AB Contractor News

Exclusively for Allan Block Contractors

Q4 2022 Issue

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AB Contractor Certification Dates

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ABU Online

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:

Contractor ABU Online

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

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

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

Inspiring Projects

Fieldstone Wall

Stairway Fieldstone


Small Terraced slope

Step up Fieldstone

Fieldstone Face

Terraced front yard retaining walls

Fieldstone patio

Curved wall fieldstone wall

Fieldstone Corner

Fieldstone stairs

Step Downs

In this Issue:


Do you have a great project you want to share with us so we can use it?

We can promote them on our website, in our materials or with our social media outlets!

Send them to us via email, dropbox or wetransfer.com to info@allanblock.com.

Your project could be featured in our next Design Ideas Catalog and we could send you some cool thank you items.

What’s New @ AB: AB Workshop

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We have been working hard in our in-house studio, the AB Workshop, to bring you new updated videos to our How-To Video Gallery.

These are new training videos that cover topics such as –

New Videos 2022

We are creating these videos as another tool and resource for you when you are on the go. No matter what services you are offering, whether you are estimating a project, designing patio walls, or installing, these videos will be easily accessible for you by either phone, tablet, or computer.

We are working towards creating more every day.

Following our motto Always Better, we believe that updating our videos brings you important information in an easy, sharable format.

Stay tuned for new videos!

Contractor Talk – Proper Compaction especially during the winter

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Proper compaction is always key to a retaining wall that is built to last. Compaction helps maximize the important Rock-lock connection and ensures the wall will be standing for years to come. A potential problem contractors face when building during the cold season is improper compaction due to frozen soil.

Rock Lock Compaction

Preparation is key especially during winter construction. As part of preconstruction meetings, Allan Block stresses the importance of communication between contractors and engineers to create a detailed written plan prior to the start of construction, eliminating potential hiccups during building. Activities can be planned to either prevent the ground from freezing, thaw it before construction activities, or simply remove frozen material all together. Consider this:

  • As the weather starts to turn cold, insulating blankets or material could be used to prevent your ground or backfill from freezing. This may not be realistic for a large area, but for a base trench or stockpiles of backfill, this might be the easiest solution.
  • If the ground is already frozen, heating of the soils is mandatory since it is impossible to get the required compaction.
  • If heating is not an option on site, an increase in excavation depth is required to frost depth to remove and replace the frozen or poor soils. Soils that retain moisture (such as clay) will limit the capability to properly compact the area and could increase the amount of settlement after thawing.

Frost Heave

For more information, you can read Tech Sheet #620, reach out to the engineering department via email at engineering@allanblock.com or give us a call at 800-899-5309 x3.

Featured Collection – AB Fieldstone®

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Among our family of SRW products, AB Fieldstone bristles in its unique appeal. What qualities, you may wonder, does it have to make it so special? Aside from being known as “green, natural, and friendly” read on to discover why clients love this innovative retaining wall system.

Inside Corners second course

  • It’s lightweight – Because it’s a two-piece system, lifting and installing AB Fieldstone exerts less manpower and increases efficiency. Simply slide the anchoring units into the back of the facing ones to complete the solid block.
  • It has a vast, stylistic varietyAB Fieldstone is the only AB Retaining wall product with four different block faces to choose from. The Heritage and Colonial Series boasts a chiseled, eye-catching appearance, whereas the Sierra and Cascade Series has a much smoother look.
  • It adapts in many site conditions – Taller gravity walls are made possible with the Long Anchoring Units, or LAU’s. Longer, heavier anchors mean more stability with height, even when geogrid isn’t being used.
  • It’s designed with built in corners, as well as height control – This makes any cornered wall designs simple with no cutting needed, as well as less headache with general course progression. Both facing unit sizes, the 812 and 824, regardless of which AB Fieldstone Series, are the same height.

  • It has the natural stone look people are looking for – Achieve the aesthetic without the hassle of moving boulders.

Work with your local AB sales reps to see if AB Fieldstone is available in your market. The appeal of being manufactured with recycled concrete, the wide array of installation malleability, along with its distinctive curbside allure, makes this collection a perfect choice for a variety of your clients.

Inside Corners second course

Contractor Program – Advanced Residential Certification Course

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You’ve completed your first wall and gotten your Allan Block Contractor Certificate. What’s the next step? Since we at Allan Block are looking to be ‘Always Better,’ don’t think that this is the end. This is only the first step on your path to improving yourself and your business. Come take advantage of the AB Advanced Residential Certification Program. With a focus on sales promotion, this course will provide a professional approach and give you the knowledge on how to polish your bid proposals to make you stand out from the competition.

  • Master the 3-step approach to selling a project
  • Learn to understand customer needs and tailor your proposals with a professional look
  • Learn how to efficiently utilize the Allan Block tools and website
  • Incorporate patio packages into retaining wall proposals to expand your sales opportunities


Much like the AB Contractor Certification Program, there are three levels to progress through; Qualified, Professional, AB Expert. To move up the ranks of the Advanced Residential Program the focus is on developing the various submittals available to demonstrate to the homeowner a level of professionalism that is not often experienced in our industry. If you are interested please contact your local AB sales rep for any upcoming classes, or visit the Contractor Portal on our website for more information.

Hot Topic: Additional Products to Provide Solutions for Common Retaining Wall Concerns

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Allan Block has many recommendations for common concerns in regards to retaining walls. However, when it comes to drainpipe outlets and fences/railing above the wall, there are some other products available that provide easy solutions for these concerns. These common concerns should be addressed before construction begins.

How do you deal with a fence/railing above the wall? How do you make sure it will not make your wall fall over? Sleeve-It by Strata is a great product that solves this issue for most railings or fences above a wall. Sleeve-It uses a cantilever design to use the weight of the soil above the “pocket” to add resistance to the force applied to the fence/railing.


What about the drainpipe, how do you allow it to exit the wall so the water can leave the system? The most common way to have the drain outlet in the wall is through the face, which usually requires cutting. Wall Drain Pro is a product that easily “Ts” into the drainpipe and allows the outlet to be between the block without cutting.

For more information about these products check out the Allan Block website or reach out to your local sales rep.

Wall Drain Pro

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