AB Metro Patio Walls Installation - Building Basics in 7 Steps
The AB Metro Patio Wall is a versatile system that provides unlimited possibilities. Using the Magic Pattern, it is as easy as 1-2-3. The Magic Pattern: 1 - Eliminates vertical seams, 2 - Allows you to easily incorporate 90 degree corners into your design, and 3 - It uses the blocks in the three piece sets to minimize waste and cutting. Now let’s get going on understanding the construction steps for bringing your indoor living spaces outdoors. The first section of the AB Metro Patio Wall Reference Guide has highlighted the system and the limitations of what can be built, so what else do you need to start building?
- Laying Out Wall or Element – Allan Block offers a wide range of pre-designed rooms and elements for your use in our AB Metro Design App. You can also create your own dream project. Review the details of what you are building to ensure you are getting the most out of the AB Metro Patio Wall three piece set, to eliminate cutting and fit the needs of your project. Starting with the 3 core block will provide the best way to start your project. If possible, layout your first course to make sure that it works for your plan. Incorporate some of the following for added stability.
- End Columns add an additional 24 in. (600 mm) to the length of the wall at each end use. Ending on a 1 or 3 core block on the first column offers the best results for sets.
- In-Wall Columns can be located where the 2 and 1 core blocks meet. A wall starting on 3 core block, in the Magic 1-2-3 Pattern ensures that the column and wall interlock together on the first course and then on every odd course. From the start of a wall a column can be placed at 6 ft. (1.8 m) then additional columns can be place at 4 ft. (1.2 m) increments which is the length of a set (e.g. 6 ft., 10 ft., 14 ft., 18 ft. 22 ft. (1.8 m, 3 m, 4.25 m, 5.5 m, 6.7 m)). Watch Video for Installation.
- Corners may be inserted at 2 ft. (0.6 m) or 2.7 ft. (0.8 m) from the end of the wall, or any where a 3 and 2 core meet.
- Corner Columns add an additional 8 in. (200 mm) to the length of the wall at each end use. Watch Video for Installation.
- Create a Solid Foundation - AB Metro Patio Wall provides you the opportunity to build both retaining walls and free-standing walls. Both applications require a compacted rock base that is a minimum of 6 in. (150 mm) deep, or 8 in. (200 mm) deep if clay or fill soils. Always start on a compacted, solid foundation below the compacted rock base.
The width of the base should be twice the depth of the block. For the wall panels this equates to 16 in. (400 mm). For a typical column this would require a 4 ft. (1.2 m) square base.
For projects built on existing hard surfaces, such as a paver patio, including the pavers, the total base required is still 6 in. (150 mm) minimum.
RETAINING WALLS - When building a retaining wall, you will need to bury a minimum of 3 in. (75 mm) of the base block. This will mean the trench for the base of a retaining wall will be at least 3 in. (75 mm) deeper than for a free-standing wall application. Trench must be compacted prior to filling with rock.
- Build the First Course - You start the first course by placing and leveling a 3 core block in the center of the base. This starts the Magic 1-2-3 Pattern and makes it is easier to level the longer block to set your benchmark for level in both directions. Up to 0.5 in. (15 mm) of sand may be placed to help with leveling when building directly on a compacted rock base. When building on a concrete surface it is acceptable to use asphalt shingles or other non-degradable pliable materials to obtain a level surface for the first course of block. See video here about 1-2-3 Magic Pattern.
Columns are built after the first course is installed. Refer to Where To Start - for Corner Columns, In-Wall Columns, End Columns, or Free-Standing Columns, to properly lock walls and columns together and to minimize waste of block sets.
RETAINING WALLS - For retaining wall applications, the base course should be placed at least 3 in. (75 mm) below grade to lock the retaining wall in place.
- Preparing and Building Second Course - Clean off the top of the blocks by sweeping any excess crumbs and/or by sliding a block across the top surface of the wall as installed. Place a generous bead of flexible construction adhesive, such as NP1, on the top of the blocks on both sides of the core. Place second course starting with a 1 core unit centered on a 3 core unit to start the Magic 1-2-3 Pattern to build your wall. Tap, level and ensure the blocks are plumb as you stack vertically. Use the flexible construction adhesive to bond and as a leveling agent.
On the second course and above, continue to integrate your columns into the wall before you apply your construction adhesive.
RETAINING WALLS - For retaining wall applications, each core of the block must then be filled with rock, with a minimum of 12 in. (300 mm) placed behind the wall and compacted to reduce pressure on the wall. Infill soil behind the wall and rock should be placed and compact to the full height of the first course. Compaction should be comparable to what is required on any retaining wall application which is 95% of Standard Proctor. After rock and fill are placed and compacted at each course, sweep the tops clean, check for level. Then place a bead of flexible construction adhesive, such as NP1, on the top of the blocks on both sides of cores. Install second course starting with a 1 core block centered on a 3 core block to start the Magic 1-2-3 Pattern to build your wall. Tap and level your blocks in place using the flexible construction adhesive to bond and as a leveling agent.
- Rinse and Repeat – Continue using these steps to create your outdoor rooms and elements. Remember to check for level, plumb, place flexible construction adhesive on every course and to incorporate columns and corners for stability.
RETAINING WALLS - For retaining wall applications, the cores of the blocks and behind the wall should be filled with rock and compacted after every course of block is installed.
- Finishing the Wall - Install AB Metro Patio Wall Cappers or countertops as desired for a clean, finished look. Secure in place with flexible construction adhesive, such as NP1, on the top of the blocks on both sides of the core. The tops of the AB Metro Patio Wall are flat so any countertop, natural stone option or cap will work as you finish up your project.
The AB Metro Patio Wall Cappers deliver a perfect size for creating a nice seating surface, develop architectural details and allows space for under cap lighting.
- Adding the Touches That Make This Someone’s Home - Turn the raised garden area you have just built into a stunning flower garden, or for growing all the spices the cook of the home will need. Pick the counter materials that truly captures the style and personality of the home. Add a grill, tv, fridge, etc... to make this the best outdoor living space on the block.
AB Metro Retaining Wall and Patio Wall Above - with End and In Wall Columns