Cobblestone Driveway Installation Mistakes to Avoid

Laying your own cobblestone driveway can not only give your home the "Old World" look you see in European cities and towns, it will give you the satisfaction of having created an almost sure increase in your home's curb appeal. Although you may be a novice in installing cobblestone driveways, and although this project is labor intensive, with the right installation instructions and material list you can avoid frustrating problems and can have your project finished within a single weekend.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Shovel/ backhoe
  • Wheelbarrow (for transporting materials)
  • Road rock
  • Coarse concrete sand
  • Vibratory plate compactor
  • Landscaping rake
  • Skid steer
  • Garden hose
  • Rebar
  • Measuring tape
  • String
  • Multi-snips
  • Cobblestones
  • Diamond blade saw
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Construction adhesive
  • Caulk gun
  • Mortar mixer
  • Epoxy grout mix
  • Squeegee

Mistake 1 – Ordering Material without Experienced Help

If you've never installed a cobblestone driveway and have never ordered cobblestones, you can avoid the mistake of ordering too much material and having leftover material to reload and return to your supplier by simply measuring the width and length of the area on which you'll be laying your cobblestones. Be sure to take these measurements with you when you place your order. Experienced advisers at your supplier will recommend the number of cobblestone that will be right for your driveway.

Mistake 2 - Excavating Your Existing Driveway

Do not plan to lay your cobblestones on the existing driveway where it meets your garage floor. If you do, you'll have a 2 to 3 inch drop from your driveway to your garage floor. You'll need to remove the asphalt or concrete near your garage entrance, then remove enough of the driveway base for you to lay in a 4 inch base of crushed rock and another inch of concrete sand.

Mistake 3 – Compacting

After you have laid your crushed rock and sand and have leveled it, if you begin laying your cobblestones without compacting the sand and gravel, your cobblestones will very likely sink in places and make your driveway uneven. Instead, you will need to wet the sand with your garden hose and use a compactor to compact this base layer.

Mistake 4 – Lead Stone Placement

The natural tendency in laying your stones will be to begin laying at the bottom of the driveway and work toward the top edge where the driveway meets the edge of the garage floor. Laying your stones with in this pattern will more than likely result in your needing to cut all stones in the final row, so they will fit at the garage floor lip. You can avoid this by beginning your stone placement at the garage floor lip.

Mistake 5 – Construction Adhesive Usage

Laying stones at the driveway edge without construction adhesive will eventually allow the center stones to push these edge stones outward and allowing your driveway stone to separate and become loose. Eventually, you need to reposition all your stones. To avoid this problem, apply construction adhesive along the driveway edge and press each stone into this adhesive. Once the adhesive has set, your outer border of stones will keep center stones from shifting outward. Center stones will not need to be laid in the construction adhesive.