How Much Does Block Paving Cost?
Block paving is a popular option for driveways due to the fact its versatile and comes in a range of colours, patterns and finishes to best suit your requirements.
Within this article, we discuss the costs involved to install a block paving driveway as well as all the factors that impacts the overall cost.
✓ Fact: Block paving is a permeable surface because it allows water to filter through to the sub-base, which reduces the risk of flooding and waterlogging.
What Is Block Paving?
Block paving uses individual blocks that are made from either concrete or kiln-fired clay to form a driveway. The blocks are laid in a bed of sand and then compacted together to form a strong, durable surface. Unlike other forms of driveways, block paving can create a range of aesthetically pleasing patterns that can enhance the driveway’s look and feel.
What Are The Benefits?
- Low maintenance – They require minimal upkeep and can be easily replaced if any individual blocks become damaged or stained.
- Durable – Block paving is resistant to the elements and can withstand heavy traffic and wear and tear.
- Variety of design options – The blocks can be used to create a variety of designs and patterns, which allows for a unique and custom look.
- No costly repairs – Due to the fact that individual blocks can be replaced, it means any repairs are easy and cheap to do.
- Adds value – The majority of block paving driveways will add value to the property.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
- Time-consuming – Each block needs to be individually laid to form a durable driveway.
- Prone to weed growth – Block paving is prone to weed growth if not properly sealed. Unlike a tarmac or resin bound driveway, weeds can grow through the joints.
- Susceptible to staining – The blocks stain easily (they can be protected with a sealer).
- Blocks can sink – Over time (or if the blocks weren’t laid correctly), the blocks can sink into the sand which will require relaying.
How Much Does Block Paving Cost?
The cost of block paving varies depending on the type of paving, size of the area, labour rate and materials required. As a general guide, the cost of block paving can range from £80 to £120 per m2 with the variation taking into account the different types of blocks. It’s also worth pointing out that the cost per m2 includes all of the labour and materials.
However, there are several factors that may add to the cost such as the size of the driveway, complexity, additional features (i.e. landscaping or drainage) and the amount of preparation work that’s required (i.e. removal of the existing driveway surface).
Therefore, taking into account the cost of block paving per square meter, you can approximate the cost for standard sized driveways as shown below:
- Small, One Car Drive (11.5 m2) – £920 – £1,380
- Small, Two Cars Drive (25 m2) – £2,000 – £3,000
- Average (50 m2) – £4,000 – £6,000
- Large (100 m2) – £8,000 – £12,000
What Factors Affect The Cost of Block Paving?
- Driveway Size: The larger the area for the driveway to be paved, the more it’ll cost. However, it’s worth pointing out that the cost per square meter will usually decrease as the size of the area increases.
- Type of Block: Different types of blocks have different costs associated with them. For example, natural stone blocks will be more expensive than concrete blocks.
- Site Preparation: If the site requires extensive preparation such as removing old paving or levelling the ground, it’ll add to the cost of the project. For example, most new driveways will require excavating, which may involve hiring costly skips.
- Location & Accessibility: The cost of the driveway may be impacted by how accessible and where the driveway is. For example, if the site is located on a steep slope or in a hard-to-reach location, the added complexity will come at a cost.
- Labour Costs: The cost of labour varies depending on the location, complexity and experience of the workers.
- Additional Features: If the driveway includes additional features such as custom patterns, steps or a drainage system, it’ll add to the total cost (as discussed below).
Additional Features (At An Added Cost)
Block paving driveways can offer a variety of additional features to enhance the overall look and functionality of the driveway. Some of these features include:
Edging is a decorative border that can be added to the driveway to give it a finished look. Edging can be made from the same material as the blocks or a different material such as bricks or stones.
Patterns & Designs
Block paving driveways can be laid in a variety of patterns and designs to add visual interest and to make the driveway more unique. Some popular patterns include herringbone, basketweave and circular.
Lighting can be added to a block paving driveway to enhance its functionality and aesthetic appeal. This can be done by installing low voltage lights along the driveway or by incorporating solar-powered lights into the design.
A drainage system can be added to a block paving driveway to ensure that rainwater is directed away from the driveway and the surrounding area. This can be done by installing drainage channels or by incorporating a permeable paving system.
Steps can be added to a block paving driveway to make it more accessible. These can be made from the same material as the blocks or a different material such as bricks or stones.
Retaining walls can be added to a block paving driveway to create different levels and to provide a functional and aesthetic solution for sloping sites.
How To Lay Block Paving
To give you an idea of why block paving costs what it does, below is our guide on how to lay block paving based on a recent driveway installation:
Clear the area of any debris and vegetation. This will typically involve removing any old paving or grass and levelling the soil. On average, it takes approximately 1 to 2 days to clear and prepare the space.
Once the space for the block paving has been cleared, you’ll then need to mark out the area where the paving will be laid. This will typically involve using string and pegs to create a perimeter and then marking out the position of any curves or corners.
2. Sub Base Preparation
Lay a layer of sub-base material, such as crushed stone or gravel. This will typically involve spreading the material evenly over the prepared area, and then compacting it using a plate compactor. The thickness of the sub-base layer will depend on the size of the blocks being used, but on average it should be around 150-200mm. This step usually takes about 1-2 days.
3. Laying The Sand
With the base prepared, it’s now time to lay the block paving, which begins by spreading a layer of sand over the sub-base. The thickness of the sand layer depends on the size of the blocks being used but on average it should be around 25-30mm.
4. Laying The Blocks
With the sand laid, you can now begin to lay the blocks in the desired pattern by starting from one corner and working outwards (as shown in the photo below).
With the blocks laid, you can finish up by filling the joints between the blocks with kiln-dried sand and then brushing the sand into the joints to fill any gaps.
How Long Does It Last?
On average, well-installed and maintained block paving can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. However, the lifespan of the block paving can vary depending on several factors such as the quality of the blocks used, the quality of the installation, the type of block, climate and weather conditions and the level of maintenance.
When compared to a tarmac driveway, block paving is far more aesthetically pleasing and although it costs more to install, it normally adds to the property’s value. This is important to keep in mind because once you’ve received a quote, you may be swayed into choosing a cheaper option that you may regret later down the line.
Hopefully our guide regarding the cost of block paving has answered all your questions. However, if you require further information, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.
Written By Danny Morgan
Danny is a property developer by trade with over 15 houses successfully rennovated from the bottom up but other than rennovating houses, he's also a car enthusiast with multiple classic and performance cars.
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