Crushed Stone and Gravel
What's out there: Choices include crushed shale, granite, limestone and concrete, along with gravel in various sizes and colors.

Pros: Both stone and gravel are economical and both offer good freeze/thaw resistance. No base is required - just dump and spread. And when stone or gravel compacts or scatters, adding a fill coat of pea gravel, called redressing, is easy.

Cons: Stone and gravel scatter easily and develop ruts. Also, smaller stones, or fines, tend to sink after four or five years, leaving larger stones on top. Periodic redressing is a necessity. Both materials are difficult to plow or shovel in snow climates, and bordering areas typically require a spring raking.

Cost: Crushed stone and gravel costs around $1 per square foot for a 2-in. layer.

Recommendations: When a fill coat of pea gravel is necessary to fill in ruts, be sure to redress the entire driveway for consistency since stone size and color can vary depending on the source. For new gravel driveways, use 3/4-minus stone for stability. Depth required ranges from 1 1/2 in. for stable soil to 6 to 8 in. for unstable soil.

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