Driveway Job Costs

Block Paving Cost in 2020


How Much Does it Cost To Have A Block Paving Driveway?

Paving stones pathway

Block paving is one of the most popular types of driveways in the UK. It’s known by many as being used for all sizes of driveways and can make your driveway stand out from the rest, depending on the type of block paving style you choose.

Block paving bricks come in many different shapes, sizes, and colours. The bricks used to create a block paved driveway can be made from a variety of materials, such as natural stone, clay blocks, and concrete blocks. This is so you can achieve the finish that you need for your driveway to look its best and enhance the exterior of your home.

Not only can block paving be used to create a driveway in your front garden, but it can also be used in the back garden too. You can use block paving bricks to create a fantastic patio area, or if you need to reduce the amount of grassed area, you can use it in various parts of the garden to create a paved block area that you can use for all sort of things, such as putting pot plants on, greenhouses or sheds.

There are many benefits of having block paving if you’re having a new driveway installed. It’s a great option to provide you with a low maintenance driveway that is exceptionally hard-wearing. Plus, it won’t need replacing for many years.

Other alternatives to block paving are concrete, gravel, and tarmac driveways. These all have great benefits too, but block paving is probably the most attractive type of driveway to have laid. Driveway alternatives can also cost a fair amount of money to install, but block paving will cost more than a tarmac or gravel driveway and generally more than a concrete drive.

The cost of block paving will vary depending on the type of brick you choose and the size of each block, although as a unit price, each paving block may not seem expensive. Still, if you’re paving a driveway larger in size or a patio, the cost will soon increase.

You will need to consider many different cost factors when having block paving, as these other factors will alter the overall cost of block paving your driveway. The price will vary, but you can expect an average cost of around £75 to £100 per square metre. This cost is the per square metre of block paving you’re having installed, without the additional cost of labour.

The way the price structure is based is that if your driveway is smaller, it will cost towards the higher end of the per square metre price of around £100. This is because the block paving bricks will cost more, as you will buy less. You get a cheaper price for bulk buys when it comes to the use of individual paving blocks.

For a larger driveway of around 100 square metres or more, the cost will be approximately £75 per square metre which is good to know, as some people might be put off having blocking paving if their driveway is large.

The Factors That Affect The Overall Cost Of Block Paving

Gray concrete paving slabs

As mentioned before, other factors contribute towards the actual cost of your new driveway, including labour costs and the costs of materials.

The Size of Your Driveway

This is one of the factors that will have the most impact on the overall cost, as the bigger it is, the more concrete blocks or clays blocks will need to be purchased. There is a slight saving for the cost of a larger number of block paving bricks, and you can expect the cost to be around £75 per sq metre. Although it’s slightly cheaper per sq metre, you will require more sq metre coverage, so the £75 average cost will still make the overall price high.

You may only need to park one vehicle on your driveway. If this is the case, you could save yourself some money by opting for a smaller driveway with either concrete or clay blocks.

In terms of overall cost, you can expect the price of paving to be around £3,400 to £5,200. A smaller driveway is towards the lower end if you live in the North of the UK.

The UK Location That the Block Paving is Installed

As with many building projects, block paving installation is no different when it comes to your locationin the UK.

If you live in the North of England, your block paving driveway will cost less than it would if you lived in the Midlands or South West.

The highest block paving cost is in London, which has always been known to be more expensive than anywhere else in the country. You will end up paying more money per sq metre than you would in the North.

The Cost of Materials to Complete Paved Driveways

You will need to use a range of materials to complete a block paving driveway, including sharp sand, kiln dried sand, natural stone, clay or concrete paving blocks, plus more materials if your driveway requires it.

The material needed to build the foundations, if required, will increase the cost of your block paving project. A sub-base is needed and will cost around £40 to £85 per tonne.

A laying course is part of the foundations, and it’s made from sharp sand. This ensures a flat and solid base for your block paving to go on top of. If you don’t lay this layer correctly, you’ll notice issues with your block paving drive after it has been completed. The sharp sand can cost between £30 to £40 per bag, and the bigger your driveway is, the more sand you will need to use.

The cost of kiln-dried sand is another cost; you use this between the block paving bricks. This will cost around £5 per bag, and the amount you will need your block paving specialist will work this out.

The highest cost when it comes to materials is for the block paving bricks themselves. If you have natural stone block paving, this will cost more than the regular clay or concrete block paving. It will give you a superior finish, but if you need to keep costs low, then opting for clay or concrete blocks will help.

Most homeowners choose either concrete or clay blocks, and even with these blocks, you can create fantastic designs to make your driveway look attractive.

Concrete and clay block paving will cost you around £0.25 to £0.35 per block. You can expect to pay around £900 to £1,100 for the block paving bricks for an average-sized driveway.

The Existing Driveway Condition

If you have a driveway in place already, one immediate cost saving that you can achieve is that you may not need a sub-base layer or any work done to the existing foundations. This will save you a lot of money if that’s the case.

Even if you do have a driveway at the moment, when you remove the current top layer, you may uncover a weak foundation. If this happens, you will need to pay to have a new foundation built. This is imperative to make sure that when you lay the block paving, it won’t sink or slope due to uneven or weak foundations.

If you don’t have a driveway or if you’re going to increase the size of your drive so you can use it for more vehicles, then excavation work will be carried out. This will increase the time your block paving project is completed in and your overall costings. If the top layer is made from concrete, this will take longer to remove from the area.

You will need a sub-base layer that will be made from stones. This layer will carry a high cost, but it’s essential. Sharp sand is also part of the foundations and plays a vital part in supporting the block paving bricks.

The Cost of Labour

Just like the cost of block paving alone, the cost of labour is another aspect you need to consider when thinking about how much the overall driveway will cost you. Labour costs can be high, and that will depend on the type of company you choose to carry out the project. Some larger companies might charge more than smaller, local companies.

It’s a good idea to get a quote from around three different companies so you can see the price they want to charge. You should possibly select the company with the cost in the mid-range.

For a block paving specialist to complete your driveway project, they will charge around £35 to £45 per sq metre on average. This can be higher or lower in various areas of the UK.

It’s best to use a trustworthy company to ensure your finished driveway will meet your expectations.

If you’re an experienced do-it-yourself type of person, then you can save money by doing the block paving project on your own. Paving the driveway will require some good levelling and other skills to ensure your driveway is strong and sturdy. This is especially essential if you plan to park your vehicle on the driveway, and it’s not just for a cosmetic appearance.

This is a good way to save yourself money, but it will probably take you longer to complete than it would a professional, so if you’re in no rush, it could be worth it. You will also need to arrange for the delivery of the materials you’ll need.

The Cost of Additional Items

You may need to factor in additional costs that you may not have thought of. Depending on the amount of soil and materials that are excavated, a skip hire could be essential to clear away all the unwanted materials.

Skip hire can be expensive as some companies may charge you a per-day price. This could add up if you need the skips for several days. Some companies will give you a set price for a certain number of days, such as a weekend or a whole week Monday to Friday.

Depending on the company you use and where you live in the UK, the price will be around £75 to £150 per two-day hire. This is just an average, as prices can vary.

To help your new block paving driveway stay weed-free, use a membrane to stop weed growth. There are various membranes that you can purchase, which will range in the quality of weed prevention. If this is used, you will pay around £30 to £45 per sq metre.

Another cost to think about is the specialist equipment you may need to hire. If you’re using a large company, they will probably own the equipment, but if you’re using a smaller company, you may have to hire equipment.

If excavation work is needed, a small digger might be required and will cost you around £130 to £160 per week.

When using natural stone, clay, or concrete blocks, your driveway will be a solid surface. It won’t allow water to run into the ground, so a drainage system may be required if your driveway is large or even small, allowing water to run away sufficiently from the block paving. If this is the case, this will be another additional cost that you will have to factor into the overall price.

What Paving Block Should You Use

Builder laying  paving slabs

This depends on your personal preference and the overall look you want to achieve when your block paving driveway is finished.

It also depends on your budget and how much you’re willing to spend on the overall paving cost.

There are three different block paving bricks or slabs to choose from.

Concrete Paving Block

By using a concrete block, you will reduce the overall block paving cost. This is because the concrete block is the cheapest type of block to use.

You will find that the majority of block paving driveways contain concrete blocks due to the lower costs and because they have many great features.

If you want to achieve a colourful block paved driveway, then this is possible with concrete blocks – they are available in many different colours. A concrete dye is sometimes used along with another chemical to create a coloured block paving brick.

The colour of the brick and the strength of the dye used can alter the unit expenditure per concrete block. Although, if you want your drive to look its best for a longer period, then a more expensive concrete block is a must. This is because the colour naturally fades over a while.

Concrete bricks are available in a range of sizes and depths. You can opt for a small rectangular block that’s the same as house brick in terms of size, or you can go for larger squares. Larger squares usually are more common with patio block paving projects. The depth choice is good if you have had a lot of ground excavated.

The concrete blocks also come in different shapes and finishes. If you want a circular design embedded into your block paving project, then it’s possible. The finish of the concrete blocks can be another aspect that you can choose from to ensure you get the driveway that you want.

These types of blocks are durable and will last more than 20 years or a lot longer. The only aspect you should be wary of is that the colour will gradually fade. This isn’t a big issue, as you can purchase sealers to help keep the colour. Even if they do fade, you can use block paving paint to restore them to their original look.

Clay Paving Block

Clay blocks are very solid, robust, and even have anti-slip properties. These will be more expensive than concrete bricks, but they are much stronger.

If you want your block paving to retain its colour, then this is a good option as the clay blocks do not fade over time as the concrete ones do.

There are a few disadvantages of using clay bricks. If your block paving requires a certain pattern and they are not the right shape or size, it can be rather difficult to cut them to the size you require.

Also, you don’t get a selection of different depths like you do with concrete bricks. If one clay brick becomes damaged, it isn’t an easy task to replace it with another one, due to the issue with cutting them.

Although, having said all of that, they are a very robust type of brick that will last an extremely long-lasting.

Natural Stone Block

This is the most expensive type of block to use when creating a block paving driveway, but if you prefer the natural look and want a solid material, then it’s a good option as long as you’re happy with the expense.

You can use four types of natural stone; this includes granite, sandstone, marble, and limestone.

These types of blocks are incredibly robust and will last. They will generally come in a square shape, and you don’t get the choice of many different sizes as you do with concrete bricks. This is probably another reason that concrete is the most favoured type to use for block paving.

What Are The Benefits of Block Paving?

Interlocking stone block walkway

There are many benefits of using block paving to create a driveway or even a patio.

You can even use block paving to create a walkway through a grassed area in your back garden that will last a long time.

It can make the exterior of your home more eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing on the eye. This is an excellent benefit if you’re thinking of selling your property.

The block paving cost is more than some of the other materials used to create drives, but by spending the money, you are guaranteed to have a reliable and robust surface to park your vehicles.

It’s also a low maintenance option. You may get the occasional sprouting of weeds that appear between the blocks, especially if sand has worked its way out the grooves over time. But don’t worry – this can be dealt with efficiently by using a weed killer and merely filling in the holes to prevent future weed growth.

Cleaning block paving is easy. Use a water hose or a jet washer to restore the look of it if it has become dull looking. If moss has grown in different areas, simply grab a broom. Just use some pressure, and it will remove it.

Is Planning Permission Needed?

The good news is you shouldn’t be required to gain planning permission for block paving.

There are some conditions to this that you should be aware of. If the block paving is going to cover more than five squared metres and is made from a non-porous surface, then you may need planning permission.

A way around this is by creating a drainage system to allow water to drain off into a gully. Or you could have a grassed area for the surface water to run into.

If the block paving is made from a porous surface so that water can seep through into the brick, then no planning permission is required.

If you’re unsure, the best thing to do is double-check with your local authority. You wouldn’t want to pay out a block paving cost to be then told it’s not permitted.

How Long Does it Take To Lay Block Paving?

Unfinished driveway slabs paving

This depends on the size and how many workers are completing the task. It can take up to five days and possibly longer to lay block paving for an average-sized driveway. There could also be delays due to the weather and other factors.

On the first day, they’ll remove any materials from where the driveway or patio will be built. This could run into day two. Then the foundations need to be laid, which may take a day or two.

Laying of the blocks is the last step, including the sand between the gaps.

How Is Block Paving Created

Installing concrete paver blocks

There are some steps that your block paving specialist will follow to create your block paved area, whether it’s a driveway or a patio.

Step 1 – Your specialist will know the exact size that your block paving area should be. This will be marked out clearly before any work will commence. This is to make sure there are no errors in terms of size. If the markers are wrong and the areas are too small or large from the planned project, it will impact everything. They would need to start all over again. A spray can be used to mark the exact dimensions, or a stake and string method can be used, which gives height to the edges of where the block paving will go.

Step 2 – Now, the excavation needs to take place. If you have an existing driveway, you may only need to remove the top layer if the foundation is solid and intact. If not, the ground will be dug out to the required depth, which will allow sufficient space for a foundation and for the block paving to go at the top.

Step 3 – The sub-base is now laid inside the excavated area. It will need to be compressed, and your contractor will need to ensure all the space is adequately filled to stop the block paving sinking over time. The sub-base is made from stones as these provide a strong layer.

Step 4 – If you’re using a weed prevention membrane, this will now be placed on top of the sub-base. It’s advisable to include this in your block paving project for weed prevention, as this will affect the look of your block paving.

Step 5 – An edging needs to be placed around the parameter of the block paving area. If there are existing boundaries or edges, this can be used. If not, it’s essential edging is incorporated – this prevents the block paving bricks from moving. The edgings should be set into concrete to make sure they don’t move.

Step 6 – The next step is the sharp sand layer, which creates a sturdy laying course for the blocks to be placed on. The sharp sand will need to be compressed to ensure maximum support for the bricks and levelled, so your block paving is straight.

Step 7 – The individual bricks are now placed on top of the sand and pressed down. Ensure the bricks are close together as each one is laid.

Step 8 – It’s essential when laying the individual bricks to make sure they are aligned. A line of string can be utilised to ensure each row of bricks is in a straight formation.

Step 9 – If any guttering is going to be incorporated into the block paving, make sure you know when to stop with the bricks and lay the gutter instead. Then continue with the bricks.

Step 10 – As you approach the final space of the block paving, there may not be enough room for a whole brick to fit in the area. If this is the case, you can use a brick cutter to cut them to size. Just be careful if you have a clay brick as these are harder to cut.

Step 11 – The kiln dried sand is applied to the block paving and is pushed into the joins between the bricks. It may be a good idea to use a brush or broom to do this so you ensure you can fill each gap.

Step 12 – To make sure the sand has filled all the gaps, a vibrating process now needs to take place. As the ground vibrates, the small grains of sand work their way into any open spaces. When you do this, make sure you cover the whole block paving area.

Step 13 – Apply more kiln dried sand to the area and carry out the vibrating process again. This is necessary to allow all gaps to be filled. You can stop this process when all gaps are filled.