“Being the type of home it is, he wanted a really spectacular look,” says Flanagan. “He was attracted to our product initially because it could have him the same natural-stone appearance as a veneer, but with precast modular.

“We also were able save him about 35 percent on the cost of that other option.”

Clair Rose (33)-1Click photo to enlargeStill, things did not move quickly. Flanagan estimates it took about 18 months between that initial meeting and the time when Webb was ready to move ahead with the job. And, in the interim, Flanagan’s situation had changed.

The Piedmont executive explains that when the company first began offering Redi-Rock in the Atlanta market, it was difficult to sell. He attributes that to the fact that Atlanta is a mature market when it comes to retaining walls.

“I could see that people weren’t really bidding our product in situations where it was best-suited, based on engineering and price,” says Flanagan. “Being that we were having such a hard time selling the product, I started my own design-build company. Once we did that, block sales increased 80 percent in our first year.”

Flanagan adds that he had kept in touch with Webb over those 18 months. When the developer called, he knew Flanagan would be able to supply both the blocks and bid the installation through his MSE Site Solutions.

Great Payoffs

Still, Flanagan says his first trip to the site was an eye-opener.

“When he called me to come out onsite and said he was ready to talk, he had already started to build the home,” says Flanagan. “He had already poured the basement and there was a 35’ exposed concrete wall.”

Webb had the site plans; Flanagan took photos and a video of the property with his cell phone, and had an online conference with the engineer and construction manager at that time.

“We were able to come up with some solutions almost immediately,” he says. “Actually, the front wall was pretty cut-and-dried. However, there was a pretty difficult situation at the rear.”

“I had the design layout for the property,” Webb agrees. “As far as where the curves went in the wall – we did a lot of that in the field. And, they (MSE) had an engineer who did a design based on the height of the wall, the size and the compaction. Through the process, we had an engineer who monitored compaction and the lengths of the geogrid behind the wall.”

John Paulson, an engineer with the Alpharetta, Ga.-based REDI Engineering, says his part of the job started with basic information Webb’s civil engineer had done developing a plan for the site, showing where the walls would go and their elevations. The developer also provided information on drainage and site grading drawings.