block paving cost

Your Guide To Block Paving Costs – Attaining Your Desired Look

When considering the concrete block paving prices remember that costs will vary depending on the area in which you live. As a rough guide use the following when dealing with professionals and asking for estimates.

Block Paving area Cost per m2
Less than 40m2 £100
40 to 100m2 £85
Over 100m2 £75

As an example let’s look at the cost for a 50m2 Paved Area:

Type of paving & skip hire
Costs per m2
Block Paving Edging £1000
Block Paving Sand (Sharp) £150
Kiln Sand Block Paving £80

Another cost consideration will be skip hire, this will be around £500.

Outside London, the average cost of block paving will be around £45 per m2. From all these figures you should be able to calculate ballpark costs for:

  • A tradesman doing the work.
  • You doing a DIY job.

There are three types of Block Paving, and each type can be laid in a variety of patterns. Some patterns are only available with a specific type of paving so it is always best to discuss the type you want and the specific pattern with a professional installation contractor or your local block paving suppliers before you decide to pay out your hard earned money. The different types are:

  • Standard Block Paving – These block pavers are all a standard size so they lend themselves very easily to herringbone, basket weave or stretcher bond patterning. Each of these patterns is best used for a specific purpose such as edging, circles, borders or large areas. Do some research and find some pictures of these types so you can recognise them in the showroom.
  • Tegula Paving – These are patterns made from three different sized blocks; small, medium and large. Patterns can be made with just one size, two sizes or all three sizes. If patterns are made with more than one size block, the distribution of the sizes is usually
  • Natural Cobbles – These are what people sometimes call driveway paving stones. They can be laid in many types of patterns from swirling curves, circles, square patterns or floral types.

Types of Bricks & Blocks

The various types of block paving bricks are made from either clay or concrete. Usually, people opt for the concrete blocks because they are available in such a range of different colours and sizes, the reduced costs when compared with brick prices and the ease of installation. On the other hand, however, clay bricks are more hardwearing, can look extremely smart and are recommended by the Brick Development Association. You won’t really know whether you can afford the concrete driveway paving costs, or the clay brick driveway costs until you have done some calculations and we will talk about that later.

The features of concrete block and clay brick are as follows:

Clay

  • More durable
  • Colour doesn’t fade
  • Longer lifetime
  • Prone to moss and algae
  • Sizes are often not accurate
  • Difficult to cut and lay
  • Higher price
  • Limited size range

Concrete

  • Cheaper to buy
  • Large range of shapes and surface moulding textures
  • Accurate
  • Large size range
  • Dye is used so colour can fade over time
  • Cement matrix wears away exposing the aggregate

Can You Put Block Paving On Concrete?

Yes, you can, but the concrete will need to be broken up and incorporated into the hardcore base, or removed, the ground excavated and new hardcore laid instead. The latter method is far better because you are in control of what materials and the amounts and depths of materials in the base layer. On top of the compacted hardcore is laid a layer of sharp sand to provide a smooth surface with no peaks or troughs. Pavers need a firm base that won’t subside and you would probably think that existing unbroken concrete would supply this. What is just as important, however, is for the block paving driveway to have vertical drainage. If there is an impermeable concrete layer under the pavers, rain may get underneath them and wash away the bedding sand, eventually loosening paving and causing them to move.

DIY Considerations

A large driveway is definitely not a DIY job unless you have had considerable experience.  Key factors to consider when deciding on a DIY job is:

  • Have you the knowledge from doing similar work before?
  • Are you good at DIY?
  • Do you own the tools and machinery? If not can you rent them?
  • Time – Have you the time to complete the job? If this is in your spare time it might take several weekends.

Some of the jobs such as screeding the sand (making it level) really needs two people to do it properly. If you decide that you are doing it yourself, it will considerably reduce the labour costs but the job will take a lot longer than expected. Contact a local block paving suppliers and ask for a written quote. You never know, the more expensive bricks may be within your budget.  Make sure you have all the materials delivered before you start although the hardcore might be better delivered when you need it and pour it straight into the excavation. Hire specialist tools such as the plate vibrator only for as long as you need to. It is silly to have the machine sitting in your shed or garage doing nothing while still paying the hire charge for it. It is better to return it while it isn’t being used. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that can talk you through the steps needed so spend some time and take notes learning how to do it properly beforehand.

The best advice is to take your time, be patient and try to get it right first time. Start with a small job first, perhaps a garden path before trying a driveway.

Remember that if you are doing it as DIY, you will have no warranties, but as you are working for your own benefit this shouldn’t matter.

Project Timelines

This depends on the size of the job, the size of the workforce and how skilled they are.  Let’s consider how long it will take to construct a 40m2 driveway. The workforce consists of experienced personnel, say one or two tradesmen and a labourer.

  • Days 1 and 2: These will be spent completing the initial groundwork. This will involve using diggers and concrete breaking machines if there is an existing driveway.
  • Days 2 to 5: These will be spent by one or two skilled block paving layers, preparing the surface, laying the hardcore and sand, followed by the blocks. After preparation, they will lay the paving blocks and infill the grout. The surface will be compacted at every stage using plate vibrators.

Total time is about 4 or 5 days for experienced workers. Scale this up or down to give yourself an approximate time for different sized areas or by DIY. Remember that smaller areas can take longer than you think because of less manoeuvring room. Once you have the time calculated it is quite straightforward to calculate a ballpark figure for your specific block paving driveway costs.

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