Paving blocks can be used to re-design your garden or driveway, or as a way of levelling out your garden with a brand new patio – but whatever you plan on using it for, you should look at block paving prices first.
Block paving first became popular in the 1980s, but back then there was a very limited choice of styles and colours. Simple designs and a few different colours were as exciting as it got! However, since the market for block paved driveways and patios has grown and the manufacturing industry has advanced, so too have the options.
Are you sick of trying to look after your messy, cluttered garden? Would you rather install a tidy paved driveway where you’re not likely to trip over any loose stones or shrubbery? Well, block-paving can be a great way to rejuvenate your back-garden or front driveway – but why invest in block paving? And how much does block paving cost?
On this page
- Block Paving Cost
- Block paving cost per m2
- Example Block Paving Project
- Excavation Cost Breakdown
- Disposal of Soil Cost Breakdown
- Geotextile Membrane Cost Break Down
- Sub-base Cost Breakdown
- Laying Course Cost Break Down
- Block Paving Cost Breakdown
- Benefits of Block Paving
- Paving Materials
- Types Of Blocks & Bricks
- What Is Involved In A Block Paving Job
- What is the duration?
- Laying your patio
- Planning permission for paving projects
- Frequently Asked Questions
Block Paving Cost
Block paving cost is not as expensive as you might think. Block paving prices obviously will vary according to the size, the materials, the workdays required, and your location in the United Kingdom. You should expect to pay from £4,500 to £8,500.
If you’re not fussy about the aesthetic look or overall design for your garden, you can also find clearance paving slabs from a range of paving contractors/companies who will put together a brand new patio for you out of leftover materials – and at half the price of usual paving prices!
Block paving cost per m2
According to our research, on average you should expect to pay between £75- £100 per square metre for typical CBP (Clay Block Paving) construction work. The labour work alone costs from £35- £45 per square metre. The block paving cost can vary depending on your location, the company or professional you will hire and the quality of the pavers you will choose.
Example Block Paving Project
So for example, for a standard 45m2 driveway expect to pay from £4,500. if you live in London the cost will be probably higher at around £4,500 to £5,000. in the South, South West, and Midlands and in the outer regions the cost is lower so expect to pay around £3,500 to £4,000.
The bigger the area that you are having paved the lower the cost per square metre. Even though labour cost is quite high, materials make a large chunk too.
Block Paving, area 45m2:
- Excavate 245mm reduced levels by machine
- Leveling and compacting bottoms of excavations with a vibrating plate
- Disposal of soil off-site
- Installing geotextile membrane
- Backfilling to make up levels with hardcore obtained off-site, hardcore thickness: 150mm
- Sand or quarry dust blinding spread and levelled over hardcore
- Levelling and compacting fill and blinding with a vibrating plate
- 50mm paving blocks laid on sand bed, pointed with coarse sand and compacting with vibrating plate
- Marshalls Standard Concrete Block Paving Brindle 200 x 100 x 50mm
Excavation Cost Breakdown
The total cost of excavation for block paving 45m2 comes to £707. During this phase of the project, most of the budget is used for hiring an excavation machine and an excavator.
|Excavate reduced levels by machine|
|Levelling and compacting bottoms of excavations|
Delivery, collection and running cost
Levelling and compacting
Levelling and compacting is the first stage of the excavation project, which costs in total approximately £707 for 45 m2. The levelling cost starts from £2 per square meter.
Reduced level excavation
The cost of reduced levels of excavation by machine starts from £35 per cubic meter and 11 m3 will cost £391.39.
Depending on the size of the excavator that you will hire, expect to pay from £26 to £67 per day.
Disposal of Soil Cost Breakdown
The total cost of disposing of the soil comes to £689.4 for 45 m2. The cost of load soil to skip by hand comes to £227 and hiring an 8-yard skip 3.6m(L) x 1.7(W) x 1.2(H) comes to £673 for nearly 3 days. The cost to hire the same skip for a day comes to £237.
|Load soil to skip by hand||£227.62|
|8 Yard Skip 3.6m(L) x 1.7(W) x 1.2(H)||£673.20|
Geotextile Membrane Cost Break Down
The total cost to install the geotextile membrane for 45m2 comes to £93. The cost of the material is £53 (allowing 7% for wastage) for labour you will have to pay £39. Laying membrane costs around £2 per square meter.
|Laying Geotextile Membrane||£39.60|
|4TRADE Heavy Duty Landscape Fabric 2m x 25m*||£53.82|
There is a wide range of geotextile membranes to choose from such as i) Weed Control Landscape Fabric ii) Apollo Heavy Duty Fabric iii) Wrekin Woven Geotextile Fastrack and Wrekin Black Geotextile Fastrack. The prices for Geotextile membranes, the prices range from £21 per roll.
Sub-base Cost Breakdown
The cost of laying a sub-base for 45m2 comes to £974. The bulk bags take up most of the budget (62.5%). Labour work only takes 37.5% of the total budget.
|MOT Type 1 Sub-base Bulk Bag||£608.54 (5% wastage)|
|Fill to make up levels by hand||£45.00|
|Spreading and levelling fill||£35.64|
Cost of sub-base bulk bugs
Each sub-base bulk bag costs around £38. There are other types of bulk bags to choose from that could reduce the sub-base overall cost by 10%. (MOT Type 1 Sub-base Loose 4t Tipper, MOT Type 1 Sub-base Loose 10t Load, the MOT Type 1 Sub-base Loose 20t Load).
Laying Course Cost Break Down
The laying course plays a very important role in concrete block paving. Sand takes most of the budget costing £161.30 in total for 4.3 bags (£38 per bag). All labour costs come to 166.52 (compacting fill, spreading and levelling fill, fill to make up level by hand).
|Sharp Sand Bulk Bag||£161.30|
|Spreading and levelling fill||£35.64|
|Fill to make up levels by hand||£85.88|
Block Paving Cost Breakdown
During this phase, 67% of the budget is consumed by the labour required to lay and compact the pavers. The rest of the budget is used for pavers and sand. The total cost for block paving 45 m2 comes to £1.953.
|Kiln Dried Paving Sand 20kg bag||£47.15|
|Concrete Block Paving 200 x 100 x 50mm||£594.00|
|Laying and compacting block paving||£1,312.50|
* The cost of dried paving sand comes to £4.90 per bag. The cost of each concrete block paver comes to £0,26.
*No matter where you live in the UK, expect to pay between £2,000 and £2,500 for materials for a 50m² area.
A PIECE OF ADVICE ON REQUESTING JOB ESTIMATES
Undoubtedly, if you request job estimates from many paving companies/contractors, you will receive cheap paving quotes from several cowboy firms that are trying to cut corners to get the job and make a quick profit. You should always be very careful before you choose the labourer that you will hire, as the cheapest quote is rarely the best one. Furthermore, if you already know a trusted and true professional block paver do not waste time requesting quotes from many companies as you will probably end up paying more.
Benefits of Block Paving
There are several reasons why block paving can be the perfect remedy for your dull or outdated home exterior, including the following:
- Brick or block paving can be used as paths, patios and to build great looking driveways.
- Block paving is a better option than concrete, traditional asphalt, macadam surfacing, and plain concrete.
- It can be used in areas of exceptional loads.
- New paving enables you to clear your garden of rubbish and clutter and provides a neat, easy-to-use space where you can entertain guests and relatives.
- Clean and relatively maintenance-free. Just an occasional sweep or hose down and you have it looking as good as new!
- Extremely versatile – it is great for a garden patio, but it can also be used for pathways, rockeries, and driveways.
- This is the cheapest type of paving material and the most common option for driveways.
- It comes in a range of colors, shapes, and finishes.
- Very durable and has a low maintenance cost.
- Easy to install.
- Blocks are often referred to as “CBP” – Concrete Block Paving
- Several manufacturers produce their own versions of concrete slabs (shapes, colours, textures).
- Most rectangular blocks come in the start size of 100mm x 200mm x 50-100mm.
- 50 block unites can pave one square metre.
- Several concrete blocks can be used from both sides.
- The colouring in concrete blogs is achieved by using concrete dyes or metallic oxides.
- Coloured concrete blocks fade over time.
- The higher the price of the concrete block, the better the dye that was used to colour it, and the longer it will take to fade.
Clay Paving (Clay Pavers)
- Clay is a very common material that is also used to produce household goods.
- Clay slabs are fired in a kiln at the very high temperatures, unlike concrete slabs that are produced by mixing cement with sand and stone.
- Clay can be mixed with other materials, color pigments, and gravels to create a different texture.
- Clay blocks are very tough, hardwearing, and also have natural anti-slip properties.
- Clay block paving does not disintegrate, so there is no need for any sealer to protect the slabs.
- Clay units are significantly more expensive to buy then concrete units. Expect the price to be as 100% more expensive per square meter.
- Clay block units are difficult to find, as there is not always a big stock in local stores.
- Clay slabs are difficult to cut, so it will not be easy to replace individual clay paving.
- Clay blocks make an excellent option for driveways and patios.
Natural Stone Paving
- There is a wide range of British and imported versions of sandstone, limestone, marble, granite.
- Stone’s natural textures can be improved to suit any taste, whether you opt for tumbled flags to soften a huge expanse of paving.
- Natural stone paving offers great durability, so is perfect for the wear and tear that a garden.
- Unlike many of the man-made products on the market, it is less likely to fade with age and the weathering.
- Many people covet the weathered look and choose to use reclaimed stone in their garden, to give it an authentic feel without having to wait.
- The downside to choosing natural stone is the very expensive cost incurred.
Types Of Blocks & Bricks
- Bricks and blocks thickness can range from 40mm to 100mm.
- There are even 120mm but they are difficult to find and are mostly used for exceptional cases.
- The 50mm and 60mm are most suitable for the domestic environment.
- The 40mm units are difficult to find, they break easily during the compaction phase.
- The 80mm blocks are very versatile and most suitable for road construction or vehicle overrun.
- The 100mm thick units are meant for heavy-duty pavements (freight yards, ports, and airports).
What Is Involved In A Block Paving Job
Outlined below is a simple 10-step process explaining the basics principles guiding block paving. You can use the information to determine how much work your project requires.
Marking-out.With the use of string lines or spray markers, indicate the particular area you want to pave. A construction plan is recommended for bigger projects. The marked area has to be dug out, and you might want to think about hiring machinery like an excavator or a digger in the case of a large driveway. A breaking hammer machine is needed to break up existing concrete and skips to get rid of surplus soil. Give an allowance of 200-250mm below the recommended paving level.
Sub-Base. Hardcore or scalping stone will be needed to scatter, level out, and compress a sub-base. The thickness must be 100mm at the least. Make sure it occupies any empty space and matches the recommended paving profile. It is advisable to use a geomembrane on top.
Edging Stones. To keep the blocks for your block paving from falling out of place, a restraining edge is required. You can either lay the edging stones yourself, or you use an existing one. By preference, they must be held within 75mm of concrete.
Laying Course. Scatter and level course sand before you compress it with a vibration plate. Spread and level course sand, then compact using a vibration plate. Screen your blocks so they can have a solid base. The smoothness is of great importance, and the proposed level of paving must be matched. A thickness of 25-40mm is ideal.
Laying the Blocks. As the bricks settle into the sand, be sure to press each of them close Small joints in-between the bricks will be created by spacing burs as they are led square.
Alignment and Cutting in. Make sure that the blocks are well aligned with the use of a string line. Lay the bricks with overlapping joints and use a disk cutter to cut the final blocks such that they fit perfectly.
Final touches. Existing gully covers and recess trays must fit as needed.
- Use a brush to scatter Kiln dried jointing sand across the whole block paving.
- Make sure the sand gets into all the joints. Without removing the excess sand, begin to vibrate the whole area for 10 minutes. The whole area must be covered evenly.
- Pour more jointing sand over all joints and vibrate the blocks again for 10minutes. Continue to do this until all the joints are totally filled with sand.
What is the duration?
We are going to assume that you would be employing the services of a team of professionals to handle a 55m2 driveway. Workers with adequate experience can complete block paving it in 4-5 days.
The first day will require the service of a group of labourers to finish the inceptive groundwork. Earmuffs might be needed because it would be very noisy when cement breaking machines and diggers are in use.
Only 1-2 skilled workers might be needed to make the surface ready and pave it in the days that follow. Vibrating-plate machines, which might cause a little disorder will be used to level and compress the surface.
Laying your patio
A well-laid patio sits on a sub-base which is traditionally made of broken brick, stone, or a concrete mix called hardcore which is compacted and levelled out. A layer of mortar or sand is then applied to cement in paving, leaving a small gap between the joins which is filled in with mortar or sand afterward. “For patios and paths we use a laying system of hardcore base, concrete and then the slab,” Luke says.
It is a good idea to hire a qualified paver or patio installation company as they will ensure proper fitting with a slope of 1:80 to aid drainage and will not breach the damp proofing course. Rob advises: “You should always hire a professional to install any kind of hard landscaping if you choose to do it yourself and it goes wrong it will soon start to lift.”
Planning permission for paving projects
If you live in a listed building, you may need to apply for planning permission when planning any kind of paving. Otherwise, when installing a patio, you won’t need permission as long as you’re not making significant embanking work.
For driveways of more than five square meters in size, you must make sure that you either use a permeable material like gravel, concrete, or natural stone which absorbs water or slope the driveway to provide an effective runoff.
To satisfy building regulations when paving, don’t make access to the home more difficult, for example by adding steps where there were none previously. Always make sure that paving work does not breach your home’s damp proof course
Frequently Asked Questions
Paving blocks can be installed on the top of concrete without using mortar, provided that you first lay down 1/2″ to 1” bed of coarse sand. You should also make sure that your concrete is properly sloped and does not puddle.This process is similar to laying a paver patio over ground.
You can easily turn over and reuse old paving blocks to relay block paving if you have some basic knowledge. If you remove and clean properly the old pavers there is no trace left that they have been reused.
Yes, they can. However, you should always begin laying the blocks from the bottom of the slope from the right angle on the top of the laying course, around 45mm above the desired level.
The most suitable sand for filling in the block paving joints is the kiln-dried sand. It is very fine sand that has been dried in a klink to remove all the water.
Sanding is done after all the blocks have been laid in order to seal the joints. However, before you start brushing the sand into the joists make sure that you have cleaned them well first.
The choice comes down to concrete or clay, and both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Concrete block paving is cheap, durable, available in many different shapes and colours. However, the colour fades over time. It lasts about 20 years.
Clay block paving is very hard-wearing, comes in many different patterns, and colours do not fade. However, it is more expensive, prone to moss growth, and harder to cut.
The colour of your driveway is quite important and you will want it to blend in with your house and the rest of its surroundings. There is no definitive guide to choosing a good colour scheme, as it will vary from driveway to driveway. Think about the immediate surroundings and try to blend colours naturally.
Again, consider your surroundings. If you live in a rural setting in, say, an 18th century cottage than a modern, chamfered block paved driveway would probably look a tad bizarre. For a driveway to fit in not only with the house but its surroundings too, spare a little thought about what style of paving you go for. Blocks and bricks can be placed into the following four style categories: I) standard rectangular ii) tumbled iii) decorative iv) special applications.
Manufactures of paving for the homeowner, architect, engineer, and paving contractors in Ireland and the UK.
Blanc De Bierges
Bespoke paving, landscape, and architectural manufacturers. Blanc de Bierges sounds like a paving company from Europe and not the UK. But you would be surprised to find that they are based in Derby.
Chelmer Valley Brick Company Ltd
Specialist family-run manufacturer of beautiful clay block paving.
Commercial paving company. Manufacturers of block paving, concrete slabs, and drainage. Charcon is part of the Aggregate Industries group of companies.