I didn't comment initially because you changed your mind so quick. But if you like the edged ("non-rural") look of a decorative stone driveway rather than just trying to save money, it is perfectly acceptable. Some thoughts:
- Check with AHJ or HOA as sometimes only concrete or asphalt is allowed, especially when you have curbs and sidewalks.
- If you have a typical suburban tract home with a short driveway, it probably isn't worth the effort and will reduce value. But can be an asset if considered an "e$tate" house, long driveway, or "motor court," so any extra expense or maintenance could be appropriate.
- If the driveway has a high slope, not a great solution.
- A wide "sidewalk" for containment is really overkill, just a curb or edge of concrete, metal, paver, soldier brick, etc is enough.
- Still should have a concrete apron at street, and better to have apron at garage.
- To minimize potholes and settling should be minimum 12" deep. Depending on soil conditions, 6" subbase, 4" base, then 4" chipped stone topcoat (about 1/2" size available in many colors, but do not use 3/8" pea gravel).
- Downside is maintenance for weed control and periodic raking/adding topcoat. More difficult to remove snow too.
You didn't give the parameters of the $1000 savings. Like the gravel base under a concrete slab for poor soils. Or how deep he was planning on a decorative stone drive. There should be more cost in deeper excavation, labor in compaction and edging which can offset the stone material savings.