AB Contractor News

Exclusively for Allan Block Contractors

November 2023

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In This Issue

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

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Inside Curves

Check out our New AB Workshop Videos! To see a complete list of videos please check out our Reference Documents for Contractors

Outside Corners

Newest 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


Application Highlights: Stepping Up Your Walls

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stepping up

Check Out Our Step-Up Retaining Wall Video!

Are you planning to build a retaining wall with step-ups to enhance the landscape and protect against erosion? We've got you covered! Our new video on Stepping up a Retaining Wall is your comprehensive guide to mastering this essential landscaping skill.

Transform The Landscape: Learn how to create stunning and functional retaining walls that beautifully blend with the natural slope of your property. Our video will provide you with step-by-step instructions and expert tips to make the process easy and enjoyable.

Expert Guidance: Our video demonstrates the entire process, from excavation to block installation, ensuring that you're well-equipped to tackle this project confidently.

Protect the Property: Retaining wall step-ups not only add beauty to the outdoor space but also provides vital protection against soil erosion, maintaining the integrity of the landscape.

Tailored to Your Needs: Whether you're using the AB, AB Aztec, AB Metro, or AB Europa Collections, our video offers insights and guidance that apply to various retaining wall projects.

Watch Now! Don't miss out on the opportunity to make your landscaping dreams a reality. Watch our "Stepping up a Retaining Wall" video today and embark on your journey to create a beautiful, functional, and durable retaining wall that steps up to the challenge.

This is also the same process used for Building Stairs – Check out our tech sheet to see how.

👉 Build a Retaining Wall on a Slope by Stepping Up the Base Course

Featured Collection - AB Europa Collection

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The distinctive draw of old-world aesthetics is not just a fleeting trend; it's a design preference that withstands the test of time. Allan Block recognizes this, which is why the AB Europa Collection was created to fulfill the need for timeless elegance in retaining walls. When you choose AB Europa, you are selecting a solution that not only caters to your clients' desires but also offers you a range of benefits:

  • Aesthetic Versatility: AB Europa's rustic cobblestone charm complements a variety of landscapes, allowing you to craft the perfect setting for your project.
  • Ease of Installation: Unlike natural stones or boulders, AB Europa offers a user-friendly installation process, saving you time and effort.
  • Consistent Quality: Allan Block is known for its high-quality products, and the AB Europa Collection is no exception. You can trust that your project will stand the test of time.
  • Customization: The ability to create an AB Abbey Blend pattern wall with modular block sizes adds an extra layer of customization to your designs.
  • Offers a range of blended colors, per manufacturer, to match the natural stone of buildings or homes.

To elevate your landscaping projects, contact your local Allan Block Sales Representative or email us to inquire about AB Europa's availability. Offer your clients the timeless elegance they desire and set your designs apart in every landscape.

Europa Collection

Europa Stairs

What is the Difference between a Gravity and a Reinforced wall?

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A retaining wall is a structure that holds or retains soil behind it laterally that can provide more usable flat space in place of a slope typically.

We are going to cover two different types – Gravity and Reinforced - to explain what can be used based on the projects site conditions.

  • Gravity retaining walls are typically smaller in height and used in good soil conditions like silty sand. They can hold and retain the soil behind them with their own weight and setback of the block being used when installed properly.

  • A reinforced retaining wall will use a type of reinforcement called geogrid, to give more strength to the retaining wall structure so it can hold back the heavier soils and/or pressure from above. The blocks and geogrid work together to make one large stable soil mass.

Gravity Slope

By using the Gravity Wall Chart you can determine if a gravity wall is strong enough based on the site conditions, soil and product used, or if it will be a reinforced wall.

If it is determined reinforcement is needed, see the Reinforcement Chart to show the width of geogrid and how many layers are required for proper installation. If the retaining wall is over 6 ft (1.8 m) it is recommended that a local engineer is consulted.

Reinforced Slope

Check out the allanblock.com for product information, estimating tools and to watch our installation videos.

Contractor Program - Education of our Most Important Customers

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You are our most important customer. It is true, and we at AB hope you realize how many tools, programs, and resources we have that are in place to help support you. We want every project you work on with Allan Block to be successful. This all starts with your knowledge, and we have all the training you can imagine.

We want to highlight two options:

Consider training this offseason as you grow your opportunities and business. We are always willing to assist and value the partnership. Afterall, you are our most important customer.

If you have other topics you would like us to consider, please contact Chad Julius, cjulius@allanblock.com. We are always interested in your feedback.

Hot Topic: Retaining Wall Maintenance: Tips for Long Term Performance

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Once you have installed a beautiful retaining wall project for your customer, ensuring its longevity and functionality requires some maintenance. An annual inspection is recommended, with a focus on identifying anything out of the ordinary, especially after winter. Backfilling eroded or settled areas caused by water runoff is essential to prevent water pooling and further erosion. Avoid using de-icing products, as they will harm the blocks integrity and look. Keep drainage pipes clear to prevent water-related damage to the wall's foundation.

After each project is built, we recommend you provide the owner the AB Tech Sheet – Caring For Your Retaining Wall, to help provide them what to look for to ensure the wall is performing as expected.

By following these maintenance tips, they can preserve the structural integrity and appearance of their wall while preventing erosion and adding a stylish element to their property.


Inspiring Projects

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It is always great to see the project changing and becoming the design that it was on paper. Creative backyard spaces can be designed to provide areas your customers can enjoy for years with family and friends. Retaining walls can turn sloping yards that are underutilized spaces into whatever can be dreamed up. When you create these beautiful spaces, make sure to take pictures to use on your website and social media and then share with us so we can promote to all our followers.

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.

ABU Online

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See Our Live ABU Online Webinars

Support your education by participating in our online webinar series each day.

Contractor ABU (Allan Block University) Online is available all year long. Check out the topics and dates below and register today for the online events that best fit your schedule. Simply click the link below for each of the events that best fits into your day:


Offered on TUESDAYS at 8 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM and 4 PM CENTRAL TIME (30+ minute sessions)

Proper Submittals - Residential and Commercial Submittal with Custom Catalog
Sign up: 1/9/24

GRS/IBS and No-Fines Concrete Applications
Sign up: 1/16/24

AB Contractor Certification & Rewards Program / AB Advanced Residential Contractor Cert.
Sign up: 1/23/24

AB Courtyard Installation Overview / Patio Packages
Sign up: 1/30/24

AB Product Line Review / Contractor Resource Portal
Sign up: 2/13/24, 3/19/24

Commercial and Residential Installation Manual
Sign up: 2/6/24, 3/5/24

Proper Estimate - App/Estimating Tool/3D Modeling
Sign up: 2/20/24, 3/26/24

AB Fence Installation
Sign up:12/5/23, 2/27/24

Use this detailed calendar to see all ABU Online Webinars

All eligible for 0.1 CEU/1.0 PDH Credits

Allan Block Corporation
7424 W. 78th Street, Bloomington, MN 55439
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