How To

How To Measure Up For Block Paving


28th March 2014

It’s spring and if you’re thinking about giving your home a quick facelift you might be considering block paving for your outdoor living spaces. Block paving is quick and easy to install and, as well as serving a useful practical purpose, it looks great.

Block paving can be installed in any outdoor space; from driveways to pathways, from patios to yards. But how do you work out how much you need?

As with any measurement job it’s easy when you know how and, of course, when you’re armed with the right tools for the job. Read our step-by-step guide and learn how to successfully measure your outside space for block paving.

Be Prepared!

You will need...

  • tape measure
  • pencil or pen
  • string
  • pegs
  • hammer
  • calculator
  • paper

Measuring For Block Paving

  1. Draw a sketch of the area you want to pave. Use the sketch to take a note of the length and width of the area. You need these measurements to work out the minimum amount of block paving you need to lay.
  2. It is helpful to mark out the area you are paving with string and pegs. Drive pegs into the ground at intervals along the width and length of the area and fasten the string around them. For longer lines it may be necessary to use several pegs so the line doesn’t sag.  
  3. Measure the length and width of the space along the string lines with a tape measure and make a note of them on the sketch. If you are block paving a driveway ensure you make it wide enough to comfortably accommodate your vehicle. For example, if you are planning to block pave a driveway that will be used by one car it needs to be at least 5.5m (18ft) long and 3.5m (10ft) wide. Please note that you must make sure that you measure your car and the space required to move/turn it as necessary.
  4. Working out how much you need is very straightforward as block paving is bought by area rather than per block. Calculate the block paving you need by multiplying the length of the space by the width. This will give you the area for paving in square metres or square feet (depending on your preference).

Your supplier will round up to the nearest full pack of paving blocks, so there will be some blocks left over, but a savvy paver should also allow 5% wastage for cuts or accidents.

How Many Blocks?

  1. If you’re curious to know just how many blocks you’ll use to pave the space start by calculating the area of a single block. Multiply the length of the block by the width to work out its area.
  2. Divide the total area of the space (calculated in Step 3) by the area of a single block (calculated in Step 4) and you will have the exact number of blocks required.

An accurate, easy to use tape measure is essential for successfully measuring up your outside space for block paving. Take a look at our range of everyday tape measures ( to find the perfect tool for your DIY project.

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