StoneMakers Blog

5 Things To Make A StoneMakers Retaining Wall Pour Easier

Pouring a concrete retaining wall with no forms can be a daunting task. It takes a short period of time to build but it is also can be a stressful period. We want to show you some key elements in making your pour go a little smoother. Whether you're pumping, pouring, wheel barrowing or buggying these pointers can make a drastic difference in your day.

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Topics: retaining walls, concrete retaining wall, Stonemakers wall builder

How To Build A StoneMakers Retaining Wall From Design To Finish

Brent Montry,  a StoneMakers dealer from Tri State StoneMakers in Wisconson, integrates a monolithic concrete retaining wall into an existing landscape design in this three part video series.  He demonstrates all the facets of building a retaining wall using the StoneMakers system from design to the finished project.  

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Topics: concrete retaining wall, StoneMakers System

Lake Front Concrete Retaining Walls: Protect And Beautify

If you would like boost functional and usable space to your lakeside property, then you should consider building a lake front retaining wall. These walls can not only offer you more stabilized space which you can use for whatever it is that you like, they will be able to also provide you with an exquisite new look for your yard.

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Topics: hardscape design, concrete retaining wall, landscape design

Concrete Retaining Walls: How Do They Work?

A retaining wall is known as a section of wall that's put into place to landscape the side of a sloping lawn. Sometimes they are added to simply maintain the area from eroding or washing away due to weather. These retaining walls may well be made from concrete, large rocks, decorative slabs or even railroad ties.

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Topics: outdoor living area, retaining walls, concrete retaining wall

4 Steps To A Successful Hardscape Demonstration Promotion

One of the most successful methods Stonemakers dealers have had in generating new business is by hosting a demonstration day.  Any contractor that does hardscapes, retaining walls, water features, outdoor living areas and patios can benefit from this type of promotion.  Belknap Landscape Company in Guilford, NH and Complete Concrete in Sykesville, MD both had tremendous returns from hosting a demonstration.  Here are the four key areas to ensure success.

1.    Select a date 4-6 weeks out in advance.
2.    Find a suitable location that can accommodate a good number of people and has some traffic.  Car dealerships and retail shopping centers lend well to a promotion, and you'll gain exposure beyond the demonstration. Typically a water feature and 30-40 ft of sitting wall can be completed in 4-5 hours.  Offer to cover the cost of labor if they'll pay for only the materials in exchange to do the promotion.  They can also help in cross promoting through their local advertising.

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Topics: concrete retaining wall, demonstration day

Stonemakers Hardscape System VS Concrete Wall Block And Pavers

As the demand for outdoor living areas and innovative hardscape design continues to grow, homeowners have a number of choices for building retaining walls, patios, walkways and water features.  Here's a comparison of the Stonemakers System and concrete block and pavers.
Concrete wall block and pavers:
1.    Can be purchased at any local supplier or retail outlet.

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Topics: retaining walls, concrete retaining wall, hardscape

11 New Dealers Are Taught The Stonemakers System Of Hardscapes

After four days of  hard work, learning and a whole lot of fun, Stonemakers wrapped up the first new dealer training of the year on January 21, 2011, in Orlando, FL.  Lead by David Montoya, founder and president, 11 new dealers were trained and licensed to install retaining walls and hardscape features using the Stonemakers system for stacking and carving concrete.  Here are the new dealers that were in attendance:

o    Mike Gates, Preferred Landscape Inc., Cedar Springs, MI  
o    Brad Matthews, Lasting Impressions Decorative Concrete, Conway,AR    
o    Chris Wolfe, Nostalgic Stone, Denver, CO   
o    John Giusto, Giusto Landscaping LLC, Byfield, MA   
o    Chuck Bryson, A & C Concrete LLC, Mechanicsville, MD  
o    Charlie    Allen, New Life Nurseries, Inc., Melbourne, FL    
o    Micheal Jones, MJMJ Enterprises DBA Artscapes, Gurley, AL  
o    Steve Thoms, Thoms Bros. Landscaping, Rochester, MI  
o    Jim Ayers, Ayers Drywall, Insulation & Supply, Inc., Lincoln, AR   
o    Matt Otero, Designs By Stonescapes, Commerce City, CO
o    Brent Montry, Tri state Basement Repair, Richland Center, WI   

Here's a look at the project:

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Topics: outdoor living area, concrete retaining wall, water features, patios

How Stonemakers Concrete Innovations Saved A Hospital $700,000

St Anthony's Regional Hospital in Carroll, Iowa was faced with a dilemma.  The engineered block retaining wall was built in 1996, and originally took two and a half months to complete. The Hospital wanted to replace the wall as there were issues starting to develop and the aesthetics were not up to standard any longer. The hospital had received bids from $1.1mm to $1.25 mm to tear out and replace the existing wall. The contractors that were bidding estimated a time of completion of 3 months.

What could be done with StoneMakers concrete innovations?   StoneMakers solution was to install reinforced steel concrete wall in front of the existing wall.

StoneMakers started by installing #5 rebar grid in front of the existing walls. StoneMakers then installed 6 strategically placed “dead men (retaining wall anchors)" at key points throughout the wall. Each “dead man” was 4’ wide x 15’ deep, 8’ high. These were all completed with the same #5 bar as the main wall. The “dead men” were then tied back into the main wall for anchoring support. Shot-Crete with StoneMakers Wall Builder was then used to build a 12”to 14” thick wall in place through the grid. At that point, the Stonemakers crew began carving the concrete to look like other walls that were already on campus. With a crew of 8 men StoneMakers poured 530 yards of concrete over the course of 4 days. On the 5th day they colored and sealed the wall. All this for a cost of $378,000.00

There were four major benefits to having StoneMakers install the new wall:

1.    Cost. The hospital saved over $700,000 on the cost of the project over the lowest bidder.

2.    Time Frame. In an eight day period the entire project was completed. This is opposed to the original estimate of 3 months.

3.    Minimal Impact On Employees And Visitors.  The eight day project was completed will little or no disruption to the roadway and parking lot above the wall that employees and visitors had to use.

4.    Structural Integrity.  By having StoneMakers pour in place a steel reinforced concrete wall with six “dead man” (4’x15’x8’), gives the hospital a wall with a cured strengthof 6-8000 psi that a block wall could never achieve.

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Topics: Stonemakers, concrete retaining wall, commercial conrete project

Seeing Is Believing: A New Dealer's Impressions Of Stonemakers

We get a lot of questions about the Stonemakers system for creating retaining walls and hardscapes.  It goes against most beliefs about what can be done with concrete.  December 18, 2010 we completed our last dealer training of the year.  One of the new dealers, James Snyder of Alberto Group Landscaping,  shared these thoughts after completeing training.

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Topics: hardscapes, Stonemakers dealer training, retaining walls, concrete retaining wall

3 Reasons Stonemakers Is Exhibiting At The 2010 GIE+EXPO Show

Stonemakers will be exhibiting at the 2010 GIE+EXPO (Green Industry Equipment Expo), October 28-30, 2010 in Louisville, KY. The GIE+EXPO is the 14th largest tradeshow in the USA, and is combining this year with the Hardscape North America show.  HNA is the national hardscape show for successful hardscape contractors.  By combining these shows this year, nearly 20,000 attendees are expected offering business growth opportunities to the thousands of lawn and landscape professionals that attend the GIE+EXPO, but also new attractions for more than 2,400 design-build contractors, architects and engineers that regularly attend HNA annually.

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Topics: gie+expo, Stonemakers, concrete retaining wall