How much does bock paving cost, or how much do you charge per square metre for block paving is one of the most common questions we get asked here at SE Landscape Construction.
It’s completely understandable as you need to know whether you have enough in the budget to get the work done.
But, unfortunately answering the question is almost like trying to answer, ‘how long is a piece of string’?
No two jobs are the same and each has its own challenges. Being able to charge a fixed cost per square for every job we undertake is impossible.
We must price our jobs on a case-by-case basis.
Many people believe that the main cost involved with block paving are the blocks themselves. In reality, that’s not quite the case.
The costliest part of the job is in the groundworks.
The groundworks are vital in every job we carry out. Why? Because that’s what give your driveway or path its strength. The blocks are just the icing on the cake.
You can have the best paving money can buy, but if the groundworks aren’t completed correctly then your paving will likely fail regardless of the blocks used.
There’s also many have factors we must consider when providing our clients with quotations, which we’ll be exploring later in this article.
To give you an idea or how much it may cost to have your driveway block paved, first we need to take a closer look and some of the factors that need to be considered when installing block paving.
This should help you understand where some of the cost variations may lie.
Typically, assuming we are using a standard 50mm thick block, we need to excavate approximately 230mm below the finished height, for a driveway installation.
This allows us to install a 150mm sub base consisting of MOT Type 1, followed by a 30-40mm sharp sand laying course, which the 50mm thick blocks are laid upon (your chosen blocks may be 60mm or even 80mm thick, therefore requiring deeper excavations).
However, the 230mm we need to excavate is below finished height. Therefore, this may mean that we need to excavate more or less than 230mm, depending upon your existing driveway.
For example, if your existing driveway is only one brick course below the damp proof course (DPC) on your property, we would need to excavate further material to ensure that the new driveway complies with the regulations by being two brick courses below the damp proof course.
There are many instances where we may need to dig out +/- 230mm.
Of course, the more we need to excavate from your driveway, the more it will cost to carry out the works.
The less excavations, the cheaper the job will become.
As mentioned above, for a typical driveway sub base installation, we need to lay and compact 150mm of MOT Type 1.
Again, like the excavations, more or less may be required depending upon your driveway’s circumstances.
Its very rare that we can use less than 150mm of Type 1 for a driveway but there are several instances that may require more than the standard 150mm.
For example, if your driveway slopes from left to right, across your property, you may wish to raise the right-hand side to create one level across the top of your building.
In the below example, you can see how we raised the right-hand edge by building a retaining wall from concrete blocks to create a more user-friendly level across the top of this driveway.
Of course, the right-hand edge required a base of more than 150mm of Type 1 to obtain the required level.
The amount of Type 1 required for each driveway installation may vary depending on the circumstances and of course this has a bearing on the cost of your block paved driveway.
The cost of paving, as you might imagine, can vary quite widely depending on the style and quality chosen.
In the Essex area, standard block paving (i.e. 200mm x 100mm x 50mm) may cost somewhere around £10 plus VAT per square metre.
Compare this against the Marshalls Drivesys Original Cobble or Marshalls Drivesys Split Stone, which comes in at around £55 plus VAT per square metre.
For a driveway measuring 60m2, that’s a £2,700 plus VAT difference right there.
Therefore, the paving that you choose has a significant bearing on price.
Another key factor in the cost of block paving, is dictated by the access you have to your property.
Of course, 90% of driveways in Essex are by the roadside, which usually means that access will to your driveway will be good. The better the access the quicker we can do the job and therefore, the lower the labour costs will be.
Worst case may be that a vehicle no bigger than a standard car can reach your driveway.
This would mean that it could not be accessed by a grab lorry or delivery lorry, resulting in a higher labour cost to move the materials to where they need to be.
An average driveway in Essex may measure somewhere around 60m2.
When excavating a minimum of 230mm across the entire driveway area, we’re looking at 13.8m3 of excavations to dispose of.
In nearly all instances, the most cost-effective method of disposing of the hardcore and earth is via a grab lorry.
Normally a grab lorry can hold around 11m3 of waste and may cost somewhere around £250 plus VAT per load.
When you compare this against an 8yd skip, typically costing somewhere around £200 plus VAT for around 6m3 of waste, you’ll save £150 by using a grab lorry when disposing of more than 6m3 of waste.
It’s quite clear that using grab lorries are a much more cost-effective way of disposing on hardcore and earth.
Although as mentioned above, a grab lorry may not necessarily be able to access your driveway.
When constructing a block paved driveway, we’ll need to have both MOT Type 1 and Sharp Sand delivered to your property.
This can be done in one of two ways.
It can either come delivered as a ‘loose load’ which is tipped onto your driveway using a tipper vehicle.
Or it can be delivered in bulk bags, which are craned off the delivery vehicle.
Normally for anything more than 12 ton of aggregate, the most cost-effective delivery method for aggregates is via a ‘loose load’.
This is of course because we are not charged for the material to be ‘bagged up’ into bulk bags.
However, for some properties, it may not always be possible to have a loose load delivered.
Access may be too tight for an 8-wheeled lorry or there may be low overhead cables preventing it from tipping.
In this case, bulk bags might just be the only option.
There is likely different block paving patterns in which your chosen block paving can be laid.
For example, the Marshalls Tegula block paving, a block that we commonly use, can be laid in 14 different patterns
The chosen pattern may also have an impact on price, as some patterns may take longer to lay than others.
Another very important factor to consider is drainage.
Since 2008, its become a legal requirement for every driveway to be SUDS compliant.
It may be possible that your driveway will need a soakaway installed.
Installing a soakaway involves excavating a large hole, lining the base with shingle, installing Aquacell soakaway crates wrapped in weed membrane and back filled.
The additional labour and materials of carrying out these works will of course have a significant bearing on the cost of your block paving.
In general, the bigger the area, the cheaper the cost per square metre.
This is because you benefit from economies of scale and the initial setup costs are similar for 300m2 as they are a 50m2 driveway.
The larger the quantities of material needed, the better the prices our supplies will offer to us.
We can also cover large open areas much quicker than we can a narrow pathway for instance, as there are typically large amounts of cutting required for narrow pathways.
As we have explained, it’s impossible to give an accurate quote, without first conducting a site visit, but many of you may still be looking for a rough ballpark figure to know whether you have the budget to have your driveway in Essex block paved.
To help give you an idea, lets assume an average driveway is 60m2.
We’ll also assume that we are using standard block paving, that is to be laid in a 45-degree herringbone pattern, access is good, and we are to excavate 230mm across the entire driveway area.
With this in mind, as a rough guide price, you may be looking at somewhere between £4,000 – £4,500 including VAT.
Obliviously, any of the various factors described above could have a significant impact on the cost, so always bear this in mind when you are obtaining quotes.
Of course, drainage and other costs such as steps, kerbs, retaining walls and other features would be a further cost too.
Hopefully, you’ll now be a little more aware of some of the costs involved with block paved driveways and have learnt that it’s impossible to give someone an accurate quotation without carrying out a site survey.
As reputable block paving installers in Essex, the only way for us to provide our clients with accurate quotations is for us to conduct a free site visit.
We can then assess each job individually and calculate a written quotation from there.
All our quotes are free and you are under no obligation to accept.
If you are in Chelmsford, Brentwood, Basildon, Southend, Braintree or anywhere in the Essex area and would like a free written quotation or further advice on block paving, you can send us a message or call us on 01245 697 688.
Our friendly team will be happy to help.
If you have any other questions regarding this article, please leave them below.
Thanks for reading!