PDA

View Full Version : Last Project of Season


GreenMonster
01-10-2006, 02:25 PM
Well, now that I've hung it up for this season, I figure I'll be a sport and post a couple pics. This was a three tier wall with Allan Block Europa -- their tumbled block.

We're looking at doing more on the other side in the spring, adding pavers between steps, and putting cultured stone on the foundation. Hopefully, we can convince them to move that propane too.

I'll include some before, during and afters.

GreenMonster
01-10-2006, 02:27 PM
after.............

GreenMonster
01-10-2006, 02:30 PM
oops, sorry. That last one wasn't truely an "after". This is though.

GreenMonster
01-10-2006, 02:32 PM
A little detail on the stairs...... the top wall was only 2 courses, and therefore I didn't have the length to 45 the caps in the same manner as on the the taller walls. I still wanted the 45 look to match the others (vs. keeping the caps square and split-facing an outer side), so I did it like so. Whadda think?

GreenMonster
01-10-2006, 02:36 PM
Here's some stair detail on the taller walls.

MarcusLndscp
01-10-2006, 06:59 PM
Last job of the season? Must be nice! What are you gonna do now Mark?

Job looks real nice. Fun working with the white stuff everywhere isn't it!!!!

Give me a jingle sometime!

Catch ya later!

Lux Lawn
01-10-2006, 07:16 PM
Mark,
Everything looks great.Except there's one thing in the picture that is really UGLY the




































































SNOW...haha

LB Landscaping
01-10-2006, 07:18 PM
Hey Mark, Awsome as usual, really like the look of the wall. How's things going???

Drafto
01-10-2006, 10:38 PM
Mark,

Do you use that block often? I used AB for the first time this season, I used AB Classic. I have to say, I left that job telling myself I would never use AB again, so much chipping, and the corners all had to be worked. Is that tumbled a different story?

Dan

P.S. Wall looks GREAT!

GreenMonster
01-11-2006, 07:51 AM
Mark,

Do you use that block often? I used AB for the first time this season, I used AB Classic. I have to say, I left that job telling myself I would never use AB again, so much chipping, and the corners all had to be worked. Is that tumbled a different story?



Dan,

I use a ton of Allan Block. I'm debating going with Anchor next year for split face walls. I'm more interested in eliminating backfill of the cores, but AB lets you build a taller wall without grid, so I guess you gotta weight which option is better in each instance.

What do you mean by "so much chipping"? Do you mean corners of the block chipping off? Cuz I've seen that -- primarily when it's cold. It probably happens more so with the tumbled, but it's not quite so noticeable because, well, the block is tumbled.

Yes, the corners do need to be worked WAYYYY more than is necessary. I find their corners extremely aggravating to deal with. Luckily, the corners I got for this job were returns from someone else, and they were already cut out :) Major PITA with the patterned walls like I did here. The corners should be the same size as a stretcher in the long direction, and half the length on the short side. They're not. So on the patterned wall, you need to cut to fit in to your pattern as you come into the stairs, or an end corner for that matter. I do believe that there are better tumbled options out there, although I think AB tumbled looks good. Customer had specifically selected AB for this project.

Mark - you still working? Indoors or under a tarp I hope. When I ordered this material, Gilbert said "You're the only nut still doing walls". I had more to do, but like you said, it's such a pain working in snow and frost, I said enough. I got plenty to do though -- when I'm not pushing snow I need to update website, service all the equipment, ICPI cert, turfgrass cert, hopefully a SRW cert, NEgrows, JD Landscape irrigation class, etc, etc. :dizzy: You still thinking about doing the ICPI? What about NEGrows?

LB - things are good.... and you? Any chance of catching up at a trade show or something?

Drafto
01-11-2006, 09:18 AM
Dan,

I use a ton of Allan Block. I'm debating going with Anchor next year for split face walls. I'm more interested in eliminating backfill of the cores, but AB lets you build a taller wall without grid, so I guess you gotta weight which option is better in each instance.

What do you mean by "so much chipping"? Do you mean corners of the block chipping off? Cuz I've seen that -- primarily when it's cold. It probably happens more so with the tumbled, but it's not quite so noticeable because, well, the block is tumbled.

Yes, the corners do need to be worked WAYYYY more than is necessary. I find their corners extremely aggravating to deal with. Luckily, the corners I got for this job were returns from someone else, and they were already cut out :) Major PITA with the patterned walls like I did here. The corners should be the same size as a stretcher in the long direction, and half the length on the short side. They're not. So on the patterned wall, you need to cut to fit in to your pattern as you come into the stairs, or an end corner for that matter. I do believe that there are better tumbled options out there, although I think AB tumbled looks good. Customer had specifically selected AB for this project.

Mark - you still working? Indoors or under a tarp I hope. When I ordered this material, Gilbert said "You're the only nut still doing walls". I had more to do, but like you said, it's such a pain working in snow and frost, I said enough. I got plenty to do though -- when I'm not pushing snow I need to update website, service all the equipment, ICPI cert, turfgrass cert, hopefully a SRW cert, NEgrows, JD Landscape irrigation class, etc, etc. :dizzy: You still thinking about doing the ICPI? What about NEGrows?

LB - things are good.... and you? Any chance of catching up at a trade show or something?

Mark,

I mean I had to chip every single block, their was so much slag on each block and when I call and complained they said thats the way they are. Also, the corners were twisted. (Just to be sure we are on the same page, I am talking about AB Classic) When I say twisted, when I set the first few corner courses the wall looked like it was leaning, I put the level on everything and it was fine, I checked EVERYTHING and it was plumb and level. (I will take pics of this today or tomorrow to show you. But the very corner of every block was lower on the top face then everywhere else. Once again when I called and asked what was up, the dealer told me they don't use a special form for the corners, they make them the best they can.

Needless to say I was unhappy with the product, unhappy with the dealer, and unhappy with the end result of my wall. Luckily the customer was someone I know and the wall was needed for the sale of their house and did not care about the aesthetics of it. But I wasn't happy.

Dan

I will get some pics.

Lux Lawn
01-11-2006, 09:25 AM
Mark,
It really does look great,I just had to throw that part in there about the snow.You know kind of like your Miami joke last week:) .Business must be going good for you,glad to see that it is.Are you plowing in the winter?

GreenMonster
01-11-2006, 09:34 AM
Yeah, Larry, biz is good. I ended up doing twice the gross as last year so I'm happy, accountant is happy, and wife is not unhappy, which is about as good as it gets with her :)

Yes, I am plowing this year. I put an 8.5' Fischer V on the pick-up and a 6.5' sander in there too.

Dan, the blocks can get slag built up when they don't clean their molds enough. A lot of times you don't have to worry about it as long as your bond is good -- blocks don't end up sitting where the slag is. When you run the compactor over the block, it takes care of much of the slag too. A lot of slag will require chipping on the top course so the caps sit good. I find a grinder to work well (and quicker than a hammer).

I'm not sure exactly what you're saying about the corners, but I agree they are an issue for AB. Doesn't sound like you had a very good dealer either. Corners do require some cutting on the bottom to sit properly on the lip, and even more so if you want the inside of your 90 degree stairs to be plumb.

Drafto
01-11-2006, 09:44 AM
What size compactor to do run on your block? That was the other issue with the AB, they were SO fragile. Maybe I just had a really, really bad experience. The dealer is a concrete and cinder block manufacturer, AB and the pavers they sell are small peanuts to them. I will open a whole other can of worms but I can't stand using a pruct from a company that does anything else besides sell hardscaping supplies (meaning pavers and wall block). I have had such bad luck with large companies.......John Deere sells Belgard in this area? WTF? They are horrible, Belgard is a great product, but I won't use it. I think AB has fallen into the same catagory for me, when your "small peanuts" to a company, the worst thing they can do is make you feel like "small peanuts".

Dan

GreenMonster
01-11-2006, 01:44 PM
What size compactor to do run on your block? That was the other issue with the AB, they were SO fragile. Maybe I just had a really, really bad experience. The dealer is a concrete and cinder block manufacturer, AB and the pavers they sell are small peanuts to them. I will open a whole other can of worms but I can't stand using a pruct from a company that does anything else besides sell hardscaping supplies (meaning pavers and wall block). I have had such bad luck with large companies.......John Deere sells Belgard in this area? WTF? They are horrible, Belgard is a great product, but I won't use it. I think AB has fallen into the same catagory for me, when your "small peanuts" to a company, the worst thing they can do is make you feel like "small peanuts".

Dan

Is your AB distributor making the blocks, or buying them elsewhere? If you had this bad an experience, you should let Allan Block know about it.

I run a whacker -- I don't know what size, but it's realtively small. 5.5 honda if that helps.

I've had good experience with JDL so far this year. No hardscape purchases from them though. They haven't got their sh!t together up here yet regarding delivery. Good sales guy really helping me out with irrigation.

You're right -- I'm small peanuts but my AB distributor doesn't treat me that way. Always go out of their way to get deliveries to me when I want them, and they almost always have what I need in stock. If not, they get it. I get a fair amount of referrals from them too. This project here was a GC that went into their shop, asked for the best guy in the town of so and so, and gave my name :) When they say good things about you, it makes the sale easier.

What are you primarily using for wallstone/pavers. For pavers, I primarily use Bolduc, but I'm gonna look harder at Belgard next year.

Drafto
01-11-2006, 02:40 PM
Is your AB distributor making the blocks, or buying them elsewhere? If you had this bad an experience, you should let Allan Block know about it.

I run a whacker -- I don't know what size, but it's realtively small. 5.5 honda if that helps.

I've had good experience with JDL so far this year. No hardscape purchases from them though. They haven't got their sh!t together up here yet regarding delivery. Good sales guy really helping me out with irrigation.

You're right -- I'm small peanuts but my AB distributor doesn't treat me that way. Always go out of their way to get deliveries to me when I want them, and they almost always have what I need in stock. If not, they get it. I get a fair amount of referrals from them too. This project here was a GC that went into their shop, asked for the best guy in the town of so and so, and gave my name :) When they say good things about you, it makes the sale easier.

What are you primarily using for wallstone/pavers. For pavers, I primarily use Bolduc, but I'm gonna look harder at Belgard next year.


They manufacture the block on site. They are the largest supplier of cinder block, and brick within 20 miles of here (probably further) so breaking the small peanuts wrap might be tough. For wall stones and pavers I mainly use Techo-bloc, and some Ep Henry. Mike (mbella) has me convinced to give Versa-Lok a look this year so I am going to one of their seminars at the end of the month.

As far as support, I have to say that my Techo-Bloc dealer sounds like you AB. They are great, give me referrals, and have great products and delivery. But they are not the easiest to sell, everyone down here knows EP Henry, and that is what most want.

I am designing a driveway right now (another thread going right now) that I am leaning towards using Belgard if I can find a good distributor in the area. I like the look of their Dublin Cobble, and I am going to try a 30' circle in the middle. I haven't done a large circle yet, but I think it will add a nice custom touch to the drive. Only, I have to figure out how to do it first:confused:

Dan

Dan

GreenMonster
01-11-2006, 02:57 PM
I am designing a driveway right now (another thread going right now) that I am leaning towards using Belgard if I can find a good distributor in the area. I like the look of their Dublin Cobble, and I am going to try a 30' circle in the middle. I haven't done a large circle yet, but I think it will add a nice custom touch to the drive. Only, I have to figure out how to do it first:confused:


I'd be real careful taking advise from that MBella fella. Him and that CGLand guy are a little flakey if you ask me.

Big driveway and circle you might want to check out Belgard's Mega Bergerac. Designed specifically for large areas like d-ways.

I'm dying to try Versa-Lok, but distributor is at least 60 miles. Might try it anyhow.

cgland
01-11-2006, 03:02 PM
When you run the compactor over the block, it takes care of much of the slag too.

Mark - Are you saying that you run your plate on top of the block????

Chris

GreenMonster
01-11-2006, 03:29 PM
When you run the compactor over the block, it takes care of much of the slag too.

Mark - Are you saying that you run your plate on top of the block????

Chris

yup. Allan Block installation guidelines requires compaction of block, drain, and backfill. It packs the stone into the cell, and creates "rock lock" as they call it.

Supposed to compact every course except the base course. Funny though, a year ago, their installation specs told you to run the compactor over the base course, but none of the other courses. I NEVER ran the plate over the base course, even when they said you should. Instructions used to say "run plate compactor over base course, then adjust blocks for level". :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy: Yeah, good friggin' idea -- complete the hardest part of the job, then run the plate over it and ruin all your work :realmad:

LB Landscaping
01-11-2006, 07:57 PM
Hey Mark, yeah been real busy even though theres no snow:realmad: :realmad: . Heck yeah we need to catch up, are you going to NE Grows?? Not sure if I am might with a couple buddies but its still up in the air.

mbella
01-11-2006, 08:06 PM
Mark, the project looks tight.

Do you ever have a problem with movement causing gapping on those 45 corners?

Like Chris, I've never heard of compacting the block. I believe you that the manufacturer advises to do so, but WTF. Can you say PITA.

GreenMonster
01-11-2006, 09:53 PM
Mark, the project looks tight.

Do you ever have a problem with movement causing gapping on those 45 corners?

Like Chris, I've never heard of compacting the block. I believe you that the manufacturer advises to do so, but WTF. Can you say PITA.

No problems with gapping corners so far. Of course, I've only been doing this a few years, so time will tell. Do you typically do your corners differently? I like the 45'd look.

Yeah, PITA is right. I get reminded what a PITA Allan Block can be every time I do Bolduc, Anchor, Techo, etc. -- although those silly Techo PVC square are a PITA as well.

mbella
01-11-2006, 10:06 PM
No problems with gapping corners so far. Of course, I've only been doing this a few years, so time will tell. Do you typically do your corners differently? I like the 45'd look.

Yeah, PITA is right. I get reminded what a PITA Allan Block can be every time I do Bolduc, Anchor, Techo, etc. -- although those silly Techo PVC square are a PITA as well.

I don't 45 them. We make corners, but not 45's. Personally, I don't think it looks any better or worse. I would worry about a jointed corner separating at some point, but who knows.

Regardless, your job looks tight.

Drafto
01-11-2006, 11:09 PM
I don't 45 them. We make corners, but not 45's. Personally, I don't think it looks any better or worse. I would worry about a jointed corner separating at some point, but who knows.

Regardless, your job looks tight.

Mike,

It is late and I just read your post, so forgive me if this seems like a really stupid question. If you don't 45 your corners, how do you do them? Only one face on a cap is textured, do you use a splitter on one?

Dan

MarcusLndscp
01-13-2006, 03:25 PM
Still working here Mark. This week was real nice and the site we are on lost all the snow that covered it. We actually had a couple guys doing bed prep in some areas. They spread 100 yards of compost mix, and 50 yards of fill over the past 2 days. Myself and another guy dug a hole that was about 10 feet deep and then insulated it and built this crazy creation that was suppose to mimmick a mountain side and ledge, came out pretty neat though. On the same site we have 5 heated tents set up. One for mixing mortar, one enclosing a concrete slab we covered with flagging, and the others enclosing walls and pillars that are being built. There's still a lot to do on this site, an outdoor built in grill...fire pit with patio around it, so it will keep us busy for quite a bit longer. We also have another guy working solo doing a firplace/chimney somewhere.
I thought about starting a thread that showed how we stay busy with winter stone work. You know keeping insulated, heated, frost out of the ground, etc. Don't know if there would be interest in it though.
Signed up for NE Grows today and also have some management courses we're doing. That and I just completed a course to get my CDL.
Sounds like we're pushing snow this weekend though.
Talk to you soon
Mark

cgland
01-13-2006, 06:11 PM
Marcus - Post some pics! I think it would be neat to see how "the other side" lives.:p

Chris

mbella
01-13-2006, 06:50 PM
Mike,

It is late and I just read your post, so forgive me if this seems like a really stupid question. If you don't 45 your corners, how do you do them? Only one face on a cap is textured, do you use a splitter on one?

Dan

I score them with a saw and break them, exposing another split face.

MarcusLndscp
01-13-2006, 08:19 PM
I'll try to duck in this weekend and get some pics Chris. For some reason on this job I have not been very good with the camera staying on. I think it's because I know we'll be there for a long time so I haven't been pressed to take the pics. Actually now that I say that I realize that some of the work like the ledge creation is covered in tarps for the weekend so I can't get pics of it. I believe I can get pics of the rest of it though so we'll see. Catch you later
Mark

sheshovel
01-13-2006, 08:32 PM
Looks really great!!.
Taking a useless space and turning it into a beutifull useable place should give you great satisfaction.

mbella
01-13-2006, 08:36 PM
I'll try to duck in this weekend and get some pics Chris. For some reason on this job I have not been very good with the camera staying on. I think it's because I know we'll be there for a long time so I haven't been pressed to take the pics. Actually now that I say that I realize that some of the work like the ledge creation is covered in tarps for the weekend so I can't get pics of it. I believe I can get pics of the rest of it though so we'll see. Catch you later
Mark

Definitely post some pics Marc. I would also be interested in your winter weather adaptations as well.