1. Failing to plan

If you’re raring to get began on a constructing mission, planning appears slightly uninteresting nevertheless it’s important if you wish to save time and prices down the road. The starting stage of a driveway mission ought to embrace discovering out if there are pipes or cables working beneath the realm the place you intend to put the driveway and precisely measuring out the realm.

Learn how to clear and keep a gravel driveway

Conserving your gravel driveway wanting enticing and clear requires little effort. Right here’s how one can maintain your new driveway wanting pristine all 12 months spherical:

  • Semi-regularly rake your gravel driveway, particularly throughout the Autumn months, eradicating undesirable twigs, leaves and different particles. This may also assist break up any compacted gravel – a win win!  

  • Though a weed prevention membrane is in place, wind-swept seeds could sometimes trigger weeds to type. Merely take away these by hand, utilizing gardening gloves. Within the areas affected, spray weed killer (or herbicide) containing glyphosate.

For extra details about eradicating weeds out of your gravel driveway, read our guide to weed busting.

  • After years of use, your gravel driveway could skinny, creating sparse areas. Fortunately, that is simply rectifiable by topping up the affected areas with extra gravel.

TOP TIP: It’s a good suggestion when ordering gravel to buy an additional bag or two, that manner you possibly can make sure the gravel you utilize to prime up with is identical because the stone used within the authentic driveway design.


Gravel driveway advantages

Design Versatility – There are numerous gravel colors, shapes, and sizes to select from, permitting you to be artistic and design the driveway to enhance your own home and character.

Low Upkeep – Gravel driveways assist suppress weeds and don’t require mowing, trimming or watering.

Inexpensive – In comparison with different driveway options reminiscent of tarmac, paving or turf, gravel is cheaper and simpler to put in and keep.

Drainage – Gravel gives glorious rainwater drainage, leaving your new driveway puddle free.

Safety – As a free combination, gravel produces a definite crunch sound when walked on, alerting you when somebody is outdoors.

Easy to put – In contrast to different driveway surfaces which can require hiring a contractor or skilled landscaper, a gravel driveway is an enterprise any novice DIYer can succeed at.

How a lot does a driveway value?

A typical concrete driveway prices between $65 to $150 per sq. metre, with worth variations because of supplies and labour. A 1-car concrete driveway sometimes prices between $1000 to $2000 relying on the realm dimension together with the standard and kind of supplies used, whereas a 2-car driveway sometimes prices round $3000. A fast journey to your native ironmongery store will can help you get skilled DIY recommendation and the fitting instruments for the mission. Moreover, if you wish to outsource components just like the pouring and curing, you possibly can make use of a concrete skilled by our loaded database of suppliers and providers!

Are you able to do block paving by yourself?

The 4 necessities for executing a block paving mission by yourself are time, talent, sources and confidence. All the course of calls for lots of endurance and arduous work. Furthermore, it should be finished proper as there is no such thing as a room for revisions, not less than not with no sizable value.

None of that may be a fear in terms of hiring an expert block paving service. The precision and talent with which an expert service installs your block paving floor are completely well worth the cash you pay. Most significantly, a great service additionally provides you a guaranty on the work finished. The peace of thoughts that brings can’t be judged by way of cash!

How To Excavate For A Patio?

Earlier than excavating, you should utilize spray paint to mark the areas that should be dug. Be sure to make plans for water efficient landscaping and correct draining in order that the pavers don’t maintain water beneath them. Additionally be aware of whether or not there are any underground cables or plumbing in order that they will prevented whereas digging.

What are my block paving choices?

There are two kinds of block paving you possibly can select, concrete and clay. There are benefits and downsides to each. Whereas on the one hand, most householders favor concrete block paving because of its decrease value and simple set up, clay block paving is way extra resilient and even comes beneficial by the BDA (Brick Growth Affiliation).

To make your alternative simpler, let’s do a fast sweep of the professionals and cons of each kinds of block paving.


  • It’s cheaper to purchase
  • It provides a variety of shapes and textures
  • It’s precisely sized
  • A number of totally different block depths can be found


  • It’s liable to color fading over time
  • Its combination materials can stand uncovered
  • It has an anticipated lifespan of 20 years


  • It’s more durable and way more sturdy
  • Its pure color can’t fade
  • Pavers with numerous patterns can be found
  • It has a far higher lifespan


  • It’s affected by moss development
  • The accuracy of sizing is decrease
  • It’s more durable to chop and tough to work with
  • Its value per block is larger
  • Block depth choices are restricted

Now that we all know what are the belongings you’re going to want for executing a block paving mission, let’s get all the way down to the nitty-gritty of the particular course of. There are numerous levels to this process and we talk about every one in every of them individually.

1) Preparation

No matter how main or minor your block paving mission is or whether or not it’s finished by you or a contractor, it’s all the time beneficial to get a plan prepared earlier than you break floor. You are able to do this by yourself or get it finished from a design service. Getting ready the plan beforehand fosters a great workflow and in case you’ve employed a contractor for the aim, he is aware of simply what you need.

The world the place the paving must be finished ought to be clearly marked out. It’s good follow to depart roughly 300mm in any respect free edges because it permits for simpler materials dealing with and haunching of the sides. You need to use sand, string traces and stakes or a twig marker to mark the paving space out. Additionally, guarantee important providers like gasoline, cable and electrical energy will not be affected by excavation, particularly if you’re doing this your self.

2) Excavation

When you’ve determined how a lot space you must pave, it’s time for excavation. How deep to dig when laying block paving is a query that many individuals wrestle with. It is strongly recommended to dig the designated half to a depth of round 150-200 mm. How deep you must dig may also range as per the land’s rise and fall. Additionally, maintain an eye fixed out for gentle spots throughout the excavation and backfill them with compacted sub-base materials.

The digging ought to be finished in a measured slope in order that water can run into the drainage system. If you rent a skip to take away the excavated materials, beware that it grows in quantity by nearly 30%. As such, plan your skip rent accordingly. Keep in mind that in terms of excavation depth, it’s higher to go deeper than shallower.

3) Edge restraints

Edge restraints border your block paving space. The blocks themselves are held in place by a concrete basis, which supplies the energy required to assist the burden of individuals and automobiles. You possibly can create this basis utilizing a concrete combine made up of six components ballast and one half cement. After the concrete units, lay the paver blocks on a mortar mattress to function an edge course. A taut string line, positioned on the paving degree’s completed top, ought to function a marker within the course of.

The concrete ought to be blended roughly 25 to 30 mm under this line with the sting course positioned on prime. Use the mallet to softly hammer it in and use the road to examine the extent. Now haunch the edging in by making use of concrete on the surface until the midway mark.

4) Sub-base

The sub-base for block paving acts because the principal assist, which implies the layer ought to not less than be 100 mm thick. A 100 mm or thicker sub-base layer ensures heavier weights are supported simply.

Start by evenly spreading the sub-base inside the edge restraints adopted by raking it evenly. Do that at 50 mm intervals and use a compacting plate in-between to agency the layer down. Compacting helps lay the paving blocks evenly and extends their lifespan significantly. Six to seven passes of the compactor ought to be sufficient to pack down the sub-base layers.

5) Laying sand

Now fill-up sand within the hole between the compacted sub-base and last paving’s line. Whereas doing so, be sure you are following the slope or every other angle that you just’ve chosen for the paving. When shopping for sand, go for the sharper selection that can also be moist sufficient to be simply moulded right into a ball together with your fingers. After spreading a layer of this sand over the sub-base, use a compactor as soon as to set it down.

6) Screeding

This can be a crucial step earlier than the laying of paving blocks. The sand layer you’ve unfold must be levelled off utilizing a pair of screed rails (even timber works). The aim of screeding is to provide an excellent and clean floor to put the block paving on by eradicating extra sand.

7) Laying paving blocks

You possibly can start laying the paving blocks from a nook and even the principle fringe of your constructing/home. Every block ought to be put to the face and glided down easily. Keep away from bunching them collectively on the sand as you received’t be capable of line them up. A neater manner as an alternative is to place every block in its designated place. For edges the place full blocks could not match, use a diamond disc noticed or block splitter to chop a block to required dimension. As soon as your complete space has been coated, use a bar device to examine the blocks’ alignment. Lastly, see if the highest of the blocks is 10 to fifteen mm above your deliberate line; this ensures the blocks will be compacted down in any case of them have been laid down.

8) Jointing & compaction

After you’ve checked the blocks’ alignment and carried out cutting-ins and earlier than you compact the blocks, you must joint the newly paved space. Jointing entails spreading kiln-dried sand over the pavement and sweeping it into the block joints with the assistance of a gentle brush. Compact the blocks after one spherical of jointing and repeat the method till all block joints have been sealed with sand. After you might be finished sweeping off any extra sand, your new block paving floor is prepared to be used.

In some instances, the jointing sand would possibly cool down after just a few weeks. You must prime it up with extra sand if that’s the case. And whereas common upkeep is sufficient to maintain the pavement in good situation, you may as well think about using a sealant to forestall unintentional staining.


As soon as your trench is crammed with sand and gravel and compacted, it is best to place base restraints to forestall your base and pavers from shifting because of age or climate situations. Restraints are usually created from again polymer or plastic and will be bought from any gardening middle.

Place the restraints alongside the sides of your pavers. They need to be dug in each 16 inches and dig them into the bottom at totally different angles to safe them.

How huge does a driveway should be in Australia?

A one automobile driveway in Australia should be not less than 2.5 metres huge, whereas a two automobile driveway must be not less than 5 metres huge. These council necessities check with the a part of the driveway that passes over the footpath and meets the highway. Moreover, the utmost width permitted is often 3 metres for small tons beneath 450 sq, 5 metres for traditional tons with a double storage, and 4 metres for traditional tons with a single storage. These days, 3 metres for a single automobile is taken into account to be the Australian commonplace driveway width.

Picture by way of Mudtech

Ought to You Get a Builders Excavator?

You’ll want to contemplate the width of your driveway and whether or not you want it to adapt to present laws concerning car entry. In the event you’re planning on excavating for an asphalt or concrete driveway, then a mini-digger goes to be your finest guess.

In order for you one thing extra conventional like a gravel driveway with bricks down all sides, you then’ll most likely be higher off with a daily digger.

In the event you personal your plot of land however not the home and need to ask permission for any excavations, don’t assume that it is going to be granted. In case your neighbour has lately moved in or is planning to construct quickly, they

Guide or Mechanical?

As soon as you know the way far down and the way huge your excavation must be, you must determine whether or not you will do the job by hand or get some mechanical instruments in. Typically the majority of the work is carting the rubble away and disposing of it slightly than the precise digging. However that additionally will depend on the kind of floor you’ve got. (Learn our article Waste Disposal When Making a Driveway on this web site.)

If in case you have gentle, loamy soil, and you can also make use of it within the backyard, chances are you’ll be higher off saving some cash. Simply get just a few family and friends in to assist dig out the soil and take it to its new house in wheelbarrow masses.

In the event you reside in a mountainous space, and there’s strong rock beneath your topsoil, chances are you’ll properly need to get specialist in. That might blow the driveway funds out of the water, so do some exploratory digging earlier than you decide to the job.

4. Ignoring potential drainage points

“No, we don’t want to fret about drainage” are phrases anybody who lays a driveway will come to remorse saying. Drainage is among the key challenges to creating the perfect driveway. Ensuring the driveway falls in the direction of the drainage factors is a crucial stage throughout the planning course of. It could be essential to create extra drainage capability by putting in a soakaway. Wrapping the soakaway in an expert drainage membrane, reminiscent of drainage geotextile fabric DRAINTEX, may also assist sort out this problem.


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