All Access Construction



This retaining wall project took place in Lafayette, CA in Contra Costa County off Highway 24. One of nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area.  We gave an estimate on this project in 2010. At that time the previous client was looking to sell the house and do a quick retaining wall repair job.

Long story short, the client sold the house and gave our information to the new homeowners. So to that client thank you. To the new homeowners thank you as well.


The project was pretty simple. Customer had a failing retaining wall in two places. We decided to go with the Versa-lok block retaining wall system in a serpentine color.

Retaining Wall Contractor Lafayette..All Access 707-534-1035

Old wood retaining wallCinder block retaining wall contractor...All Access 707-534-1035 Old cinder block wall on the side..No drainage


As with any retaining wall, the first course is the footing which is the most important. The main challenge of this process was the tight access on the side approximate 5’4 Our Mt-52 bobcat was more up to the challenge. The other challenge we ran into was during our excavating on this project was a huge sandstone rock that required us to bring out our jackhammer.

After we spent approximate four hours on this, the customer came out and asked  if we could move the retaining wall up approximate one foot.  We also ran into this problem on the side so we had to rent an excavator with a long arm to break this retaining wall apart . The concrete was approximate 12 inches thick. This probably saved us another four to eight hours.

Retaining wall contractor demo...All Access 707-534-1035

Excavation using jack hammer attachment


Once these challenges were met,  both retaining walls went up without an issues within 15 days As we mentioned before,  we used the McNear Standard Block, a.k.a. Versa lok block.  Each block weighs approximately 80 pounds.

Each retaining wall had a full French drainage system behind it, which tied into the client’s existing drainage system.

In this retaining wall project  we used McNear Standard Blocks, however these walls can be built using Keystone, pavestone, Allen block , Belgard or Redi-rock block system.

Bay Area retaining wall contractor...All Access 707-534-1035

This is the retaining wall for the back yard

If you live in Lafayette or the surrounding cities such as Orinda, Walnut Creek, Berkeley Hills, Montclair, Piedmont , or Moraga give us a call for you next retaining wall  or hardscape project

 The following materials were used on this project:

  • 460 sq. ft McNear Standard Block
  • 130- feet of Drainage Pipe
  • 6- yards of Base Rock
  • 15- yards of Drain Rock
  • Remove 5 yards of concrete

In closing, the customer was extremely happy with the completed project and had this to say,

After that HUGE storm a few weekends ago, Adam and I were commenting on how GLAD we were that we got the wall done.”  You may read the rest of the testimony here

Who is All Access Construction

From stamp concrete to retaining walls, irrigation system to pavers. All Access Construction is one of Bay Area and Northern California’s most well–respected concrete and retaining wall contractors. Why? Because we believe our work “Starts with commitment, deliver with quality, and finish with success. Make an appointment online or the old fashion way 510-701-4400

                         Retaining wall 510-701-4400

How Synthetic Turf Saves You Time

In the busy bay area, it seems like every minute needs to put to good use. So why spend the extra hours each month taking care of a lawn.

Oakland Synthetic Turf In stall...All Access 855-2LANDSCAPE 8

This time can be put to good use with the kids unless there teenagers …lol. There most likely on face book or doing something they have no business doing. Any event this give you time to do your favorite hobby whatever it might be. Or the wife might give you a longer to do “honey” list.

Here’s some questions you may ask

Q:       Is synthetic turf affordable?

A:        Yes, absolutely.  When you consider the long term costs of natural lawns, including the maintenance equipment, irrigation, mowing and fertilizer, synthetic turf is actually less expensive.  The break even point is usually 24-48 months.  In some area, homeowners are eligible for tax credits.

Q:       Is the use of artificial grass really better for the environment?

A:        Yes, the use of synthetic grass is far better for the environment.  Water usage alone for a typical lawn is over 20,000 gallons per year, plus the fuel used for lawn movers, string trimmers, etc…  Add that to the point source run off created from weed killers and fertilizers and you can see that natural lawns are difficult to maintain and they are environmentally unfriendly.

Q:       Are there different versions of synthetic turf available?

A:        Yes, there are many different versions and grades available.  Each version is made to fit most any need, including sports turfs, residential and commercial environments.  Custom versions are also available upon request.

Q:       Does synthetic turf contain lead or any other heavy metal?

A:        No.  Unlike the carpet in your house, which likely does contain some heavy metals, all of our synthetic turfs are free of lead and all other heavy metals.  Our products also meet all the requirements of California’s stringent proposition 65.

Who is All Access Construction

little all access3

From stamp concrete to retaining walls, irrigation system to pavers. All Access Construction is one of Bay area and Northern California  most well –respected concrete and retaining wall contractors . Why? Because we believe our work “Starts with commitment, deliver with quality, and finish with success. Contact us at 510-701-4400.


This retaining wall construction project took place in San Ramon, California in the Windemere development.


The project was a pretty simple design that the customer presented, together with some input from us.The design consisted of two tiered retaining wall system along with a 1,200 sq.ft of cobble stone pavers.


As with any retaining wall construction project challenges present themselves.

1. Remove approximately 100 yards of clay soil before the rain came.

2. Remove all of the dirt through a 3’6″ gate opening, which could not be removed.  It was a good thing our bobcat MT-52 was only three feet wide.

3. Coordinate access through the client’s three neighbors. Each have easement rights around the property.  We ended up purchasing Starbucks gift cards to help encourage the neighbors to allow us access.

Retaining wall contractor...All Access 707-534-1035

Remove approximate 100 yards of dirt


Once we got over the challenges, we started building the retaining wall using the Versa lok block. As with any retaining wall, the first course the footing, is the most important.  Both retaining walls went up within 10 days.

We decided to throw in a set of stairs so the customer could access the second retaining wall with ease. Once the retaining wall construction part was completed. We then jumped onto the pavers, using the cobble stone pavers from Mcnear.

Retaining wall Construction ...All Access 707-534-1035

Versa-lok retaining wall

Please read the customers testimonial along with other extremely happy customers statements.

Who is All Access Construction

From stamp concrete to retaining walls, irrigation system to pavers. All Access Construction is one of Bay Area and Northern California’s most well–respected concrete and retaining wall contractors. Why? Because we believe our work “Starts with commitment, deliver with quality, and finish with success. When you’re serious about starting your next retaining wall project look no further then All Access Construction.  Make an appointment online or the old fashion way 510-701-4400

Retaining wall 510-701-4400

Materials we use for this project:

  1. 460 sq. ft Versa-lok blocks
  2. 1200 sq. ft Cobblestone Pavers
  3. 130 feet of Drainage Pipe
  4. 25 yards of Base Rock
  5. 15 yards of Drain Rock
  6. yards of Concrete

Other vendors we use include Keystone, pavestone, Allen block , Belgard or Redi-rock block system .


Advantages of the drip system:

1.Applies the water directly to individual plants therefore not giving an opportunity for random seed to germinate.
2.Water loss due to breaks will be considerably less.
3.Use a regulator to reduce the amount of water pressure in the tubing. Too much pressure can blow the emitters off the tube.
4.Install a filter to keep the water clean and prevent fine sand and sediment from clogging the system. Clean the filter regularly.
5.To check for sufficient watering, turn off the system and dig down deep (at least 10-12″) next to an emitter. If the soil is still dry, you’ll need to irrigate longer. After awhile you’ll become good at this and eliminate guesswork.
To have a drip or sprinkler system install by All Access Landscape give us a call @ 877-241-4571.

All Access Landscape recommendations to saving water:

1. Mulch or Bark. This will help improve plant health, reduce water, improve soil, and keep soil temperature cool in the summer. Recommend 2-3″
2.Reduce your lawn …sod is the biggest water using plant for landscape Consider replacing some of all of your lawn with decorative or stamp concrete , paver’s or other form of hard cape.
3. If you do have lawn mow it 2 to 3 inches this will improve the quality of the lawn and reduce water.

Did you know: That On June 15th each year we get 15 hours of day light and on December 21 we get 9.5 hours of day light. The later in the year the less we have to water our landscape.

The recommendations above are All Access Landscape recommendations. Each yard is different please take what we say into considerations along with your own research.

Make an appointment today.


Remember retaining walls have to be strong enough to hold back the soil behind them. How to build a retaining wall depends upon many factors. Will the retaining wall have to support a heavy vehicle? a building? or just leveling out the yard?

In some parts of California frost must also be addressed when building a retaining wall.

Building a retaining wall is simple in theory. Of course there are some things one should consider.

1. Do I have the right tools? (YOU WILL NEED MORE THEN A SHOVEL)

2. Are my friends and family really going to help? ( PLEASE READ THIS PART TWICE)


3. If I don’t finish in a timely matter will I be sleeping on the couch? (PLEASE READ THIS PART 3 TIMES)




5. How tall will the wall be? (Are you sure you can still handle it…We’re just asking)

retaining wall danville .. All Access


6. Will I need an engineer?

7. Do I need a permit (It’s hard enough dealing with the permit office as a contractor…be sure to bring coffee and donuts for the entire staff)


We at All Access Construction believe in you saving money and if you can honestly answer the questions above, then go ahead and break out the gloves and the old boots. Make sure they are steel toed though. Some blocks weigh over 70 lbs. (ouch!!! kids might be reading this so I couldn’t put the “REAL WORDS” we would normally put but you get it. You know that feeling when you hit your pinkie toe on the bed frame? Well ten times worse). Trust us it happens!

Here are some things you will need!!!

  1. A couple of Shovel’s: both round and square (watch your toes)
  2. A couple wheel barrows (be sure to stretch. If you don’t, make sure you have an ice pack ready)
  3. Concrete Saw at least 12 inches (Please wear your safety glasses, unless you have good health insurance. (It still will hurt though)).
  4. A Level : 2 footer and 6 footer
  5. Snap line (This is use to make sure your footing is straight, *please don’t try to “EYE” it)
  6. A Strong Back

retaining wall tools..All Access construction 510-701-4400

7.Your friends that promised they were going to help. ( ohh!!! they forgot they had “family time” this weekend)

Family Circus - Mommy Fun

8.Maybe a bobcat (Please make sure no one is in the way if it’s your first time driving one)

Drain rock for retaining wall in east bay

9. Drain rock, Base rock (This is where the friends that forgot they had “family time” this weekend were supposed to come in)Retaining wall contractor San francisco...All Access

10.A place to take the extra dirt (Trust us it never all goes back)

Moving dirt..all Access

Plan your retaining wall project accordingly . There is much to consider before beginning construction of a retaining wall. This mortar less system requires no concrete, grout, or pins to hold it together. Here are some other things to take into consideration with your retaining wall: lot lines, utilities, building permits, soil types, cut vs. fill,  site plan, water management and drainage, and site access.Engineer stakes ..All Access Construction