AB Contractor News

Exclusively for Allan Block Contractors

Q1 2022 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











In this Issue:

What’s New @ AB - AB Metro Patio Wall System

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What is the AB Metro Patio Wall? A NEW contemporary-looking patio wall system with straight lines and a smooth face for that modern style that will look great for years. When using the modular building block system from the AB Metropolitan Collection, you can design the outdoor look that fits any lifestyle and creates an extension of usable area for your client.

Metro Seating Wall

Form follows function with the AB Metro Patio Wall System. You are able to design and build an entire outdoor kitchen, family room, office – the possibilities are truly endless. Use our pre-designed elements to create a design that includes islands, tables, benches, and bars that adds an addition for friends and family to relax, work, and play. We are also creating a new application and estimating tool for this system that is easy to use. With a click of a button, you will be able to design a full patio layout that includes an estimate.

This modular system uses three blocks - AB Metro 8, AB Metro 16 and AB Metro 24 - packaged as a set so you can produce endless outdoor designs in beautiful patterns. Create smooth, easy to build, straight walls, with seamless 90-degree corners that all works together without any modifications to the blocks. Stack - Glue - Done.

Interested in building with the New AB Metro Seating Walls? Check with your local representative for availability.

Featured Collection – AB Metropolitan

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A smooth contemporary look mixed with functionality are the core aspects of the AB Metro Classic. The mid-century modern style offers a solution for a variety of wall applications ranging from small residential projects to large scale commercial projects. It is the same dependable Allan Block system with a brand-new look.

If you have built an Allan Block retaining wall using our AB Classic, AB Europa, and AB Aztec collections there is nothing new to learn. AB Metro features the same hollow core system and block sizes as our other collections. Its raised lip and notch allow for it to be integrated with our other collections along with giving it the natural setback all Allan Block systems have. Check with your local Allan Block manufacturer to find out when this product will be available in your area.

Metro Seating Wall

Learn more about AB Metro by visiting our AB Metro Collection overview or email us at salessupport@allanblock.com.

Contractor Talk – Pre-Designed Patio Packages

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When it comes to selling Allan Block Courtyard products, we offer customers the support and tools needed to be successful on any project. The AB Courtyard Collection is a free standing, modular system that has the flexibility to create any patio layout the client desires. When selling to a client on a patio upgrade, they may feel overwhelmed with the options and layout possibilities. Allan Block has made it easy for you with 12 different pre-designed patio packages that include everything you need to complete the project.

Ist course Block Layoutk

The goal of our patio packages is to make it as easy as possible to estimate and build these projects. The packages include: a material estimate, cut block quantities, installation videos, block layouts, step by step installation instructions, and 3D images of the layout. Since each package has a definite layout and material quantities, it is easy to have cost estimates ready for each package. With 12 patio packages in your back pocket, you have a wide variety of options to sell to your customers and with a price readily available, they won’t be surprised by the costs.

Our patio packages not only are great selling tools for the packages themselves, but they can be a great source of inspiration for customers. A customer may really like one of the patio packages for the price and layout but maybe the layout is not quite what they are looking for. The original package can act as a helpful baseline and any changes they make can easily be accounted for. Check out our Top 12 Patio Packages found on our website, and start building more patio solutions.

Contractor Program – AB Fence Certification

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As an Allan Block wall installer, you of course are familiar with the steps and process to be taken in order to become certified. But did you know that we also have the same concept for our AB Fence products? AB Fence is the perfect solution for both commercial and homeowner clients alike, with features offering:

  • Sound abatement
  • Privacy
  • Longevity
  • Quality
AB Fence

AB Fence is also a dry stack system, just like our line of AB retaining wall products. Patterns like the AB Ashlar Blend can be easily integrated into the façade as well by using the modular block sizes within the AB Fence System.

Part of ensuring value in any of our products is proper installation, which is why it is important to become certified when installing AB Fence. When attending an AB Fence Certification, there are many important aspects that will be covered, such as –

  • AB Fence system components and design
  • Proper methods of construction
  • Why projects fail, and how to prevent it
  • Hands-on segment to work directly with the product

Completing the written test at the end of class, as well as building your first AB Fence project, officially solidifies your certification. It also enters you into the AB Contractor Rewards Program, as well! Interested in becoming AB Fence certified installer? Contact your local AB sales rep for any upcoming classes, or visit the Contractor Portal on our website for more information.

Hot Topic: Frost Heave and Allan Block

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Did you know that the ground can rise during winter months? It’s true, it is a natural phenomenon called “Frost Heave” where the water in the top layer of soil expands when it freezes. Now, that might not sound important but with nearly 50,000 psi (345,000 kPa), that’s enough force to destroy a foundation to a house or a retaining wall. One solution to this natural occurring event is to bury your base foundation below frost depth. Now frost depth can vary depending on your location and climate. The Frost Depth Map shown below gives an example of the different ranges of depths you may encounter.

Here at Allan Block we have come up with an “Always Better” solution… use Allan Block. That’s right, with our mortarless Retaining Wall Blocks there is no need to bury your wall’s base foundation below frost depth. This is due to the flexible nature of modular blocks that allow for slight shifting and moving during the winter months. Then, the blocks return to their original position as spring rolls around.

frost heave

What if you need your season to start early and the ground hasn’t thawed? Allan Block has Tech Sheets that cover Retaining Wall Construction During Winter Months. The two main takeaways for constructing during winter months are:

Frost Depth Map
  • Replace or heat any already frozen foundation soil (minimizes settlement during the spring)
  • Ensure proper compaction (Do not try to attempt to compact frozen soil)

If you have any questions about our products or constructing during winter months, please reach out to our engineering department at 952-835-5309 ext. 3.

Master Wall Builder Spotlight

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The Allan Block Contractor Certification Program is designed to give contractors the proper training and tools to ensure top quality retaining walls are built. There are 3 different levels of Allan Block Contractors – Certified Wall Installer, Experienced Wall Installer, and Master Wall Builder.

Master Wall Builder

The highest level, Master Wall Builders, are set apart from other wall installers and they are sought out by the engineering community for their knowledge and skills of building top quality Allan Block walls. This requires projects totaling a minimum of 25,000 units on AB projects as well as fullfilling other requirements set to reach this high standard.

We have almost 500 contractors that have reached this prestigious Master Wall Builder status. We like to use this section of our Contractor Newsletter to highlight those that have been dedicated to building Allan Block walls that will last a lifetime. Look here to see future articles spotlighting these individuals.

Want to become a Master Wall Builder? Notify your local Allan Block Sales Representative of any AB Walls you have installed that can be submitted toward your Master Wall Builder Certification, or fill out the contractor rewards card and send it into info@allanblock.com.

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7424 W. 78th Street, Bloomington, MN 55439
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