Courtyard Walls

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by JimLewis, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    I like the term "Courtyard Walls", as AllanBlock calls it. Also known as "Free Standing Walls" or "FSW" as Anchor calls it. Regardless what you call it, this stuff is hot. If you guys aren't already doing this, you're missing the boat. At the AB certification class I took a few weeks back, an AB rep. said this product has generated more excitement and response from consumers than any other product they've had in the history of the company. And from the response I am getting from our customers, I would have to agree. People love this look. And it's EASY, guys!

    Here are some pics from a small courtyard wall job we did just last week;


    ...

    Courtyard Walls Front A.jpg

    Courtyard Walls Front B.jpg

    Courtyard Walls Front C.jpg
     
  2. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    This stacks like a regular segmental retaining wall. And same foundation as you would do for a segmental retaining wall. Then the caps just glue on top of the wall, and you have a totally solid wall. It's much more solid, when complete, than I expected it to be. No mortar. Just dry stack. The glued-on caps pretty much keep the entire wall together. Pretty cool.

    For more info on the AB Courtyard Walls, see:

    http://www.nitterhouse.com/masonry/products/retaining_walls/allan_block/courtyard_collection.php

    http://www.anchsand.com/default.aspx?tabid=202

    http://www.kingsmaterial.com/rwabcourt_gallery.html

    http://www.allanblock.com/Courtyard/install/wallbasics.aspx?ta=2


    For more info on the Anchor Highland Stone FSWs, see:

    http://www.obc-pbm.com/fsw_thumb.htm

    http://www.nesl.com/default.aspx?portalid=9001&tabid=78&pageid=Highland Stone Free Standing Wall

    http://www.buildingproductscorp.com/highlandFreeStandingWall.php
     
  3. leaflandscape

    leaflandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 241

    Nice stuff, are the wall units solid or hollow? The only fsw we've used is Unilock Brussels dimensional wall, but it's not tumbled. Does a great job though, as long as you price in cutting time for outside curves.
     
  4. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,369

  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    LOL. Well, I think some of the AB walls look nice. But I definitely like the Anchor blocks better. That's what we used in the above job.

    As for Al Gore, I agree. It would be great if Al Gore left the U.S. and went down under to become your President in '08. Good for you for encouraging him in that respect. :usflag:
     
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    They are quite solid. And HEAVY!
     
  7. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,369

    I dont like them.I might have had the columns one course higher too.

    I like using these ....(from last winter)
    footnote: I didnt install the two lights at the end or the mulch.

    IMG_078101a.JPG
     
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    Well, the homeowner loved it. And all we had all week were compliments from dozens of other homeowners and 3 other landscapers. One of the owners of a competing landscape firm came over and was admiring them two days in a row.

    As for the height of the columns, we considered making them one course higher. But it's a VERY small front yard. And the higher we went with the walls or the columns, the more it would have hidden the front yard. And we all agreed that we didn't want the walls to hide the landscape - we wanted them to simply enhance the landscape. So we intentionally kept those low.

    We'll be doing a much more elaborate wall in the back yard (where there's more room) later this year. For that project, we'll be going with the larger columns.

    What brand are those?
     
  9. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    jim, the wall looks great.
    i really like the color of that wall.
    I do see one issue though. the way you built the wall the wall is seperate from the columns.
    you shouls run every other course of the wall into the column... it takes a lot more time, but it ties the two together and adds tremendous strength.

    there was an article on the biggest maisake made on free standing walls in the hardscaper magazine a few months back, and it had a whole section devoted to this exact thing...

    that being said, i have never until this year run the wall into columns like they say, and i have had a few issues.... one was hit by a tractor ( i built it at a golf course) and the column shifted.... if it had been tied in it would have never moved....

    so now i always tie the two together.
     
  10. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    You can also do a freestanding wall with Versa-lok. Standard block, split the backs off. Cobbles are possible as well. The columns go up really fast, especially if you are using un-weathered product. Just remember to turn the blocks upside down to hide the little groove...

    I figured out a way a while back to get a freestanding wall with the mosaic look too. :)
     

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