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Stud
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm working on a project where we will be building 9 retaining walls with varying heights (3'-11'). We are in the process of picking the type of block we will use. Today developer & I met with the rep from Stone Strong system.

They say:
1.Blocks are 8' L x 3' H x 44" D.
2.Will engineer the whole wall w/ stamp.
3.Don't need geogrid with wall height under 15'. That surprised me.
4.Will send a guy out for a day to help you set the wall to there specs.

I've done walls with different types of block, some set by hand others with excavator. This system seems pretty sweet. The developer will make final choice. I'm wondering if anyone has any experiences with these blocks. Feel free to suggest any other type of block you have used and experiences. Thanks in advance.

If anyone is curious about this product: www.stonestrong.com
 

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Vagitarian
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I have read a little about them in a magazine. They seem like a great system, and very aesthetic too. Any idea on a price ?
 

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Make sure there is sufficient back-up and testing to satisfy the codes. Typically, these type of systems are big and heavy and lack of real testing and approvals for approvals. They represent a very small portion of the market, especially when it comes to high walls.

Nothing is worse than committing to a project relying on unproven gravity systems when you are geared up and ready to go.
 

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Stud
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have read a little about them in a magazine. They seem like a great system, and very aesthetic too. Any idea on a price ?
I assume they are going to be pricey. There would be some savings from not needing geogrid. Also the blocks have a slot to run the drain pipe thru them resulting in not needing stone in the wall & behind the wall.


Make sure there is sufficient back-up and testing to satisfy the codes. Typically, these type of systems are big and heavy and lack of real testing and approvals for approvals. They represent a very small portion of the market, especially when it comes to high walls.

Nothing is worse than committing to a project relying on unproven gravity systems when you are geared up and ready to go.
The developer I'm working for is making final call on the block. We have been working for them for over 20 years. One thing I know about him is that he reviews & studies things very carefully before make decisions. He also doesn't mind spending more money if it seems like a superior product.
What I like most about this product is that they engineer it, stamp it, & send someone to help you install it to there specs. That should eliminate finger pointing if there is a problem. Really was hoping that someone on forum has used this product& could share some experiences.
 

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Stud
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They got back to the developer on price. It's $18/sf including mat'ls, engineering & guy to show us how there system. A guy I know swears by Versalock block. Dealer is from NH. Anyone have experience with Versalock?
 

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Upchuck,

We installed two stone strong walls for the first time on a big job we are almost finished with. Its a pretty sweet system goes damn quick once you get your crew used to it. The only thing i didn't like was there are no stops for the next course to align itself with on the lower course, you basically do the set-backs yourself. I beleive we shall use that system again if we have a choice.
 

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Stud
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Little

Thanks for responding. I had a few more questions.
1. How big a crew did you have & what type of equipment?
2. How many sq ft. was the wall you did & how long did it take?
3. Have you used other block before & how did it cost/ sq ft compare?
4. Did you measure setback block by block or could you use a chalk line to establish setback.

The developer has left the decision to me. Still not sure which way I will go.
There will be much more manual labor with smaller block. Biggest problem is trying to figure how many sq ft. I can get done in a day with the different types of block.
 

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1. How big a crew did you have & what type of equipment?
One operator, 2 laborers, 312 excavator but could def use something smaller

2. How many sq ft. was the wall you did & how long did it take?
I was averaging about 200sf per day but this was a wall with half straight half curved. Also about half was the 24sf blocks and other half was 6sf/3sf blocks

3. Have you used other block before & how did it cost/ sq ft compare?
I don't have cost of doing the an allenblock style wall, but def get more done with the stone strong, the base course of the stone strong has to be pretty much perfect though as once you get to the next or third course there is no fixing any gaps that start to occur (mismatches in the blocks). We have done plenty of allen block walls and usually require one operator/machine, 3 or 4 laborers.

4. Did you measure setback block by block or could you use a chalk line to establish setback.
You could use a chalk line on a totally straight run.

Hope this helps a little bit. Their claim of installing 2000sf a day with one operator/machine and one laborer is absurd, hehe. Maybe after you got used to installing the wall and you had a guy that really hustled with one other guy.
 

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UPCHUCK-
I got a "WARNING WILL ROBINSON" feeling when I read this thread. In late August you noted "One thing I know about him is that he reviews & studies things very carefully before make decisions." Here it is October and you're finding "The developer has left the decision to me." What I "hear" in that is the developer has studied it and decided it's best someone else make the decision - that seems peculiar.
My experience with issues like this is that you can have all the stamps and calculations in the world and the bottom line is if the system fails the guy what built it is the first guy taking a hit; maybe the only one if the engineer has its way. In most cases its a tough (if not impossible) road to hoe for an installer to prove it has no culpability in the failure of an installed system. If it were me I'd want some substantial $$incentive from the wall system guy before I put my arse on the line for both spec'ing and building the wall.
 

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Stud
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Little1. How big a crew did you have & what type of equipment?
One operator, 2 laborers, 312 excavator but could def use something smaller

2. How many sq ft. was the wall you did & how long did it take?
I was averaging about 200sf per day but this was a wall with half straight half curved. Also about half was the 24sf blocks and other half was 6sf/3sf blocks

3. Have you used other block before & how did it cost/ sq ft compare?
I don't have cost of doing the an allenblock style wall, but def get more done with the stone strong, the base course of the stone strong has to be pretty much perfect though as once you get to the next or third course there is no fixing any gaps that start to occur (mismatches in the blocks). We have done plenty of allen block walls and usually require one operator/machine, 3 or 4 laborers.

4. Did you measure setback block by block or could you use a chalk line to establish setback.
You could use a chalk line on a totally straight run.

Hope this helps a little bit. Their claim of installing 2000sf a day with one operator/machine and one laborer is absurd, hehe. Maybe after you got used to installing the wall and you had a guy that really hustled with one other guy.
Little
Thanks for the additional info. Always helps to get feedback from someone who has used the system. I never believed there claim of a small crew doing 1200 sf/ day. I was hoping to do about 400 sf/ day because I know I can get that much done with the smaller blocks.


UPCHUCK-
I got a "WARNING WILL ROBINSON" feeling when I read this thread. In late August you noted "One thing I know about him is that he reviews & studies things very carefully before make decisions." Here it is October and you're finding "The developer has left the decision to me." What I "hear" in that is the developer has studied it and decided it's best someone else make the decision - that seems peculiar.
My experience with issues like this is that you can have all the stamps and calculations in the world and the bottom line is if the system fails the guy what built it is the first guy taking a hit; maybe the only one if the engineer has its way. In most cases its a tough (if not impossible) road to hoe for an installer to prove it has no culpability in the failure of an installed system. If it were me I'd want some substantial $$incentive from the wall system guy before I put my arse on the line for both spec'ing and building the wall.
I hear where you are coming from Pipeguy. The developer has left the decision up to me because he is comfortable with either system. We have worked with this guy for a long time and he is more of a numbers guy than field guy. If the wall system were to fail I know the engineers would point at me. That why we will have daily inspections and any other safeguards I can think of to cover my tail. I am leaning towards the versablock wall system anyway. They will supply & install the wall for $10/sf. I will excavate, backfill & compact. Stone strong system costs $18/sf for block alone. Seems too pricey considering I don't think I could enough sf to make up cost difference. The worst part of the whole wall is that very little will be seen considering all the wetlands it is crossing and the future overgrowth of brush. I wish they made a more inexpensive block w/o finished face.
 

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The finished face on the Versalok and similar units do not add much to the cost. The split face is necessary for the manufacturing method.

Make sure you get an approved design for the higher walls and approvals from everyone around including the wetlands "rulers". Versalok and similar systems can go very high (I have seen 45' high walls but along freeways) and there are many walls from 3' to 20' within a couple of miles from me, but they are build in a mixed use office/residential project with a few car owners below that wanted more land area and building walls was cheaper than buying land.
 
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