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July 31, 2015

First Impressions: Upgrading Your Front Entryway


Allan Block Retaining WallGreet your guests in style with an inviting entryway.  Show off the architectural appeal of your home with design elements like flowing curves, stairs, corners and more. 

 The Allan Block retaining wall products are versatile enough for any design.  Want to update the entryway to your front door, or update the entire front yard space, or fix a driveway entry?  We have many project photos and ideas to help define exactly what can work for you.

Allan Block Retaining Wall
Incorporate built-in planting sections in the design to add more definition with along your walkways. Use pavers that accent your retaining walls to create a beautiful pathway to your door. Be creative with low voltage lighting.  

Accent your home or walkway to add beauty and character while offering the safety and functionality of a well-lit outdoor space. There are many options available whether in the walls and pavers or behind in the landscaping.

July 24, 2015

12 Ways to Appreciate Your Customers

As we go through our daily work routines, we are always thinking about expanding, branching out and increasing our customer groups. Great and ambitious thoughts but we must not forget those clients who got us where we are today.

Here are 12 ways you can show appreciation to your customers:

  1. Provide Excellent Service: Every business is in customer service, so no matter what you do, sell or provide.
  2. A “Thank you” goes a long way. While thanking them verbally every time you visit is awesome, but putting in writing will give it a lot more weight.
  3. Develop a loyalty program that would capture your best customers
  4. Send small treats
  5. Surprise your customers with a small discount on their next order and call it Thank you Discount or Just Because
  6. Be personal: Congratulations, Get well cards, Sympathy etc…
  7. Contribute to their choice of charity
  8. Send a card on unique holidays and occasions
  9. Contribute to their growth: offer training opportunities and continuing education
  10. Entertainment is always welcome: Dinner, tickets to games and concerts
  11. For those that are far away, plan a visit once or twice a year and get together for coffee or lunch.
  12. Honor milestones 


Research shows that it is a lot less expensive to retain and maintain clients than to acquire new ones. Despite limitations and budget constraints, with a little thought and planning you are sure to find ways to express thanks and build relationships.   What are some ways you can explore to show appreciation for your customers?  

July 17, 2015

Courtyard Estimating App Design Hacks for Your Patio Wall Project

The Courtyard Estimating App from Allan Block is a handy tool for estimating your perfect patio surrounds; but that isn't all you can do with it.  If you are building a more complex project and still want to use this simple tool to design and estimating your project, here are a few tricks to make your project planning smooth:


  • Break your project into sections that can be entered in the tool.  Taking the time to break the project into parts allows you to leverage the estimating power of the tool to help you get the estimate you need.  Once you get the totals, just sum up all the blocks and you are ready to begin!



  • Adding elements and details to your project, use the “How to use AB Courtyard” button to find a wide variety of videos, links and diagrams to help you along.






  • Ready to Buy or have more questions?  Check out the resources under the “More from Allan Block” button on the app’s home page.  You can download literature, look at other Allan Block products or Find a Store near you.  



The Courtyard Estimating App is a FREE App from Allan Block is available for both Apple & Android devices.

July 10, 2015

5 Easy Add-ons For Your Retaining Wall Project

Lighting

Accent lighting can bring out more aesthetic appeal to your landscaping while safely guiding your way.



Planters

Planters allow you to incorporate colors into the landscaping with plants and flowers.




Stairs

Stairs allow easy access to the backyard while looking seamless from end to end.



Water Feature

What better way to capture the natural sound of moving water than incorporating a waterfall/feature into your retaining wall.



AB Courtyard Collection

Including AB Courtyard Collection allows you to add entry monuments, seating walls, outdoor kitchen space, and much more to increase the usability of your yard.

July 3, 2015

Happy Birthday America! A Celebration and Reminder of Why We Celebrate


 In America, no holiday is more significant than Independence Day, the Fourth of July; the day in which we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the relative “beginning” of this illustrious country.   In honor of this esteemed holiday, while those of you who live in the States are out enjoying the parades, the fireworks, the  grilling and the gathering – here are a few inspiring quotes to help us all remember the reason we celebrate.




You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.  ~Erma Bombeck

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.  ~Elmer Davis

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. ~Abraham Lincoln
And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. ~Lee Greenwood

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular. ~Adlai Stevenson

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. ~Nelson Mandela

Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance. ~Woodrow Wilson

In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.  ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
Where liberty dwells, there is my country.  ~Benjamin Franklin

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ~Thomas Jefferson

There, I guess King George will be able to read that. ~John Hancock

Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country. ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people. ~ Abraham Lincoln

So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring. ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

As mankind become more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community, are equally entitled to the protection of civil government. I hope ever to see America amongst the foremost nations in examples of justice and liberality. ~George Washington

Give me liberty or give me death! ~Patrick Henry

America…it is the only place where miracles not only happen, but where they happen all the time. ~Thomas Wolfe

Above all, we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. ~Ronald Reagan

The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Happy Birthday America!  To those that have fought and sacrificed for the freedoms we hold dear and to those that continue to hold the line; We at Allan Block thank you.