If you’re looking to have your driveway redone or you want to have one installed for the first time, block paving is a popular option across the UK thanks to its versatility and classic style.
Block paving can be laid as part of a DIY project, if you know what you’re doing and have enough resources. If you don’t, there’s no need to worry, as Tradesmen Prices can offer you 3-4 quotes from local tradespeople who will get the job done swiftly, attractively, and in a professional manner.
You can find the cost of your block paving project by using the form below to apply for your quotes and use them to compare against ones you already have in order to make sure you’re getting the best service possible.
Block Paving Types
Block paving is priced per metre squared which could have a direct effect on which type of paving you eventually buy. There are two main types of block paver: clay, and concrete.
Their advantages and disadvantages are:
|Concrete Block Pavers||Clay Block Pavers|
|Fairly cheap||Aggregate can become exposed over time||Extremely hardwearing||Slightly more expensive than concrete|
|Choice of shapes||Colours fade||Natural colour doesn’t fade||Prone to mosses and lichen|
|Textured blocks available||Patterned options available||Sizing can vary due to firing process|
|Highly accurate sizing||Difficult to cut|
|Wide choice of block depths (40mm, 100mm or more)||Limited block depth choice (60mm, 65, or 80mm)|
It’s worth noting that clay blocks are recommended by the Brick Development Association, as they are more hardwearing than concrete. Although they cost a little more, they’re considered a good investment.
Block Paving Process
Before you financially commit to having your driveway paved, it’s important to understand what exactly you’re paying for and what you should expect when the builders arrive. The block paving process is as follows:
Using spray markers or string and pegs, the area to be paved is marked out.
The marked-out area is dug up either by using a digger or by hand. Soft spots should be thoroughly removed, as it’s better to fill them with sub-grading material than to have the whole driveway sink once it’s completed. If there is existing concrete in your paving area, it will need to be broken up using a hammer machine and removed from the site. You’ll need a skip for this and any excess soil or rubble. Digging usually goes around 8 inches below ground level.
A sub-grade of hardcore or scalping stone is spread, levelled out, and compacted to form a solid base. If the ground below is particularly soft or sandy, a geo-membrane may be placed between the sub-grading material and the sub-base to prevent movement or sinking.
- Edging Stones
A restraining edge of block pavers is placed to form a perimeter around the marked-out area. It’s advisable to secure them within 75mm of concrete.
- Laying course
Course sand is spread and levelled, before being compacted using a vibration plate. This is a screeding layer and should be 25-40mm thick to create a solid base for the block pavers.
- Laying the block pavers
Each block paver is pressed closely together and bedded into the sand. Spacing burs form small joints between each brick.
- Alignment and Cutting In
Block alignment is checked using a string line. Any cutting necessary is completed using a circular saw.
- Final Touches
Any recess trays and gully covers required are fitted.
Kiln dried jointing sand is spread over the entire paved area using a brush, which pushes it down into every joint. The entire area is vibrated for 10 minutes without sweeping away the excess sand. This allows it to fall into the joints.
- Repeat Jointing
More sand is spread over the area and the jointing process is repeated.
Block Paving Cost per Square Metre
Depending on where you live, who completes the job, and which type of block paving you choose, the actual cost of block paving varies greatly per square metre.
The average cost of block paving around the UK, VAT included, is:
- Up to 40m²
£100 per m²
£85 per m²
- Over 100m²
£75 per m²
If you want to pave a standard 55m² driveway in London, it may cost you between £4,500 and £5,000. In the South, South West and Midlands, the same driveway is likely to cost between £4,000 and £4,500, while in the Outer Regions and the North, it could set you back between £3,500 and £3,750.
Materials for your block paved driveway are going to cost you the least as much of the total price goes on labour costs.
Outside of London, the average cost of labour is £45 per square metre. This is why many experienced DIY-ers choose to pave their driveways themselves.
An estimated material cost breakdown is as follows:
|Blocks and edgings||£950|
|Kiln Dried Sand||£75|
|Skip Hire x3||£450|
|Total Material Costs||£2075 (£38 per metre squared)|
As you can see, turning your block paving driveway into a DIY project could save you nearly 50% in labour costs, but it’s important to consider the following points before you do:
- Are you experienced at this type of DIY?
- Have you done something similar before?
- Have you got enough time to spare to complete the project?
- Do you have the tools and materials necessary, or will you need to rent them?
If you decide the job is best left to the professionals, you can use the Tradesmen Prices form at the top of this page to get access to 3-4 quotes from skilled block pavers local to you.
Block Paving Cost FAQ
Why would someone want block paving?
Block paving looks good – UK homeowners have been choosing to pave their drives with since it first became popular in the 1980s. It’s a simple concept which gives stunning results when laid correctly.
The range of styles, bricks, and patterns in which block paving can be arranged is all down to you, the homeowner.
What are the disadvantages of block paving?
If block paving is installed badly, it can suffer from ‘sinkage’, where pavers on an uneven level begin to sink into the ground below over time.
Block paving also requires regular maintenance as the gaps in between each block prove a prime environment for weeds and moss to collect. In communal areas, block pavers can collect detritus and dirt making the paved area look unclean.
In addition, block paving does not qualify under the government’s SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage) legislation, as the pavers used are rarely made of permeable materials. This means if you’re looking to pave your driveway with block paving, you’ll be more likely to need planning permission to do it.
Will I need planning permission for block paving?
If the blocks you choose are permeable (i.e. they allow sufficient drainage) you won’t need planning permission to lay them in your driveway.
However, if the blocks you choose are impermeable (for example, clay blocks instead of concrete), you must prove that water can run into a suitable drainage area. This could be a lawn, border, or guttering system.
You’ll need planning permission for more than 5m² of block paving if there are no suitable drainage areas.
Are there alternatives to block paving?
Because of the SUDS legislation, there have been significant steps forward in making driveways drainable. Many homes now use gravel to cover their driveways as it provides ample drainage and is cheaper than traditional block paving.
A newcomer to the permeable driveway marketplace is resin-based block paving, which has grown quickly in popularity because it’s:
- Permeable – resin is fully SUDS compliant, meaning you won’t need prior planning permission to have it installed.
- Long-Lasting – the materials used in a resin driveway are slightly flexible, meaning they ‘give’ when vehicles drive over them. This makes them a good choice for driveways with a lot of cars coming and going.
- Weed-Resistant – Resin is made up of compounds which stop weeds from growing through it, meaning driveway maintenance is minimal.
There is the less popular option of a concrete driveway available to you. However, concrete driveways are known for cracking under pressure and requiring a fair amount of maintenance although the eventual result can be clean and neat.
What are the main benefits of block paving?
Block paving is a great option for those who want a driveway that matches the style of their home, or for those who want to experiment with patterns and colours for a striking effect.
It is an easily personalised option that can last for a long time if laid correctly and with the right care and attention over the following years.
Block paving is durable, and different types have different benefits – for example, clay pavers won’t fade over time, and concrete pavers come in an affordable range of styles and colours.
Who can I buy block paving from?
Block paving is such a common choice for driveways that there will be hundreds of companies all able to offer you the same service, but the prices will vary.
The cost of block paving per square metre depends mainly on the material and also how much the company chooses to charge for labour. Additionally, smaller companies tend to charge less for labour because they aren’t paying huge overheads like larger companies have to.
To make sure you get the best deal possible, fill in the form at the top of this page to access 3-4 block paving quotes from local tradesmen, history-checked and prepared to do a professional job for you.
How long will it take to lay block paving?
How long it takes to lay block paving will depend on a few factors, namely:
- The contractors doing the job,
- The size of the paved area,
- The blocks being used, and,
- The state of the ground beforehand.
Before block paving is laid, the ground must be flattened and cleared of any roots, debris, or rubble that could impede the installation process. Usually, a block paving team will dig around 8 inches below ground level, before ‘stoning’ using scalping stone. With a digger, a well organised team, and materials arriving on time, this can be achieved in around half a day for an average 55m² driveway.
For the same driveway, the entire job will vary in length depending on the style of block paving you’re using and how the weather behaves. Most skilled workers will recommend a minimum of 4-5 days to complete the whole driveway, but you’ll need to factor in the vibration plate period (1-2 days), and the period of abatement after it’s finished – block pavers need time to settle before you can drive over them.
Before I get block paving, what should I ask a potential block paver?
Before you agree to any quote you’ve been given, you should consider asking your contractor a few preliminary questions. You could ask them:
- How long will the job take to complete?
- How long have you been in the trade?
- Have you been working in this area long?
- What does the job involve, exactly?
Should my block paver be a member of anything (trade body, government organisation, etc?)
There are no qualifications required to be a block paver which means your security in the block paver’s abilities will be derived from their experience, rather than any academic accreditations or trade body membership.
However, any good block paving company should be Marshall’s Register accredited. If the contractor has a website, the logo may be displayed on their home or contact pages. Marshall’s Registered contractors are thoroughly vetted before being allowed to pay for their accreditation so you know a Marshall’s Registered block paver cares about their reputation and the face of their company.
Why should I get block paving quotes through Tradesmen Prices?
Though there are many genuine block pavers out there, some customers have, in the past, suffered at the hands of less competent tradesmen.
Getting quotes through Tradesmen Prices gives you peace of mind that the contractors who come to install your block paving:
- Are professional and experienced
- Will charge you a reasonable price
- Will do the job to a high standard
Use the form below to access 3-4 quotes for the cost of block paving from local tradesmen and companies. You can use these to compare with others you may already have, which will mean you’re more likely to see a reduction in price. If a company knows you’re considering buying from someone else, they may be willing to reduce the price of their service.