Summary: How much does block paving cost, average block paving installation costs and average cost of block paving materials.
Block paving is a popular choice for driveways, paths and patios as it is very neat and provides a professional looking surface for many years. However, it can be considerably more expensive than a simple tarmac solution, albeit it can still provide good value because of its longevity, if laid properly. It is its looks and lifespan that have seen it grow rapidly in popularity in recent years. This increase in popularity has also allowed costs to become more competitive.
|Block paving (Labour & materials) |
|£45 – £80 (m²)||2019||n/a|
Factors to consider
Costs will, to a large extent, be influenced by the area to be covered so they need to be considered in terms of the relative cost to other materials rather than absolute cost. One of the major considerations is whether you are going to lay them yourself or engage a professional. Clearly DIY is the cheapest option but laying block paving to achieve a long lasting result requires quite a high level of skill. So in the long run it may be better value to use a specialist. If you are carrying out the work yourself it may be necessary to purchase a larger quantity of blocks to allow for wastage and errors.
One of the most important factors before the work is carried out is whether the area to be covered has been properly drained and prepared. This preparation work is necessary before any sort of driveway is laid and it will necessarily add cost to the job. Block paving will not allow any water through if laid correctly so it is vital that there is a runoff of any surplus water. The complexity of the job will dictate costs too so if you have a complicated network of drains, man hole covers and changing levels it will cost you more.
Since October 2008 it has been a legal requirement to obtain planning permission if you want to pave over your front garden. If the surface to be covered is more than five square metres then you will need planning permission for block paving. This is the case regardless of whether it is a new or replacement driveway. Planning permission attracts a small cost but can add considerably to the length of project time as it can take up to 8 weeks to obtain.
Costs to consider
One of the advantages of block paving is that because the blocks are fairly small and usually come in a range of sizes it can be used in areas of almost any size. They also come in a variety of shapes and colours. The number of option is almost endless and this will be a key factor in terms of cost. There are traditional ways of laying designs such as in a herringbone pattern but the complexity of your design can also carry a cost. You do not have to stick to a single colour or shape it is common to vary the edging colour for example.
If you are using a specialist tradesman it is sensible to get a number of quotes for the job to ensure you get the finish and price that is best for you. Make sure you know what materials each tradesman is working with as block paving comes in a range of qualities and consequently prices. Furthermore it is not just the cost of the blocks that you have to consider but also the base materials and the sand for bedding and jointing the blocks.
Prices do vary considerably and this can be a regional issue as well as due to variation in cost of materials. It will also be the case generally that the larger the space to be paved the better price you should get on a price per square metre basis. It may also be that costs vary by time of year. In the height of summer when the weather is best specialist traders will be at their busiest so you may find that prices are at a premium. If you choose a time when things are quiet there are more likely to be special offers and deals available.
Costs will need to take into account how much preparation work will be required. This could include things such as digging up existing materials and disposing of them. If a skip is required for example this can add considerably to the cost. Likewise, if carrying out the preparation work yourself, it may be necessary to hire a mini digger. A specialist tradesman will have all the tools required for the job but if this is a DIY project you may need to hire other specialist equipment such as a vibrating compactor and a block splitter.