How to lay Block Paving for a new Driveway ?

How to lay block paving in Leeds, Wetherby, Harrogate or York?

How to lay block paving – If your response is “how” then you need to seriously consider what type of specialist you approach to do the necessary patio, driveway or laying block paving.

Some homeowners ask how to lay block paving. Many people in this field can often termed as a Landscape Gardener Contractor. Though fine to use, you may be better off if you’re thinking of a serious construction project to call in the experts. 

You’re not putting your car on your ‘garden’, nor are you having a driveway made of hedges or a patio made of flowers. So a Landscape Gardener is not going to be up for the job of how to lay block paving Leeds in a professional way. Seriously, they are not going to be up to the job.

Have you a serious laying block paved construction project?

When approaching a serious construction project like a patio or driveways Leeds, you need to act seriously. Take into consideration the implications of getting it wrong with the wrong contractor. Especially one that doesn’t understand how to really lay a new patio or driveway.

First, you need to bed your paving blocks into a layer of sharp sand. Always use a specialist tool or a light plate compactor. You could use something called a club hammer and a bit of timber instead if you’re only paving a very small area. This is because the blocks won’t be as stable as if you’d used a light plate compactor. A  Landscape Gardener won’t have such a tool.

We’ll show you how to work out the area

We always work out the dimensions of how to lay block paving or patio with numbers of actual whole blocks to avoid any waste and to minimise their cutting. Then we set out a sub-base of at least 75mm. This is very important as only an experienced Pavior would know to do this.

How to achieve the correct ‘fall’

Then the next step is to achieve the correct ‘fall’ – this is to make sure the patio or driveway drainage works okay. (You also need to consider the use of edging material on the sides).

So for the correct ‘fall’, we use a length of timber which needs to be longer than the path width. A notch is cut out of either end so it can sit over the edging.

Below the notches, the board depth should be the paving block depth, less 15mm. Then you pull the notched board towards you, at the same time levelling the sand as you pull. You see, it’s quite technical and takes someone in the know to do it properly.

We always start by digging a suitable strip around the sub-base edge and then lay concrete footings for the kerb stones. Technically, each footing should project a distance of 75mm from the very outside of the edging blocks. Then no more than a distance of 25mm on the inside of the edging blocks.

Did you know that Wet concrete takes 3 days to dry?

When the wet concrete is finally dry, we then lay the edging blocks on a mortar bed of one part cement to three parts sharp sand. We use a spirit level and line to position and allow for the fall across the overall surface. Surprising to most, the mortar is then left to harden for 3 days. We then place 2 timber levelling bits about 1 metre apart to form what we call a bay.

And it gets even more technical!

The wood strips need to be the same depth as the sand, which in turn depends on the block size and compaction method. Next, we get out our plate compactor which will compact the sand level by 15mm,

The team pile lots of sand into the bay and spread it perfectly and evenly flat so it’s level with the strips, always checking the fall as you go. We prepare about 2 or 3 days, then remove the strips and carefully fill the depressions left with the sand using a trowel. We make sure the surface is absolutely flat.  

How to lay block paving?

When the blocks are laid in the chosen pattern, we start from one of the corners. We fit the blocks very tightly against each other making sure we leave no joints. They are manufactured with little spacing nibs. We normally do about two square metres at this early stage. The blocks are pressed into the sand, using one of our plate compactors.

So remember, it’s not a simple job, it’s complicated and it needs experts to complete it properly.

how to lay block paving in leeds