Thursday, February 2, 2012

Decorative Block Manufacturers Offer Free Seminars for New England Landscapers

Decorative Block Manufacturers Offer Free Seminars for New England Landscapers  
Submitted by Dale Squires, Belknap Landscape Company

Belknap Landscape Company is a Member of the NH Landscape Association (NHLA) with NHLA Certified Landscape Professionals on staff. While many NH Landscape Assoc Members work in natural stone, some homeowners and commercial landscapers prefer the controlled lines provided by manufactured stone. Applications include retaining walls, steps, walkways and even driveways due to the immense durability.

Qualified landscapers will design and spec out retaining walls of brick, stone, rock or concrete for a client’s consideration. Then, the client makes material and color selections and authorized installation companies like Belknap Landscape Co. an thier in-house team of masons will set to work.

Retaining Wall Design Notes:

Retaining walls are used to provide support to vertically sloping land and represent the top entry into Internet search engines when searching for a local landscape professional. By installing retaining walls, such sloping land can be leveled and hence be of greater use. Plants, trees and gardens can be incorporated into once underutilized land. Properly designed walls have increased property values by as much as 15% as they provide access to additional outdoor spaces where land would otherwise be unusable, a key note for property owners. In addition to comprehensive masonry construction experience, many NH Landscape Assoc Member companies, including Belknap Landscape's Architectural Masonry Division pursue professional installer certifications by attending industry-sponsored training seminars, becoming authorized contractors for premium brands including Allan Block, Techo-Bloc and Cambridge, to name a few. NH companies often work closely with experienced manufacturer representatives during the planning stages to ensure retaining wall long-term strength.

A Governors Island, Gilford, NH Belgard paver drive, laid last fall by BLC masons.
Who Builds The Best Blocks?

There are essentially two types of paving stone products manufactured – “color through” one-piece pavers where color is uniformly present from top to bottom and “face mix” pavers where color is concentrated in at the top of the product and adhered to underlying concrete.

Belgard Hardscapes, Inc., whose blocks are manufactured by Oldcastle Products Corp, provides Belgard-authorized installer companies plant tours, explaining in detail how Belgard’s “color through” paver products are manufactures. Of significance were investments made to control both the heat and the humidity at all levels of the block drying oven, a massive facility with pallet elevators which bake thousands of pavers every week for distributors all over the East Coast. More information is available on the Belgard website, including easy-read Case Studies.
 Cambridge Pavers Inc. manufactures “face mix” pavers Cambridge Pavingstones, on their website, provides and informative article ArmorTec® coatings comparisons on its own products, finding it best for consumers to manufacture every Cambridge Pavingstone with the added value of ArmorTec®, including Renaissance line, without losing its distinctive “aged” appearance.

What About Sealing Out The Elements?

Sealing pavers can be good for the consumer and for the installing landscape company. While Cambridge Pavingstone systems use ArmorTec® to protect the blocks, Belgard Pavers are manufactured to the same industry standards as the Cambridge paver and Belgard offers a transferable lifetime warranty on all of its paver and wall products.

To further protect client investment and add a touch of contrast, Belgard has teamed with Techniseal, offering treatments to help prime, clean and protect the exterior surfaces. Available in gloss, wet look, matte, and even invisible finishes, cleaning and sealing provides client benefits in extremely high traffic areas, preventing grease or oil stains on driveways or patios. This is especially important on patios where the cooking occurs. Grease stains are some of the toughest to remove, but may be achieved with Techniseal grease remover, a product NHLA Member companies may offer for sale.

With assistance from Belknap Landscape Company, Belgard Hardscapes announced a Techniseal certification class right here in New Hampshire, a 3.5-hour course enabling NHLA Members to determine if this new business line warrants consideration.

The no-cost seminar will be held at Harts Turkey Farm in Meredith on Tuesday March 6th, but space is limited. The class will cover polymeric sands, the new fail-proof methods to properly installing the sand, cleaning/sealing concrete and stone surfaces and more.

How Do NHLA Members and Consumers Learn More?

Check out some of these training sessions to get manufacturing techniques, warranty information and hands-on installation tips.

Belgard University offers periodic opportunities to expand hardscape knowledge. Benefit from the basic and advanced levels of classroom and hands-on industry training. Plus, NHLA Members may earn certifications in Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) and National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) classes. To locate a Belgard University that is coming to your area, please visit:

Beginning February 28, 2012 Techo-Bloc is holding a series of Contractor Showcases here in new England.  To register for one of the Techo-bloc 2012 Contractor Showcase events, click on the button below and complete the online form.
February 28, 2012   Contractor Showcase - Eliot, ME
March 1, 2012   Contractor Showcase - Westborough, MA
March 2, 2012   Contractor Showcase - Burlington, MA

These Techno-Bloc road shows are set up the same way at each location, incorporating:

• Installation Tricks
• Heated permeable pavement
• Rain harvesting system
• Retaining wall and lighting features
• New Products
• Support Programs
• 3D Designs

Plus, attending NHLA Member companies have a chance to take home some part of $250,000 in gifts, prizes and giveaways!  Members who register and attend one of the Techo-Bloc Contractor Showcase events is guaranteed receive a $100 gift certificate, redeemable at any authorized Techo-Bloc dealer. The certificate will be sent via regular postal service after the last showcase is held. Cambridge Pavingstones also has training sessions scheduled throughout the Northeast, most all at Authorized Distributor locations. Use this link to the Cambridge Contractor Training & Events Calendar to learn more.


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