Just drive past most towns, and you will come across as many unique patterns, colours, shapes and finishes of block paving as there are houses.
However, versatility and aesthetic appeal are not the only reasons Britain can’t get enough of block paving driveways. No, there are two other reasons. One, these things are literally everywhere. Visit any home improvement store or site, and paving blocks will be right there in your face. Two, they last long and are pretty easy to install and repair.
So, add all of these factors together- aesthetic value, versatility, availability, longevity, and ease of installation. You’ll have the perfect combo. That is why many homeowners choose block paving over other driveway/ground covering options. No doubt one of these reasons (if not all of them) brought you here.
Well, you are in the right place. That is- if your goal is to find out how much installing block paving costs for your patio, driveway or garden? In this article, we will cover that and more. Whether you are looking to build a new driveway or renovate an old one, whether you have used block pavings or other ground covering methods before- this article will help you.
So, let’s get started by answering the biggest question that is probably on your lips.
How Much Does A Block Paving Driveway Cost?
|Driveway dimensions||Cost of material (£)||Cost of labour (£)||Total cost (£)|
|20m2||2,000 – 3,000||2,000||4000 – 5000|
|50m2||3,000 – 4,000||2,250||5,250 – 6250|
|100m2||6,000 – 8,000||2,800||8,800 – 10,800|
This table shows the estimated paving cost for a driveway of 20, 50 and 100 square metres respectively. The cost will vary due to several factors. For example, the biggest factor affecting cost is the cost material from which the paving blocks are made. Others are location, the complexity of designs, the dimension of the driveway and the state of the space to be paved.
Let’s look at these factors briefly.
Location: Prices will always fluctuate depending on your location. This is not just about differences between rural and urban areas. Even within London, prices will vary. When it comes to block paving costs, expect price variation with both material and labour. This is why it’s smart to compare prices. Talk to local and reliable tradespeople. Ask about block paving prices in your area. They will probably give quotes per square metre for both paving and labour costs. You will also use this (cost per ) when calculating the quantity of material you need.
Type of block paving material: We will soon talk about some of the different materials that can be used for block paving, and discuss the pros and cons of each. These materials, the ones we will discuss, are stone, concrete, clay, composite resin, and brick. Concrete paving blocks are the most popular, followed by clay blocks. The former is comparably cheap and easier to install, while the latter is better and comes highly recommended by The Brick Development Association (BDA) above all others.
The complexity of the design: one of the pros of block paving is that they come in various patterns, shapes and sizes. However, that may also be a disadvantage because the most complex designs are the hardest to install. They also cost more (per unit) to buy. In fact, the type of material and complexity of its design are closely related. Both affect the level of craftsmanship/skill that will be needed. As we all know, that means more expense.
Dimension of the driveway: Your driveway may be smaller or larger than the ones in our estimate. Either of these possibilities affects cost. It means you will spend less or more money on labour and building material, respectively. Also, having an odd-shaped driveway may make it more difficult.
State of the space: before laying block paving, you have to prepare the ground. That means ensuring it doesn’t interfere with social amenities like water, gas and electricity. Then creating a solid, level and weed-free base. How long it takes to do this deepens on the size and condition of the space. For example, if you already have a structure (i.e., a driveway) in place, you may have to remove it. If not, your block paving driveway may be too high, and you can’t be sure about the integrity of its foundation. Even if there is no structure in the way, you still have to get rid of weeds, debris, excess sand and stones.
After excavating, you will also have to level the ground at about 200-250mm below the desired paving level. Then, lay a sub-base of 50-100mm depth before finally laying out the block pavers. You can do all or some of this (preparation) by yourself or hire someone to do it. Either way, it is usually not included in the rates for laying the paving blocks. You may even have to hire specialists to help prepare the ground in some cases.
Despite all these, the only way to get exact figures is by asking. So, get quotes from your multiple local paving companies. Remember to ask if their rates include VAT and discounts. More often than not, they will offer discounts if you are trying to pave a relatively large area.
Block Paving Material Cost Breakdown
|Material||Rates + VAT (£) per m2|
|1||Concrete||20 – 48|
|2||Clay||75 – 100|
|3||Brick||40 – 105|
|4||Composite resin/permeable block||30 – 60|
|5||Natural stone||varies depending on type and value of the stone|
We’ll have to break down the material cost of installing block paving into two sections. Firstly, we discuss the main material (the makeup of the block pavers), then move on to the other materials. These additional materials constitute the sub-base, joint, edging, and finish.
You can see the estimated costs of each paving material in table 2 above. They average between £20 to £100 per metre squared. So, let’s discuss the differences between them and why you might prefer one over another.
Concrete block pavers (£19-48): Is more affordable, versatile and easier to install than the others. However, they are less elegant and durable. You can increase the former property (elegance) by moulding concrete block pavers into different sizes, shapes, patterns and textures. Or use imprinted concrete pavers. However, because of the latter property, durability, they fall apart, crack and lose colouration relatively faster than other materials.
Clay block pavers(£70-100): Because they are made from clay, these block pavers are much more durable, with improved resistance to heat and heavy traffic. However, they are also more expensive, prone to mould, and harder to shape, install and maintain. Due to the difficulty of shaping them, clay block pavers may not be of uniform size, making it harder to install and fit evenly.
Brick block pavers(£20-105): Brick block pavers are also relatively easy to install. Plus, they have a unique texture that makes them more slip-resistant than others. However, if the blocks are built too thin or not properly installed, they may break or shift quickly, especially if the sub-base is uneven. These shifts and cracks create holes for weeds to grow through.
Composite resin block pavers (£30-60): block pavers made from resin are much more permeable than the others. This leads to better drainage, so you won’t have to worry about waterlogging and flooding. Their other pros include affordability and ease of installation. However, it is not all good news. Composite block paving is less slip-resistant and more prone to mould, compared to the others. And because the material (resin) is synthetic, often potentially harmful to the environment. For the sake of the environment, only buy composite resin from reputable manufacturers and sellers.
Natural stone block pavers (cost varies): Some popular natural stone block pavers are marble, granite, sandstone and limestone. They have more elegance, texture, longevity, and durability than the others. However, they are much more expensive.
Other block paving materials
|Other Material||Cost + VAT (£) per m2|
These materials are no less important to installing a durable and beautiful block paving driveway.
Edging blocks: these form the sides of your driveway. Think of them as curbs or boundary markers. Edges secure the paving blocks (in place) while also bringing their aesthetical value to the structure. How much you will spend on edgings depend on the type (of edging) and the size of the driveway.
Sharp sand: Earlier, we mentioned the sub-base, the bed on which you will lay the paving blocks. It (the sub-base) is usually made up of sharp sand, hardcore and an anti-weed barrier. Sharp sand comes on last, right below the paving blocks.
Hardcore: After laying a weed membrane, the next step is to lay the hardcore- a compacted bed of crushed stone, sand, cement and other material. This is called the hardcore. It provides a solid base that improves drainage and prevents the paving blocks from shifting.
Weed membrane: Also called the anti-weed layer. This is the third layer and least important layer of the sub-base. You don’t have to include a weed membrane, but you will be glad you did. As the name suggests, it prevents weeds from growing through your driveway or any structure. If using a weed membrane, lay it before laying the hardcore (as the first layer after levelling the ground).
Kiln-dried sand: This is sand dried in a kiln, a thermal-insulated chamber. It is like an oven used to drastically remove the moisture in the sand or any other material you may want to dry. The result is fine dry sand that can enter every nook and craning, filling all the holes in the block paving driveway. After laying the paving blocks, the next step is to add kiln-dried sand to the spaces (joints) in between them. As a result, the paving blocks can sit firm and secured.
Sealant and finishes: After sanding the joints, the next step is to apply a sealant over them and apply finishing to the paving blocks. This will protect both the sand and the paving blocks from fiction, foot traffic, weather, mould and weed.
Are there additional costs in block paving installation?We spoke earlier about factors that can affect the cost of this project, we talked about “what it would take to prepare the area you want to pave”. Let’s go back to it for a minute because that is where most of the additional and unexpected costs lie.
We have mentioned that the area needs to be flat, level and firm before the paving blocks can be laid. So, here is the big question – how far are you from that ideal ground? Or should I say-
- Do you already have an existing driveway that needs to be removed?
- Do you have a plant (weed or otherwise) growing and how much landscaping work will it take to get rid of them?
- Do you need extensive excavation for stone, excess soil, and waste removal or to level the ground?
Even after that, you will have to remove stones and extra soil from the area. So that you will be able to create an even ground to lay the sub-base and paving blocks.
Other factors that can lead to additional costs are drainage systems, kerbs, steps, manhole covers and geogrids. You may not need these features, but they can make any driveway, block paving or otherwise, more beautiful, durable and efficient.
You will need to make provisions for these potential additional costs, plus wastage and other materials in your budget. But you can always save money but going simple, repurposing materials and doing some of the work yourself.
Benefits Of Block PavingThere is a reason why block paving is popular and becoming more so every day. While there are other driveway covering materials, here are four big reasons to choose block paving.
Adds value to your propertyAccording to reports, adding a block paving driveway can make your house up to 10% more valuable. Whilst that is probably a little high, there is no denying that the lovely patterns, elegance and style of paving blocks will allow you to increase the asking price on any property. And make it far easier to actually sell!
Whether you are putting that property on the market now or in the future, this is a simple trick for bringing up its value. And here is another trick- mix paving blocks of different patterns, textures and styles. It will make your driveway and property more complex and stunning. For example, you can mix patterns and styles on the same or different structures.
Repairing Block Paving is Cost-EffectiveBlock paving driveways are very easy to repair. Remember that you are dealing with individual blocks. So, when a paving block(s) get damaged, you can simply remove and replace the affected one(s).
After that, you only need to top block paving joints with sand and sealant and your driveway is as good as new. No one will be able to tell the difference. Repair is relatively more expensive and time-consuming for other driveway materials like tarmac or concrete slabs.
Fade-Resistant AlternativesFor years, especially with regular cleaning, your block paving driveway will look as new as the day you first installed it. These things are built to last. They can withstand all sorts of abuse, from car traffic to foot traffic, rain, frost and oil spills.
In most conditions, block paving will show less wear, tear, and discolouration than other driveway materials. And even if they get damaged, the repair won’t take too much of your time and money. However, remember that not all paving materials are equal in quality and durability. It’s better to spend more on higher quality, especially if you want it to last.
Ease of DrainagePaving blocks made from permeable material like composite resin have the best drainage qualities. But in general, all paving blocks are permeable. So, when you use them for your driveway or patio, expect better drainage, either because the water gets absorbed, channelled away or sinks into the ground.
If you use block paving, you won’t have to worry about water building up or damaging your driveway.
Block Paving Vs Other Driveway MaterialsBlock paving prices may be more expensive than some driveway alternatives, but it is still pretty affordable. It is also more durable, aesthetically pleasing and elegant than most. However, your choice of material will depend on what you are looking for and prefer in a driveway. So, here are some other driveway options and how they stack up against block paving.
Gravel driveway: this may not be the most attractive option on this list, but it gets the job done. It is also cheap and easy to install and maintain. All you have to do is pour gravel into your driveway (and install a membrane!), even it out and refill as needed. However, a gravel-laid driveway doesn’t feel like a long term solution. This is mainly because it needs a frequent refill and is uncomfortable and noisy.
Concrete driveway: They are also easy to install but not as durable and attractive as concrete block paving. Before long, the slabs may start to shift and crack. Note- that you can also use imprinted concrete blocks or slabs for this kind of driveway.
Tarmac driveway: A tarmac driveway can be beautiful, durable and slip-resistance. But it is nothing compared to block paving, especially when subjected to chemicals spills, oil spills and other kinds of abuse. It is also costlier to maintain and repair.
Composite Resin driveway: Due to the permeability of resin, a driveway made with this material will have excellent drainage. It will also be easy to construct with beautiful designs and colours. However, because it doesn’t have the structural integrity of block paving, it won’t last as long. Soon it may start to tear, shift and crack.
Can I install Block Paving Myself?Yes, you can install block paving yourself but that doesn’t mean it is a good idea. Even the most basic of tasks need some skill and experience. In theory, block paving installation is simple- you prepare the ground, lay the materials (sand, crushed stone, edging stones, paving blocks etc) and finally apply the finish.
But don’t be fooled. execution is much more difficult, especially if you want to do it well. Each stage of a block paving project can be overwhelming. And mistakes are costly because they are easy to make, hard to detect and even harder to correct.
Correcting them usually involves undoing most of the work you have done up to that point. If not, you will end up with an uneven, visually unappealing, and potentially dangerous driveway. In other words- you won’t have the beautiful, long-lasting and elegant driveway that will add value to your property.
So save yourself the trouble, get a professional to do it. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t install a block paving driveway yourself. It just means that you need to know what you are getting into and decide whether it is better to hire a professional or not. So, it is a matter of determining if you have enough DIY experience, the right equipment and time on your hands.
Getting Started: A ConclusionWhether you are handling it yourself or hiring someone to do it, at some point, you still have to consider the quantity of paving blocks and other materials needed for the project. The first step to getting the right figures is by measuring the area to be paved.
Then you can use an online calculator to calculate the quantity of paving blocks and materials needed. Whether you are doing it yourself or hiring help, always buy more material than you need. It accounts for wastage and gives you a stockpile that you can use for repairs over the next couple of years. We recommend 10-15% extra to be sure.
Q: What are the Supply Costs of a Block Paving Driveway Installation?Block paving cost depends on the size of the driveway. Supplies will probably cost-
- For a small driveway (20 square metres): £2,000 to £3,000
- For a medium-sized driveway (50 square metres): £3,000 to £4,000
- For a large driveway (100 square metres): s £6,000 to £8,000 respectively.
Remember that prices may vary by location and these estimates don’t include delivery and labour costs.
Q: Which is the best cleaning method for a block paving driveway?The best strategy for cleaning a new block paving driveway is to sweep frequently and conduct a more rigorous cleaning regimen occasionally. Sweeping can get rid of dust, debris, and wind-blown weed seeds. But it can’t do much against algae buildup, oil spills and rust stains.
For that, you will need more rigorous cleaning with detergent, chemicals and a pressure washer. However, all of these affect the health of both the paving blocks and the joints. So, you have to limit them to occasional usage and only apply to only the affected areas.
However, compared to the others, detergents don’t cause much damage. Still, you need to be careful when using them on your driveway. On the other hand, cleaning chemicals may also be harmful to your health and the environment. So take precautions and wear protective gear when using them.
However, the best cleaning strategy may also involve preventing the issues (algae growth and oil spills) that make you need these extraordinary measures. By that, I mean making sure that oil, algae, rust and co, don’t get on your driveway. As they say, “prevention is better than cure”. And if you have to cure, use a strong detergent first; limit chemical cleaning and pressure washer to a maximum of once a year.
After cleaning, you should also remember to rinse away the detergent or chemical. Then reapply sand and sealant.
Q: Do I need planning permission for a block paving driveway?No, you don’t need permission to install a block paving driveway. However, there are conditions. These include the driveway must-
- not block the entrance to the property
- be smaller than 5 square metres unless it includes a drainage system
- use permeable rock unless it includes a drainage system
Q: How long does a block paving driveway generally last?Durability and a long lifespan are two of the biggest pros of block paving driveways. This is why more buildings, even airports (imagine the weight of aeroplanes), are using them. If well-installed and properly maintained, most block paving driveways can last for anywhere between 10 to 25 years.
The installation part is very important because there is only so much you can do to care for something that is not well-built. This is why you should always use a professional unless you know what you are doing. Even better, use a block paving specialist.
Maintenance is also pretty simple. It is a task that you can assign to your kids. They just have to clean, wash and remove weeds. Then you can follow that with more complicated maintenance tasks like topping the sand in the joints and reapplying sealant annually or biannually.
However, it (maintenance) can be tedious but you have to do it because it is crucial to the lifespan of your driveway, especially if it sees a lot of traffic and abuse.
Finally, remember that not all block paving driveways because not all pavers are equal. For instance, a driveway made with natural stone paving will still be kicking long after you can no longer use another made with concrete paving.
Q: Which sand is used for block paving?The sand used for block paving is called kiln-dried sand. It has very little moisture, which makes it perfect for filling the spaces and joints between the paving blocks. Kiln-dried sand stays dry, allowing it to sink to fill every hole, resulting in firm and tight joints that keep your block paved driveway intact.
Wet sand or any sand with low moisture can also be used to the similar effects. Grit sand, play and a building sand/cement mixture can also work, but none of these compares to the result you will get with kiln-dried sand.
To apply sand, all you have to do is use it to fill the spaces between the paving blocks. Then use a brush to brush in excess sand until everything is neat and tightly knitted. Dryness/low moisture is important, so make sure the joints are dry before filling with sand. Then, apply a sealant to prevent it from being blown away by the wind.
Q: How do I keep my block paved driveway weed-free?You have to start your weed-killing strategy from the moment you start preparing the grounds for your new driveway paving, right after excavation and waste removal. Remove the weed from the root, or they could grow back.
Then level the grounds, lay a weed barrier (the weed membrane), set up the sub-base and finally lay block paving. However, even after all of this, weeds can still find their way to your driveway.
This is mainly from wind-borne seeds. Sweeping regularly may help to prevent them from germinating. When weeds grow, try to get rid of them as soon as possible. As always, remove along with the roots. You can add some water to where the weeds are growing. This will make it easier for you to uproot weeds.
There is also the option of applying weed killers like natural agents or herbicides. Examples of natural weed remedies are baking soda, salt/water mixture and vinegar. When using either natural agents or chemicals, you have to use the same system you followed for applying cleaning products- only use on the affected areas. That affected area is usually the sand in the joints. Weed cannot grow through the paving blocks.