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The Costs Involved in Laying Out a Patio

How Much Does it Cost to Install Block Paving?

This article discusses the costs associated with the installation of block paving for your home’s outdoor space including the necessary materials, manpower, and turnaround time.

What is Block Paving and How Much Will It Cost?

This is a comprehensive guide on driveways and how much it will cost to build them – particularly using block paving. It will discuss the fees that tradespeople will charge for block-paving your driveway. There are numerous options to choose from if you want a block paved driveway – you can choose from a variety of colours, sizes, and designs. Many homeowners prefer block-paved driveways because of their aesthetic appeal, as opposed to tarmac driveways that look very plain.

Cost Illustration of Block Paving for Driveways

Homeowners can choose from three types of bricks to pave their driveway: clay, concrete, and natural stone. If you have complex designs or patterns in mind, it may raise the cost of the project. Extras like adding drainage, steps, and edging will also increase the project’s overall cost. The main factor that drives the cost, however, is the size of the driveway or outdoor space.

£2,800 – £4,500 – Cost to block pave a 40sqm driveway (small-sized/1 to 2 cars) using clay blocks.
£1,800 – £2,900 – Cost to block pave a 40sqm driveway (small-sized/1 to 2 cars) using concrete blocks.
£2,000 – £4,700 – Cost to block pave a 40sqm driveway (small-sized/1 to 2 cars) using natural stone.
£4,900 – £7,500 – Cost to block pave a 70sqm driveway (medium-sized/2 to 3 cars) using clay blocks.
£2,400 – £4,700 – Cost to block pave a 70sqm driveway (medium-sized/2 to 3 cars) using concrete blocks.
£3,500 – £7,850 – Cost to block pave a 70sqm driveway (medium-sized/2 to 3 cars) using natural stone.
£7,000 – £10,500 – Cost to block pave a 100sqm driveway (large-sized/4 to 5 cars) using clay blocks.
£3,000 – £6,500 – Cost to block pave a 100sqm driveway (large-sized/4 to 5 cars) using concrete blocks.
£5,000 – £11,000 – Cost to block pave a 100sqm driveway (large-sized/4 to 5 cars) using natural stone.

Costs for Supplies Only

It is possible to install a block paved driveway all by yourself, but of course, you will need to purchase the blocks for the project. The type of material that you will choose largely depends on your budget. There are three kinds of paving blocks to choose from: clay blocks which cost about £70 up to £100 for every square metre, concrete blocks which have more reasonable prices at £20 to £60 per square metre, and the most expensive paving blocks are made of natural stone at £50 up to £105 for every square metre.

Again, the size of the area is the main factor that drives the cost. A small driveway measures about 40 square meters and can fit up to 2 vehicles. A medium-sized driveway is about 70 square metres and will fit up to 4 cars. A 100 square metre driveway can fit up to 5 cars or more.

£2,800 – £4,000 for small-sized driveway using clay blocks
£800 – £2,400 for small-sized driveway using concrete blocks
£2,000 – £4,200 for small-sized driveway using natural stone blocks
£4,900 – £7,000 for medium-sized driveway using clay blocks
£1,400 – 4,200 for medium-sized driveway using concrete blocks
£3,500 – £7,850 for medium-sized driveway using natural stone blocks
£7,000 – £10,000 for large-sized driveway using clay blocks
£2,000 – £6,000 for large-sized driveway using concrete blocks
£5,000 – £10,500 for large-sized driveway using natural stone blocks

Waste Removal Expenses

If your driveway needs to be cleared first before a new one is installed, the cost of waste removal will drive costs up for your project. One option is to hire a skip if a large amount of waste must be removed. The price of skip hire will depend on the size required to clear the area. Below is an example of the average price of skip hires:

£65 – the average price for 2 to 3 yards
£90 – for 4 to 5 yards
£115 – for 6 or more yards
£135 – for 8 or more yards
£170 – for 10 yards and up

If you are hiring someone else to dismantle the old drive for you, expect to pay £150 – £200 per day for about 1 up to 2 days of labor.

Waste Removal: Additional Costs

There may be additional expenses (approximate shown) that can be incurred during waste removal, such as:
£1,700 for blocks and edging
£500 for skip hire
£300 for hardcore
£250 for kiln-dried sand
£250 for sharp sand

Average Cost for Block-Paving a Small Driveway

Block-paving a small driveway will cost about £3,500, with the breakdown as follows:

70% for labour or £2,450
25% for materials or £875
5% for waste removal or £175

Turnaround Time and Cost Estimates for Labour

Homeowners who want to install block paving on their driveway should expect to spend about £50 per square metre or up to £100. Several factors can drive the prices of the project but will mostly be influenced by the materials used and the size of the space. The cost may also be affected by complicated patterns and the installation of extras like drainage, edging, or steps. The cost of the project will be significantly influenced by major changes in the structure as well as extras.

An experienced tradesperson will charge £150 per day up to £200, but will usually work with a team. The number of labourers must be taken into account when computing costs. An average-sized drive is usually finished in 4 days or more. The projects start by labourers removing the old driveway’s existing contents. Then, the foundations are laid, followed by placing mats on the flooring to prevent weeds from growing. Only then will the block paving commence.

Below is a guide to give you an idea of the approximate timeframes to complete the block paving of a driveway:
4 to 5 days – for a small-sized driveway (measuring 40m²)
5 to 6 days – for a medium-sized driveway (measuring 70m²)
7 to 8 days – for a large-sized driveway (measuring 100m²)

Material Used for Block Paving

There are three materials normally used for block paving driveways. Each one has its set of advantages and disadvantages. In a nutshell, the best material for block paving a driveway will depend on your preferences, your expectations, and of course, your budget.

Concrete

The most affordable material for block paving the driveway is concrete. Bricks or blocks made of concrete will cost £20 up to £60 per square metre. Concrete paving materials are made from a mix of sand, crushed stone, and cement. Patterns can be achieved easily because of the straight edges of concrete blocks. However, when a protectant is not used, the concrete blocks can be stained by oil. The colour of concrete blocks may also fade over time. It is pertinent to remove the lichen or algae growing on the concrete blocks because they may become slippery and unsightly.

Clay

Compared to concrete blocks, block paving materials made from clay are more expensive at £70 per square metre up to £100. One advantage of clay blocks over concrete blocks is that their colour does not fade even after several years. Aside from being durable, the finished project will also look visually appealing. Clay blocks are also stain-resistant and naturally anti-slip so there’s very little maintenance required. It’s challenging to create patterns since clay block are more difficult to cut. Clay blocks are eco-friendly and made from sustainable materials.

Natural Stone

The most expensive material used for block paving is a natural stone which will cost about £50 per square metre up to £105 for every square metre. Natural stone bricks are sourced naturally which means they are either quarried or mined. Some of the options for naturals stone bricks are slate, sandstone, limestone, and granite. Although natural stone blocks are expensive but very low maintenance. They are usually frost resistant, very durable, and will not change in color over time.

How Does the Block Paving Process Work?

If you are having a new driveway installed, it is crucial to check the connection of services and utilities like water and gas pipes, drainage systems, and electric cables. You or a professional tradesperson should not damage any of these connections prior to installing a new driveway. You may need to obtain planning permission if the rainwater from your property will be to the street. After a planning permit is secured, the old driveway can be removed including any waste material. The drainage can be directed to the soakaway.

A membrane will be laid after which a 150mm hardcore is put down using a whacker, then followed by sharp sand (about 40mm). Your choice of paving blocks is laid followed by kiln-dried sand.

It is best to plan related hard landscaping projects during the new driveway installation. It will significantly reduce your overall expenses.

Costs Associated with Block Paving

It is best to assess the different factors that drive block paving costs, especially if you are trying to complete the project on a strict budget. Take a look at the following points:

Condition of the ground: The expenses will likely go up if you have to remove an old driveway, or if the you need to dig out a foundation from the garden. Skip hire will cost £170 and below while you can expect to pay £150 up to £200 per day for labour.

Location of the driveway: You can expect to pay around £40 (per 100 square metres) for putting a weed membrane under your driveway.

Equipment: Competent DIYers should have the right equipment to do the job. For example, it will cost £50 to rent a jackhammer per day. If you hire a professional to do the project, they will have their own tools to use.

Your location: Labour costs in London, as well as surrounding areas, are higher compared to labour rates in the West or North.

Can I DIY Block Paving?

It is best to hire a professional and qualified tradesperson when installing block paving. But if you prefer to install the driveway on your own, you have to start sketching and designing it, to find out what and how much materials you will need.

The following tools are required to complete a driveway’s block paving installation:

Broom
Cement mixer
Compacting tool
Mallet
Pegs
Rake
Screed rails
Spade and shovel
Spirit level
Stone saw/box splitter.
Tape measure
Wheelbarrow

There are specialty tools that you will need which you will need to hire from equipment rental shops. You will need the following materials to complete your block paving project:

Ballast
Bricks (natural stone, concrete, and clay)
Cement
Kiln-dried sand
Hardcore
Sharp sand

It is best to order more than what you expect to use to block pave the driveway – at least 10%. It is recommended so that you will not fall short of materials while working on your driveway.

After making sure that you have all the tools and materials required, you can start marking out the space that you will pave using the pegs and strings. The area should be dug with 150mm minimum depth using a spade or shovel. To save time working on larger areas, you should use a mini-digger or mini-excavator. The price to rent this equipment is about £200 to £300 per day. If you need to drain water, you should make sure the land is dug out with a gradual slope.

Before installing paving blocks, make sure to put edge restraints first to hold all the blocks together, like a frame. To create foundations 100mm thick, you will mix six parts of ballast to one part cement. The string will help in creating a taut line to the point where the block paving will be. The concrete mix will be placed 25mm below the line. After this, place the edging by tapping it with a mallet. Use a spirit level to ensure that edgings are even. After fitting the edgings, you will haunch the edgings with concrete by pouring concrete on the edging (outside and halfway above).

A hardcore layer is needed as paving support, at least 100mm. To do this, you will place and flatten the hardcore in a layer of 75mm. A compacting plate can be rented for around £20 up to £50 daily. The hardcore must be flattened several times to make sure it is even. This ensures the driveway is firmly supported and will not sag or shrink.

After the hardcore is firmly put, you will add sand as a filler. It fills spaces in the hardcore as well as the finished paving. The next step is applying a layer of 50mm damp sharp sand. The sharp sand must be damp enough and you can roll a portion in your hand to make a ball to test. If it breaks, the sand is not damp enough. After applying the sand, you will use a compactor to level it.

Now you can start installing the blocks! You will start by laying the bricks starting at the bottom part of the slope. You should start from the corner, but you can also start from a straight edge or border. The bricks will be laid individually but make sure that they are the same level as the brick previous to it. The bricks must be placed 10mm to 15mm above the string line that marks the final paving. After laying all of the bricks, you will need kiln-dried sand and a brush. Apply the kiln-dried sand and brush it onto the paving. The final step is to compact the paving blocks and sand, repeating the procedure until everything is filled in.

Paving Blocks Over Existing Driveway

It is possible to install block paving on your current driveway. But before beginning any block paving work, you should inspect the existing driveway for evenness. It should have no large chips, cracks, and holes. If your current driveway is not in good condition, it is better to build a new one.

Once you decide to install block paving over the old driveway, you should understand that the finished project will be about 80mm higher than the previous one. It may present problems if the drive connects to other areas of your home.

The drainage may be affected when you pave over the current concrete drive. You must make sure that the old drive is sloped correctly to prevent puddling or avoid standing water. Concrete is fixed and will not move so the newly paved drive may crack or ripple.

DIY block paving over the existing drive may save you money on labour expenses (as much as £800) and skip hire costs (as much as £170). It may save you money upfront, but if not properly done, the driveway may not last long compared to a professional installation.

How Does My Property’s Value Increase with a New Driveway?

A driveway that has been block-paved properly boosts the appearance of your property. You will be able to choose from a variety of materials and designs which means your driveway looks customized especially for your home. You also have your very own parking space which is totally safe because it is off the street.

A new block-paved driveway or repairing a current driveway using block paving materials is an excellent way to increase the value of your home. You will be able to increase the value of your home by up to 10%. This will depend, of course, on the location of your drive, the size of the driveway, quality, and how it complements your home and outdoor area.

How to Prevent Block Paving From Sinking

Any driveway with a poor sub-base is bound to have problems, especially when builders and homeowners try to save money by cutting down the materials like installing a thin hardcore layer and then covering it with sand. The block paving will sink due to a vehicle’s weight, as an example. Blocks will move laterally and create open gaps allowing moss and weed to grow.

Many homeowners in the UK face this dilemma because they thought they are saving money. A substandard block paved driveway will look good when it is finished, but the issues start showing after several months! Hiring a professional and reputable builder may be more expensive but you can be sure that your driveway is will last many years.

Permeable Paving and Sustainable Drainage System

A sustainable drainage system or SuDS is a method of draining that is environment-friendly. It prevents urban areas from flooding and causing water pollution. There are several advantages of SuDS:

Reduces the risk of flooding by keeping back surface water
Minimizes water pollution
Decreases the risk of sewer flooding during rainy seasons
Beneficial for wildlife and the environment
Prevents drought by regenerating groundwater

It is possible to buy paving blocks that drains water to a sustainable drainage system where the water will seep back to the ground naturally. Permeable and SuDS compliant paving costs about £30 per square metre up to £60 for every square metre.

How Durable is Block Paving?

Block paving, if properly maintained, will last more than 20 years. The durability of block paving is the reason why many homeowners prefer block paving their driveway, aside from being resilient to chemicals, frost, and oil.

Compared to clay and natural stone, concrete paving bricks can be stained by oil and their colour may fade eventually if not treated.

How to Repair a Block Paved Driveway

Block paving can become uneven over time if it was not correctly laid. It can be repaired easily and there is no major labour required. The process requires lifting and relaying the bricks that became uneven and can be done DIY. Another option is to hire a knowledgeable labourer for £150 or more per day. Repairing the driveway may take 1 day or more to complete depending on the size of the area.

To restore a block paved driveway, you should:

Look closely which areas require lifting and re-laying
It is best to use a spirit level to determine which blocks are not even
After marking the uneven areas with chalk, you will start liting out the blocks by first removing the sand in between to loosen them
You can rent a lifting tool to remove the blocks but it will cost around £50 up to £100
For a cheaper alternative, you can remove sand by using a strong leaf blower or cut the joints using a stone saw; a chisel and club hammer can be used for difficult bricks
Once the bricks were removed, you can start to re-lay the bricks. But first, you will need to clean them by removing excess sand with a small and firm brush
Next, check the current driveway’s sub-base – make sure the hardcore layer is at least 50mm
If the hardcore level meets the required dimension, it is time to re-lay the bricks
The paving blocks are placed back using a small rubber mallet and then go over the re-laid bricks with a compactor
Reapply kiln-dried sand using a broom and remove any excess sand before using a compactor over the area one more time

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Block Paved Driveway

To help keep the beauty and durability of your block-paved driveway, you should remember to clean and maintain it on a regular basis.

It is best to clean it every year (during Spring). Here are the things that you need to do:

Clean with warm water, a strong detergent, and a broom. Scrub the paved tiles to remove and grim or stains
Use medium pressure with a power washer at an angle of 30 degrees
The joints must be applied with a weed preventer to stop the sprouting of seeds
Cleaning products should be rinsed away thoroughly

Specific stains require a specific method of cleaning or removal:

Grease and Oil Stains

Grease and oil stains are difficult to remove when left around for long. Make sure to clean grease and oil stains immediately.
Pick up the stain with a paper towel, cloth, or other absorbent material.
Avoid rubbing the oil or grease stain. Rubbing the stain will spread the oil and grease and will be harder to remove.
Use warm water and detergent to scrub the oil stain if it still remains on the tiles.
An emulsifying degreaser will help remove grease and oil stains.

Cement and Mortar Stains

Use mortar remover to remove light cement or mortar stains on the paving.
Another way to remove mortar or cement stains is to scrub off with warm water and soap.

Algae, Lichen, and Moss Stains

Remove all plants growing on the paved blocks.
Apply moss or weed killer; follow the instructions of the manufacturer.
The application of the chemicals may be required more than once.

Paint Stains

Clean the paint stain with an absorbent cloth if it was freshly spilled. Do not wipe off since the stain will spread.
Wash off the stain with soapy water.
Scrape off the paint if already dried, then remove the remaining stains with paint remover.

Rust Stains

Inspect what is causing the rust stain prior to treating it.
Clean the rust stain with 10% hydrochloric acid.
It is important to follow the instructions of the manufacturer when using hydrochloric acid.

Scuffs and Tyre Marks

Typically, tyre marks fade over time, but you can scrub them down with hot soapy water if they are not fading.
Use a power washer to remove scuffs and tyre marks.

Maintaining a block-paved driveway involves re-sanding and re-pointing joints, which usually needed as soon as the paving is put down so that the sand is still porous. It is also recommended to seal the block pavement to prevent any weed growth in between the joints. The sealant will also help harden the sand and protect your driveway from stains and harsh weather. You will need to reseal the paving once every 2 to 3 years is you are using an acrylic sealer. A water-based seal requires re-application every 3 years or so.

Block Paving Alternatives

Here are some alternatives if you do not want to block-pave your driveway:

Asphalt Drive

Many homeowners prefer asphalt for their driveways, or also known as tarmac. This is a cheap but durable alternative at £40 to £65 for every square metre. It has a sleek appearance and withstands harsh weather conditions.

Concrete Drive

A concrete driveway is a good alternative because it requires very little maintenance, aside from being reasonably priced and durable. An average-sized driveway will cost £1,800 and you will have many choices when it comes to colours. The only disadvantage of a concrete driveway is that it is prone to cracking and will easily stain.

Gravel Drive

A gravel driveway is simple, visually appealing, and relatively affordable. If you are looking for a fast alternative to fixing your driveway, consider using gravel. It will cost around £20 to £50 per square metre but may require regular maintenance.

Resin Drive

This type of driveway is very popular in residential and commercial properties because of its durability and aesthetic appeal. You can choose from resin-bonded (impermeable) and resin-bound (permeable) driveways. There are different colors to choose from to match your home or property and you can expect to pay £35 to £60 for every square metre.

Driveway Finishing Touches

After updating your driveway, you should also consider adding a gate to your drive. Aside from making your driveway look visually appealing, it also provides a sense of security. You can choose from aluminum, iron, steel, wood, and uPVC as the materials for your gate.

Installing a gate will cost you £150 up to £5,000, depending on the size, design, and gate automation. If you want to hang your gate, you may add gate piers which will cost around £500 up to £2,000.

A garden wall is another extra that you can install within the driveway area. The cost will range from £800 to £1,300 based on the type of wall that you want to complete. The wall will usually take two or more days to complete.

Block Paving Removal

If your current driveway is outdated or damaged, you need to remove the existing drive before re-laying bricks. Digging up the driveway will take one or more days, and you can expect to pay around £150 up to £200 for labourer’s fees.

Hiring skip is required if you need to dispose of waste material, which will cost:

£65 for 2 to 3 yards
£90 for 4 to 5 yards
£115 for 6 yards
£135 for 8 yards
£170 for 10 yards

How to Choose a Reputable Driveway Specialist

If you want your driveway to last many years, you should hire an expert paving tradesperson to do the job for you. If done incorrectly, the drive may become uneven and sink which means spending more to have it repaired and re-laid.

Here are some tips to choose a reputable driveway specialist:

Verify certifications, experience, and qualifications
Ask how they plan to complete the project
You should feel comfortable with your hired professionals
Request for quotes and a payment plan
Check if they can handle planning permissions
Find out whether they do follow-ups after the driveway is completed

These suggestions are crucial to help you choose the best driveway paving expert. You will also know what to expect and look for when meeting with potential tradespeople.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to obtain planning permission to build a block-paved driveway?

It is not necessary to obtain planning permission unless you are not using a sustainable drainage system (SuDS) or permeable block paving material. It is best to check with the local council if you are unsure.

Do I need to lay a membrane before installing a new drive?

It is required to place a membrane on the ground before installing a new driveway. This will be placed underneath the hardcore or the sub-base layer. The membrane helps ensure that the hardcore remains compact, minimizing the possibility of your block paving from sinking.

How can I split a paving block in half?

The easiest and most cost-effective way to split a paving block is by using a chisel and hammer. However, this method is recommended only for a few blocks. If there are a lot of blocks to be cut, you should utilize a masonry wet saw, a circle saw, or an angle grinder.

How much will I spend on block paving bricks?

The cost of paving blocks and bricks depends on the type that you prefer. The cheapest option is concrete at £20 to £60 per square metre. Clay costs around £70 to £100 per square metre, but natural stone is the most costly material at £50 to £105 per square metre.

What causes a block-paved driveway to sink?

A block-paved driveway will sink when it is not properly laid. It is possible that the soft earth was not dug out enough, the sub-base or hardcore was not applied correctly, or a membrane was not laid between the ground and the hardcore. The best way to prevent a sinking block-paved driveway is to hire a competent and reputable driveway specialist.

What is the cheapest type of driveway option?

Gravel, so far, is the cheapest material to use in a driveway. Aside from costing less than £50 per square metre, it’s also very easy and quick to fit. However, a gravel driveway requires regular tidying.

Will a block-paved driveway fade?

It depends on the type of paving used. Concrete material will eventually fade but sealing it will slow the process. Natural stone and clay, on the other hand, do not fade but are more costly block paving materials.

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