Block-paved drive advice please

27 Mar 2009
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United Kingdom
I want a new block paved drive and Im concerened that the weight of my Land Rover (3000kg) might cause tyre ruts over the years.

Should I request a minimum hardcore base of say 150mm compacted in layers? Should I go deeper?

Any advice regarding suitable lighting set into the driveway would be appreciated.

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You'd want 150mm even for a normal car. If layed properly i don't see any real need for more than 200
It wont matter if you had a smart car, as it is repetitive driving in the same place which causes ruts, and it is the sand base which will cause the issue not so much the hardcore base

Geo-textile across the hardcore before dropping the sand will be better than deeper hardcore
Agree with Woodchip you need a stiffer base.

Heavy duty applications would receive a concrete sub-base. The wacker just bounces when driven over these fellas.
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I would go here for comprehensive advice on block paving. If you are doing it yourself I cannot stress enough the need to make sure that you do not leave any soft spots in the ground before you start laying hardcore, Then, when you lay the hardcore, thoroughly compact it - Failure to do this bit properly will give you later problems no matter how well you finish off. I would also strongly recommend you go for pre-compaction of the sand bed.
Thanks guys :D

So minimum 150mm hardcore, compressed in layers?
Geo-textile between the hardcore and the sand, or between the sub-base and hardcore?
Compress/whack the sand prior to laying the blocks?

Useful link blagard, thanks ;)
150mm minimum hardcore is reasonable. You can compact in a single layer using heavy compaction equipment like a compacting roller. If you use a heavy duty wacker plate on one full thickness layer it will take a heck of a long time with many many passes (It's not just the top of the hardcore you need to compact , but the full depth of the layer). I would suggest two layers if you use a wacker plate. Geo-textile is unneccessary except in problem situations - check that link for further information. Also check the quality of your hardcore - it should compact with a nicely closed off surface with no voids. Pre-compact (whacker) the sand before you screed off to the level set by your screed rails. Do your initial compaction of the blocks without the kiln dried sand. Any blocks that are damaged at this stage are easily replaced, finally used the kiln dried sand to fill the joints which also locks the blocks together, Use the wacker to settle the sand into the joints topping up as necessary.

Be aware that blocks come in different thickness's to suit the duty required.
Thanks very much Blagard. The first quote i received was only for 100mm hardcore. At least I now know to ensure the next quotes I receive specifies;

150mm base minimum, whacked in layers
sand layer whacked
blocks layed and whacked
kiln dried sand between joints and whacked again.

Thanks again :D

If some-one is going to do it for you, the methods of working from the top of the hardcore upwards can be done differently. For instance, pre-compaction of sand is not essential, but it has been found to give better results. Similarly if you sand and whack the blocks in one operation, it is OK. The problem being it is really tough to get out a damaged block once the sand is in. If a contractor does it, that's his problem.

I used the method I described after reading the link I put up. I was impressed how well it worked. Blocks that had defects in them got spotted as I walked the course of whacking them down without the sand. It was easy to pull them out (using two L shaped wires to slide in, turn and pull) and replace.

As my own blocks have a polished granite finish (yep a bit high spec!) I also had to use a sole plate on the whacker
Understood :), if a block breaks then its not my problem.

At least I have at least some knowkledge now, so that I can ask how they intend to prepare the base. If they mention any of the above then at least they should know what they are doing?

I just need to think about setting some lighting into the blocks now!!

Thanks for your help, and I will give your link a good read over the next day or so.

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