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Block paving in Leeds – Why we are renowned for perfect paving!

MD Paving lay really good block paving. If you would like to add character to your home, then why not think about developing your outside space. We are Yorkshire’s paving experts.

Back in the day, the choice of block paving was really limited. It was either clay bricks or concrete blocks and with only slight colour variations on offer. Now the market has developed and technology in manufacturing has grown and grown with over a thousand types of block paving on offer.

Look at choosing your Block Paving carefully

So where do you start in choosing the right block paving for your driveways or project at home? There are a bewildering number of pavers available, with certain types being made by several manufacturers.

For example, there is a red-black paver in a rectangular shape. This is called a British Standard Block and is seen pretty much everywhere.

Concrete or Clay?

There is also a choice you could make between concrete and clay blocks. There are pros and cons for both types, which I have listed underneath:

Concrete – These are cheap. There are lots to choose from. Blocks of texture available. Sizes of block paving are accurate with many block depths available. The shelf life is approximately 20 years. The colour of the concrete blocks can fade over time. The aggregate may start showing through.

Clay – More expensive, depending on its colour. Very hard wearing. The natural colour of the block paving will not fade. Patterned paving blocks are available. Prone to attracting mosses. Mainly rectangular or square which makes them harder to cut through. Will last a very long time.

Imported paving and where it comes from

There is also a popularity in stone block paving which is imported. This has had outstanding success in the last 10 years. What began with stone flags, has seen a consistently developed type of stone at a reduced price from all over the world in places such as South America, Asia and Africa.

Another product area which has seen real development recently is natural stone. These blocks are dimensionally accurate and are laid in the same way as clay or concrete pavers. As technology in manufacturing develops, concrete pavers in stone are increasingly available.

There is certainly a better range now with some products base on using the Face Mix production. They rely on a layer of stone that has been reconstituted in either quartzitic sandstone or granite.

Choosing colour and shape should be your next consideration for block paving. There’s no set guide to choosing a colour scheme for your project, but it’s good to consider your environment and surroundings and how the colour will affect light and shade.

Multicoloured or Monotone? Research your suppliers carefully

A monotone block is defined by a uniform or single colour. It may be a charcoal or reddish brown and have an obscure name. But the key factor is that it is one pure single colour.

A multi-coloured block is one with more than one colour. It could incorporate quite a few colours, or varying amounts of colour within each paver.

So when choosing, it’s important to know the difference between multi-colours and monotone paving. You will find the monotone is sharp and pure, but unfortunately, will show up every little stain. Whereas multi-coloured pavers, mix and blend with what’s around them.

You will also need to consider that if your coloured driveway or patio becomes oil stained in any way, then your eye will be immediately drawn to it. The same stain on a multi-coloured surface, would be completely lost.

So you may ask, why use the monotone pavers if they show up stains? I would say it’s because they look good on a larger area and also help to emphasise the pattern.

Choosing the shape – which designs are best for you?

Rectangular block really isn’t very inspiring, but as a nation, Britain has traditionally used rectangular blocks for hundreds of years. Our European counterparts prefer something a bit more shaped and interlocking, which is very distinctive.

That said, rectangular blocks are the simplest to produce and package, making them easier for shipping. There are many shaped blocks too, with many commercial projects using the S and W shape blocks.

But the shape really depends on what you have designed. Just make sure you are happy with the finished look, as it is something that will hopefully be at your property for a very long time if looked after properly.

More importantly, you need to find good block paving Leeds suppliers.

Planning your Paving Blocks for your Project

Dependent on where you live, there are specific rules which householders need to apply in order to use paving on their driveways and front gardens. You will not be required to obtain planning permission if you choose to use a replacement which uses porous or permeable surfacing.

These surfaces (such as permeable concrete, gravel and porous asphalt) allow rainwater to drain through properly. They may also be natural drainage which directs the water to a lawn or border. This is also acceptable.

However, if you would like to lay paving and cover your property with more than 5 sq metres of impermeable, traditional driveway, then planning permission must be obtained. This is because there is nowhere for the water to run into and drain away to a permeable area.

Please note that these rules apply to England only and the development allowances apply only to housing, not maisonettes, flats or other buildings.

Selecting Colours

When selecting colours, you need to make allowances for tonal variations which will appear in natural stone and manufactured products. It is recommended that you judge the stone from actual materials and not through a brochure or online.

Composite stone products will weather the same way as natural stone, dependent on the effect and exposure of the elements.

Paving is designed to show tonal variations, whether natural stone or manufactured. After laying, natural products may show a colouration when iron content presents oxidation.

Prices for your new Driveway, How Much Will it Cost?

Looking at the cost of a new driveway. It will always be dependent on the materials you want to use and the size of the area in question. You can get a better idea of what is available on the market and what you can expect from your quote. The following types of driveway give you an idea of what to include and budget:

Firstly, there are different types of driveway which can be used for your home. These include: Blacktop/Asphalt driveway, Concrete driveway, Pavers/Brick driveway and Gravel driveway.

There is always a cost for laying foundations too. These will help support your vehicles and make sure the area covered will be secure for a long time. Using basic paving or cutting corners, is false economy and will only lead to it costing you more. You really don’t want to be pulling it up and re-laying all over again.

You will need to consider: Skip hire, a mini digger, weed mat or underlay, hardcore base (either gravel or stone) and a compaction plate.

You should compare quotes from a number of local and national contractors to see what the cost comparison is. From laying a tarmac driveway or one of block paving, there could be a considerable price difference. It is also worth asking for recommendations on covering driveways from family and friends too, especially in your local area.

Preparing Your Driveway For Block Paving

Before starting any work, it is very important that you have a plan in place.With many projects, a construction drawing will be submitted to you in advance, so you can approve the proposed layout and dimensions first. Any costs invested in the preparing such a drawing will often be recouped by time-saving, as the contractor will know exactly what is expected. The layout plan is a very useful tool and addition to the specification and low quantities. Then everyone is aware of exactly what is needed in the construction.

When planning the area, this should be marked out in advance. You should allow roughly 300mm over each edge, which allows the haunching of kerbs and edges and handling of materials much easier. To mark out the lines, use either string lines, a spray marker or stake out the area. What’s also important is to locate the exact location of any gas, electricity, tv or cable etc. before any excavation takes place.

Safety must also be a consideration too. Many products are heavy and should be handled by at least two people unless the right lifting equipment is used. Work gloves will protect and prevent any abrasion to the hands and burns from the wet mortar. Safety goggles should always be used when cutting and a dust mask to avoid dust inhalation when using cutters at high speed.

Preparing the Sub-Base for Paving

Sub-base material must be spread level and compacted into a thick layer. It should be graded or profiled and be accurate. Any voids which appear should be filled with grit sand or stone dust. Then carefully compacted before the course is laid. It is also worth considering using a geomembrane to use between sub-base and sub-grade to prevent the stone elements going into the clayey under-laying material. Geomembranes maybe a good investment if there is any uncertainty about the competence of sub-grade being used.

Different types of paving

There are many companies selling paving for driveways such as Wickes, Jewsons and Travis Perkins. With regards to block paving, there are two types – concrete block pavers which are moulded concrete blocks.  Then clay kiln-fired bricks, which describes the interchangeability of the brick and block paving. You will find that the clay versions are referred to as bricks and the concrete as blocks. However, they can also be called pavers, paviours or paviors – there are some obscure terms out there!

Designs & Layout

There are a number of different layouts and patterns for block paving which can create wonderful landscaping designs and impressions. A paving contractor, which can be found on the Marshalls Register, will discuss all the options and which laying pattern would best suit your paving installation.

Designs which can be used are: 3 Size Mix, Circle Kit, Herringbone, Stretcher Bond and Basket Weave. There are pros and cons with using specific designs for example prices can range vastly, from very cheap to expensive. You will find large DIY stores, such as Wickes and B & Q will sell concrete rectangular blocks fairly cheaper whilst clay bricks can be priced up to £25 per square metre or more. Any blocks selected must meet the requirements of BSEN1344 for paving clay bricks and BSEN1338 for concrete blocks.

If you see a brick or block that you think would work for your project, do ask your contractor or resident at the property. Seeing the paving in person, is a far better way to choose your drive or pathway, than from photographs.

Permeable Solutions for Driveways – The Technical Stuff You Need to Know

Now there are changes to the planning laws with regards to permeable driveways, householders will have to follow the new rules with regards to hard surfaces being placed over their front gardens. However, no planning consent is required for existing hard surfaces on driveways. Approximately 70% of existing driveways drain already in a sustainable and approved way.

There are a number of solutions available, which sit within five main groups. These are:

– SUDS sustainable drainage systems or RWH rainwater harvesting systems.

– Permeable paving solutions.

– Porous asphalt surfaces.

– Mainly green or gravel area such as tracks using traditional materials that are surrounded by a permeable area.

– Hard traditional surfaces with run-off to your lawn or garden or to a built-in soakaway.

One of the simplest and most cost-effective solutions is a layer of loose gravel covering a sub-base driveway. This allows for plenty of drainage.

Edgings for Your Paving or Driveway

To make sure your edgings of courses and kerbs are straight and level, it is wise to use a guideline. This can be done by setting up strong, taut string lines. This can be applied to curves too. Once you are happy with the curves and lines, concrete at least 75mm deep should be solidly haunched into the kerbs and edges.

Give a tidy and neat finish. Make sure the kerb is installed first then laying the concrete and buttering each of the joints between the kerb blocks. A curb will act as a restraining edge, so the courses don’t always have to be laid on concrete. Some people prefer this to have reliable edges for the block paving.

Compaction and Jointing

One of the final tasks in compacting and jointing. Once the cutting-in has been done, compliance checks on the completed block paving carried out. Jointing sand which is kiln-dried should be spread onto the block driveway surface and pushed into the joints using a large soft brush.

The paving will then need to be compacted, using a plate compactor or wacker plate which vibrates on contact. About 5 passes are made on each of the paving sections, changing passes at 90 degrees to the previous one.

With some of the more decorative concrete blocks and clay pavers, a cushioning mat made from neoprene is fastened to the base of the compactor plate. This prevents damage on the brick edges.

Finishing Touches to Your Driveway

FInishing touches really do matter when completing your driveway. Kerbs are not there just for practicality but to present vehicle damage.

They can create lots of different profiles. Marshalls offer many edging and kerb products which can be used in various driveway installations, for example: Marshalls Drivesett Tegula Kerbs, Marshalls Key Kerbs and Marshalls Driveline 4-in-1 kerbs.

To make sure your block paving looks amazing, fix recess trays and gully covers, as this will really make a difference to the overall visual effect of the driveway. They can even be covered in the same material, which is a more attractive option to the alternative steel or cast iron option.

Drainage channels come in both dished and linear options and are designed with channels in place, to stop excess surface water running onto your property.

Even your doorstep can be matched and adapted to your new drive. You could also replace old grass lawn with decorative, attractive gravel edges or re-turf with new grass and create new flower beds around the borders.


On completion of your block paving driveway, you can sweep off excess jointing sand from the surface, as it will now be ready to use. As the jointing sand settles over the first weeks, it should be topped up as and when required.

Many types of block paving, of both concrete pavers and clay may show efflorescence in the early days But this will usually disappear within a year. You will need to keep up regular driveway maintenance to keep it in good condition and using a sealant can prevent unwanted accidental staining.

Driveway/Paving Aftercare & General Information

When maintaining and cleaning, sealants will help protect the porous stone. They can get soiled with dirt or stained from water-based products and oil and even algae/moss growth.

Regular maintenance will keep the appearance of the paving in lovely condition. Washing your paved areas thoroughly with soapy water, then brushing to get all the excess off. This should be done three or four times a year.

High pressure washers are not advisable on wet cast paving, nor should common salt be used to de-ice as both these methods will cause damage to the surface area.

Weeds can be a problem for your newly laid paving. Areas with vehicle or foot traffic will restrict the weed growth from popping up, but other areas may see a problem.

Brushing on a regular basis will take care of most invasions, but you can treat the weeds with a weed killer solution which can be purchased from merchants like Wickes. Before treating an area, remove the larger weeds by hand before applying the solution.

Having the paving area or driveway sealed with help to inhibit the growth of unwanted grass, weeds, lichen and algae. It also gives the stonework a better colour and reduces the porosity of the surface which will make future maintenance a lot easier.

Prices and what you can expect to pay!

Some websites offer a block paving calculator, that don’t always work. Ask MD Paving for a FREE no-obligation quote and site assessment TODAY! You certainly won’t regret it.