How Gravel, Sand, and Stone Can Change Your Outdoor Space

How Gravel, Sand, and Stone Can Change Your Outdoor Space

In today’s day and age, many people are staying home more often, and homeowners are looking to transform their outdoor spaces. Homeowner’s preferences are also shifting, with 90% of Americans agreeing that their outdoor space is more valuable than ever before. With an unlimited number of ways to transform outdoor space, three main materials stand out as some of the most widely used. Those materials are gravel, sand, and stone. These three materials are very different but can be used in numerous ways and have unlimited potential. Let’s dive into these three different materials and some examples of how they can be used to change your outdoor space.

Gravel

One common material used in outdoor spaces is gravel. Gravel is one of the most popular materials used in outdoor spaces. Gravel is made up of rock fragments that typically consist of basalt, sandstone, and limestone. Gravel is a low-maintenance and cost-effective material that can be used in a variety of different ways. It is great for drainage, so whether you need to protect your driveway from erosion or fill low spots in your yard that flood with rain, gravel is a great material to use. It is known for helping absorb excess water, so it is a great material to place around driveways, drain spouts, or patios. Gravel is also a great material to be used to create walking paths. Another use from gravel is replacing mulch in flowerbeds. Not only is gravel great for drainage, but it also absorbs sun, making it great for gardening. It also will last for a longer period of time, unlike mulch or wood chips which break down over time and need to be replaced. Lastly, gravel can be used to cover up exposed tree roots and bare spots. With large, shady trees in your yard it’s common for bare spots to form near the base of the trunk where the sun can’t reach the grass. Gravel can be used to cover those spots up to create a more aesthetic look.

If you have large, shady trees in your yard it’s common for bare spots to form near the base of the trunk where the sun can’t reach the grass. Again, gravel can be used to cover those eyesores and create a more cohesive look. Gravel also has the widest variety of the materials often used to transform outdoor spaces. River Rock, Pea Gravel, Utility Rock, 57 Rock, Flex Base, and Crushed Concrete are a few of the most popular gravel stones used. That is why, when purchasing gravel, it is important to purchase through companies like Twisted Nail. The team at Twisted Nail know that it can be easy to become overwhelmed and not know the right type of gravel to use for your job, or to know if you’re getting the best deal possible. By providing a description of your project, the Twisted Nail team will not only find the material you need but suggest multiple aggregates and varying price points.

Sand

Another common material used in outdoor spaces is sand. There are three main types of sand: washed sand, manufactured sand, and silica sand. Washed sand is a light off-white color material that is washed to remove any impurities. Washed sand is often used as building material and is popular with golf courses, as a construction base, in pool construction, and is mixed with cement and aggregate for concrete work.  The next type of sand, manufactured sand, is neutral in color and is used in areas where natural sand is not available or when transportation is not cost-effective. Unlike washed sand, manufactured sand tends to come in irregular shapes as a result of the pulverizing process. While manufactured sand can be cost-effective, it is generally considered to be an inferior product when compared to washed sand. The final type of sand, silica sand, is quartz that has been broken down through erosion. Silica sand is the most expensive sand option and, while coming in a very pretty white coloring, is mostly used in industrial applications. It is a primary ingredient in glass manufacturing, metal casting, metal production, chemical production, filtration, and has many other applications. The ability to use sand in outdoor spaces is unmatched by many other materials. In addition to being used in golf courses, pool construction, and as concrete base as previously mentioned, sand can also be used in landscaping, in a sand box for children, as a filler for pavers, and in creating pathways. In fact, sand can be used to naturally deter pests from getting into your garden.

Stone

Another common material used in outdoor spaces is stone. Stone matches gravel in being one of the most popular materials used in outdoor spaces. The sky is the limit when it comes to updating your outdoor space using stone. Stone can be used in patios, decks, flooring, steps, pavers, walls, firepits, water features, pathways, outdoor kitchens and living areas, and stoops. That is just the beginning of how the material can be utilized to transform an outdoor space. Stone can also be used as a landscape feature. For example, a large boulder can be paced outside for children to (safely) use as a play piece. While using natural stone may be on the more expensive side, it also serves as a better long-term investment. Natural stone needs to be replaced far less frequently, is less susceptible to fading or discoloration, and often will add to the property’s resale value. In addition to natural stone, there is also cultured stone products. Cultured stone, unlike natural stone, wears easier and likely will need to be replaced more often. The use of stone also allows you to get creative with you space. Stone (similar to tile) comes in a variety of textures and patterns, so it can be used to create a low maintenance, one-of-a-kind space that is tailored exactly to your style.

Where to Start

Outside of the materials being use, one of the most important aspects of improving your outdoor space, is being able to get the materials you’ve ordered delivered when you want and need them. You need a trucking company with a large fleet of trucks and a team with decades of experience, can get your materials to you, no matter how big or small your project may be. It is important to utilize a trucking company with large truck fleets, because different types of trucks will be needed based on the different types of material you have ordered. The Twisted Nail team prefers to deliver to residential areas using our fleet of tandem dump trucks and super dump trucks. The shorter wheelbase provides the flexibility required when navigating residential streets, typically does not interfere with power lines, and delivers the material in neat, compact, piles for easy spreading. For our customers outside the city limits, we also provide access to our fleet of end dump, round bottom, and belly dump tractor trailers. While our aluminum end dumps have the largest capacity, our steel round bottoms are tough enough to handle aggregates larger than 4-5” or with jagged or sharp edges. Our expansive fleet of belly dumps is an excellent option for any customer looking to speed up the material spreading process by creating a uniform pile approximately 25’ long x 18” high x 24” wide.

 

To summarize, outdoor spaces are becoming more valuable than ever, and homeowners are constantly looking for ways to change their outdoor space. Three main materials that are commonly used to transform outdoor spaces are gravel, sand and stone. Gravel is made up of rock fragments that typically consist of basalt, sandstone, and limestone. It is a low-maintenance and cost-effective material that can be used in a variety of different ways. Gravel is great for drainage, gardening, and covering unsightly spots around trees and in yards. Sand is a material that comes in a variety of forms. Washed sand, manufactured sand, and silica sand are the three main types of sand used in outdoor spaces. Sand can be used in landscaping, play areas for children, golf courses, and as a base for cement. Of all of the materials discussed here, sand is the most versatile. The last element commonly used when transforming outdoor spaces is stone. Stone is one of the more expensive materials being discussed here but is better as a long-term investment. Stone can increase property value and there are countless uses for stone in outdoor spaces. A few ways stone can be utilized include patios, decks, flooring, steps, pavers, walls, firepits, water features, pathways, outdoor kitchens and living areas, and stoops. It is the material that will be mostly used to show creativity and make your outdoor space your own. It is also important to reiterate the need for reliable transportation of your materials. There is nothing worse than designing your outdoor space, then having to wait months to receive your materials. This is an issue commonly seen during the pandemic. By purchasing your materials through companies like Twisted Nail, you can count on their experience, professionalism, and large fleet of trucks to get your job done quickly and efficiently.