Why Block Paving Is A Popular Choice
Block Paving has become an extremely popular option when considering home improvement strategies. Block Paving can be used anywhere. They look great on driveways and are durable and so last for a long time. They are also great for patios, paths or can be mixed with other paving types to create a unique outcome.
Block pavers are traditionally made from stone, clay, or concrete. Stone and clay blocks are resilient and look nice compared to concrete. It has become popular as mass production techniques have reduced the overall prices of the manufactured blocks to a reasonable level and made this paving type more affordable for various projects. With improved production techniques, small units are available, and this has created endless design possibilities which means that anything can be constructed using block or brick paving – estate roads, airport taxiways etc.
There are mainly two basic types of block paving – the moulded concrete blocks and clay bricks. Both come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colour, texture, and thickness. For domestic use, the 50mm units are most suitable. It is quite common to see a variety of block pavers in different colours or styles used in various residential areas.
Benefits of Block Paving
As block paving can either be moulded from concrete or clay, they are easier to access and are therefore found in major builders’ merchants, home improvements stores and garden centres. With improved mass production techniques, the cost of block paving has been falling over the years which has made them exceedingly popular in the residential sector.
As highlighted, block paving can be used for a variety of purposes in the residential and commercial space. In residential properties, they are used for driveway paving, patios, and paths in landscaped areas around the home. As they come in various shapes, sizes, and colours they can be adapted in various ways to give a different look and feel to the property. There are enough varieties if you want a flamboyant look or if you prefer a more conservative feel.
Easy to install
Although always best to be installed by a professional paving contractor, block paving is easier to install compared to tarmac or asphalt paving. It is durable and has a lower maintenance threshold. If you get tired or bored with them, they are relatively easy to lift and replace with something else.
As you would see in the next section, block paving costs have come down and they are relatively cheap to buy compared to other driveway paving options. Improved manufacturing processes means they can be produced in mass and this means they are cheaper to purchase.
Cost of block paving
The cost of block paving for a driveway, patio or path will depend largely on the size of the area you want to cover. In addition, the location involved and other construction costs that may arise if an excavation is required or ground needs to be prepared before laying block paving. It is important that all the costs are factored in when planning as some of the advertised costs are to attract professional ground workers or paving contractors rather than the end user.
According to recent studies, the average estimated cost to lay 50 sqm block paving driveway will range between £3,500 in cheaper areas up to £5,000 in the more expensive areas. The cost per unit improves as the size of the area goes up. For instance, below 40 sqm the unit cost is estimated at £100/sqm, between 40 and 100 sqm it is £85/sqm and over 100 sqm it is £75/sqm. With improved manufacturing, block paving costs are between £3 – 6 per sqm more than plain flags/slabs when laid to a domestic driveway.
Additional Materials and Costs
When considering block paving for your driveway or patio, it is important to factor in all the other related costs to be incurred to complete the project. If you are replacing an old block paving driveway or patio or your driveway has a completely different material, then you should consider the following:
Ground Preparation: Depending on the previous material used for the driveway or patio, the ground must be prepared for the blocks to be laid. This means some work will go into ground preparation. For instance, if an asphalt driveway is being replaced with block paving then all elements of the asphalt driveway need to be removed from the site.
Excavation: Following ground preparation, the unwanted elements that have been stripped out need to be removed from the site and disposed. Preferably we advise that you hire a skip and all unwanted and waste material is disposed there. There are several skip hire companies that can arrange to drop a skip at your site and dispose of the materials in the skip when you’re done. You need to pay for a skip permit with the council.
Drainage: One common feature that can happen when block paving is not done properly is pockets of water collecting on the surface of the driveway or patio. Therefore, you should engage block paving experts for your project as they would make provision for proper drainage so all surface water can be collected and channelled accordingly.
You will need to factor in other inputs including hardcore which forms the base where the blocks are laid, sharp sand, blocks and edgings, kiln dried sand to fill the joints between each block and weed membrane which is laid under the hardcore and prevents any weeds from growing up.
In summary, there are loads of reasons why block paving has become popular for driveways and patios in UK residences. They are versatile, sustainable, durable, low maintenance and visually appealing. In addition, they are reasonably priced which means affordable for many.