AB Contractor News

Exclusively for Allan Block Contractors

Q2 2021 Issue

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ABU Online

Contractor ABU (Allan Block University) Online is picking up the pace during the winter months. Check out the topics and dates below and register today for the online events that best fit your schedule. These events happen once a month and on the third Tuesday of each month all year long. Simply click the link below for each of the events that best fits into your day:



Contractor ABU Online

Allan Block provides 8 different webinars to attend. We have two different topics each day of the week.

Tuesday and Thursday at
9 AM or 3 PM CDT

Be sure to Follow us on Instagram or Facebook so we can Like and Share to promote your great Allan Block projects!

Inspiring Projects

Allan Block Retaining Wall Photo
AB Classic

Allan Block Retaining Wall Photo
AB Aztec

Allan Block Retaining Wall Photo
AB Europa-Abbey Blend Pattern

Allan Block Retaining Wall Photo
AB Europa-Abbey Blend Pattern

Allan Block Retaining Wall Photo
AB Classic

Allan Block Retaining Wall Photo
AB Europa-Abbey Blend PAttern

Allan Block Retaining Wall Photo
AB Ashlar Blend Pattern

Allan Block Retaining Wall Photo
AB Lite Stone

Allan Block Retaining Wall Photo
AB AB Courtyard

Allan Block Retaining Wall Photo
AB Aztec

Allan Block Retaining Wall Photo
AB Aztec

Allan Block Retaining Wall Photo
AB Courtyard

Allan Block Retaining Wall Photo
AB Fence

Allan Block Retaining Wall Photo
AB Fence

Allan Block Retaining Wall Photo
AB Classic



In this Issue:

What's New @ AB: AB CADD

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Allan Block is keeping with their motto of “Always Better, Always Allan Block” by setting a new standard for retaining wall construction drawings. This new industry standard is to elevate the level of communication of relevant information regarding retaining wall design and installation. With the new update to the AB Walls design software, engineers can now design their wall(s) and create a single document with the built-in AB CADD program.

What to Expect:

  • Cover Page with page index and 3D Model project image
  • Multiple wall designs and layout in one document
  • Details referenced in the Specifications and Sections pages
  • Details selected based on wall design, plan view, and specifications
  • Material Estimates for multiple walls
  • Soil information located in the Specifications based on the design

AB CADD Outputs
Click to enlarge

AB CADD Outputs
Click to enlarge

See above to view an example of the AB CADD Construction Document output. For more information contact us at engineering@allanblock.com.


Contractor Program - Getting Certified and Rewarded

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Last quarter, we talked about the steps and benefits of becoming an AB Certified Contractor, which consists of attending an AB Contractor Certification Course and completing the hands-on portion with your local rep.

So, let’s say you have completed the course, aced the test, and attended the hands-on portion with your local rep. Now what? The last step is for you to build an Allan Block wall that has is a minimum height of 3 ft (.9 m) and at least 300 units (full size or equivalent). Once you inform your local sales representative, they can submit the appropriate paperwork to Allan Block Corp., and we will send you your Allan Block Certificate. Then the fun really begins.

Once you become an AB Certified Contractor building walls and submiting your projects, either through your rep or through us, is when you will start being rewarded. To submit your projects, use our AB Submittal Card and send it back to info@allanblock.com. Allan Block has three levels of rewards

  1. Bronze Level
  2. Silver Level
  3. Gold Level

Each level has different requirements. The more walls you build, the more rewards you receive. This program recognizes our AB Certified Contractors for their continued commitment to building top-quality Allan Block Projects. This is our way to say, “Thank You.”

Rewards

The rewards you obtain will help set you apart on the job site, and show your clients that you not only have the resources, but also the knowledge that is required to build top quality walls. Some of the rewards include an AB large contractor bag, AB bucket bag, AB cooler, AB toolbelt, wooden level, and an AB dead blow hammer.

We love seeing photos of our contractors receiving and using those rewards. Make sure to snap a couple and send them to info@allanblock.com or post them socially.


Contractor Talk - Parapet Tech Sheet

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When constructing retaining walls, a factor that must be addressed is the level of fall protection that will be required. For walls with a large amount of vegetation above, or low pedestrian traffic above, the risk of falls are low. But for raised patios or other high traffic areas, it is a must.

An easily integrated and aesthetically pleasing solution to minimize the risk for falls is to incorporate a parapet throughout your segmented retaining wall. Parapets, unlike fencing systems, can also provide added seating in raised patios without requiring additional space or material. But how do I combine my retaining wall and parapet together?

Allan Block has now created Parapet Tech Sheets, for both AB Fieldstone and AB Classic products, to assist you with everything you will need to know to construct safe and beautiful parapets with your next retaining wall project. In the tech sheet we cover:

  • Step by step instructions
  • Adding curves to parapets
  • Parapet sizes
  • Double Wall parapets
  • Adding posts to your parapet
  • Charts for quick reference
  • AB Dogbone units
  • Incorporation of our AB Fieldstone as well as all our other Allan Block Collections
Parapet Tech Sheet

See our new Parapet Tech Sheets as well as all our other tech sheets at www.allanblock.com. If you have questions about a particular project, give us a call at (800) 899-5309 ext. 3 to reach our engineering department, or email us at engineering@allanblock.com or info@allanblock.com.


AB Aztec Collection

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Sleek, smooth, and wonderfully eye-catching, the AB Aztec Collection adds a superb spice to any commercial or residential landscape. Its molded, modern façade provides a beautiful contrast with the surrounding terrain. Easily described as “anciently inspired,” its unique veneer holds a beautiful and natural marble-type appearance. When the sun hits it just right, the wavy, stone-like patterns of each block casts incredible shadows, creating an effect that’s hard to replicate with competitor products.

If you’re unfamiliar with AB Aztec, fear not, for if you’ve built an AB Classic wall, there is nothing new to learn. Each Allan Block retaining wall product—regardless of collection—installs the same; no new methods to consider. You can also just as easily create a pattern wall design with the AB Aztec Ashlar Blend, which incorporates all four main retaining wall blocks into a preset two- or three-course pattern. Check with your local distributor for availability, as this is a perfect upselling opportunity to offer your clients when submitting project bids.

Aztec

Learn more about AB Aztec by perusing through our Residential Retaining Wall Manual, or browse through our Contractor Portal for similar resources, such as our AB Aztec overview.

For more information, visit our website or email us at salessupport@allanblock.com.


Hot Topic – Sales Tools and Contract Documents

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Here at Allan Block, we pride ourselves on the free tools we provide to our customers. You’ve probably seen plenty of promotion and advertisement for our design and estimating tools, but did you know that we have a whole variety of tools aimed at increasing your sales and promoting professionalism in the industry? Below are some of our most useful sales tools available to you that you may not have known about:

  • Allan Block Custom Catalogs: The Allan Block Custom Catalogs are the perfect place for you to generate project ideas for your customers. With the tool you can view Allan Block design ideas, product information, and installation tips. You can then select any information you find to include in a professionally formatted digital packet that Allan Block will send to you and you can share with your customers.
  • AB Residential Submittal Tool: Similar to the AB Custom Catalog Builder, the residential submittal tool is the perfect spot for you to select a variety of product pages to include in a professionally formatted digital packet that you can use for submittals to cities, homeowner association and more.
  • AB Scope of Work Document: The AB Scope of Work Document is your go-to resource for providing transparency to your customers and making sure all aspects of the project have been addressed. This document acts as a starting point that defines what work you will perform for the customer. With its checklist format, you can also use this document as a guide ensuring that nothing has been left out of the planning phase of your project. It’s always a great idea to include an expected timeline for the completion of the project.
  • AB Contract Document: The AB Contract Document is your first step to providing the customer with professional documentation and a signed agreement that establishes what you are providing to the customer and what they are paying you in return. This professional contract holds both parties accountable for the work that is going to be completed and shows the customer that they can expect professionalism when they use your services.

All tools listed above are free to use and have the ability to greatly improve the quality of work that you provide in your market. By taking advantage of the Custom Catalog Builder, AB Residential Submittal Tool, Scope of Work Document and AB Contract Document, you can be sure that you stay ahead of the competition and secure more sales.

Aztec

For a tutorial on any of these tools, please email info@allanblock.com and mention that you would like to learn more about the AB Sales Tools.


MWB Spotlight: Alex Shabani & Greenfield Landscaping

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As we start to get into the heat of construction season, in this issue we are making our way to North Vancouver, British Columbia. With mountains and vast grade changes, it is no wonder that Vancouver is a central hub for Allan Block retaining wall projects. This is largely in part due to our fantastic trained and certified contractors in the area who are always helping to showcase the “Always Better” motto that we represent here at Allan Block. One such installer that truly epitomizes this, is none other than Alex Shabani and his team at Greenfield Landscaping.

3d illustration of courtyard backyard

Back in 1996, Alex, his father, and his brothers came together to start Greenfield Landscaping as a family run business. They started with hardscaping such as pavers and some retaining wall work and continued to add to their services over time to become the all-encompassing company they are today. As such, Greenfield offers multiple services from excavation, hardscaping, soft scaping, water management, and everything in between to cover a project from beginning to end.

As their business grew, so of course did their experience, bringing Alex and his brothers all to the level of Master Wall Builders after one of their largest projects - a six-tiered wall that spanned over 30ft (9 m) in elevation change at its peak. It is the difficult and highly detailed projects like this that put Greenfield a step above much of their competition. Alex cannot emphasize how much experience comes into play with retaining wall installation. Anyone can install a retaining wall; however it is the education, training, and experience that makes a world of difference between the competition.

Alex now has multiple crews and sends his new installers to the Allan Block Contractor Certification Course to receive the necessary experience and knowledge required for their jobs. In doing so, these new workers can learn the fundamentals and acquire a higher level of understanding of retaining wall systems from concept design to installation and upkeep. This allows Alex and his brothers to communicate more effectively with their newer crew members on projects to ensure everything runs perfectly and seamlessly. This education is only made easier with the assistance of their local sales representative, Bruce Stickney with Expocrete. Alex stated that they can always rely on Bruce and the Expocrete team should they need any help with projects, engineering, and new employee trainings.

3d illustration of courtyard backyard

AB Courtyard wall and firepit with New World Facing Units

We asked Alex what he thought some of the most important facets of a retaining wall project might be for him, and he could not emphasize water management enough. Water management is key for any project, but especially in an area such as the North Shore of Vancouver where a retaining wall could be the most important part of a project due to the steep sloping areas. We here at Allan Block heartily agree as we always emphasize that water can be the number one enemy for a retaining wall project if not handled properly.

We cannot thank Alex and the team at Greenfield Landscaping enough for all the amazing work they have done throughout the years and for their assistance in helping us showcase the “Always Better” part of Allan Block. It is companies like Greenfield that continue to push Allan Block to be what it is today, and we cannot wait to see the work that is still yet to come.




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