aj mccormack and son

Block Paving - Page 01
The Brew Cabin
block paving


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Forum Question 50 mm paviors - John@aintree.paving - Feb 4th 2001
Why dont you use 50mm block paviors on 50mm compacted sand.This is suggested by all manuals everywhere. You suggest 60mm on 35-50mm sand .Do you think there is potential for a little give in the ground for 50mm sand.
forum answer Tony McCormack - Feb 4th 2001
50mm pavers do not comply to the relevant BS for concrete block paving for public highways. They are intended solely for residential driveways and patios, where they are generally fine. However, we obtain the 60mm BS compliant blocks for a matter of coppers more per m2 than the 50mm blocks, and further, we prefer the aesthetic finish of the 60mm block from a certain manufacturer to that of their 50mm block.

The "all manuals everywhere" to which you refer must be the sales brochures put out by the manufacturers of the 50mm blocks to serve the residential and diy market - if you look at the actual standards and codes of practice published by and for the construction industry, you will find that 60mm blocks or thicker are stipulated for the vast majority of works. I would hazard a guess that you are not overly familiar with highway construction using concrete block paving, preferring to concentrate on contracting to the 'driveways' market, where these thinner units are a popular cost-saving item.

As for bed depth, 35-50mm is a typical specification. If a contractor can create a satisfactory pavement using a 35mm bed of sand, then why go to the extra trouble and expense of using 50mm depth? 35mm has been shown to provide an adequate 'cushion' between sub-base and paver, although, in practice, most contractors will aim for a bed averaging 42-48mm in compacted depth.

Forum Question Block Paved Driveway for Van - Chris - Feb 28th 2001
I am just about to lay a new driveway in Driveline 50 blocks and have been advised to make the sub base out of road planings 200mm thick is this really necessary as all the articles i have read say 100mm. I do intend to park a van on this drive and the soil is clay.
forum answer Tony McCormack - Feb 28th 2001
Do NOT use road planings - they can turn to mush if they get saturated. 100-150mm of DTp1 granular sub-base will cost you only a few coppers more and will give a more reliable foundation than owld road planings - leave them to the farmers for patching up their access tracks!

Given you're using a van, I'd be tempted to go for a 150mm thick sub-base, rather than 100mm. You only lay a sub-base once, and it is the load-bearing layer for the entire pavement - might as well get it right first time. smiley

Forum Question Re-using a sub-base and setting out the blocks - Geoff L - Mar 10th 2001
Tony I have two queries which you may able to help with.

1/ I plan to take up my existing tarmac drive which is in good condition. My question is would it be ok to just remove the tarmac off the existing g s b sub-base and use this sub-base after leveling any areas disturbed in the removal of the tarmac. I have dug a trial hole and found aprrox 80 to 100mm of tarmac and approx 150mm of g s b sub-base.

2/ My other question is, the drive is bounded by the house wall and a garden wall with a space of 3530mm between them. I plan to use 200 x 100 x 50mm blocks laid in 90 degree herring bone pattern, I also want to lay a soldier course around the outside. Using an equal no: of blocks this will leave as 30mm gap what is the best way to deal with this. Should I leave a 15mm gap either side and fill the space with sand and cement or could you suggest a better solution.

forum answer Tony McCormack - Mar 10th 2001
1 - yes, you can, and should, use the existing sub-base, after doing any regrading work that is required. As it's been in place for umpteen years, you know that it's sound, that it's settled as much a sit is likely to, and there's no point in forking out for new. Once you've got it cleared and re-graded, just run over it a few tuimes with a roller/wacker plate to tighten it up again.

2 - Flamin' 'eck! That's all a bit precise. It'd be a miracle if you *did* end up with a 30mm gap, as you've not allowed for the theoretical 3mm joint between each of the blocks. wink

On most jobs of this nature (bounded by fixed objects such as walls), it's not uncommon to end up with a situation where cut blocks are required. There's a fairly detailed discussion on cutting-in in the block paving section of my site, but just remember the golden rule: no block less than 1/3 of a full block. Don't be making up any fillets of mortar; it looks unprofessional and they inevitably crack. Use the cutting-in procedures I describe and the job will be so much better for it.

Forum Question Heavy Duty Residential Drive - Paul King - Mar 10th 2001
Before stating my problems, well done on this website, it has so much useful well presented information, Thank you.

Having bought a cottage with a trashed drive two years ago, I now want to get a good drive in place, the heaviest vehicles to go up it will be my 8.5tonne JCB and a small Massey Fergy tractor. The soil is mainly Clay.

Which construction method should I choose residential Drive or Commercial? and where should I look to get my bricks for the drive, I have been quoted 90p per brick and as the area is 1310 sq mtrs that would be too much.

The Cottage is stone as you can see on the website so anything you suggest that is in keeping would be very appreciated.

forum answer Tony McCormack - Mar 10th 2001
Given the largish vehicles you've got tracking up and down the proposed drive, combined with the fact that you have your own JCB, I'd suggest you go for a heavier construction. A 225-300mm sub-base should be fine, as long as the sub-grade is sound and that the DTp1 is properly compacted. 225mm thickness can be laid as one layer, but *must* be compacted with a decent roller, NOT a wacker plate; if you go for 300mm, llay it as 2 layers, and compact the first before placing and compacting the second. Again, use a roller such as a Bomag 90 rather than a wacker plate, unless it's one of the beefy plates. A standard paving plate is fine for the actual blockwork, but the sub-base needs thorough compaction.

And don't be tempted to use 50mm blocks; get the proper 60mm stuff, or, if you can get a ood price, the 80mm blocks. 90p per block is ridiculous - you can get quality 200x100x60mm concrete blocks for less than 9 quid per m² (18p per block), but you may prefer something a little more 'traditional', such as the Tegula by Marshalls, or the Priory range from RMC, which will both cost you around 15-17 quid per m².

At 1300+ m², you might be able to buy direct from the manufacturer. Certainly, RMC are fairly amenable to direct selling of full loads for cash up front, but Marshalls prefer everyone to go via a BM. I'd get at least 3 BMs to quote you for the supply - try 2 larger national firms, eg Jewson and TP, and get a smaller local firm to quote as well; they will often do you a better rate than the big boys in order to get your business.

Lovely cottage, by the way - whereabouts are you? You should build those great photos into a proper web page. smiley

Forum Question Block Paving over concrete - Ken - Mar 13th 2001
I would like to know if i can lay block paving bricks onto any existing concrete drive
forum answer Tony McCormack - Mar 14th 2001
Yes, you can lay block paving over an existing concrete driveway, but there are a couple of things you need to watch out for.

Firstly, if the paving runs against the house or the garage, you must make sure that the top of the block paving will be at least 150mm below any damp proof course (dpc). Bear in mind that the blockwork and the bedding sand are likely to add up to 100mm of depth, so you'll need the existing concrete to be at least 250mm below dpc, otherwise, you're running the risk of creating damp problems within the property itself.

Secondly, you need to make some provision for draining the bedding sand that is, effectively, sandwiched between the concrete and the paving blocks. If the bedding layer becomes saturated, it can become fluid which can lead to rutting, settlement or worse. Make sure there are regular 'breaks' in the concrete base, preferably channels cut out approx 100mm wide that will allow any water held within the bedding layer to drain away to to the sub-grade.

On commercial applications, we often incorporate a length of perforated drain specifically to carry away the excess groundwater held by the bedding layer, but this may not be feasible on a residential project.

Apart from the above, you simply treat the existing concrete as the sub-base layer and follow the guidance given elsewhere on my site.

Hope that helps. Good luck!

Forum Question Clay paviors/screed bars - John@aintree.paving - Mar 26th 2001
1-How do you cut a diagonal on a Marshalls clay paviour? Me diamond blade just bouncers of them. My block cutter breaks the block and I used two concrete blades on 4 cuts. Luckily I only had a small radius but dread the job if it is going to involve more than about 20 cuts unless they are in half.

2-what do you recomend for your screed bars. I use scaffold tubes which I find very good as they don't bend or warp like timber but are a pain to carry around. Would electricians conduit bend and what would you say would be the best thickness?

3-Would you advocate the use of a petrol auger for digging fence holes as a speedy method? My only concern is the hole although being tight would not allow much space for concrete.

forum answer Tony McCormack - Mar 27th 2001
1 - use a masonry bench saw, if you have a lot of cuts to do in clay pavers. There are special splitters available with separate tungsten teeth rather than a top and lower blade, that are alleged to be more efficient for clay pavers.

The most difficult cuts in clays are those requiring a cut of more than 30 degrees from square, and the only viable answer is a the masonry saw, even at 60-75 quid for a couple of days, they are much quicker and less wasteful than any other method.

2 - Do you mean the trammel bars for establishing levels? We use 4.5m lengths of 20mm dia stainless steel conduit or 15x25mm U-section bars. They need to be kept flat to prevent twisting or bending, so don't just carry them on a Transit roof rack!

3 - Not unless the soil was a light loam and completely free of stones, bricks, roots or other impediments. A machine-mounted auger is fine, but the hand-held yokes, even the two-man jobbies, are a waste of time.

forum answer Steve Stiansen - Apr 8th 2001
On the diamond blade wear, I would look into what type of blade you are using. There are many different types of blades out there, and each is meant for different material. Using a blade not meant for clay could be one of the problems.

Also, not sure exactly, but are you cutting wet or dry? Using a wet table masonry saw may also help to increase the blade length, along with making those difficult angle cuts much easier.

As for screed rails, I do a quite a bit of work with interlocking concrete paving stones, and use electrical conduit for my rails. I use a 1 inch (250mm) diam. rail. I use the heaviest grade available, and have no problems with it flexing or bending.

As for the auger, anything hand-held is a pain, even the gas type 2 man models. Your best bet is a tractor mount/skidsteer mount, and augers of varying diameters are readily available.

Forum Question Designs for Woburn Blocks - Ray - Apr 19th 2001
I must warn u that now ive found this site i'll be a right pest

Charcon woburn rumbled, i think i am going to go for the design on the front of their catalogue. its using two sizes large & med i believe but am not convinced. i phoned them to ask how do i work out the ratio of what to purchase for that pattern, i have approx. 45 m² to lay. it does not say in the catalogue. after speaking to about 4 different people the last one put me on hold then mysteriously hung up??? so i tried later....still couldnt get an answer..then the last person said 3 packs of the large and 2 of the medium will give me about 42 m². well to be quite honest im not convinced. ive been quoted £17.5/m² inc. is this a good price? and can these blocks be laid in curves? cheers.

forum answer Tony McCormack - Apr 19th 2001
I assume you mean the 4-block pattern........


........featured on the front of their latest catalogue. This uses equal numbers of the 200x134 blocks and the 134x134 blocks. Using basic maths.....

2 x (134x134) = 0.0359m² (square blocks)
2 x (200x134) = 0.0536m² (rectangular blocks
.....................    0.0895m² per 'set'

.....and so, the ratio of each type of block is......

Squares = 0.0359 ÷ 0.0895 = 40%
Rects = 0.0536 ÷ 0.0895 = 60%

.....therefore, 40% of your total area needs to be square blocks and 60% needs to be rectangles.

You state that you have 45m² to pave, therefore you will need approx 18m² of the square blocks and 27m² of the rectangles, plus a bit extra for wastage. There are 9m² per pack of the brindle squares, so 2 packs will give you the 18m² you need and just over 9m² per pck of brindle rectangles, so 3 packs will give you 27m², just as the salesbod told you.

However, this leaves no leeway for wastage.

As for laying in curves, do you mean curved soldier courses as shown on the front of their catalogue, or circles as on p10?

Pricewise, I can't really comment, as the rate we pay as contractors tends to be slightly more favourable, but it depends on just whereabouts the work is located, particularly the distance from the nearest distribution plant. That price sounds fair for the quantity of work you have proposed.

Good luck!

Forum Question Finishing Off - joints and lines - Steve - Apr 23rd 2001
Hi, I've almost finished laying about 50 m² of 60mm block paving using the 45° Herringbone pattern. Do you suggest that I put my kiln dry sand in before I whacker the blocks at all or should they be whacked once without any sand? ( my whacker plate doesn't have a rubber mat, is this a problem? and I've used 'Brett' blocks which aren't clay. )

Also, exactly how straight should my lines look now, although they look relatively straight there is some 'bend' in the lines, is this to be 'expected' to some degree or should they be dead straight?

Thanks your your help.

forum answer Tony McCormack - Apr 23rd 2001
Hi Steve,

you should brush the dried jointing sand into your paving and leave a 'dusting' on the surface before compacting. The plate will vibrate the sand into the joints and you may need to top up as you proceed.

As for your lines, they should be absolutely straight, but some deviation is allowable, seeing as it's your own driveway. If you're happy with it, then that's all that really matters, but it is worth spending half an hour or so trying to persuade the blocks into straightish lines if you can.

Forum Question Between the blocks - Ray Douglas - Apr 28th 2001
Can anyone please advise on the state of the art for filling in the gaps between block pavings. I know silver sand is usually recommended but having just spent a few days clearing out all the moss and weeds from my drive I now want to replace and fill in with a material which MIGHT prevent future growth?
forum answer Tony McCormack - Apr 30th 2001
Hi Ray,

it's not necessarily a silver sand that's used for the jointing in block paving; it's the grain sizes and range of sizes that are important, not the colour. In some parts of the country, the locally-available jointing sand is definitely reddish in colour.

As long as you buy a sand marked as a block paving jointing sand, you should be ok. To keep the sand more securely in place, you could use a weak solution of PVA watered-in once the joints have been filled, or use the Marshall's product 'Keybond', which is basically the same thing. These will have no effect on the appearance of the blocks themselves.

Alternatively, a quality sealant such as Resiblock 22 will prevent loss of sand in the future and seal your paving at the same time, although you do get a gloss or semi-gloss finish to the blockwork. This is the best solution to keeping weed colonisation of the joints to a minimum.

Good luck!

Forum Question 'Darts' ? -Steve Stiansen - May 7th 2001
I was looking through your site (as it seems I do often anymore) and saw you discussion on 'darts', or the small pieces of bricks that are left when you cut a turn in on a flexible type paving stone.

My question is whether you always eliminate 'darts' or if you sometimes leave them in? I've always been the type to stick to the pattern, and will cut even the smallest pieces in just to keep the pattern flowing. However, I do see the pieces sink often, or even worst, break (especially during compaction) and would like to try the idea of leaving the 'darts' out.

My problem is how would it look for smaller areas such as walksways, where the edging is much more noticeable than say a larger area such as a drive or larger patio. For larger areas, I can see ones eye easily flowing past the slight pattern change at the edge, however, for smaller areas, I would think it would be much more noticeable.

Just seeing what anyone's comments are on this subject.

forum answer Tony McCormack - May 9th 2001
Darts should be avoided wherever possible. Any cut brick less than one-half of a full unit should be replaced with a larger piece, as described on the Cutting-in Page

You'll hardly notice the break in pattern after a couple of weeks. For small paths and the like, it may be wise to consider a pattern that reduces the number of small pieces of cutting-in required, such as, say, a running bond.

Forum Question Falls to Grids - John@aintree paving - May 15th 2001
I have a drive to lay in block paving. The drive is flags and falls to a grid at the corner of the house. Although most of the rain goes down the joints of the flags.This gully is the only water disposal. The gully is 6" below d.p.c fine. However the distance I have to the gully is 5.8m

How do i get a required fall of approx4-5" without going 1 brick below dpc.

Can I lift the paving 4-5" as required but leave it 2-3" from the house and put decorative chippings down to keep the hard paving from rain splash?

I can't see where else the rain water can go. Do I have to put channels along the wall toward the grid? This would create a problem as she wants a curved step wouldnt you know.


forum answer Tony McCormack - May 21st 2001
The levels elsewhere on the site will need to be adjusted and additional drainage installed. As a contractor, you cannot afford to breach the 150mm below dpc rule - your insurance will probably be void if a claim was to arise.
Forum Question Laying blocks on mortar - John Brimble - May 23rd 2001
I am planning a fair sized patio in block paviors (60mm thick. All the advice is that there should be an edge of blocks bedded in mortar and then a compacted sand base on which to lay the paviors. Is there any disadvantage to simply laying the whole lot on a mortar bed, as is often done with patio slabs? Sorry if this is a noddy level query, but I can find no explanation for any objection to this technique?
forum answer Tony McCormack - May 24th 2001
Hi John,
the method you describe is known as Rigid Block Paving and there's a separate page dealing with it on my site. However, the blocks commonly available from BM's and the DIY sheds are NOT suitable for this type of paving. Read the relevant page than post back if you have any further questions.
Forum Question Screeding & Classico - Steve Moore - May 27th 2001
Having trawled your website for much help (why don't the paviour manufacturers try?) one query on screeding. You mention that screeding should be done in one go, ie a single layer of lightly compacted sand. Top Pave suggest you put a compacted layer of sand on the sub-base. Follow this with an uncompacted thinner raked layer on which to lay the paviours. Which results in the soundest construction?
Also is it better to lay a Classico SQ8 pattern at 45 deg to the direction travel for a drive?
Congrats on an excellent site.
forum answer Tony McCormack - May 29th 2001
I'm aware of what Top Pave and certain other manufacturers 'recommend' with regard to screeding, but I find that the single layer method I describe gives perfect results and minimises differential settlement, which can occur (albeit relatively minor) when laying over a non-compacted 'scatter bed'.

As for the Classico, you should be fine laying it square to the direction of travel. I think that pattern loses itself when viewed from an angle.

HTH and good luck!

forum answer Steve Stiansen - May 31st 2001
I agree with Tony, but will say that I have changed my method slightly over the past year.

I deal mainly in concrete interlocking pavers. We use a QP base (3/4 inch stone mixed with fines) as a base, then use stone dust for screeding. I have found, that after compacting the base, there are a lot of pockets of 'raw stone' that do not pack very well and that have a lot of smaller pockets of air. These seem to be created alot, alot of time do to inconsitancy of the bedding material (especially on smaller jobs, when you dump a load, it seems the stone seperates, and when you get to the end of the pile, you are left with more larger material than fines, which happen to end up on the top of the base as it is the end of the final load)

now, after compacting the base course, I rake a thin layer of stone dust across the top of the base, and then compact that in, filling all of those small gaps. After that, I then proceed with screeding my bedding course that ther pavers will set into the traditional way as tony suggests.

Forum Question Fixing Screeding Guides - Mike Brett - Jun 28th 2001
Firstly, thanks and congratulations on producing a site that is a delight to browse and packed full of genuine good stuff. I can think of several other site authors who should be forced to look at yours!

I have to lay some pavoirs to make a 2m wide path round a building. On two sides of this (a 10 m run in each case) the path is hemmed in between the building and a block-built retaining wall. I wondered if you had any practical suggestions about establishing screeding rails where I've no leeway to fix pins into softer ground wide of the path, and the natural rocky sub-base laughs at wooden stakes. I've got sufficient suitable wood or scaffold poles to use as rails, it's the matter of locating them accurately, then stopping them moving! To complicate matters even more in order to drain these runs I'll probably have to create summits and valleys along the run, so it won't even be a continuous straight line run. As a first-timer, it's not clear to me whether, say, using the screeding sand as a haunch for the rail will be sufficient for the purpose. I'd appreciate any suggestions you might have.

forum answer Tony McCormack - Jun 29th 2001
Thanks for the kind words, Mike. smiley

Laying this is not going to be as difficult as you might imagine, Mike. If you lay a soldier edging course to each edge first, using a string line and steel road pins to guide line and level, and bedding onto a cementitious mix, you can then screed off the soldier edgings for the body of the paving. You can lay the soldiers to summits and valleys with relative ease, and then, once the rest of the bedding is screeded out, the body of the paving is more or less guaranteed to be falling in the right directions.

Take some pix of the work, if you can, and let me see how you get on with it.

Forum Question Edgings - gb - Jul 9th 2001
Firstly I would like to thank you for such a clear and informative website.
the only thing I found unclear was when laying the edging blocks on the bedding concrete it wasn't clear weather the bedding concrete should be on the subbase or not. This is probably a very silly question, but I would like to know.
forum answer Tony McCormack - Jul 9th 2001
It all depends on the type of construction you are undertaking. Normally, the edging courses are bedded onto concrete laid over the sub-grade, and then the sub-base material is added later, so that it is 'contained' by the edgings.

There are one or two situations where the concrete bedding may be placed on the sub-base, but in the vast majority of small residential jobs (which I assume this is), have the concrete bedding laid directly over the sub-grade.

Forum Question Acrington Nori pavers - Gordon Murty - Jul 10th 2001
Hi again,
I am starting on the landscaping of my back garden and intend to use Block paving paths (filled with confidence after my drive last year as per your DIY pages) I found a supply of seconds that I like and bought up all that the yard had, they look so good I am looking for more but do you know of any possible source ? either seconds or first quallity?

They are Accrington Nori and were described as Sherbourne Red.

If anyone can Im sure the paving GURU can.

forum answer Tony McCormack - Jul 13th 2001
Hi again Gordon,
the Sherbourne Red are manufactured by Marshalls at their Accrington plant. Leigh Concrete might be able to get hold of 'seconds' or 'overbakes' for you, or you could try 'phoning the Clay Sales dept (0113 282 2141).

You can get 'firsts' of Sherbourne Red in the 50mm Claypave from Jewson or Leigh Concrete.

Forum Question - Gordon Murty - Jul 15th 2001
Will check for Accrington Noris at Leigh Concrete.

After much thought we are thinking of using natural stone as a surface for the Patio area, do you know of any local dealers? A few buiding/Garden centers have some but it is priced by the flag and very expensive, we are looking for about 20 sq mtrs.

forum answer Tony McCormack - Jul 16th 2001
York stone? The decent reclaimed stuff, 40-50mm thick, sells for around 36-40 quid per sq metre. You can get cheaper, but the quality isn't as good. I'll send you some tel numbers by email, if you wish.
Forum Question Sealing of block paved drives - Tony Neale - Jul 25th 2001
I am having a block paved drive laid (approx 270 sq mtrs) and would like any advice or guidance that can be offered regarding selaing the blocks after they have been laid.

- Is there any benefit
- Does the sealent have to be re applied regularly or is it a " one off" application.
- How long after the blocks are laids should the sealant be applied.

forum answer Tony McCormack - Jul 26th 2001
Answers to all these questions are given on the Sealants page of this site. If you require more info, post back here.
Forum Question Path Drainage - Mike Brett - Jul 29th 2001
After several distractions (including discovering and repairing a couple of broken Hepsleve rainwater pipes with a 2.5 m long 'beard' of root growth inside!), I'm now preparing the detail of my planned path.

At one point I need to include a 1000 x 120 drainage channel in my standard 200 x 100 block paving, which I'm intending to lay as a 90 deg herringbone. There seem to be at least two options on how this might be laid out. Firstly, I position the drainage channel "centrally" in the pattern such that there is on each side a (200 - 120)/2 = 40 mm strip and fill this with concrete, or secondly I butt the channel up against one of the natural 'breaks' in the pattern on one side and cut the blocks up against the other side. With this second option I'd need to split blocks longways it would seem, and I don't know as an amateur whether such cutting is difficult (i.e. would the blocks tend to break up or would their integrity be reduced?).

How, please, would a professional deal with this? I hope that despite my being unable to post design sketches on this forum you understand the question! (Also if you cover this on the website but I've failed to find it, I apologise.....)

Regards and thanks - Mike

forum answer Tony McCormack - Apr 2nd 2001
Hi again Mike,
I can't abide concrete/mortar infill in block paving - it looks awful shoddy and is guaranteed to draw attention to itself. So, you should cut the block paving to finish tight against the edges of the linear drain.
I've done a drawing illustrating the most common solutions and added it to the page that covers linear drains.

A soldier edging, either single or double width, and possibly in a contrasting colour, can look really good around a feature such as a linear drain or a manhole cover, but that is up to you and what's suits your taste. The main point to note is how what would have been 200mm long cuts have been replaced by two 100mm wide units cut down to size. Whilst this may break the bond of the pattern, for such a small area, it really doesn't matter.

Good luck! Send me a picture when you're done. smiley

forum answer Mike Brett - Aug 1st 2001
Thanks again, Tony; I didn't expect a bespoke section on your website in response (*grin*)! I think I'll go for your soldier course suggestion, but in the same colour. That will at least minimise the number of (small) cut blocks.

Best Wishes - Mike

Forum Question Interfacing the edge of block paving - Roger Thompson - Aug 1st 2001
I have received a quote for laying a new block paved driveway. My query relates to the best way of interfacing the new drive to the existing ramp from the roadway.The ramp is uneven (undulates) across the width of the driveway entrance, and the contractor recommends leaving a gap between the ramp and the start of the new paving which will be bridged by a tarmac fillet. Any comments or recommended alternatives please.
forum answer Tony McCormack - Aug 1st 2001
Hi Roger,
your contractor is right; the best way to tie-in between your new paving and the existing access apron (ramp, as you call it) is to rely on a fillet of tarmac or concrete. This is normally around 300mm wide, although it may be more. Any less is likely to be flicked out to easily.

The key point is that the threshold edge of your paving is set to the correct level so that, if, at some future date, the boyoes from the council come along and resurface the apron, they will lay the new surface to the level of your drive. However, if the driveway threshold is laid to match the undulating surface of the apron, as some less competent contractors do, when the resurfacing work does takes place, the levels are still a mess!

Have you read the page about repair macadams? They are used by a lot of contractors to construct these fillets but they are not without problems. Best to 'dust' the surface with some of the jointing sand, just to prevent the binder being tracked over your new paving.

Forum Question Sloping driveway - Geoff Hughes - Aug 2nd 2001
I am planning a sett or block driveway connecting to a minor road (usual asphalt) over 12" of grass verge (I have the necessary permissions and highway specifications etc.). The problem(s) is/are that the road has a slope, and the driveway will also slope downwards from this to the parking area. Are there any special concerns/tips/tricks for dealing with this? It looks mighty complex to lay, and any advice and info would be VERY gratefully received.
forum answer Tony McCormack - Aug 2nd 2001
Hi Geoff,
I'd guess that you mean a 12 ft wide verge, rather than 12 inches!

Does you LA require this apron (as we call them) to slope towards the roadway? The usual spec is 1:40 crossfall to the road, but some LAs are flexible on this and sometimes allow other arrangements.

Whether you use setts or blocks, the key to a succesful job that doesn't look like a dog's back leg, is to get your edge courses established first and use these as a guide to screeding a bedding layer. With block paving and the new sawn setts, this is relatively easy as all the paving units are of the same depth, but with reclaimed setts, you may have to use the screeded bed as a general guide. Although it may appear to be a complicated job at first glance, it's actually quite simple; the small scale of setts/blocks makes them perfect for 'rolling' planes such as you will have on this project. remember that your screeded bed will be an almost identical copy of the finished surface profile; so, spend a good bit of time getting that right and the rest, as they say, will fall into place.

Good luck! Let me know how you get on


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