A Guide To Paving Your Driveway

Paving your driveway is not a simple process, and requires a large amount of diligence, planning and on site preparation. It can be tempting to just jump in straight away and start laying your new stone, but good paving requires following the necessary steps and adhering to methods that are not always common knowledge. We’ve put together a guide to help you pave your driveway professionally to ensure the best result.

Step 1: Choosing Your Design

Before you do anything else, you have to decide what you want from your drive. What aesthetic do you want? In what capacity is your driveway used? Whether your driveway is used for a car, a van, a caravan or for regular lugging of heavy loads, these are all factors that will determine which style of paving is best for you. If your driveway is likely to see heavy use, block paving is the ideal choice. Block paving offers a solid base with small gaps between the joints, and is available in a wide range of styles and prices. If your driveway is doesn’t require heavy duty durability, indian stone paving, cobbles or setts are all good options to consider. These options come in a wide selection of colours and materials, which allows for more decorative capabilities and would contrast with a greenspace to create an attractive pathway or courtyard.

For the highest quality and durability, we recommend:

Indian Limestone Paving - Midnight Kota Black | Marshalls Fairstone Natural Stone Setts

Step 2: Preparing The Area

Before laying down the paving on your driveway, the desired area will need to be dug, levelled and marked out to ensure that the paving has a suitable base on which to sit securely. A depth of between 200 and 250mm below the surface level is recommended to allow for a sand or stone dust base to give the driveway an even stronger, water-resistant platform. Ensure that the finished level is lower than the damp proof course of the house and that it is not absolutely flat, both of these factors will benefit the drainage of your paving and stop excessive build up of water, which could destabilise your paving. For high quality and reliable equipment, look no further.

Step 3: Laying The Edges

The next step in the preparation of laying is creating a concrete bed on which to place the edge bricks or kerbs. This task requires precision and accuracy, so we recommend using a spirit level and some string to mark out the areas that you want to be the edges of your drive, ensuring you do it as precisely as possible to get a smooth, crisp level. Lay down the concrete to create an outline within which to lay your paving slabs.

Step 4: Preparing To Lay

The first stage of the laying is to create a bed layer comprised of crushed concrete roadstone or sand, which then provides a bed on which to lay the paving materials directly on top of. The depth of this layer will vary depending on factors such as the type of paving, the level to which it will compact and which materials you intend to use. As this forms the final level before the surface is placed, making sure it is levelled sufficiently and compacted as much as possible is vital to ensure this layer is a stable platform for the paving to lay on. This process is often known as screeding.

Step 5: Laying The Paving

Laying your paving should commence from the bottom of any slope and at a straight edge. This is to ensure uniformity and structure within the paving is maintained. At this point, any designs and patterns are considered and different blocks are bricks are often alternated between to complete said patterns and give the driveway some aesthetic variety. Any changes to the alignment of the slabs are made at this stage, including cutting or reshaping slabs to fit gaps, if necessary. For ideas for patterns and layouts for your paving, browse our patterns guide.

Step 6: Finishing Up

The final stages of paving involve sweeping kiln sand across the laid driveway to fill the gaps between the slabs and block the joints so no water or foreign bodies can disrupt the drying of the paving. A vibrating plate compactor can then be used to fully compact the paving before another sweep of sand. This process is sometimes repeated a few times to ensure that the end result is of the best possible quality.