AB Contractor News

Exclusively for Allan Block Contractors

August 2023

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In-Person AB Contractor Certification Dates

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In This Issue

We have many AB Contractor Certification classes scheduled out for September, use this opportunity for your professional development and learn about the Allan Block product line and the advantages of segmental retaining walls.

What's New: New Installation Videos for Retaining and Seating Walls

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Courtesy of our team here at Allan Block, we have been working to bring you visually appealing, new & updated videos in a catalog format that can be forwarded, printed, or emailed. Check out the AB Workshop Reference Document Here. We will be constantly updating this with new videos.

We are using our new Allan Block Workshop to combine real-life and computer automated 3D designs to answer questions and show visually how to use our products and tools. These videos will cover topics from:

Our new and updated videos cover installation for retaining and seating walls from a wholistic perspective, beginning to finish. These will aid you in ensuring your wall gets installed properly with no setbacks, mistakes, or failures down the road.

Use this reference document and videos to help your staff with our tools and product knowledge or show your DIY'ers and contractors as they can easily follow our installation steps for their Allan Block Projects.

Contractor Reference Cards

Sharing this document with the video descriptions will show your customers that you have the resources to help them succeed, making you the trusted advisor in your area.

Again, visit our video gallery for more installation videos.

ABU Online
Allan Block Contractor Resources

Find Everything you need - all in one place!

We have compiled all the information and resources you need, in a portal specifically made for you. Here you can find online training webinars, AB Contracter Certification Classes, estimating tools, rewards program information and much more!!

Enter the AB Contractor Portal


Featured Collection - AB Courtyard Collection

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When it comes to ease of installation, AB Courtyard is the product to turn to. This mortarless, non-engineered system is perfect for amping up your customers' outdoor space. Seating walls, countertops, and pillars are just the tip of the iceberg for building possibilities.

Utilize AB Courtyard to build beautiful patios that will transform a backyard from average to one-of-a-kind. Firepits, entertainment areas, and seating options like high-top bars and benches can be effortlessly installed with the system's unique ease of creating both curved and straight applications.

Learn more about this stellar collection by browsing through our AB Courtyard Installation Guide. You can also check out the distinctive facing style of AB New World Courtyard. Same installation, different look!

Aztec texture Aztec

Go the Extra Mile with Patterned Walls

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What is an easy way to enhance the look of a needed retaining wall?

You can add another dimension to a project by using the different block sizes in our retaining wall collections to create a hand-laid stone look.

Allan Block provides preset patterns to make the installation easy for both gravity walls and reinforced walls. Patterned walls can be used for straight, curved and even cornered walls. By using the multiple block sizes, you can step the top of the wall down in shorter lifts with the half high units.

Pattern Wall

If the wall required geogrid, it is very easy to add it to the wall using the preset 2-course pattern, allowing the geogrid to follow industry standard of 2 courses of block between layers of grid. Check out the Pattern Video for installation tips.

Pattern Gif

Get Your 2023 Rewards in!

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We at Allan Block would like to thank the contractors for what is shaping up to be a strong 2023! It is your dedication and commitment that makes Allan Block a recognized name in the industry. Whether you are a hardscapes veteran or this was your first year building Allan Block we would like to reward your hard work.

Take advantage of the Rewards Program for Contractors that, if you have attended our AB Certification Course, you are eligible to participate in.

What do you have to do to participate and claim your reward after the class?

Each contractor has the potential to receive up to 3 rewards a year, based on how much you install. So, get your project information in before 2023 ends.


Hot Topic: What's above your wall? Identifying common site features!

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Have you run into a situation on a customer's site that would require a large grade change, but they aren't thrilled by the prospect of a large wall of block? Terraces or tiered walls can be used to break up a tall wall, provide planting space, or even improve overall stability of the site. We often help designers and contractors like yourselves with these questions. When it comes to building your retaining wall, it's vital you consider the above wall conditions like surcharges and slopes acting on that structure. Surcharge, by definition, is any added weight above a wall. There are many scenarios that would result in a surcharge being applied above a retaining wall. Some examples include buildings, parking lots, walkways, roadways, dog parks, etc.

To plan for building a wall with a surcharge above, consider these things:


The other primary acting force above your wall that would impact your building process is a slope. There are multiple degrees of severity when it comes to the slopes above that can alter your wall building process. Building with more severe slopes like 2 to 1 or 3 to 1 will require the contractor to build with reinforced geogrid. In addition to extending the top layers of grid depending on the wall size, there will also need to be reinforced grid in the slope itself.

To plan for building a wall with a slope above, consider these things:

  • What is the grade of the slope? What is the height of that slope?
  • How far does the slope extend behind the wall?
  • What is the quality of soil in the slope and backfill area?

Sloping Wall Grid Above

As a contractor it is important to keep in mind what to do when presented with above wall conditions. Here are a few resources to go about using when above wall conditions are present.

  • Reach out to your local engineer on the project for site specific advice.
  • Contact Allan Block Engineering at 800-899-5309 ext. 3.
  • Utilize other AB literature for further direction and best practice procedures.

Contact Allan Block Engineering Department at 800-899-5309 ext. 3 with further questions and we are happy to help!

Inspiring Projects

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It is always great to see the project changing and becoming the design that it was on paper. This project in New Zealand is a great example and one you could use on your website and marketing efforts and we could use to write a case study that you can use to promote your company or reference for future projects. As you are building the project, grab some pictures so you can start to build a great story for all involved.

Allan Block Before picture of large commercial project needing a retaining wall

Commercial retaining wall allowing for development above on a previous undeveloped area

We want to showcase you and your Allan Block projects! Send us your project photos for a chance to be featured on our social platforms. Share them with us via email, Dropbox or wetransfer.com to gerri@allanblock.com.

Allan Block Corporation
7424 W. 78th Street, Bloomington, MN 55439
Help & Support Center: (800) 899-5309
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