Your Property Wizard

The Cost Of Block Paving

Block paving is touted for adding value to your property, making it a fairly obvious choice if you’re thinking about giving your driveway or back garden an overhaul, and getting rid of uneven ground or old paving.

Block paving is cost-effective and generally offers a good return on investment. Plus, block paving comes in a wide range of styles, colours, and shapes to suit almost any look.

However, there are some key things to look out for when hiring a professional to complete your project. In this article, we’ll cover:

  • How much block paving costs
  • What affects the cost of block paving
  • How you can save money on block paving
  • What type of block paving you should choose
  • What’s involved in laying block paving
  • How to find and hire someone.

If you’re considering upgrading your outdoor space and want block paving to take centre stage, keep reading to find out the most cost-effective hacks to keep payments low, and the quality high.


How Much Does Block Paving Cost?

Below is a table of estimated costs per square metre, based on the size of the area, as well as a rough breakdown for extra material costs:

Up to 40 square metres£100
40 to 100 square metres£85
100+ square metres£75

If your area is up to 40 square metres, your cost per square metre is likely to be close to £100. As costs go down with larger order quantities, for a space between 40 and 100 square metres, the per square metre price will lower to £85.

For something larger than 100 square metres, this will drop further to £75 per square metre.

Next, let’s take a look at the different types of materials you’ll need to complete the block paving job and their associated costs.

Blocks, edgings£950
Sharp Sand£150
Kiln dried sand£75
3 x skip hire£450
Additional supplies£350
Total (exc. labour)£2,075 (£38 per square metre)

When it comes to your blocks and edgings, the cost per square metre will be around £950. With so many styles and types available, you can cut this cost down considerably – it’s just a case of shopping around for what you want and what fits into your budget.

Sharp sand is £150, while kiln-dried sand is £75. Depending on the size of your project, you may need a number of skips to deal with your waste, so we’ve estimated that to be three skips, which will total £450.

Any additional supplies come in at £350, giving a total figure (without labour) of £2,075, which is around £38 per square metre.

As with most projects, these costs are open for negotiation – so once you know what you want and how much you’re willing to part with to get the job done, you can start the conversation with local tradesmen.

Are you ready to have block paving installed? HouseholdQuotes can help you find the right bricklayers.

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What Affects the Cost of Block Paving?

Several different factors might have an impact on the final cost of block paving. To give you a better idea of what to keep an eye out for when it comes to costs, we’ve taken a closer look at these factors below.

Your Choice of Material

There’s more than one type of block paving – meaning there’s more than one way of being cost-effective when choosing the best option for your area.

Concrete block paving (CBP) is the most popular choice for block paving, due to the variety of shapes, sizes and textures that make it easy to create almost any look or style when laid in specific patterns.

Natural stone is hardwearing, and gets better with age, offering great potential for return on investment when it comes to selling your property.

The Size of Area

The bigger the space, the higher your price will be for both labour and the cost of materials. This doesn’t need to deter you from getting block paving installed, but it is something to be aware of if trying to work to a budget.

The Paving Design

As with most floorings, there are plenty of designs and patterns to choose from to give a specific look or feel from your block paving. But, as you’d expect, with more complex laying patterns like herringbone or basket weave, they come in at a higher price than a simple design.

Similarly, choosing a rectangular or square shape versus an organic shape like a circle or oval will drive your price up, as pavers will have to trim every stone to fit the pattern, which leaves room for more potential damage to the stones if they chip or crack in the process – as well as more wastage.

Any Preparation Work

You may already have some existing paving where you want your new stones to be laid, which will need to be removed before the workmen can get started. If you’re able to, removing them yourself can considerably lower your overall cost as you won’t be paying skilled labourers to remove something you can potentially do by yourself.

However, if your land needs levelling or digging out, this will be something you need to outsource to a professional before your pavers come in.

Any Extra Materials

Preparing the sub-base for your paving is an extra cost to factor in, as it’s not just the price of the stones and labour you’ll have to contend with.

Typically, you’ll need a layer of soil, sub-base, sharp sand and then mortar before your paving slabs are laid, meaning quite a few extra materials are needed for the job. If you want to ensure the longevity and health of your paving, introducing an anti-weed membrane may also be something to consider.

Finally, if there’s existing paving to be removed, or ground to be levelled, it may be necessary to have a skip hired. If you’re able to remove the debris yourself and take it to a recycling centre, this is a way to reduce your costs on skip hire and removal.

If You Require Landscaping

If extensive work needs to be done to level the ground before you have your block paving laid, it may be necessary to enlist the help of a landscaper. This can become a considerable cost on top of all your materials and labour.

Anything you can do to help prepare the ground before a landscaper comes in can help to cut your costs as it’s less time for them to work on your project. Removing any rubble, large stones or other garden waste can help to save you precious hours of labour costs.

Your Location

Costs can vary depending on your geographical location – broadly speaking, London is far more expensive than that of the Midlands, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

London£4,500 to £5,000
South, South West and Midlands£4,000 to £4,500
Northern England & Scotland£3,500 to £3,750

How Can I Save Money on Block Paving?

Comparing quotes is a great way to potentially reduce the cost of your block paving project. HouseholdQuotes can help you get quotes from multiple bricklayers near you, so that you can find someone that suits your budget.

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Block paving requires patience, hard work, and it’s got to be done right the first time. If you’re feeling up to it, completing a block paving project yourself can be the way forward to eliminate labour costs.

There are a few factors to consider before you choose to do it yourself:

  • Confidence: are you experienced in DIY and comfortable with the time and effort required to complete the job?
  • Skill: have you performed similar work before, or operated similar machinery to what you’ll need to use for paving?
  • Time: simply put, can you spare the hours to complete this project?
  • Resources: do you already have the necessary tools and machinery, or are you willing to rent them?

If you’re new to laying block paving, it’s wise to start with a small area first or a simple path. This way, you can familiarise yourself with the process without getting in over your head.

It goes without saying, but doing the job yourself leaves you with no warranties or guarantees in place if something goes wrong. However, if you’re willing to take this risk and think you’re capable of completing it to a high standard, don’t let this deter you.

While you can make a large saving in labour costs by doing it yourself, the true cost of block paving will be your own time. It’s simply not a job that can be rushed; it’s a precision task that requires ample preparation.

The key to excellent block paving is thorough excavation, then prepping the surface to be solid and level. If the job is completed poorly, you may have dips where water collects, or have paving blocks working their way loose.

If you don’t feel like a DIY project is within your grasp, you can look to save money on the materials by seeking out reclaimed or surplus paving blocks from friends or neighbours who have had similar jobs completed recently.

Checking out online marketplaces is also great to find remnants of materials that were bought as contingency and never used, which will often sell for much lower than the RRP.

How Do I Know Which Type of Paving Is Right For Me?

In most cases, the material you’ll use for block paving will either be concrete or clay.

Most people tend to opt for concrete blocks thanks to the reduced costs, as well as ease of installation. However, clay blocks are far more hardwearing, and are encouraged for use by the Brick Development Association (BDA).

Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of particular types of block paving:

ConcreteCost-effective, available in a variety of shapes, textures and colourways, easy to install, lifespan of 20 yearsColoured concrete will fade over time, cracks can appear with age and repeated use
Natural StoneValue-adding material, durable, not as likely to fade in colour as other stones, easy to cleanMuch more expensive than other options, damages during laying are expensive to rectify
BrickEasy to get a uniform look across your ground, easy to install, largely slip-resistant due to the texture of the stoneCan break easily when being compacted, incorrectly installed sub-bases can cause the bricks to dip over time
ClayTough and hard-wearing, with a greater lifespan than other stonesProne to moss growth, fitting can be awkward making it not ideal for beginners, limited block depths
Composite ResinComposite resin is permeable, giving no puddles on the surface, a sustainable option, easy to install and cost-effectiveMoss growth is prevalent, which can make slip hazards, not many regulations on composite resin so a thorough background check on installers is needed

If you’re looking for the most cost-effective option for your block paving project, concrete is by far the cheapest option, being both available in many colours and easy to install, as well as having a lifespan of around 20 years.

For those with more budget available, natural stone is a great option as it adds value to your house’s value, being good for those looking to sell up and move on. Laying is far harder, though, and should only be done by professionals as errors can be expensive to fix.

Brick is a good option for those wanting a uniform look, but the bricks can break easily while being fitted which may mean you need more contingency laid out for this material.

Clay is hard-wearing, but is prone to moss growth – much like composite resin, which can make a slip hazard. Composite resin is a good sustainable option for those wanting an environmentally-friendly solution.

What’s Involved in Laying Block Paving?

Laying block paving is a time-consuming job, and whether you’re taking on the task yourself or enlisting the help of a professional, the following steps will need to be undertaken:

First, you’ll need to establish the exact area you want to pave using spray markers or string lines. For larger projects, it’s good to have a construction plan drafted.

If you need to dig out the entire area, consider hiring in machinery such as a digger or excavator for a large driveway, otherwise, existing concrete can be broken up using a breaking hammer machine.

Digging should allow for 200 to 250 millimetres below the proposed paving level, and you’ll need to hire skips to get rid of the excess soil.

You’ll need to spread, level out and compact a sub-base using hardcore or scalping stone.

A minimum of 100 millimetres thickness should be used, filling any voids and matching the proposed profile for paving. Using a geo-membrane on top is highly recommended.

A restraining edge for your block paving will help to keep the blocks in place. Use an existing kerb, or lay your own edging stones, ideally secured within 75 millimetres of concrete.

To lay the course for your paving, spread and level sand and then compact it down using a vibration plate. Screeding helps to create a solid base for your blocks, which must be smooth and match the intended level of the paving. This should be 25 to 40 millimetres thick.

Press each brick together closely as they bed into the sand. Spacing burs will form small joints between bricks as they are led square.

Check the alignment of the blocks using a string line. Bricks should be laid with overlapping joints, and cuts to fit the final blocks can be made using a disk cutter.

Fit any recess trays and gully covers as required.

Spread kiln-dried jointing sand over the entire block paving with a brush, then brush the sand down into every joint. Without sweeping the excess sand, begin vibrating the entire area for 10 minutes. Cover the entire area without concentrating heavily on any single area.

Repeat this cycle until every joint is filled with sand.

A good tip to note is to ensure any soft spots are fully excavated. These can then be backfilled with more sub-base material. It’s always preferable to dig a little deeper than to not dig enough.

In terms of the time spent, let’s consider you’re going to have a team of professionals undertake an average 55 metres squared driveway. Experienced workers can have it block paved within four to five days in total.

On the first day, they will use a small group of labourers to complete the initial groundwork. This is going to be quite a noisy day if they are using diggers and cement breaking machines.

The following days may only need one to two skilled workers to prepare the surface and lay the paving. To level and compact the surface they will use vibrating-plate machines that may be a little disruptive too.

How Do I Find and Hire a Bricklayer?

Finding the right bricklayer can be challenging. At HouseholdQuotes, we can connect you to bricklayers in your area.

Click the button below to tell us more about your project, and we’ll help you find someone quickly and easily:



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Depending on the scope of your project and your design wishes, you’ll need to decide on whether you need to hire a labourer, a general builder, or a paving specialist. You may also want to hire a landscaper to add beautiful flowers, shrubs, or new turf next to your new driveway or patio.

Seeking recommendations from friends, family and neighbours will help you to see your potential tradesman’s work in physical form. This is a great advantage as you can assess their work face-to-face, instead of trying to do so through a printed or online portfolio.

Getting word-of-mouth recommendations from trusted relatives and friends is also a great way to ensure the standard of work you’ll get, as your acquaintances aren’t going to want to lose face with you by recommending someone who isn’t any good.

It’s also good to note that when buying your paving slabs, some manufacturers will have their own list of approved installers listed, so it’s worth checking that out if applicable to you.

If you’d like to keep things simple and use an online tool to conduct your search, HouseholdQuotes can help to consolidate search results so you can quickly and easily compare quotes and find the right tradesman for you.

Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit

Obtaining a written quote is an integral part of any job. As we’ve mentioned before, block paving doesn’t require any formal certifications or training, so getting a physical quote is a good way of weeding out any potential cowboy traders.

As a rule of thumb, if they refuse to give you a written quote, you should refuse to hire them.

Finding out their experience in laying paving, as well as getting hold of references and photos or videos of past jobs is important. This way, you can hear from people who will vouch for the traders, as well as see the proof of their work in physical form.

Asking for the trader’s insurance will again prevent you from unintentionally hiring cowboy traders, as well as keeping you and the workman covered in the event of any damages to your property, or health and safety issues.

Last, but by no means least, finding out if they carry a guarantee for their work will help to ensure your project stays in great condition for years to come – and if any issues, cracks or splits do appear over time, you know it’s not your problem to solve, but that of your workman and their team.

Final Checklist

Deciding to have block paving in your back garden or on your driveway can add a clean look to any space, adding to the durability of the ground and usually adding to the price of your property, too.

Before you get started, here’s our final checklist to make sure everything is in place before your project begins:

  • Measure out your space, and look at potential paving slabs that would suit the area and your budget
  • Pick a design and shape, taking into consideration any potential drainage issues, or manhole covers that might get in the way of the laying
  • Once settled on the slabs you want to use and your design, use an online calculator to figure out how much paving you need, accounting for a 10% contingency in case of any damages during placement
  • Investigate if there’s any reclaimed or surplus paving you can get hold of to save money on brand new stones
  • Once the paving is laid, make sure to care for it annually with a jet clean and regular removal of weeds, as well as re-sealing every two years to maintain the stones

Use HouseholdQuotes to find local bricklayers and potentially save money on your block paving project.



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Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Paving Do I Need?

The best way to ensure you’re ordering enough slabs for your area is to use an online calculator to do the heavy lifting for you.

By entering the dimensions of the area you need paved, as well as the slab size you’re considering, the calculator will figure everything out for you, with the option to add on a 10% contingency for any wastage or damages during laying.

Do I Need Planning Permission to Lay Block Paving?

According to official UK regulations, you don’t need planning permission to lay permeable concrete block paving in your front garden or driveway.

If using impermeable blocks, you must allow the water to run into a suitable drainage area, such as a lawn or border. Where there are no suitable drainage areas, you will need planning permission for more than 5 metres squared of paving, so check this before you get started to avoid any nasty surprises that may stall your job from being completed.

How Long Does Block Paving Last?

If well maintained with jet washing, regular removal of weeds and proper sealing, an area of block paving can last in excess of ten years. It’s really a case of the care you put in being rewarded with longevity in your paving, so it’s a worthwhile endeavour – although time-consuming.

How Do I Maintain Block Paving?

As mentioned above, keeping your block paving clean is an essential part of annual maintenance. From jet washing to remove sunken dirt, to removing weeds, and sealing every two years to keep the paving well protected from the elements and daily wear and tear.

How Should I Choose a Paving Design?

Generally speaking, choosing your paving design is an entirely personal, usually aesthetic choice. But some designs may work better in some spaces than others.

Consider the shape of the area you want paved, if there are any manholes nearby that might interfere with patterns and if there are any potential drainage issues that could be rectified with some landscaping.

It’s a case-by-case choice, but if you’re really stuck, asking a professional to make some suggestions can be a good way to get started.

Are There Any Alternatives to Block Paving?

If you don’t fancy block paving, or simply don’t like the look of it, there are alternatives. From long-wearing asphalt which can last in the region of 25 to 30 years, to gravel for a decorative option.

You can also choose to opt for a sustainable drainage system (SuDS) as a way of naturally dealing with drainage issues if an environmentally-friendly option is something you want to consider.

Ready to start your project? We can help!

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