We're building seat walls and columns today. That's right, we're going to give you all of the skills, the tools that you're actually going to need from start to finish to put this project together. What would be really cool is if we could just have installed this project for you, but this isn't a dream so wake up. When we started, we had our questions. Questions?! We actually had no clue what we were doing. We've never seen this wall system before in our lives, but we figured it out and we want to show you how simple this system is to actually put together. Yeah, you just have to be able to run a skid loader and a chop saw and other heavy equipment. No big deal, right? Yesterday at this time, this was barren dirt, now you're just bragging, I think I need a weed whip. And a new bench. Today we have a 16 x 16 patio installed, and that's in part one of a three-part epic mini-series. The seat walls and columns by Belgard are called the tandem wall and a DIY fire pit, so look for that video coming soon to a theater near you (or just on this YouTube channel probably like next week). See that column in the background?
That one took us 90 minutes to install. The remaining two columns and the rest of that seat wall took us a combined total of 90 more minutes to get it completed. Don't get too impressed. That's for experienced guys, two dump trucks, a skid loader, a plate compactor plus all the tools you need right here at the tips of your fingers. I think anybody can do that fast if they had those resources. I'm going to walk you through it step by step. Yeah, it was easy for Phil. He didn't do anything. I watched him, of course, I didn't do anything either. That's right. So what are you waiting for? Let's get going. Behind me what we're doing is, we're starting in the back corner. We want to build the column first because this establishes our 90-degree angles to set that corner. We're leveling the block; it all starts at the base, if you screw that up there's no going back. Get this step right. This is the point where we have to take our time, we want to make sure these blocks are level front to back and side to side; if we don't do that now, it jeopardizes our wall and it can get offset. Offset is a fancy word or way of saying that it will make you feel dizzy every time you walk on it. Our starter course blocks are now in.
The next step is we're going to level all of these out and set in this column cage, fold it open set it down, and you've got the beginning of your column. These columns use a wire framework that the stone actually gets hung off of, then they get core-filled, and capped. This made me question just how strong they were so with the homeowner, the Belgard rep and the whole crew standing there, I devised a pretty unique test; when we're done let's kick it and see if we can knock it over! You actually have a created a pad beneath the column to distribute the weight, that right? That's absolutely correct, we have to do that in order to get these wall blocks to line up perfectly. As we start to build a column you can set it on this base material. What is that, Baby Fox? You think Phil was smoking crack when he said that?? Baby Fox definitely recommends that you put your columns on the base blocks, otherwise if you put them on raw dirt, they can shift and settle. Good point, Baby Fox you got a good point- but it's going to take a lot more time to level it. Using these starter blocks saves a ton of time in your construction process.
This is a double-sided wall system making it light and easy to handle; each block clips to the block below it but you are not done yet, you have to core fill it and this interlocks the entire system together. Once you are through that step, you then cap it and it makes it look like you knew what you were doing. Alright Phil, tell me about the learning curve with this because this is not something you typically see. I've never met a contractor that likes figuring things out for the first time, especially when dollar bills are on the line and time is money but this system is fast and intuitive; it’s kinda like Legos for adults. So when we started it took us about an hour and a half to figure out our first column. We just spent the time investing in the details of it, once we finished figuring that out, we rocked and rolled. Then the rest of this wall's gone together in about another hour and a half, so it really took us no time at all- it also speeds things up when you have a whole crew of people breathing over your shoulders filming everything you do – the guys went from a feeling of like, "Gosh I’m not sure I want to take this on, maybe it’s a change I’m not comfortable with", to loving the product.
You can bet you will see a ton more of this product on our job site. We’re talking three hours to build this. Next job I bet we get that down to two hours, so you’re constantly improving. It gets better the more you do it. It’s something that gets exciting because it’s not the same monotonous thing every day in day out. Right it’s just the initial learning curve you have to get over. You get to offer more products to the customer, more variety means more landed jobs. You come armed with different things, different ideas it's just more that you bring to the table.
So we've got the wire framework but we don't want the column to go all the way up to the top. We've got two ways of cutting it. One easy way is using a bolt cutter. But we don't like to do things the easy way (that's my Polish way of saying I don't have a bolt cutter handy). Let's fire up the saw. And now this column, after it gets core filled will be ready to be capped. We're going to adjust that cap to get it so that the overhang is even on all four sides. All right, so this is the brand new wall system and a lot of you guys are going to have some very valid questions: how strong is it, how durable is it, will it hold up, after all it's a hollow system, you guys haven't even seen it before. I’d say that's a pretty swell built retaining wall and column. Belgard sponsored (you mean paid for) this entire video. If it wasn't for them this wouldn't be possible. So let them know in the comments down below what you guys want to see next. God bless, go get them! I hope this has helped you out.