AB Contractor News

Exclusively for Allan Block Contractors

Q1 2023 Issue

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Allan Block

training opportunities

AB Contractor Certification Dates

Check Your Local Listings

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

Curved Retaining Wall Stepping Down

Backyard retaining wall terrace and planter

Two textured retaining wall

Terraced with stairs and paver patio retaining wall

Street corner front entryway with sign - tiered retaining wall with curve

Retaining Wall ended with a post and wood fence above

Terraced wall with planters along stairway

Retaining Wall ended with a Castellated post and front entry stairs

Retaining Wall stairway wih hand rail

Tiered retaining wall with wood fence above

Backyard raised patio with seating wall above

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: Advanced Residential Certification Course

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Becoming an AB Certified Contractor is an achievement to hold in high esteem. Though the program focuses on your expertise in building segmental retaining walls, don’t forget it’s equally important to build your sales promotion skills as well. To help you move the needle in your homeowner sales communication, Allan Block has brought together the AB Advanced Residential Certification Program. Completing this course provides you with a professional approach and gives you knowledge on how to polish your big proposals to make you stand out from the competition.

In this class you will:

  • 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

Advanced Residential Certification Course

Much like the AB Contractor Certification Program, there are three levels to progress through: Qualified, Professional, and 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.

Featured Collection – AB Metropolitan Collection ™

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

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 Classic 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. The completely flat face of the block also makes it simple to add lighting to your wall. Check with your local Allan Block Manufacturer to find out when this product will be available in your area.


To learn more visit our AB Metropolitan Collection overview or email us at salessupport@allanblock.com.

Contractor Talk - Different Types of Geogrid and How to Use

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Geogrid is a great reinforcement option for SRW type walls allowing them to be built taller while remaining stable. If you have used geogrid before you probably didn’t give it too much thought, but there are some helpful tips to ensure you have a successful project. In this article we will go over different types of grid as well as talking about installing to maximize effectiveness. By the end, we want to provide you the knowledge and confidence to tackle a larger wall project.

Types - Bi-axial & Uni-axial

Picking the right grid for the job is important and there are many grid manufacturers out there. For smaller commercial walls under 6 ft. (1.8 m) tall or residential projects Bi-axial grid works well. This style of grid the same strength in both orientations, making it ideal for homeowners. For walls taller than 6 ft. (1.8 m) and projects that have special requirements, consider using a Uni-axial grid. This grid will typically be of a higher strength but orientation and installation is key to maximize effectiveness. Identify the machined edge on a Uni-axial grid that will confirm which direction the maximum strength is in and lay perpendicular to the face of the wall. Once the grid layer is laid proceed with backfilling and compacting to add the next course.

Geogridm Placement

Placement & Spacing

With Allan Block, geogrid is placed directly behind the front lip and then rolled out to the depth called out by the plans. Start placing geogrid on top of the first course of block and repeat every two block courses until you reach the top. Typical lengths of grid back into the retained soil will be roughly 60% of the overall wall height with a minimum of 3 ft (0.9 m) or 4 ft (1.2 m) or will be detailed in the construction drawings provided by the engineer of record. This is an easy recipe for straight walls but what about curves and corners. Allan Block has multiple newsletter articles and literature that cover these types of installations.

Take what you learned today and look at bidding some larger jobs for bigger profits. If you have any questions about installing geogrid or wanted to discuss a project you are working on, please reach out to the engineering department at 800-899-5309 x3 or send an email to Engineering@allanblock.com

Contractor Program – Training Season is Here

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Expand your knowledge and become an industry expert by taking advantage of the different training options that are available to you.

The Allan Block Contractor Certification Program is designed to give contractors the proper training and tools to ensure top quality retaining walls are built. As a leader in the industry, Allan Block Corporation has developed these tools and training programs to help contractors get the knowledge and the resources they need by working together with the production partners in your area.

To find a class near you, check out Allan Block’s Contractor Certification Class Schedule. If there is not one scheduled in your area, you can request a class!

Contractor Training

At Allan Block, AB stands for Always Better! In keeping with this motto, the team at Allan Block has created an "ABU Online Training Program for contractors to give you easy access to training.

We have put together 8 webinars that focus on different resources available to you. Each are held at 4 different times on Tuesdays to be able to better fit into your schedules.

To find/sign up for these webinars, visit our contractor portal on our website.

Hot Topic - Upsell Outdoor Living with AB Courtyard and the Metro Patio Wall

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Just because it’s outdoors doesn’t mean you can’t have indoor luxury. Blur those lines that separate indoor and outdoor spaces.

metro Gif

Embracing “Bringing the Inside Outside” can be a great opportunity to find new customers.

Ask anyone and they will say that outdoor kitchens are becoming increasingly popular. There are so many opportunities for outdoor living spaces you could be designing for your customers.

Check out our AB Metro Patio Wall Collection and the pre-designed outdoor rooms for inspiration. You can also customize designs to bring your customers outdoor dreams come true.

You could also use our AB Courtyard Collection to surround the patio. Use our 12 Courtyard Patio Packages which are simple layouts to create an outdoor room that becomes an extension of the home.

Add in the ease of installation and possibilities are endless when you find out that with AB Products, you can create outdoor kitchens, bars, seating, surround walls, entertainment, tables and much more.

Contractor Training

Master Wall Builder Spotlight - Scott Ruble

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To kick off 2023’s Master Wall Builder spotlight we are visiting central Indiana and highlighting Scott Ruble. Back in 1990, Scott joined the family-owned Estes Grounds Maintenance, which was founded in 1977. After working there for several years, Scott and his wife Tracey became the new owners and carried on the tradition of family ownership while expanding their services and product lines. In 2022, the company changed names to Ruble Outdoor Concepts “to honor the Ruble name.”

Ruble Logo

In the late 1990’s Scott was approached by commercial contractors for landscaping as well as hardscaping. To accommodate their requests Scott contacted Jill Fouts, his local AB Sales Representative, for information and to attend Allan Block’s Contractor Certification course conducted by Reading Rock, the local producer. Through the years, Scott achieved not only the Master Wall Builder status through Allan Block but is considered a great contractor partner, generating and receiving projects with Reading Rock.

Scott’s talents and projects range from year-round maintenance to commercial hardscapes projects of all sizes. The Hancock Regional Hospital Gateway project is a true testament to the skill and knowledge Scott brings to any retaining wall project. Not only did it have retaining walls it also had a pond, lighted columns, and entryway elements to bring another level to the landscape.

To any new contractors entering the retaining wall industry, Scott has some advice to impart, “go to the Allan Block Contractor Certification courses to learn how to build a wall properly, it does not pay to do shortcuts in a build.” We want to thank Scott and Ruble Outdoor Concepts for their dedication to quality projects in the Central Indiana market.

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