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Block Paving Installation Costs

Material Costs, Labour Fees and Time Frame Estimates for Block Paving Installation

Costs for Installing Block Paving

This article tackles the costs for driveway installation, especially block paving, and along with the different prices that you’re expected to pay if you are to hire a professional to get the job done for you. Your options are wide and varied when it comes to block paving and you’ll have a variety of types, sizes, colours, and styles to choose from. Most people consider getting block driveways installed because it’s generally more appealing as opposed to the usual plain tarmac driveways that many homes are graced with.

Prices for Block Paving

You usually have three choices for brick types when getting a block paving installed: natural stone, concrete blocks and clay blocks. Getting complex patterns as well as extra features including drainage solutions, steps and edging can bump the final costs.

Supply Costs

If you’re aiming to DIY and just get the block paving laid down yourself, then you’ll only need to pay for the costs for the supply. Depending on how much you’re willing to spend, you have the choice to go for concrete, natural stone, or clay. Clay blocks can cost about £70-£100 a square metre. Concrete blocks are generally cheaper and can cost around £20 to £60 per square metre. The most expensive would have to be natural stone which could cost you £50-£105 per square metre.

How much the final costs will be is dependent on the size of your drive. Small drives are about 40 square metres in size and can usually accommodate two cars. Medium drives can fit three to four cars and are usually about 70 square metres in dimension. Meanwhile, large drives are about 100 square metres and can often fit three to four cars.

Costs for Waste Removal

If your driveway first needs to be removed before a new one can be laid, waste removal is something you’ll have to consider and there will be costs involved. You can hire a skip if there will be large waste quantities that need to be disposed of. The costs will have to depend on the size of the skip you hire although if it is just going to be a driveway removal, anything that is ten yards and below will be more than enough.  If you decide to get the old drive removed by the professionals, it could take up to 2 days for the work to get done. The daily cost could be around £150 to £200.

Cost Breakdown

For installing a block paving on a small-sized driveway, costs could total to £3500. Of that, £875 covers the materials, £2450 covers the labour costs, and £175 is for waste removal.

Time Frames and Labour Costs

Average costs for materials involved in block paving installation is often around £50-£100 for every square metre. This could change though depending on how big your driveway is and which specific materials you’d prefer to use, and if there are complex patterns on your driveway, or if there are extras including steps, drainage or edging. If you have a driveway with manholes or if you wish to add a kerb, then expect the costs to increase as well.

Most driveway specialists would likely subject you to a £150-£200 daily charge. However, it is common for labourers to work as a team so have this factored into the actual price as well. It could take between four and five days for a typical driveway to get constructed, depending on how big or small it is. The job will usually involve removing whatever existing contents are in your driveway, get the foundations prepped up, have the matting put in place to make sure that weeds won’t be growing, then the paving gets blocked.

Materials for Block Paving

There are different types of paving materials out there, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. At the end of the day, it all boils down to your preference, your budget, and how you’d expect the driveway to look like once the block paving is completed.


Perhaps the most affordable, it only costs between 2- to 60 per square metre. Manufactured from crushed stone, cement and sand, it is known for its straight edges which make it easier to get patterns achieved. It does have a tendency to lose its colour over time so a protectant is in order. It also needs to get cleaned regularly of lichen and algae. Also, it can get stained with oil so it does require a bit of maintenance.


A bit pricier compared to concrete at £70 to £100 per square metre, what’s good with this material is they keep their colour well and won’t end up looking faded over time. They are visually stunning too and have a natural stain resistant property. It doesn’t matter how bad the weather gets where you are too, thanks to their anti-slip properties. They do have a rather limited debt and are often more difficult to cut which means they aren’t ideal when patterns are involved. But if you’re looking for an eco-friendly, natural and more sustainably produced, clay is the way to go.

Natural Stone

The most expensive out of the block paving materials out there, they have a per square metre cost of £50 to £105. Naturally sourced, they are usually quarried or mined. You have the option to go for limestone, granite, sandstone and slate. They don’t discolour or fade over time and they are known for their long-lasting properties. They require low maintenance and are also resistant to frost.

What the Job Entails

When getting your driveway installed, it’s important to get all of the water pipes, drainage, electric cables, and gas located beforehand to avoid any issues when digging the drive. Planning will be taken into consideration too. If you’re getting rainwater diverted onto the street from your property, planning permission is necessary.

After planning has been sorted, digging out the existing driveway can start. All the waste materials need to be removed too. The soakaways will then be laid with drainage. A membrane gets laid out next along with a hardcore of about 150mm which will then be compacted using a whacker. Sharp sand of about 40mm gets laid down next. Once completed, the paving blocks get laid next, and if there are steps needed, they can then be built towards your front door. If there are any gaps, sand that is kiln-dried will be utilized.

Block Paving Cost Factors

There are several cost factors to look into when installing block paving especially when your budget is tight.

The condition of the ground where you expect to place the new driveway on will have to be the biggest determining factor of it all. If you need the old drive removed or have the foundation dug out of the garden, a skip hire will be needed which could cost £65 to £170. You’ll have to pay for labour costs as well which could take 3 days at £150 to £200 daily.

Driveways built over a garden might require a web membrane to avoid any growth later and this could cost 40-£100 per square metre. When determining which location is ideal for the drive, make sure to steer clear from manholes or drainage otherwise, an inspection will be required and that’s an added fee for you to cover. If you’re going DIY, specialist equipment will be needed including petrol or electric breaker and a jackhammer. Costs could be around £50 daily. If you have driveway specialists coming in, you won’t have to pay for tools as they already have their own to use.

If you’re living in London and other nearby areas, you’ll have to pay more compared to what you would if you’re in the west or north of the country due to higher living costs which affect overall labour cost.

Can I DIY Block Paving?

It’s always best to hire experienced qualified labourers to lay down your block paving. Still, if you have some DIY knowledge, it may be possible to get the block paving laid out yourself. Just make sure to have a design and sketch of the driveway you want before laying out eh blocks. Include the specific dimensions as well to ensure that you can order the specific amount of materials needed.

To complete the job, make sure to have the following tools too:

  • Shovel/spade
  • Rake
  • Broom
  • Tape measure
  • Spirit level
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Mallet
  • Pegs
  • String
  • Cement mixer
  • Screed rails
  • Box Splitter/stone saw
  • Compacting tool

You can hire a cement mixer form many of the tool shops in your local scene if you don’t own one. Among the materials you need are:

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

When buying materials, make it a point to get 10% more than what you have estimated to cover for contingencies. You’ll also need planning permission if the block you’re using blocks that won’t drain water.

After securing all the materials and tools you need, along with the planning permission, start by marking out the area where you’ll be laying the drive on. Use the pegs and string to do so. Dig the area out using a spade until you reach a minimum depth of 150mm right below your house’s damp course. For larger areas, a mini-digger or mini-excavator can come in handy. Hiring one would cost about £200 per day although it is generally more expensive on weekends at £300 daily. You’ll also need a gradual slope to get dug out if the land is flat to make sure that water is drained.

You’ll also need edge restraints before putting the paving blocks in. This helps frame and hold the block together. For the foundations, create a 1:6 mixture of cement and ballast to make a 100mm thick foundation. Use the string and have it fixed on the specific height that you’d prefer the paving to get finished. Proceed with mixing the concrete and apply about 25mm under this line. Use a mallet to tap the edging and use a spirit level to ensure that everything is even. Once the edging has been successfully fitted, haunch it by pouring concrete along the outside of your edging and above halfway up your blocks.

Lay the hardcore next to ensure that there is proper paving support. It has to at least be 100mm thick. Just place the hardcore in a layer about 75mm thick and have it flattened using a compacting plate. You can hire one for £20 to £50 daily. Add another layer of the hardcore at the same 75mm thickness and flatten it again. The hardcore needs to be flattened at least five times to ensure that everything is indeed even. This helps ensure that there will be o sinking or sagging.

You’ll need to add the sand next, which is used as a filler. Any space between the paving line and the hardcore that has gaps should be filled with sand. A 50mm layer of sharp sand, that has been dampened, is needed for this purpose. To test for correct dampness level, make a ball and if it breaks, then you need more water. Use the compactor again once sand gets applied to ensure that everything is indeed even.

The paving is laid next. Start from the corner bottom of the slope. You can also start from a border that has a straight edge. Make sure to get the bricks laid out individually and ensure that they’re properly level with the previous bricks. Make sure too that they are sitting at around 10mm to 15mm above the paving string line. Once this is done, use kiln-dried sand and a brush and use the paving brush to spread the sand into the joints. Compact the sand and the paving and redo this until every joint has been properly filled.

Adding Block Paving to Existing Drives

Block paving can be laid over existing driveways, even tarmac and concrete ones. Just make sure that the current driveway is even before starting. See to it that there aren’t chips, holes, or large cracks in it as well. When it’s in a rather bad state, it is best to just dig it up and start anew.

If you choose to pave an existing drive, expect that the new drive is going to be about 980mm higher than the previous one. This might cause problems including doors, especially if it happens to connect to your home. Drainage issues might also be another factor you must contend with to make sure that it is sloped to avoid pudding or flooding. Also, concrete doesn’t really allow movements so the new driveway has the tendency to crack and undulate.

You do save on costs when you choose to just pave over an already existing driveway. For instance, you won’t have to hire a skip so that’s about £655 to £170 on savings and you won’t need to hire for the removal labour as well, which could save you between £150 and £800.

Can a Block Paved Drive Improve My Property’s Value?

The installation of a block paved drive can improve the overall aesthetics of your home. Since it comes with a wide range of materials and colours, it can be tailored to suit the current design, look and appearance of your home. It is also ideal in creating off-road parking that is safe which makes it a huge advantage to the value and appeal of your home.

Updating your existing driveway or having a block paved one installed is time-productive and cost-efficient if your goal is to increase property value by around 2% to 10%. Factors like drive size, location, quality, and how good it matches the rest of your property and surrounding areas will come into play.

Preventing Sinkage

One of the most common issues people have with driveway installation is sinkage as a result of sub-bases that weren’t appropriately prepared. This is often common among builders that just cut costs and corners in a bid to save money. Putting a thin hardcore layer and then covering it with sand may look alright at first glance but can lead to problems later on. Many surfaces have sunk as a result especially when exposed to the considerable weight of a car. Gaps can also move as a result which would lead to weed growing out.

There have been thousands of horror stories of people hoping to get a bargain with driveway installation costs only to find out later that they were signing up for more trouble than they could handle. Paying for a reputable builder is always the prudent way to go. Sure, you’re going to have to spend more but the resulting job is going to be worth every penny you spend.

Permeable Paving and SuDS

Sustainable Drainage System or SuDS is an organic draining method that aims to avoid flooding and water pollution in areas that are built-up. They keep runoff water back from any area whilst also breaking any pollutant using a natural process. Among the many advantages of this method includes:

  • Decreased flood risk by slowing down surface water.
  • Prevention of water pollution.
  • Decreased sewer flooding hazards despite heavy rains.
  • Can serve as a beneficial wildlife habitat for built-up areas.
  • Groundwater regeneration which is helpful for preventing droughts.

SuDS Methods

  • Green roofs or roofs that are covered with vegetation
  • Permeable surfaces
  • Detention basins
  • Infiltration trenches
  • Shallow ditches for drainage or swales

Paving that is SuDS-compliant can be used to help direct water to your SuDS. This allows the natural drainage of water back to the ground instead of causing it to flood impermeable materials or polluting water in the process. For permeable and SuDs-compliant materials, expect to pay around £30 to £60 per square metre.

Block Paving Durability

Block paving is known for its durability and most retailers will even offer 9 to 12 years guarantees. When maintained properly they can last longer to 25 years. They are also resilient against oil, chemicals, and frost and they will also prevent driveway stains.

Do note that there are certain differences between natural stone, concrete and clay that can have an effect on the drive’s overall durability. Natural stone and clay bricks won’t fade, concrete does eventually so they will need to be duly treated. Oil can also stain concrete paving sometimes if not cleaned as soon as possible.

Repairing Block Paved Driveways

Incorrectly laid paving can become uneven over time. A problem like this should be easily fixed without the need for major work. You just have to lift the area where the uneven bricks are and re-lay them. You can do this DIY or you can hire an expert to do it for you at £150 to £200 daily rate. It may take up to two days to complete the job.

In restoring the paving, decide first which areas require re-lifting and relaying. You can use spirit level for better accuracy. Just place your spirit level along the paving. Then look underneath to determine which of the blocks aren’t even. Use chalk to get the area marked. Lift the blocks next by removing the sand and loosening the blocks in the process. A specialist paver can also be tasked to do the job although they can be quite pricey at £50 to £100 rate. An alternative is to use stone saws so you can cut along the brick joints. Then a leaf blower can be used to get rid of the sand. A chisel and a hammer can also be used to break apart those rather difficult to remove bricks.

After all the bricks have been removed, clean them individually before re-laying them. A brush can be used to get any of the excess sand removed. This can help the process by ensuring that the brick can be packed tightly together and also ensuring that they will fit in place.

You’ll also have to get the sand layers and the sub-base checked and ensure that the hardcore layer is at least 50mm thick, otherwise, you’ll have to start again. If the hardcore level is in the right thickness, just make sure that sharp sand is added to certain areas where the bricks need to be higher to get everything on the right level. Only then can you proceed with re-laying the bricks. A rubber mallet can be used to help get the paving into place. Use a compactor three times or more over the re-laid areas.

You’ll also need to re-apply the kiln-dried sand over the areas with the re-lain blocks. Just use a broom to get the task done. Any excess sand should be swept away and then have a compactor go over the entire area once again.

Cleaning and Maintenance of Block Paving

Your block paving can last longer if you take the time to get it maintained and cleaned on a regular basis. It is also helpful at keeping its colour. A yearly cleaning during the spring months will often do the trick.

  • Scrub and wash the paving with detergent, water and broom to make sure that grimes are properly removed.
  • You can also use a power washer on a 30-degree angle and at medium pressure to do the job.
  • Add a weed preventer along the joints to prevent any weed from growing out.
  • Make sure that the cleaning products are properly rinsed afterwards.

If there are stains on the drive, the method used would have to depend on the specific stain type you are dealing with.

Grease and oil stains

  • Get as much of the grease and oil stains off the moment it happens since they can be hard to get rid of if you leave them on for a long time before cleaning them up.
  • Paper towels, cloth or other absorbent materials can be used for this purpose.
  • Avoid rubbing the stain. Soak it up instead. Rubbing will only spread the stain or push it deeper onto the surface.
  • If the stain doesn’t get removed, detergent can be used along with warm water and just scrub it away.
  • Emulsifying degreasers could also work.

Cement and mortar stains

  • A mortar remover can be used to get rid of light stains that have already dried up on the paving. Warm and soapy water may also be used to scrape it gently off the surface.

Moss, algae, and lichen stains

  • Dense plants along the surface should be scrubbed off and thrown away.
  • Moss or weed killers can also be used for this purpose. Just follow the instructions on the packaging on how to apply it properly.
  • Expect to repeat the process several times in order to get the best results.

Paint Stains

  • An absorbent cloth can be used to clean off paint that has just freshly spilt. Remember to just soak the paint up and not rub it or it will just spread.
  • Use detergent and warm water to wash the area.
  • You’ll need to have dried paint scraped off and then cleaned up with a paint removing solution.

Rust Stains

Start by finding the root of the problem and treat it before cleaning the stains off.

  • Get the stained spot wet.
  • Use a hydrochloric solution at 10% to get rid of the stain.
  • For concrete paving, just follow the instructions listed by the manufacturer since the acid can damage the concrete if you’re not careful.

Scuffs and tyre marks

  • Tyre marks should just disappear on their own over time. However, for persistent ones, you can always use hot water and detergent to scrub it down.
  • You can easily remove scuffs and tyre marks by using a power washer.

For maintenance needs, just re-point or re-sand the joints where needed. This may be something you have to do right after the paving has been laid due to the porous nature of the sand. It is also advised that the pavement is sealed with sealers so weeds will not be growing out of the joints. This also helps harden the sand and protect it against stains and harsh weather. Acrylic sealers will require redoing every 2 to 3 years. Water-based sealers need redoing every 3 to 5 years.

Block Paving Alternatives

If you’re not too keen on block paving, the following alternatives are available:

Resin Drive

The impressive aesthetics and long lifespan of resin drives have made them quite popular not only in residential but commercial settings as well. You have the choice to go for resin bonded or resin bound and there are loads of colours for you to choose from to match the style and look of your home. It isn’t expensive to fit too at only £35 to £60 for every square metre.

Concrete Drive

Low maintenance and hardwearing, concrete drives are also quite cheap with costs only amounting to £1800 on average. It can also be stained in a variety of colours. They do stain quite easily and they can also crack so make sure to take that into consideration when deciding whether to go for this material or not.

Gravel Drive

Driveways made from gravel have gained popularity over the years, thanks to their cheap and simple look. Despite that, they also tick the right aesthetic boxes. Installation is fast and quite straightforward too. What’s even better is that you can start using them right after getting them fitted. You’ll have a wide variety of colours and stone types to choose from too, making it quite a versatile material. Expect costs to run around £20 to £50 per square metre. Just note that it is one of those high maintenance driveways.

Asphalt Drive

Often referred to as tarmac drives, they are quite popular due to the cheap costs they are associated with at £40 to £65 for every square metre. They last long too, with about 20 years lifespan. They are quite hard wearing and won’t just crack despite harsh weather. Most people also love how professional and sleek they look.

Finishing Touches

After successfully updating the drive, a brand new driveway may be next on your agenda. Gates are a great addition not only for the security they provide but also for how they augment the exterior’s overall appearance. You can choose from the following materials:

  • uPVC
  • Wood
  • Aluminium
  • Iron
  • Steel

Finishing can be as cheap as £150 or expensive as £5000, depending on the automation, style, and size. You can also add gate piers at the drive’s front, which allows you to hang the gate. They can be purchased premade or tailored fit to suit your specifications. It could cost £500 to £2000, depending on how much you’re willing to spend.

A garden wall or a driveway is also something you might wish to add as well. Costs for building things from scratch could run between £800 and £1300, depending on the bricks you decide on as well as the length of the wall. Completing the job could take 2 to 4 days.

Block Paving Removal

If your driveway looks outdated, it makes sense to get it completely removed and have a new one installed instead. You will also need to get the driveway removed if it was laid incorrectly. Digging up a driveway completely can take up to 2 days. Expect labourers to charge £150 to £200 a day

Choosing Qualified Specialists

Always look for the best paving experts to ensure that your drive is paid properly. If not done right, you can have an uneven sink which means it will need to be re-laid which will only cost you more money as a result. To help you find the best paving experts, consider the following tips:

  • Check their qualifications, experience, and certifications.
  • Find out how they intend to carry out the job.
  • If you aren’t at ease with them, avoid hiring them.
  • Make sure the quotes you’re getting cover all the costs involved and decide the payment plan for the project.
  • Find out if they’re up-to-date with planning permissions —they should be!
  • See if they have follow-ups once the project is completed— they should!

These suggestions and tips will ensure that at the end of the day, you only have the right experts to work on your block paving installation. This also ensures you’ll know what things to consider when looking at a number of prospects.