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Is your contractor AB certified? Don’t hesitate to ask.

Why is it important that your contractor is AB certified? Well, when it comes to projects that use Allan blocks — like retaining walls, ponds, fire pits, and much, much more — you can have the confidence you deserve in knowing that your contractor has installed your project safely and effectively.

At Oregon Block, our team undergoes an annual training each winter, where every employee on our staff takes a one-week class designed to help everyone who uses these products not only knowledgeable, but safety-minded in how they use them to create works of hardscape art. 

Additionally, the Oregon Block team hosts a one-day training class for all contractors to attend. This training is a National Contract Management Association (NCMA) accredited class and attendees who complete the training can gain their CCB (Construction Contractors Board) and LCB (Landscape Contractors Board) continuing education credits from this class.

These annual training sessions are just a part of certification programs available to builders. In order to become true, certified experts in this realm of Allen block and paver-based construction, there are multiple phases one must complete, including:

Training #1: The Certified Allan Block Wall Installer Certification

This is the first level of certification that builders must go through in order for contractors to be thoroughly trained to safely and effectively use these products. This certification phase includes an overview of the Allan block products, how the products actually work, an overview of basic wall design principles, the most common reasons that retaining walls fail, how to create accurate wall estimates, and more. 

This training is more than just an overview of this information. Not only must contractors complete a written exam of the material covered in the certification course, but they must also build a wall of Allan block meeting certain design specifications. Once a contractor has earned their Wall Installer Certification, they can move onto the next level of training.

 

Training #2: The Experienced Wall Installer Certification

Phase two of a contractor’s training involves understanding and applying certain basic concepts in effectively using Allan block in specific design applications. In order to achieve this, the person being trained and tested must build five separate walls. 

These walls will be assessed and graded by their ability to meet local building codes; meet present-day industry tolerances; the contractor’s use of Geogrid reinforcement in at least three of the five walls; the creation of detailed project proposals; project meetings held for each wall before the beginning of construction; a minimum use of 300 unit blocks with the walls meeting a minimum of 3 feet in height; proper overview and care materials provided; as well as other crucial details to successfully completing the project. 

These project walls are not limited to basic designs. The contractors being tested must be able to create curved walls, terraced walls, effective water management, slopes, and more.

Once a contractor has effectively met the requirements to achieve phase two certification, they are eligible to move onto the next phase. 

Training #3: Master Wall Builder Certification

Beyond the requirements necessary to complete the first and second phases of Allan block certifications, contractors must undergo an even more rigorous certification process in order to qualify as master builders in this industry. The people who achieve this level of certification are equal parts engineer, artist, and architect in their ability to use Allan block products in a manner that provides customers with a balance of form and functionality.

The Master Wall Builder certification requires contractors to build a total of ten walls using a minimum of 25,000 block units.

Letters of reference from local contractors, developers, or property owners are required, and those letters are secured directly between the authors and the certifiers in order to ensure total objectivity.

Oregon Block believes that you deserve the best, so that’s what we strive to be!

As soon as our builders earn their certification, we create a portfolio for them, which not only allows us to track the progress of their professional work, but it also helps us to align our customers with the installers who best align with the projects they want to see installed in their landscapes. 

This gives you the value that you deserve, as well as the confidence that you’ve made a worthwhile investment. 

Ready to start your next hardscape project?
Contact Oregon Block today for the service, experience, and value you deserve!