal and safe for your children to play on without injuries and comfortably.

Weed Prevention: throughout the guide, we have mentioned pea gravel prevents the growth of weed. Weeds require frequent maintenance especially in outdoor areas, specifically places that are in constant use like driveways and walkways. Most homeowners use pea gravel to prevent weed growth and reduce the maintenance work that comes with weeds.

Installing a three to four inches of pea gravel can help eliminate the problem of weed constantly coming through the surface in areas where it’s not needed. In fact, using pea gravel in your yard increases your outdoor living space. You can place your chairs and tables anywhere where there is pea gravel without the need to prepare and maintain the area.

Swimming Pool Decks: pea gravel can be used to pave swimming pool decks. You can mix different colors of pea gravel pebbles and use them as decoration and ornaments for your pool decks. Instead of using dull looking pavers or the normal concrete, use pea gravel and create an eye-catching and unique surrounding for your pool decks. In addition, the pea gravel will also provide a soft surface, gentle on your feet.

Conclusion

Pea gravel is one of the ideal construction material for landscaping features. It’s readily available, affordable and versatile. It comes in an array of colors, from gray to black, blue, red, etc.; a quality that makes it suitable for enhancing your outdoor features.

When it comes to landscaping projects, pea gravel can be used for all sorts of outdoor projects. It can be used as the base for your driveways or walkways. It great on patios, drainage areas, and in any location around your yard. More so, if you have a garden or plants, you can use pea gravel as an alternative to mulch as it reflects light better and retains moisture.

Pea ground comes with a lot of benefits for your landscaping needs. It is relatively easy to install and makes a suitable DIY project. The cost of pea gravel is relatively affordable as compared to other landscaping materials.

Lastly, pea gravel makes beautiful surfaces with unique patterns due to its color variations. If you are looking to enhance your home’s outdoor living space by highlighting your garden and walkways, you should consider pea gravel. If you are planning on landscaping your outdoor space, consider using pea gravel for a majority of your landscape features including patios and children playground. It requires minimal maintenance, prevents weed growth, its gentle on your feet and most importantly, its low cost.

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