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February 27, 2015

Build Strong Walls and Get a Great Night’s Sleep!

Building an outdoor pool and entertainment area on a sloping hillside presented an interesting challenge. The homeowners wanted a backyard "room with a view" to extend their living space and take advantage of the beautiful lot and stunning views.

A series of three walls were constructed to create a level surface for the swimming pool deck. A 22-foot wide (7 m) staircase was also installed to provide access from the home to the pool deck. All the walls and stairs were built with retaining walls blocks reinforced with grid.

Grid or reinforcement grid is a flexible synthetic mesh that is designed to stabilize earth and soil retention – in short it helps make the walls stronger.  By using grid with in the construction of the retaining wall, you allow the wall to be fortified with more strength, and preventing potential movement of the wall in the future.

 John Brown, co-owner of Brown/Woods and Associates, has seen his share of deteriorating walls. He recalls, "Over the years, I have seen walls built poorly by both homeowners and landscape contractors. Proper construction is the key; walls will last forever if they are built correctly. That's why we like using grid so much. It makes it easy to build strong walls."


The homeowners are excited to show off their new outdoor living space and they know they are going to be able enjoy it for many years to come.

February 20, 2015

Building Terraced Walls

Landscape designs are often more attractive when they include smaller, terraced walls rather than one large wall. Terraced walls can create more usable space, build raised gardens, help prevent erosion and add interest to your landscape.

PLAN
The spacing and height of terraces will affect the overall design and engineering of your project. Choose the wall layout that best suits your project requirements.

DESIGN
Design the shape for beauty and function
Consider what will fill the space between terraced walls.
Will it be used for plantings, filled with decorative rock or covered with sod? Terraced walls provide built-in edging that minimizes trimming and maintenance. Design the shape of terraced walls to compliment the surrounding architecture and landscape.

BUILD
Always Build on Solid Ground - The most important element in building terraces is soil compaction. Building on poor, un-compacted soil will result in settling of the upper walls. Although lower terraced walls are typically built on solid ground, upper walls are often built on soils that have been disturbed in the construction process. To ensure the stability of these soils, they should be removed down to solid ground and carefully reinstalled and compacted

February 13, 2015

Sound Barriers, Security & Containment Fencing

AB Fence is a mortarless concrete fence system that uses maintenance free interlocking blocks to create an attractive and effective solution for sound abatement, security, privacy and more.

The Allan Block Fence System is the logical choice for a wide range of fencing and sound barrier applications. It is an attractive addition to developments looking for added security and is ideally suited for sound barrier applications with a noise transmission loss two times greater than wood fences. AB Fence can easily beautify residential locations and increase privacy for perimeters and entrances.

Sound Barriers

Sound Barrier Diagram
Sound Barrier
AB Fence provides the superior noise abatement, aesthetic style, durability and low maintenance of concrete masonry without the prohibitive costs associated with mortared masonry construction.
Sound barriers are solid obstructions built between the noise source and the receiver. An effective barrier will disperse sound along three paths: diffracted, reflected and transmitted.Diffracted Noise (bent) over the top of the wall produces a “shadow zone” behind the barrier, which is a function of wall height and the distances between the source, the barrier, and the receiver. Reflected Noise is directed away from the receiver.Transmitted Noise through the wall is a characteristic of the barrier material, determined by weight and stiffness and can be compared on the basis of transmission loss.

Screening and Containment

Communities are becoming more conscious of the relationship and proximity between commercial centers and surrounding neighborhoods. The AB Fence offers a cost effective and attractive means to separate residential areas from the noise of industrial and commercial areas. It can also be used to meet the screening and containment requirements in commercial development.

To learn more about AB Fence visit allanblock.com

February 6, 2015

What is Courtyard? Building Blocks for the Great Outdoors

The AB Courtyard Collection is a two-sided free standing patio wall system that has three main components plus caps - AB Dublin, AB York and a Corner Block. Modification of the blocks may be necessary to build a project. Check out the Courtyard Reference Guide for using the AB Courtyard Collection for more tips and tricks.




Building Blocks for the Outdoors

This versatile system and provides unlimited possibilities. No different than the colorful interlocking toy blocks of your past. Create outdoor spaces that are comfortable yet elegant for entertaining. Incorporate custom gates, counter tops, natural stone or pavers as beautiful accents for even more style. Illuminate the evening easily by adding lighting to the landscape. Choose between the two textures as well as create a pattern with the different block shapes in your project for a custom look that endures the test of time.

Ready to get started on your next projects? Learn more about AB Courtyard and see a variety of project ideas for building - all at allanblock.com

January 30, 2015

Hand-Laid Stone Retaining Wall - How to Save on Cost and Labor

Want a hand-laid stone retaining wall - But don't want all the labor and cost?

The AB Europa Collection offers the look and feel of weathered stone without the added cost or work to your project. These retaining wall blocks can be used individually or blended together to create beautiful patterned walls. The timeless beauty and unique texture of the AB Europa Collection a stunning look and gives old world charm to any landscape.

Bring the Past to the Present

Walk back in time to the boulevards of Paris or the hill towns of Italy. The hand laid stone effect of the AB Europa Collection brings European old world charm and distinction to any retaining wall project. Create a masterpiece with the AB Europa Collection.
The AB Europa blocks are easy to install. They dry-stack without mortar or footings. Just stack, fill, compact and go! The hollow core feature makes them easier to handle and promotes good drainage behind the wall. The raised lip and notch lock each block in place and creates a built-in setback. Use one sized block or mix the different block sizes together in the wall to capture the look of hand laid stone. The AB Europa Collection is right at home in residential settings where retaining walls 6’ and under are typically called for, and up to the task on larger retaining walls 6’ and over.

The design possibilities are endless. Use the blocks from the AB Europa Collection individually or blend them together to create AB Abbey Blend patterned retaining walls. The interlocking blocks easily fit together without any materials or tools.

Because these blocks are made of concrete and are designed to fit together, they can be uinstalled at a faction of the time and cost of natural stone. Take a look at the varied of block sizes and colors at allanblock.com and plan your next project with AB Europa blocks from Allan Block.