The Quick Answer
Block paving is a stylish paving product used around properties of many homeowners across the UK. Its decorative appearance and the huge variations of colours, shapes and sizes, makes it extremely diverse. Block Paving is often used for driveways, patios, pathways, private roads and even car parks. If style and colour is your main concern, then the likelihood is that there will be a variation of block paving available that will suit your property.
Things to consider
Renowned for moss growth in between joints and algae on the surface, block paving is far from maintenance free. Check our post on maintaining a block paved driveway/ patio here. This can be an issue for homeowners looking for a maintenance free paving solution. For those who don’t mind taking on the task of restoring the surface, the decorative value that block paving brings to a home makes it worth while.
When block paving is installed correctly it can often keep up with most other paving solutions when it comes to standing the test of time. The surface needs to be maintained properly and the base needs to have been installed by a professional for this to be the case. One of the biggest benefits of Block Paving is how easy it is to repair minor fault. Blocks can simply be lifted and any faults to the base can be fixed with ease.
Block paving prices vary depending on a number of factors. In general, block paving costs more than Tarmac, Concrete and Gravel and less than Resin Bound and Natural Stone. The factors that effect the prices are normally the size, shape, location and design. Check out our ‘How much does block paving cost’section for more information, alternatively you should use our driveway price calculator.
If block paving sounds like the right option for you, then it’s time to start considering exactly what style of block paving you would like to have. There are a lot of options in terms of colours and styles and 100s of different designs! A skilled contractor will love the idea of getting involved in a project that is beyond the usual single block border and infill install. If you have a more flexible budget, it may be worth considering having some bespoke patterns and shapes and possibly using luxurious blocks. Another feature that makes a driveway/patio extra special is lighting as a feature.
A legislation put in place in 2008, states that, any new paving surface over 6m² that is connected to either a public pavement or road must either; be recognised as a SUDS compliant base, have a drainage system installed that will prevent rain water from flowing onto the highway or have planning permission that grants the use of an impermeable base without necessary drainage installed. This has obviously had an effect on the block paving industry as most styles of block paving are not permeable. Many homeowners have turned to resin bound, permeable blocks and gravel driveways/ patios to avoid the excess costs and headaches of applying for planning permission or installing drainage.
Permeable blocks can be quite expensive and can lead to the pricing being increased to that of resin bound or natural paving, sometimes more. Whether it is worth the expense depends on what your ideal driveway/ patio is. We can only provide you with the facts and rough figures to guide you towards making your decision.
Top Tips for picking the perfect block to suit you
- Do they blend? – Decide whether you would like your paving to blend in with your property, or if you would like your driveway to stand out. Try choosing a block style that reflects either your homes brickwork/ render or the colour of your windows and doors.
- Simple or bespoke – A master of block paving can create features such as bespoke borders, patterns and shapes. These features usually come at a cost and you should discuss any additions with your contractor to weigh up whether it’s worth it. To a lot of homeowners the cost of sprucing up the project with a fancy border, circular pattern or diamond shape is small when compared with the enhanced aesthetic appearance of your home.
- Our new Block Paving Styles page – We designed a page where you can browse through some of the most popular Block Paving options for FREE.
Block paving variations
The most commonly used block is the ‘common’ block, which is generally available in a few colour variations including; charcoal, brindle and buff. Nowadays there are many different options to choose from such as; Tegula Blocks, Clay Blocks, Concrete Blocks, Natural Stone and Granite Blocks/Cobbles. Choosing the perfect block to suit your home can be frustrating when flicking through different websites and trying to compare your favourites by memory. We’ve made it easier for you, check out our block choices here.
Another great way of picking your choice of block is to visit a couple of local builders merchants and request some sample blocks to compare.