Block paving issues for drive way

18 Oct 2013
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United Kingdom
My 'man with a digger' prepared my drive way for block paving with crusher-run as sub-base material and it is sloping away from the house.

Unfortunately I'm left to finish of the rest of the job with someone else as he is busy and cannot return for a while (still on good terms so no issues etc just a casual working relationship).

My questions are:
1. Taking into account a slight slope, the height of the sub-base and the top of the drainage channe (pavement end) is only 2.5 inches so about 64mm. With the block paving 50mm deep that leaves only 14mm for the sharp sand bedding. Has he cocked up, should the depth allowed for the sand be more or am I still ok as more can be laid since the rest will be sloping up? Wen is the downside to not having enough sharp sand if you have a solid sub base which is 100mm+ in depth.

2. I have some very large wooden sleepers to install on the side flower bed (to make up a height of around 0.6m) to butt up to the block paving edge. How are these to be installed, do they need to be cemented or concreted into the ground or simply just laid? I have to double decker them in order to build up height to act as a retaining wall.

3. I have a manhole cover to sort out which will now form part of the slope. They builders merchant said the old size frame and cover I had is either not made any more or they don't supply it so they gave me a slightly smaller one and sold me a lintel to add support. How should these metal frame manholes be installed - to the ground and I guess it needs to be slopes and not horizontal to the block paving drain channel which is 2ft away from it?

I will get someone else to finish the job but just want to make sure I understand how it should be done properly.

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For a start the sub base for a driveway should be 150mm.

Secondly blocks for a driveway need to be 60 or 80mm 50mm are advised for patio and paths only.

trying to physically get the sand at 15mm thick will be very difficult and require a perfectly prepared sub base.

The sleeper wall is 2 foot high which isn't massive but if retaining a driveway need to be very well secured. I would concrete posts in and attached your sleepers to these. Then the driveway behind the sleepers could be back filled with lean mix concrete.

As for the manhole it sounds a bit like they didn;t have the right size so they told you some balls to sell you what they had.

When paving around a manhole most people will set the concrete around the opening to perhaps 30mm below the final level then lay the paving and bed the cover on 30mm of mortar.

Trying to get the height perfect before screeding sand is possible but can be a faff and its often better to tweak it once the paving is being laid as you can twist it to be more square to the laying pattern or to allow for neater cuts

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