Gravel Strip Around House – Here’s Why You Might Need One

Decorating and adding to your front yard can be fun but often comes with a laundry list of items. Fixing your lawn, creating a garden, painting outdoors – the list goes on as to what things you may be thinking about adding to your yard, and they’re all more complicated than they seem. 

Luckily, you can add a functional, aesthetically pleasing element to your front yard without too much hassle. Laying down a gravel strip around your home can be achieved in several ways, and the length of it depends on what area of your lawn or house you want it to border.

A gravel strip around your house can serve several practical purposes. We’ll go through the benefits of installing a gravel strip, what purpose it can serve, and the best time of year to lay down gravel. 

Why You Might Need a Gravel Strip Around House

There are a few key reasons you might need a gravel strip or gravel bed around your house. One of the most common reasons is to act as a narrow strip of gravel between your lawn and your home or garage. It creates a barrier between the building foundation and the environment. 

You can also lay a gravel path between your driveway and the lawn or a garden border or as a gravel pathway in your garden or backyard for decorative purposes. 


You should consider a gravel strip around your home for several reasons. It can not only serve as a catchment area for rainfall but is also aesthetically pleasing and provides an interesting visual element to your yard.

Control Erosion from Rainwater and Snow

A gravel strip may not seem like all that much, but it can make a huge difference in weather-proofing your home. Gravel around the perimeter of your home can help control erosion by slowing down rainwater and directing it away from your foundation, preventing surface water damage.

It can also be beneficial to protect from snow for the same reason. Snow can be directed away from the house’s foundation by being absorbed by the gravel. 

Gravel provides a stable base for vehicles as well, helping to prevent tire ruts in your lawn and landscaping. 

Provide a Decorative Border

A gravel strip can be used as a decorative gravel border between your lawn and driveway, adding visual interest to your property. This is where your creative eye can come into play. A gravel strip may seem simple, but there are plenty of opportunities for decoration where you can incorporate it into the style of your home. 

The gravel strip can act as a border around a retaining wall, garden bed, or lawn, and the type of gravel or rock laid around can look visually interesting. Add flowers or bushes along the border for added beauty in the front yard, and you can be the talk of the neighborhood. 

Gravel Is Cost-Effective

Gravel is a cost-effective and low-maintenance alternative to traditional paving materials like poured concrete. If you’re looking for a DIY option that is easy to do and low-cost, gravel is the way to go.

Gravel is a practical option for homeowners looking to improve their property without breaking the bank.

How to Install a Gravel Strip Around the House

Sloping terrace with stone paths separating flowering garden beds

It can take some time to gather the materials needed for a gravel strip, but installation shouldn’t take more than a day or so to complete. Set aside a weekend and get a family member or friend to help, as many hands make for light work. 

With these acquired skills, you can take your garden DIY one step further and install an above-ground pond kit. You can do plenty with a free weekend, some good weather, and a few garden tools. 

You will need the following materials to install a gravel strip, all of which you can find at your local hardware store:

  • Garden spade or shovel
  • Steel rake
  • Hand tamper
  • Crushed stone, gravel
  • Wheelbarrow (optional, to carry stone)

To install a gravel strip, mark the area you’re planning on laying down the gravel. You can use spray paint or even a rope to do this, just to give yourself a general outline of where to dig. 

Then, dig four to six inches deep into the grass using a spade to create a dirt path. The cleaner you make your path and the neater the lines, the sharper the strip will look when complete. 

Smooth out the dirt path with a steel rake to ensure a flat surface. Turn the rake around and use the flat surface to keep the ground level. You can further flatten the soil using a hand tamper, making sure the soil is as compact as possible so gravel is less likely to shift around over time. 

Then it’s time to lay down the gravel. Use crushed stone as the base of the gravel strip, covering a few inches of the dirt path. Level out the crushed stone by brushing the steel rake along the path. You can also water the stone with your garden hose to compact the rocks and have them settle into the soil below. Finally, use the hand tamper to flatten it down in place.

When Is the Best Time to Add a Gravel Strip?

Suburban lawn with gravel intermixed with garden

Treat it like any road or concrete installation if you want to add a gravel strip around your home. It’s best to lay down the gravel during summer or fall when minimal rainfall occurs. Any precipitation could shift the pavement and ruin the installation. It’s worth noting to avoid laying down gravel in extreme heat for the same reason. 

The best time to add a gravel strip is summer or fall. Then, consider any additional features for your yard, like a water fountain, to continue adding your personal touch around the home. 


While the setup may seem difficult, it can be worthwhile to set up a gravel strip around the house perimeter and area. With the right tools, it can be easier than you think. Not only is it cost-effective, but it can also be a great decorative addition to your home exterior. A well-decorated home that you love can encourage you to get outside more than usual and enjoy the great outdoors.

You can do tons more to your outdoor space beyond laying down new gravel. After setting up your front yard or backyard, consider adding to your household storage, like renovating a shed or garage, or making your outdoor area more usable with a pea gravel patio and a fire pit.


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