Allan Block (Ashlar) Walls We Built

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by JimLewis, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

  2. Ron's Lawncare

    Ron's Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    nice work jim, are those blocks easy to work with? i've never done a random pattern like that before.
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    Oh yah! They're easy! About as easy as a friggin' rubick's cube!!!

    No, in theory they are easy. But in practice, they weren't as easy. The pattern itself makes it about 25% more difficult than a regular block wall. Then you have to fill each block with gravel. That's annoying, and makes it another 25% more difficult. And that's just if you are doing a wall where the base is straight and the top is straight.

    The biggest problem is when you get to the step-ups at the base of the wall. That is, if the area where you need to install your base course is not level from right to left and you've eventually got to step up the base. That's where it gets hella confusing and complicated with the AB Pattern. We only had to do that on the lowest wall, by the sidewalk. But that wall took us as long to build as the other 3 walls combined.

    Then there was the issue of geogrid. That was very complicated as well, because of the step-up pattern. Geogrid itself isn't too difficult to install or figure out. But when you have a step-up pattern then it makes it next to impossible because you don't ever arrive at a flat point in the wall to install the geogrid.

    It was a PITA, is all I can say. But the customers love it. And everyone else on that street has the typical Mutual Materials "Manor Stone" walls. And now all their walls look like crap compared to these walls. Everyone on the street was jealous as heck. They loved this pattern and look and wished they had done it at their home. So even though it was a PITA, it was probably worth it. Lots of publicity.

    I'd say if you are building one where the base is totally level, it's not too difficult. Like I said, about 50% more difficult than a standard block wall. But if your base isn't straight, plan on it being more like 200% more difficult.
  4. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,140

    Great job!
    I like the material choice, the walls complement the house and that brings the landscape and building together.

    Please tell us more about this project; how many man hours, costs, equipment used, how are you going to plant it, anything! I would like to see a photo from a distance.

    Looks like a tough hill to work on:weightlifter: :weightlifter: :weightlifter:
  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    So you didn't use any grid at all?

    Also, why no safety handrail on that staircase?
  6. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Messages: 2,702

    looks like two pulls, Jon.

    One after the first course, and then you can see another horizonal line a couple course up.

    I started out with AB and now HATE it. You're brave, Jim....tricky wall, material, and site conditions, Jim. Don't you love the extra step of getting stone in all those cores? :dizzy: Nice work.

    Did you use an AB pattern, or just let it free flow on your own? I find it just as easy to lay them up on your own and not get caught up in following their pattern.
  7. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Mark, I didn't look at the close up pic.

    Nevermind then, I apologize for jumping on Jim :)

    I still think its needs a hand rail though.
  8. neversatisfiedj

    neversatisfiedj LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    Jim - great project ! 2 thumbs up
  9. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Messages: 2,702

    yeah, prolly does need a rail.

    Jim, you could have built integrated stairs with the AB, then you'd really be swearing!
  10. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    Yeah, that stuff looks like a PITA to install and really doesn't look that good in my opinion.

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