My Home Improvement And Decoration Blog

Category: Driveway

How To Lay Block Paving – A Quick Guide

A great looking driveway is a great way to provide conveniently and secure off street parking while also enhancing the look of your home. When professional install block paving it usually looks like any easy job, but with the right materials and some manual work, it is not quite a major task as you may think. All you need to do is to follow this simple step by step guide.

For everyone else, you will simply have to hire a contractor who knows how to lay block paving. It’s a recommended way to go if you don’t have the time or the patience to learn the entire process properly. Starting it without having proper knowledge can lead to a lot of troubles.


Before you even start it is a good idea to have a plan before any ground is broken. You need to draw a simple plan of your home, sketching where you need the blocks to be installed. Once your plan has been finalized, layout lengths of string that marks out the dimensions of your purposed patio in position. Also, make sure the approximate location of any services like gas, cable TV, electricity etc are known.

driveway excavation


The first stage of the construction process is to carefully remove the existing driveway this could be either concrete, tarmac or concrete flags. Depending on the size of the area, you can either use a shovel, mini excavator or hire a JCB to excavate the existing driveway. The minimum depth of a typical home driveway is 200-250mm below the finished paving level. This allows 150mm of hardcore, 50mm of your block paving and 50mm of sand. If your excavated area appears to be flat, it will be necessary to create a slight slope that will aid in dispersion of the standing water. This should be constructed with 1.80 falls along the length and 1.40 fall across the width. It is important to note that you need to dispose of the excavated materials in a manner conforming to statutory regulations.

Edge restraints

You need to always cover your skin when handling cement. Using cement mixer, mix 6 parts ballasts and 1 part cement to create a concrete foundation for edge restraints that is 100mm thick. Use a spirit level and string line to make sure the edge restraints unit is placed on the foundation that will sit at the required finished level. The edge restraints can either be kerb unit of 60mm thick paving block. Mortar the kerb unit using a rubber mallet and trowel and again using concrete, form a hauch up at least half the block height.


The sub-base should be profiled in such a way that it matches the planned profile. A sub-base consists of granular material Type 1 that is installed in a minimum depth of 150mm. Using a vibrator plate compactor or use vibrating roller for large areas in layers of 50mm until the desired level is reached.

How To Lay Block Paving


Ideally, you need to start from the right angle, place your blocks on the top of the laying course while ensuring they sit 5mm of the finished level. Depending on the desired laying pattern choose blocks from different packs in order to minimize the risk of color patching. Once the blocks are laid, cut a number to complete the area by using block splitter.


You need to use yard broom to brush the kiln dried sand into all joints and thoroughly compact using a vibrating plate compactor to ensure all blocks are at a desired finished level. Subsequently, top the sand and using compactor re-compact to ensure no joint is left unfinished.

This article has been created with the help of few good people. Advices and guidance was also provided by EKS Construction, UK based block paving company that operates locally.


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Driveway Construction – Asphalt or Concrete

In driveway construction, asphalt and concrete are the two common materials used but which one should you use. There are many factors to consider before making your decision which material to use. When a driveway is well designed, it will enhance the value of your home and the beauty of the premises so choosing the right material is very important. Asphalt and concrete are both made of gravel and sand but what makes them different is the binding material. The binding material in concrete is cement and in asphalt, tar is the binding material.

Driveway Construction

When choosing the materials for your driveway consider these factors and differences between asphalt and concrete driveway construction.

  • Cost of the material including what it cost to install the driveway, which can be higher for a concrete driveway.
  • Maintenance and upkeep charges
  • Climatic conditions of the area
  • How it would look with your landscape design
  • Local laws in regards to which driveway construction materials can be used

Asphalt driveway

Most people think that an asphalt driveway is always black but it can be tinted using other materials although the color options are limited. Asphalt has to be pressed to make it compact so it cannot be stamped, engraved, or stained. This type of driveway is best for colder regions because in hot weather the asphalt material can become soft causing cracks and holes in your driveways. This driveway also releases oils when it is exposed to sunlight and heat so you could carry oil stains into your home. Although constructing an asphalt driveway is cheaper it does costs more to maintain as it has to be resealed every three to five years. With an asphalt driveway, it takes just a couple of days to install and curing time takes just hours, depending on humidity, temperature, and other factors.

Concrete driveway

Most concrete driveways have an off-white color but they can also be tinted other colors. They can also be stamped, engraved, or stained unlike asphalt driveways. Constructing a driveway made from concrete is better suited for areas with hot weather because it is resistant to temperatures that are high but in cold regions you have to make sure that you fill the base of the driveway with compact gravel. If the base is not constructed correctly frost heaving can be detrimental and the driveway could develop cracks. This type of driveway could also be damaged by salt that is used to melt ice. A concrete driveway does not release oils like an asphalt driveway but any stains can be seen easier on the concrete surface. Pouring a concrete driveway can take up to five days and takes several days to cure.

Bama Concrete Finishing of Alabama are leading concrete companies and among the best driveway contractor in the area. The company takes up both residential work and commercial work and offer services in Huntsville, Gadsden and Birmingham areas.

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