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What Is Block Paving
Block paving in the Birmingham area is one of the most popular and cost-effective ways of decorating your driveway. Also known as brick paving, it’s durable, attractive and easy-to-maintain compared to some other driveway surfaces.
If you’re thinking of having block paving for your driveway and are looking for more information, then you’ve come to the right place. We are Majesticlay, block paving installation specialists for the whole of Birmingham and we’re going to have a quick, jargon-free look at what the advantages are of block paving, your options when it comes to style and how to maintain.
With over a decades worth of experience we know what we're talking about and have you covered.
Varied Colours and Patterns
One advantage block paving has over the likes of tarmac and gravel is the choice it offers when it comes to design. There are plenty of colour and pattern options to ensure your drive is not only practical but is tailored both to your style and the rest of your property.
The most common brick colours are charcoal, grey and a golden colour known as buff. Patterns made with different coloured bricks are always in demand as well. The most popular combinations tend to be:
- Brindle: A mix of red and charcoal bricks
- Autumn: Red, brown and buff
- Burnt Ochre: Brown and charcoal
These bricks can be fashioned into a range of different laying patterns. Herringbone – where blocks are laid diagonally or at right-angles to each other – is very popular. There’s also Stretcher Bond (bricks laid in the same pattern as a wall) or the more intricate Basket Weave design.
This type of driveway install can also accommodate borders and shapes such as diamonds within the design.
The Driveway Block Paving Process
The process is relatively simple and needs four things:
A foundation is dug and a sub-base – made of a crushed and compacted material such as stone or recycled concrete – is laid. This aids drainage and helps keep your driveway level. Edge restraint is then laid to frame the driveway – this could be bricks or concrete; the wall of your property could be suitable for where the drive meets it.
A layer of sand is laid on top of the sub-base and leveled off so that the blocks can be laid on top. These blocks are then vibrated to compact them down into the sand. When the blocks are in place, another thinner layer of sand is spread on top of the blocks and they’re vibrated again. This last vibration sends the top sand into any remaining gaps between the blocks. Your drive is then ready to enjoy.
How Long Does It Last
Block paving has two major advantages in that it’s built to last and it’s easily repairable. Gravel driveways will ultimately need a fresh weed control sheet beneath them every so often, tarmac drives will also need replacing once they begin to fade and crack. If part of a block paving driveway becomes damaged, it’s a small job to remove and replace the necessary blocks.
What's The Best Way To Maintain
There is a certain required level of maintenance to keep them looking their best year after year. Although weeds won’t get through the sub-base, airborne seeds can settle in the sand between the blocks and grow. These are easily removed and treated with a commercial weed killer or a DIY kit. Regular hosing or jet-washing and brushing can help minimize the risk of weeds growing too. It will also stop accumulated dust and grime dulling the color of your blocks.
Do You Need Planning Permission For Block Paving
You only need planning permission for block paving at the front of your property if the surface you want to cover is more than five square metres and doesn’t control rainwater running off onto the road.
You don’t need planning permission if you're going to cover less than five square metres, or if it’s larger than five square metres but will direct rainwater into a garden or other sustainable drainage area.
Driveway Alternatives To Block Paving
There are several alternatives to block paving, two of which – gravel and tarmac – we’ve already mentioned above. There is also resin-bound paving, which has something of the appearance of gravel but is made of a mix of crushed stones and resin. Other popular driveway surfaces include imprinted concrete, cobblestones, and asphalt (like tarmac but using naturally-occurring bitumen rather than artificially-distilled tar).
All driveway surfaces have their pros and cons, be it cost, maintenance or practicality. Ultimately, it comes down to you investing in the right kind of driveway for your lifestyle, property, and taste.
How Much Does Block Paving Cost
The cost of this type of driveway design will vary depending on everything from the size of the area to be paved to how much preparation work needs to be done, drainage planning, what color blocks you want and how complex the pattern you want is. However, a general estimate is between £4000 and £8500.
If block paving is the way you want to present your property to the world, then get in touch with Majesticlay for a quote, the experts of block paving installations.