Whether it’s a second car, the cars of grown-up children or just a place for visitors – an additional car parking space has many advantages. A gravel parking lot is a sensible solution that is not only inexpensive, but also has many advantages. We explain how to create your own parking space yourself with the help of our instructions.

Permissible and free of procedure?

Before you simply start building your parking space, you should briefly deal with the legal issue. Because in Germany, even a single parking space is already considered a building that is subject to the building regulations of the Building Code and the state building code.

The development plan provides information as to whether a parking lot may be built at a particular location. Certain areas can be designated for this, or planting orders and other regulations can mean a KO for the parking lot.

If the project is permissible as planned, the second question is whether a building permit is required. Each federal state has its own regulations, which can vary from country to country. In Baden-Württemberg, for example, you only need a building permit for a floor area of ​​more than 50 square meters and you have to submit a building application.

Tip: Before building your parking space, ask the municipality whether there is anything against it and what action is required.

The planning

After it is clear that you can actually set up your parking space, the detailed planning begins. Surely you have already envisaged a place on your property that you can easily reach by car and that is not used for other purposes. So that you can really benefit from it later, the parking space should meet a few minimum requirements. You only have to comply with legal requirements for your private parking space if, for example, the area is required by building law for a residential building. But otherwise, the legal regulations ensure a guaranteed minimum level of usability:

Parallel to the street:

  • Width 2.50 m
  • Length 6.00m
  • Tramline width at least 3.50m

Perpendicular to the tramline:

  • Width 2.50 m
  • Length 5.00m
  • Street width for drive-in at least 5.00m (otherwise wider parking space)
Note: Especially if walls, supports, etc. are positioned directly at the parking space, you should – if possible – make it a little larger. Otherwise, the usability is given, but the comfort suffers greatly. Always build your gravel parking lot in such a way that you enjoy using it, otherwise even a cheap solution is too expensive from a purely practical point of view!

The construction

We want to build a gravel parking lot so that your vehicle doesn’t stand directly on grass and get dirty or even sink into it. Basically, this construction is very simple, but still effective: Existing soil is excavated to a depth of 80 centimeters. This depth is necessary because the ground in our latitudes does not normally freeze any deeper in winter. Gravel is then installed and heavily compacted. The gravel drains rainwater down to below the maximum freezing depth. If this were not the case, the parking space would be raised by freezing water in the ground and later permanently deformed. Since no concrete, asphalt or other binding agent is used for the trafficable surface, it is referred to as a so-called water-bound surface.


So now it’s actually time to build your parking lot. Start with the preparations and invest the necessary time here so that you can then implement the actual work quickly and without disruptions.

Tools, devices and machines

If it is “only” a single gravel parking lot, you can confidently do the work by hand with a little perseverance. Otherwise, appropriate machines are recommended in order to be able to implement the work within a realistic time frame:

  • 4 pegs or wooden stakes
  • mallet or sledgehammer
  • guideline
  • traffic cone
  • Alternatively: conveyor belt and wooden blocks
  • meter stick and measuring tape
  • Ruler, wooden slat or similar
  • shovel
  • spade
  • Spitzhacke
  • wheelbarrow
  • Alternative: Mini-Bagger
  • Rüttelplatte
  • Trailer with towing vehicle
  • Alternatively: small truck, eg 7.5 ton tipper
  • Optional: tear-resistant fabric tarpaulin, at least 4.00 x 5.00 m
Tip: You can get both vehicles and machines along with operating resources for low rental fees on an hourly basis. Just ask at the local hardware store or at the construction machinery rental

construction materials

  • Gravel, grading curve eg 0/32
  • Alternatively:  combined frost protection and base layer KFT (gravel mixture typical for construction)
  • Not: Gravel or other round material due to lack of compressibility

Instructions: step by step

Now all the preparations are complete and you can start building your parking space:

1. Measurement and preparation

First, unplug the future car parking space:

  • Mark the corners at the side of the road with a peg or wooden stake
  • Mark out the sides at right angles by eye
  • Check squareness using diagonals of equal length, readjust if necessary
  • connect all corner points with a straight edge guide
Tip: If there is a house wall or something similar, you can also use this to check the alignment of the parking space when you are laying the guideline.

2. The work preparation

In order to get by with as little effort as possible for transporting the material, it is advisable to first store the excavated earth on the side. Then you can immediately install the delivered material and then dispose of the excavated material on the same trip. Of course, this can also be done in several steps if the transport capacity is lower. Proper work preparation is important for this:

  • Spread out the fabric tarpaulin next to the planned gravel parking lot and secure it against being blown away depending on the weather (e.g. stones on the side edges).
  • note good accessibility from the street!
  • Keep the road in front of the car parking space and material store clear, e.g. with cones, wooden stands with warning tape, etc.

3. The excavation

Before new material can be installed, the existing material, i.e. the soil, must of course be removed:

  • Cut the lawn with a spade along the guide line, remove the sod and place it on the side on a tarpaulin
  • Loosen the soil with a pickaxe or mini excavator and store on the side
  • Use a spade to level the sides of the pit to prevent slipping

4. Material

Now is the right time to get the necessary gravel. To do this, contact the local builders’ merchant or a nearby quarry. Be careful not to exceed the loading capacity of your vehicle. Weights are often clearly underestimated due to the relatively small volume. For the required amount, you can find the volume of the created pit using the formula length x width x depth. You can then use the factor 2.8 for KFT, since the cubic meter of KFT has a mass of around 2.8 tons when compressed.

5. The installation

The installation of the new floor material is almost as easy as the excavation. When laying out the area, make sure that you only achieve the required density if you do not build the entire height in one step:

  • Place KFT or gravel evenly in the bottom of the pit, maximum layer thickness 10cm
  • Compact the surface evenly in several crosswise working steps using a plate vibrator
  • then install material in layers of 30 cm in height and compact in the same way
  • Level the top layer with a wooden slat, straight edge or other straight tool, then run over it again completely with a vibrator
Note: A surface slope of around 2 percent would be optimal for a functioning drainage of rainwater. However, the drainage of rainwater onto the public road is not permitted. In case of doubt, the inclination can be omitted here, since the material used is water-permeable and drains rain into the subsoil.

6. The evacuation

The final step is to remove the excavated material. Load the material stored on the side and take it to an approved landfill for professional disposal. Finally, you should remove the tarpaulin and give the lawn time to recover. A good amount of water helps to quickly eliminate the damage caused by lying down.

Note: In case of doubt, you are also responsible for dirt on public roads. So be sure to sweep here as well.

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