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A Pool Fence With a View

June 27, 2017 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

Installing a swimming pool in your back yard this summer? Have an existing fence for your property and just need to meet pool code without breaking the bank? Want a fence that allows you to maintain your current view of your surroundings?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, consider the one fence that will allow you to meet pool code, protect your family members and come in at an affordable price: An aluminum pool fence!

Many homeowners choose aluminum fence for enclosing a pool simply because they are decorative, affordable, durable and low maintenance—almost everything you would want from a fence! One of the distinct advantages of aluminum pool fence is that aluminum panels are made with pickets placed a few inches apart, allowing you to still see what’s on the other side of the fence at all times. If your yard offers you a magnificent view of the mountains or a lovely meadow beyond your property line, you won’t have to sacrifice function for form when installing an aluminum fence for a swimming pool. The great news is that in addition to maintaining your current view, you also don’t have to worry about your children climbing through the fence to gain access to your pool unattended as the pickets are placed just inches apart from one another.

Aluminum fences are quite strong and are made to last. At Frederick Fence, we use aluminum fencing products featuring a fade and scratch-resistant powder-coat finish that offers twice the strength of typical acrylic finishes – and never requires painting. Once you install It, the only thing you’ll need to do is clean it with a garden hose from time to time—wouldn’t it be nice if pools were that easy to maintain! Additionally, our materials come with a Limited Lifetime Guarantee which means you’ll have the fence for as long as you have a pool on your property!

The best thing about aluminum fence is that it’s not all that costly and is quite affordable when you compare it to other products such as wrought-iron or vinyl fence.

An aluminum pool fence allows you to preserve the view beyond the pool!

An aluminum pool fence allows you to preserve the view beyond the pool!

In Stock for Summer 2017: Aluminum Fence Panels!

Looking to install your own aluminum pool fence this summer and need supplies? Below are aluminum fence panels we currently have in stock to meet the requirements for pool code that you can use to install your own fence:

Residential Aluminum Panels

  • 48” tall 2 Rail (Series A)
  • 54” tall 3 Rail (Series A and C)
  • 60” tall 3 Rail (Series A and C)
  • 72” tall 4 Rail (Series A)

Commercial Aluminum Panels

  • 54” tall 3 Rail (Series A)
  • 60” tall 3 Rail (Series A)

Got questions? Simply call us or use our online chat feature and we’ll address any concerns you have about your DIY aluminum fence project or pool code regulations.

Want to see our panels in person? Stop by our showroom on Tilco Drive during regular hours and we’ll show you examples of our amazing variety of aluminum panels in stock as well as some custom options should you want a truly unique fence for your pool area! Since it’s summer, we’re now open every Saturday until noon!

Prefer doing this at your home? Feel free to schedule one of our fence consultants to come out and see your pool on your property to help you determine how much fence you’ll really need!   Give us a call or go to our Contact page and we’ll send someone out to work with you at your convenience!

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The Frederick Fence Story
Chapter 4:
Fences and Family: Thoughts from the Staff

May 23, 2017 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

RANDY

Randy Fouche

One of the notable things about Frederick Fence is that many of its employees have been with the company—on average—for more than half of its lifespan. Given the average individual makes 4 to 5 career moves by the time they’re 35 years old, the team at Frederick Fence stands out as a positive and significant anomaly. Some employees, like Jon “JC” Wisner and Randy Fouche, have been there since the beginning. Others—like Kathy Crum, Louise Barnard, Doug Martin, Joan Spangler and Roxanne Henline—are approaching their second and third decade with the company.

What is that draws people to Frederick Fence? The answer is simple—people feel as if Frederick Fence is not just a place to work, it’s home. The team of folks who show up every day—whether it’s the office staff, installers or sales folks who all make the fencing magic happen for the company’s clients—consider Frederick Fence the best place to work. In fact, Charlie Powers considers everyone who works for the company to be his partners. “People work with me, not for me,” says Charlie. “These are my closest friends and my family. I can’t imagine doing business any other way.”

Family First: The Secret To Frederick Fence

Jon "JC" Wisner, the longest lasting employee at Frederick Fence

Jon “JC” Wisner

Pay a visit to Tilco Drive and you’re certain to see a lot of smiles on people’s faces as well as hear a lot of laughter as the work gets done. “You can’t beat the work atmosphere here,” says Randy Fouche, who was first brought on board to answer phones and work in the supply yard. “When I first walked through the doors, I knew Frederick Fence was going to go places and I just wanted to grow with it.” Randy, who celebrates his 34th year with the company this August, appreciates that he’s been given significant opportunities to learn new skills and apply himself in different ways as part of his tenure with the fence outfit.

For JC Wisner, working at Frederick Fence has granted him a lifetime of fun and success with one of his closest friends. “When Charlie started the company, we just wanted to hold our heads up high if we walked around Frederick.” From the start, Wisner admits that Frederick Fence was built on Charlie Powers’ desire to build the best fences possible and make people happy. Wisner also admits that though there were times that he and Charlie fought like cats and dogs over how to get the job done, they always managed to end each day as family and not foes. “We built this company from 2 piles of lumber into something great,” says Jon. “How often do you get that kind of opportunity to be part of something special that makes you proud of the work you do every day.” As Frederick Fence’s longest lasting staff member, Wisner cannot imagine being anyplace else and is just as excited to see where the company goes next as the fencing company approaches its fourth decade.

Louise Barnard

Louise Barnard

Louise Barnard, the company’s most experienced sales associate, can’t imagine working for anyone else other than the Powers family. Helping families design the perfect fence for their home is what Louise loves to do and admits that working at Frederick Fence for more than thirty years has allowed her to learn a lot about herself. When asked why she’s stayed so long, Louise will tell you that Frederick Fence is a company that takes care of the clients when they could say no and that she sees herself as “part of a family and that Charlie would take care of me if anything happened.” Now that Charlie has passed the company onto his children, Louise feels highly optimistic about where the company goes next. “I have gotten to watch Charlie’s kids grow up to be hard working, compassionate adults and I’m proud to work with them. I know this because of the way Charlie and Diane raised them.”

Kathy Crum, Frederick Fence's General Manager

Kathy Crum

This sentiment holds true for Kathy Crum, Frederick Fence’s General Manager and Controller. Kathy joined the company in 1990 as a bookkeeper and soon found herself in the midst of something unique. “I noticed right away the casual/relaxed atmosphere and everyone seemed to be friends. The phones were constantly ringing—this was a fast-paced and busy office but everybody was having fun at the same time.” Kathy also admits her initial impressions of Charlie Powers were paradoxical. “He seemed intense, focused, all business and yet was personable and humorous.” As the company grew, Kathy credits being able to put new policies and procedures in place for efficiency as part of why she’s stayed with Frederick Fence for so long. “Sure, we bicker and fight, and joke around and laugh, but everyone here wants the company to succeed and be profitable. For me personally, I’ve seen the growth and I’d like to think I contributed to our success to where ’ll stay until I can’t work anymore!”

The notion of staying until not being able to work anymore is one most Frederick Fence staff seem to share. Even with the transition in company ownership from Charlie Powers to Erin, Kelly and Todd Powers, the team of individuals who walked through the doors of Frederick Fence years ago remain as committed ever to providing the best quality fence supplies and services for customers.

What will the next chapter in the Frederick Fence story look like? For that, we need to hear from the company’s new owners, who are working together to create their shared vision for where the company goes next. Expect them to share their thoughts as they prepare for a special celebration, which we’ll feature on our site soon!

The Frederick Fence Story
Chapter 3:
In My Own Words
by Charlie Powers

May 3, 2017 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

Charlie Powers earlier in his tenure as the founder and president of Frederick Fence

Charlie Powers earlier in his tenure as the founder and president of Frederick Fence

If you told me more than 35 years ago that I would go from simply owning a truck and a desire to make a living to support my family to eventually owning a huge supply yard with a large showroom and a great team that sells and builds some of the best fences I’ve ever seen, I think I would have laughed in your face. I never thought about the money, I never thought about running a large shop, and I certainly never thought I would be in a place to transition my company to new leadership. On the day I made a decision to start my own company, I just knew in my heart that I didn’t want to work for other people anymore and I also thought that I could do it better when it came to installing fence. That’s it!

I’ve thought a lot about Frederick Fence of late—maybe more so now than in the last fifteen years when things were really cooking and it was obvious to me that I needed to move from our own place on Grove Lane to where we are now on Tilco Drive. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. Some might call it wisdom, some might call it drive—I just sometimes think I got blessed with “dumb luck” as a lot of what’s transpired with my business has been about being there for people who needed a product and I was fortunate enough to have the best people to make it happen for them!

My DIY materials for a Durable (Fence) Company

Great Employees

The main thing that has allowed me and Frederick Fence to remain in business is good people. I started on day one with just JC (Wisner) and that was enough to get going. I once told JC in the early days that one day he’d be sitting behind a desk and that he wouldn’t be outside working like crazy to build fences. He would just laugh at me and keep on digging post holes, but the joke is on him as that’s what he does now as our Operations Manager!

Shortly after we started, I got Western Fence to let me have their phone number for use in the Frederick area and once the phone started ringing, I started looking for people to work with me. My wife, Diane, helped out a great deal in those early days. She had another job, but she’d answer the phones and help with the paperwork so I could focus on sales.

Over time, I brought in more folks to help with the installs and that soon lead to having more people in an office to get potential customers’ names so I could do the sales. I always thought I’d be doing sales. For one, I loved it! I loved talking to people to find out what they wanted and I would offer them a fence at a great price so they could afford it. I love that kind of challenge and negotiation’s always been something I enjoy. However, over time, I knew I couldn’t be the only sales person so I needed more people. To jump start my sales team, I bought Seneca Fence as I knew they had some great people working for them.

A lot of fence companies hire contractors to do their work—that’s a very popular model for business. However, I never wanted to do things that way. From the beginning, I wanted my own team working with me and I wanted to be the one to lead them. I wanted to ensure that people got a quality fence and to do that, I needed to have folks under my care so I could show them what needed to be done to build fences that would last a long time. I also wanted to create a place where people could earn a living for themselves and their families like I was doing. I wanted to do a good job for others; I wanted people who told me they wanted to do the same thing.

A Strong Resolve

Tenacity is another thing I came to this business with and it’s still what makes Frederick Fence such a great company. Some will tell you that I’ve always been stubborn. And in the early years, I suppose I was. In fact, you can ask my kids and they’ll tell you that their daddy was always working. For years, I didn’t eat dinner at home. I worked and worked to get those fences sold and installed and I wasn’t stopping until I got the job done. Underneath all that resolve; however, was a huge fear of failure. Not that a fence would go in wrong or that I had undersold a job. I’m talking about personal failure. If I didn’t make things work that I would go under and I had people counting on me—my family, my team and my creditors—and I could not afford to lose. Fear’s a great motivator sometimes! But it can also work in your favor when you hunker down and focus on the job at hand.

Stamina and Grit

Another material that I’d say goes into making Frederick Fence such a sturdy company is fortitude. When combined with fear, I’m amazed at what a little courage and stamina can do. My favorite memories from those early days were when we were just selling and installing. I loved a good challenge! In fact, the harder the job, the greater the joy at the end. I sought out bids that would force me to learn more about fence installation. Those large jobs enabled me to grow my install team and allowed me to take on more staff to divide up the work as I knew at some point, I wanted to step back from what was happening and manage the whole show from one spot! But one thing I did early on was tell everyone who worked for me that we quit when we are all done our work. That meant if you ended your job at one site, you went to another one to help another crew finish up. We didn’t look at the clock back then; we looked at what was on the docket for each day and everyone started and ended their day together.

Was I sometimes a difficult person to work with those first few years? I’m not gonna even try to say I was perfect back then. Nope, I can’t go there—too many people would read this and laugh out loud if I tried to paint myself as the saint of the fencing industry! But what I will tell you is that at the end of each day, no matter how much pressure I put on my people, I reserved the brunt of that pressure for myself. When I sent a truck down the road, I knew there was always a risk in the reward. But I was driven to succeed and I liked things done a certain way that I knew would make customers happy.

Know Your Niche

The name of our company is Frederick Fence and fences are our only game. One of the greatest course corrections I made about a decade ago was to no longer install decks. We did them for a while, but I will readily admit that decks were not our strong suit. Installing decks was a challenge for some of our crews and I personally felt that some of the decks we built were just not our best work. At the time, it seemed like a good idea to expand our products, but we found ourselves sacrificing quality over quantity and so about ten years ago, I made the decision that we’d stick to what we do best and build people the best possible fence money could buy. Thankfully, that decision to remove decks was one of the happiest decisions I made as everyone in the company was glad to see them go!

Advocates for Success

In addition to having great employees, I was also blessed by building my own support team of experts who helped me shape Frederick Fence with their sage advice and candor. Early on, I hired a great accountant, a smart attorney, and established a great relationship with my banker. Each of them helped me make wise decisions as Frederick Fence started to take shape. Through the years, I learned from fence installation experts, web strategists and an executive coach and sales trainer who helped me re-energize my sales team at point when I felt I couldn’t do anything further to grow the business. To my surprise and delight, we started having some of our best years once I put in place a formal training program for my sales team.

My Most Sacred Lesson Learned

When I first started this company, I was a deeply driven man. I was bound and determined to succeed and do the right thing and make a lot of people happy by giving them a great fence for a great price. I created this company out of a desire to do everyone else in the business one better—I knew that if I had my own company and did things my way that I’d probably be a heck of a lot more successful. I pretty much controlled every aspect of the company and did everything I could to keep the lights on each year. Remember, I told you I was stubborn! I liked things done a certain way and during those early years, we got things done because I drove my team to its limits. For the first fifteen years, I was so committed to the company that I’m somewhat amazed that some of the original staff are still here!

When things really started to take off and the residential market in Frederick exploded, so did my perfectionist streak! Imagine trying to foolishly think you could control every aspect of running your business while more and more customers wanted a fence. Did I become my own worst enemy? Oh yes! Thankfully, I never had the major meltdown that some businesses owners experience. But as the company was steadily growing, I realized I was not happy with who I was.

When I recognized I was missing out on my family and my faith, that’s when things started to shift for me. I started studying the Bible again and reconnected to its many wondrous teachings.   The more I studied, the more trusting I became and I took to heart the lessons about letting go and opening my heart to others. I also learned what it means to be of service. My staff will readily tell you that in the past twenty years that I’ve mellowed quite a bit and am now a lot kinder, easier to work with, and a lot more fun.

One of things I’m most proud of is that I now serve on the board of the Frederick Rescue Mission and mentor folks whose lives need support. I love helping others see the bountiful gifts that life offers them through Christ’s teachings as His words have made my life infinitely better since devoting my life to them twenty years ago.

Preparing for What’s Next

Charlie and Diane Powers

Charlie Powers today, with his lovely wife, Diane. Thinking about what’s next in life as a new generation of Frederick Fence leadership begins…

This year Frederick Fence celebrates its 35th year in business and I am deeply humbled and proud that we’re still here. I cannot thank all our customers enough for their business and for making our company part of their homes. I am often humbled by the sight of our signs on people’s fences when I make my way around the area. It means that a lot of people placed their trust in our company and asked us to make their homes complete.

I also cannot thank my staff and advisors enough for their support these many years. Some of you have been with me since the beginning, some of you have made your careers here and I am so proud to know you wanted to work with me for so long. Of course, I also need to thank my wife, Diane, for her love and support. She’s my best friend in the world and she’s believed in me even on my worst day. I honestly would not be here if it weren’t for her.

Finally, I need to express my extreme thanks to my three children—Erin, Kelly and Todd—who are now make up the next generation of Frederick Fence leadership. I’m humbled that they chose to be a part of this business when they could have freely chosen something else to pursue. I can think of no greater honor than to see your own children wanting to follow in your footsteps. I hope I’ve taught you three well as this begins your time in making Frederick Fence a wonderful place to work and the best place for our customers when it comes to buying a fence!

Charlie Powers

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The Frederick Fence Story
Chapter 2: Anchored Posts for Future Success

April 9, 2017 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

When you examine what makes a great fence, you look to its posts to ensure they are properly set to hold up its sections. They provide strength and a strong foundation that help its pieces remain in place year after year. When you look at the history of Frederick Fence, you realize that Charlie Powers’ vision and his values are the posts for the company’s prolonged success. Though he remains humble about his achievement, it’s his strong work ethic, family-minded approach to his work and exceptional salesmanship that have contributed largely to Frederick Fence’s growth.

Expanding Perimeters for Success

To coincide with putting the finishing touches on its Grove Lane office in 1986, Charlie purchased Seneca Fence and inherited many of the company’s staff, including Louise Banard, one of the company’s most accomplished fence consultants who still works at Frederick Fence to the delight of her colleagues and clients. This purchase allowed Charlie to expand his sales territory while continuing to cultivate both a highly skilled sales team and installation center that accounts for the significant growth Frederick Fence experienced while the local economy grew.

As real estate prices soared closer to the DC area, residents and businesses began looking for more affordable properties farther from the DC line. The difference in the starting price of a home further up I-270 seemed to vary by $10,000 with each passing exit until you hit the highway’s end at the crossroads of Route 15 and I -70. As new commercial and residential developments cropped up within Frederick and its surrounding counties, so did opportunities for Frederick Fence. The real estate boom in the late 1990’s offered significant opportunities for Charlie and his small company to where it sometimes took 12 weeks to put a fence in the ground. “Just sell the fence” was Charlie’s motto, “we’ll worry later as to how to get it built!”

An Eye for Talent

To handle the increased business, Charlie developed a clear vision of how to sell and build fences that endure. He also became skilled at how to attract and retain talent. Powers credits himself for hiring the brightest and best people, many of whom would stay at Frederick Fence for decades before moving on. Jay Ely joined the company in 1983 and would eventually become Charlie’s business partner before leaving the firm in 2014. Randy Fouche, who joined the company in 1983 to “answer phones, pour concrete and work in the supply yard,” now serves as one the company’s accounting staff. When asked why he’s stayed for more than three decades, Fouche says he knew Charlie was building something “special and different” to where he now views Powers as less of a boss and more of a father figure who genuinely cares about people.

If you ask Kathy Crum, Frederick Fence’s Office Manager why she has stayed since joining the company in 1989 as a bookkeeper, she’ll express her extreme appreciation for Powers, whom she considers one of her closest friends and mentors. “Charlie valued my opinion and placed his trust in me—I got to help him create a lot of different programs to help with sales and other departments in the company. You don’t often get that kind of freedom in other places. And then there’s the family atmosphere, which really sets us apart from most companies. People love the sense of belonging at Frederick Fence; they invest early and stay for long periods of time.” At one point in time, five of the six sales people working for Charlie had seventy-five years of fence consultation between them.

The distinction Charlie makes about his staff’s longevity is simple: “People work with me, not for me.” For him, every person who walks through the doors of Frederick Fence—whether they are an employee, client or vendor, they are family. If you know Charlie, you recognize that family represents a cherished bond for him. “I wanted to build a place where people wanted to stay,” says Powers. “I learned early on that I wasn’t always the expert and so I learned to listen and ask questions. I also would read and try to keep up with the world as it was changing so I could grow the business and provide for not just my family, but every person who placed their trust in me to get the job done.”

Bordering a Solid Future

As the local housing market continued to thrive in the early 2000’s, so did Powers’ desire to expand his company. The decision to purchase land and build Frederick Fence’s current headquarters on Tilco Drive was an easy one. “We needed the space for inventory and I wanted to increase our wholesale and resale business since there was a high demand for it,” says Charlie. Relocating to Tilco Drive paid off handsomely as a significant portion of Frederick Fence’s revenues still comes from residents and DIYers who frequent the showroom that showcases the wide-array of fencing materials and accessories Frederick Fence offers. In 2010, the company expanded its capabilities by purchasing equipment to fabricate its own vinyl fencing, allowing the company to upgrade its product lines now as more residential communities want fencing solutions with greater curb appeal.

“The internet also played a big major part in our growth. I’ve never been one for mailers and coupons. I like the idea of folks finding us on the web because it’s easier for us to explain what we do and how we do it without having to resort to cheesy sales pitches and discount coupons to get people to want to do business with us.” While many small businesses spend ample time looking over the shoulders to see what the competition is doing, Charlie prefers to find ways to continue to do what he does best—offer the best fence products at affordable rates. To keep up with doing business in the digital age, Charlie invested in new technologies, such as laptops, a CRM tool, and the creation of a behavioral based training program for his staff, which he contributes to more than a decade of sustained sales growth—even as the real estate bubble burst in 2008. “Nothing happens until we sell something, so my focus has been on making sure we have a great product and awesome people to sell that product.”

Looking Back and Moving Forward

Since opening shop more than 35 years ago, Charlie Powers ensures that something is always happening at Frederick Fence. Although it meant lots of sacrifices and missing meals with his growing family in those early years, Charlie credits his faith in God as the basis for his success. His spirituality and passion for the Bible are equally as important to him as are the enduring relationships he’s had with his wife, Diane, their children and the staff at Frederick Fence. Ask Charlie and he’ll unashamedly tell you that God’s been his co-pilot his entire journey, even today as he plans for what’s next in his life.

One thing is certain. So long as Charlie continues to share his unique knowledge and wisdom, Frederick Fence’s story will continue for years to come.

In our next chapter, we’ll have Charlie reflect on his success and what he’s learned over the years in his own words!

To be continued….  

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The Frederick Fence Story
Chapter 1: Humble Beginnings

March 20, 2017 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

When you look at the reasons why most entrepreneurs start their own business—personal freedom, professional pride and a drive to succeed— you’ll find that Charlie Powers’ motivations for starting Frederick Fence in 1982 appear no different. Having worked for three fence companies, including Western Fence, where he held 25% ownership, Charlie was driven to succeed. “Why did I do this? I wanted to make a living and care for my family. I never thought about the money; I was discontent working for others and wanted to do things differently. I felt I could do better.”

Thirty-five years later, Charlie’s tenaciousness, natural sales ability and commitment to always do the right thing, have allowed him to build one of Frederick’s most successful small businesses. With a large lumber yard and showroom located on Tilco Drive, Charlie Powers managed to exceed his expectations and dreams of supporting his family. However, the company’s current geography was barely in sight when Charlie first started Frederick Fence.

Starting from Scratch

On day one of the company, all Charlie had was a strong back, a truck and his friend, Jon “JC” Wisner, to help with labor. Charlie’s father, Billy, gave his son a loan of $5,000 to get started, which Charlie paid back in less than one year’s time. Charlie’s wife, Diane-who was working at the Maryland School for the Deaf when the company started—also pitched in by acting as “administrative support” and answering phones. With no warehouse to store materials or equipment—such as a forklift or drill—Charlie and JC purchased materials as needed. Thanks to one of his former employers—Western Fence—who extended him credit for vehicles and equipment, Charlie slowly built up enough business and revenue to purchase his first bit of property off Route 355, just south of downtown Frederick.

The original loan documents that started Frederick Fence

The original loan documents that started Frederick Fence

For $50,000, in the form of a five-year note, Charlie purchased a half-acre piece of property off Grove Road in 1985. At the time, the road on which the property sat had no name so Charlie named it Grove Lane. Because he lacked the funds to build a permanent office initially, Charlie set up shop on Grove Lane in a small camping trailer that had no bathroom. For Diane, this meant she had to walk to McDonalds when nature called!

When Charlie set up shop, Frederick looked extremely different. Back then, the county’s population hovered below 129,000 and I-85 was still a two-lane road. You could still see a lot of corn fields alongside most roads before hitting the downtown area. Popular restaurants then were the Red Horse, Barbara Fritchie’s (with its infamous candy cane sign) and the Chat and Chew on Patrick Street. Frederick County still had Blue Laws in effect and the major downtown revitalization was just beginning. Because there was no internet, you had to rely on the yellow pages and ads in newspapers to get customers. When you look at what made Frederick Fence a success, you can narrow it down to one key word: salesmanship.

The Secret’s in the (Sales) Sauce

If Charlie Powers gave you a sales pitch for purchasing a fence, you pretty much bought it. His approach to sales was simple: Be direct, offer a good price and deliver a quality product. For Charlie, customers were like family; his desire was to treat them fairly and build the best fence possible. In the early days, there were several occasions where upon finishing the last fence panel, Charlie would review his work and yank the fence out of the ground and start over because he didn’t like how he’d done the job. He never wanted a customer to ever feel dissatisfied with their purchase. Charlie was also highly persistent.

Recognizing that partnering with home builders would prove critical to his success, Charlie would repeatedly stop by the offices of Ryland Homes to meet with Bob Pearson, who was a buyer for the company in the 1980’s. Charlie would stop by unannounced and wait for Pearson until finally he met with Charlie just to “get him out of the office once and for all.” Once they met, Charlie began forging a relationship with Ryland Homes to where many a Ryland homeowner in the Frederick area now has a fence with that infamous yellow and red sign hanging on a back panel.

Signs, in fact, were what helped Charlie experience much of his early success. Instead of spending money on large ads, Charlie hung signs on his completed projects, which still serve as one of his best marketing tools. “A well-built fence sells itself,” says Powers. “When you put your name and company number on a fence, people will call because they know you can deliver.” Before there were toll-free numbers available and calls to certain parts of Maryland were considered long distance calls, Charlie was granted the use of Western Fence’s phone number—the same one still on the signs today: 301 663-4000—for use in the Frederick area. Having access to this already published number afforded Charlie the opportunity to increase his sales at a consistent pace. When he originally designed the signs and his logo, he purposely chose the Maryland colors of yellow, red and black as a symbol for creating community with each fence built.

Prior to setting up shop on Grove Lane, Charlie had four trucks and a handful of employees. Once he put his first trailer on the property, he increased his sales and installation staff to 15 and purchased a second trailer before finally building a small office in 1986. Charlie then rented a second piece of property across the street from Grove Lane so he could store inventory for fence materials and additional trucks.

If you ask Charlie if he expected this to happen, he’ll readily admit that this 35-year trajectory comes as a bit of a surprise to him. “Honestly, I thought I would still be digging holes,” Charlie says. The thought that he would go from a man with a strong back, a truck and one loyal friend (who is now Frederick Fence’s Operations Manager) to a business that operates with sustained success still humbles him.

In fact, once Charlie built his actual office building (with-finally-a working bathroom), things began to shift and the life of Frederick Fence took a surprising turn…

To be continued….  

 

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The Frederick Fence Story: A Tale Worth Telling

March 1, 2017 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

This year, Frederick Fence celebrates its 35th year as a small business, which is no small achievement for most businesses operating in the virtual/digital age. Founded in 1982 by Charlie Powers, the company grew from a start-up with a truck and a man with a plan to being one of the region’s most respected vendors in the fencing/home improvement industry.

Frederick Fence’s customers are loyal ones—a significant amount of the fences they sell today are to either customers who purchased a fence for one home that have moved to a new one or they’re the friends, family and neighbors of these customers. Likewise, commercial vendors and country governments often make repeat use of the company’s fence solutions.

When you look at the employees who work at Frederick Fence now, you’ll find that some of them have been on board almost all their adult careers, a rare achievement in today’s business world.

How did this happen?

What makes Frederick Fence such a special company among its customers, vendor partners, and staff? Why do people stay here for years and years? Why do customers keep coming back time and again for a fence? How has this one fencing company weathered so many storms? Whether it was the dot-com bubble burst, the crowded expansion of the home improvement and fencing industry, the collapse of the real estate market or the global financial crisis, or the advent of the digital age, Frederick Fence continues to survive and now thrive as its founder begins the next chapter in his life.

We think there’s a story worth telling.

For the next several months, we plan to devote some of our blog entries to telling the Frederick Fence story. From our humble beginnings in 1982 to our large showroom and supply yard—still headquartered in Frederick, Maryland from the day we opened for business. We’ll share how we got to where we are today and where we think we’re headed with the next generation of Frederick Fence leadership.

You’ll hear a lot from Charlie Powers, our founder, as well as from some of Charlie’s personal mentors, our devoted staff, some of our business partners and our most loyal customers.

And we’d like your help!

If you’ve been a past customer of Frederick Fence and have a special anecdote or experience you’d like to share with us as part or story, please reach out to Jim Jenkins, our official historian and blogger. You can reach him by leaving a message for him using our online chat feature or leave a message for him through our contact page. The deadline for an upcoming piece on Frederick Fence from our Customer’s Point of View is April 15, 2017.

Look for Chapter One: Humble Beginnings to appear online soon!

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Debunking the Myth…You CAN Install a Fence in Winter!

February 10, 2017 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

Even though Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow—meaning we’re all in for six more weeks of winter—now’s one of the best times of year to install a fence!

What? Seriously? You’re thinking “But it’s winter! Isn’t it too cold to install a fence?”

Just because we’re roughly six weeks away from the official start of Spring (March 20, 2017 to be exact), doesn’t mean you have to wait until the weather gets warm to put a fence around your property. Yes, the outdoor home improvement industry does slow down during colder months, but that’s typically because most homeowners hibernate indoors during winter. Unless the ground is truly frozen solid several inches below the surface, you can still install a fence. That’s right, even if we get a few inches of snow—as long as it’s not frozen solid and caked with ice, you can still build a fence during winter.

Advantages to Buying a Fence NOW!

Here we are in early February and look at the weather conditions for the DC, Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Southern Pennsylvania areas. We’ve had a few days where the unseasonal highs were in the 70-degree range and the lows have barely dipped below the low 30’s. True, we may still see a bit of snow and who knows how low the temperatures will go, but the environmental conditions outside lend themselves nicely for digging three-foot post holes that serve as the guide for installing fence.

Buying in February and March also means that your fence project ends just as many your neighbors begin shopping for fence. That means longer waits to get permits approved, longer delivery times for getting the fence installed and the less time you have to truly enjoy your outdoor creation once the warm temperatures settle in and you start wishing it would snow or turn cold again.

If your idea of the perfect fence for your home is a custom design—one that includes ornate lattice work, a vibrant vinyl color or a unique logo welded to your driveway gate—now’s the best time to get started on your fence project. Custom work always takes longer because manufacturers keep a low inventory on special materials. If you want an iron gate that has trees, geometric patterns or your family name welded in a decorative font, these orders take time. During the summer months, people are surprised when they hear highly ornate fence materials can take as long as six to eight weeks to produce. That’s because there’s a high demand for custom work in summer and there are—realistically—only so many local vendors who specialize in custom fabrication of fence materials.

If you know you want something new and different that creates maximum curb appeal and sets you apart from your neighbors, get that fence project started now while there’s a lull!

Waiting until mid-June to get started on a fence project means more waiting to get what you want. Calling this time of year means your fence project can go in the ground even faster than getting your tax refund (You do know that April 15th is not that far away either!)!

Even if You’re Just Thinking About it….

If you’ve planned ahead for your home improvement needs and a fence is on your list, give us a call now or click on our online chat feature and see how easy it is to get your fence project underway. We think you’ll be surprised at how short the timeline will be.

You can also use our free online estimate tool, which gives you a realistic idea of how much your fence will cost! And, of course, any of our fence experts are more than willing to come to your home and walk you through a variety of options should you want some advice on the best fence to meet both your needs and your budget.

And Just in Case the Big Chill Happens…

If the weather does dip and things turn bitter cold and we’ve only just begun work on your fence, don’t worry! As soon as the ground thaws, we’re right back out there to get your job done in time for spring!

Still have questions? Call us at 1-800-49FENCE!

 

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Bufftech Fence: Another Vinyl Solution for our Frederick Fence Family

January 12, 2017 ~ Posted By Kathy Crum

When it comes to fence materials, Frederick Fence prides itself on offering only the highest quality products on the market.  Several years ago, we invested in the equipment to fabricate our own vinyl fence panels.  However, with the increasing demand for vinyl fence, we realized we needed a secondary resource so that our homeowners continue to benefit from the best possible fence materials in the timeframe we need them.  Therefore, we’re pleased to announce our partnership with CertainTeed and their Bufftech fence—one of the nation’s leading producers of vinyl fence materials.

A Bit About CertainTeed®

CertainTeed, one of the nation’s leading developers of innovative and sustainable building products, has been in the home products industry for more than 110 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, CertainTeed® offers exceptional exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, insulation, gypsum and ceilings. A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain and headquartered in nearby King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 5,700 employees and more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada.

In addition to making high quality fence products, CertainTeed has an extremely amazing community mission.  Two of their main causes are: Homes for Our Troops – an organization that builds mortgage-free homes for severely injured veterans post- 9/11, and YouthBuild USA – a program that encourages low-income youth to unleash their positive energy and intelligence to rebuild their communities and their lives.

Because CertainTeed shares our values, we are excited to include their Bufftech vinyl product line as an option for our homeowners.

The Bufftech Advantage®

Bufftech offers innovative style and exceptional performance when it comes to vinyl fence materials, offering a wide range of styles and colors.  Built with high-quality raw materials, reinforced rails, heavyweight pickets, routed rails and fence posts, and concealed fasteners, we know you’ll love their Bufftech vinyl as it will outlast and outperform all other makers of vinyl fence.

Bufftech is one of the strongest and most durable of fences made in the United States.  Backed by CertainTeed’s WindZone™ Performance, Bufftech products can withstand high wind and hurricane conditions such as winds up to 115 mph.  Bufftech also meets requirements and local code qualifications for pool fences, meaning your small children and pets will remain safe beyond the pool area with one of their fences.

Bufftech Colors and Textures

We love fence materials that look natural as there’s nothing more elegant and pleasing than the look of a rustic fence to border your property.  Bufftech offers a wide array of colors and textures, ranging from natural wood or stucco walls, that are maintenance-free and never need staining or painting.  Their ColorLast® fade protection program means that your fence includes superior protection from the sun’s harsh rays and won’t fade.

Some of the colors Bufftech vinyl comes in include:

  • White
  • Almond
  • Natural Clay
  • Arctic Blend
  • Brazilian Blend
  • Honey Blend

Some of their panel styles include:

  • Galveston, which includes a steel-reinforced midrail on each panel
  • Chesterton, which is a solid flat panel with a steel-reinforced bottom rail
  • Lexington, which features a tongue and groove picket design

With these panel styles, you also receive a wide-range of options such as lattice work, curved tops, custom post caps, swoops, Victorian accents and many more, meaning you have the opportunity to design a custom vinyl fence that matches your home’s personality!

Are you ready to purchase the fence of a lifetime?

When you purchase a vinyl fence, you’re getting the one fence that truly lasts a lifetime on your property.  Give us a call at 1-800-49-FENCE or use our online chat tool and we’ll send out one of our fence consultants who can show you the wonderful options available to you should you wish to build a vinyl fence on your property.  If you are curious about CertainTeed’s Bufftech materials, be sure to mention that when you call or fill out our online tool as we have an extensive set of materials to showcase this amazing fence product!

Want to build your own fence using the Bufftech line?  Stop by our showroom and warehouse at 1505 Tilco Drive in Frederick and we’ll get you everything you need for your DIY project!

Making a List and Checking It Twice…Remember To Ask Santa About a Fence!

December 7, 2016 ~ Posted By Kathy Crum

 

Before making your annual visit to your local shopping mall so you and your children can meet up with Santa Claus, one thing you may want to add to your holiday wish list is a new fence for Christmas.  We know that if you’ve been good all year that Santa would surely love to bring you a fence that will magically appear—along with a nice blanket of winter snow—to make your holiday the best and the brightest.  Given some of the amazing gifts he loads on his sleigh, a fence makes perfect sense for Christmas morning!

If you’ve asked the man in red to bring your family a new puppy or a horse, you’re going to need something to keep your new four-legged friend safe inside your property!  Santa also knows that there’s a good chance that we may have a warm spell in late December, which means if your children get a new trampoline, a bike or a swing set under your tree— and your property lacks a structure to keep them safe inside your yard—a new fence means everyone can enjoy their new outdoor toys before those brisk chilly temperatures really take hold of our area.

In reality, we have it on good authority that Santa’s sleigh cannot carry all those fences when he leaves the North Pole on the night of December 24th.  However, if you’ve recently purchased a home or if you do plan to add to your family with a few four-legged friends who will bring so much joy to your lives, December remains one of the best times of year for purchasing a new fence.

Why Buy a Fence in December?

Waiting until late spring or early summer means that everyone in your neighborhood will be clamoring for getting a new fence placed on their property.  This means that you may have to wait when the demand for fence projects reaches its seasonal high.  Even though our crews are highly efficient and install the highest quality fence possible, homeowners may need to wait up to four to five weeks depending upon when they place their order.  In fact, if a fence company tells you they can install a fence you order on the last of June by the end of the first week of July, consider why they have such a minimal wait time!

Buying a fence this time of year means we can go from the permit process to installation within a few days as opposed to several weeks, meaning that if you contact us in early December, chances are you’ll have your fence in time for Christmas morning!

Remember Your New Pets on Christmas

Planning to add a new four-legged family member on Christmas?  Getting a fence now means you can safely let your new little friend outside to take care of business without worry.  Any type of privacy fence –such as wood or vinyl panels—will do the job of keeping your pets safe outside.  They’ll also keep strangers from entering your yard and doing them harm.  Should you want a more open perimeter and wish to install an aluminum fence, we recommend panels with puppy pickets.

Puppy picket fence is a special type of aluminum fencing for dogs with a narrow row of pickets at the bottom of the fence. This prevents puppies or smaller dogs from escaping through the bars, getting their head stuck, or digging holes to get to the other side.

Before the Weather Outside Gets Frightful…

Most Decembers bring minimal snow fall and milder temperatures to the Maryland, DC, Virginia and Southern Pennsylvania area.  Unless Mother Nature gives us a month of soaking rain, we can send crews out most every day for fence installation.  Depending upon the size of your fence area, we can complete smaller projects—like townhomes—within two days.  Larger fence projects may take longer, but there’s still plenty of time for completing a project before those truly messy winter conditions settle in and keep us all safe inside our homes!

Ready To Fence in Your Holidays?

Want a new fence in time for the holidays or before winter arrives with its freezing temperatures and lots of snow?  Either give us a call any weekday before 5 PM or use our online chat feature, and we’ll schedule one of our special festive fence consultants out to give you a custom estimate! You can also get a free online estimate by clicking here!

Should you need a reason to avoid the mall, feel free to stop by our showroom on Tilco Drive in Frederick any weekday before 5 PM to take a look at our great samples.  You can even purchase fence materials if you’re inclined to build your own fence!

We thank you for stopping by our blog site—be sure to check out our other entries on fence materials and benefits of fencing if you’re still “on the fence” about what you want. May you, your family, pets and friends all have the best holiday season ever! See you in 2017!

Being Thankful by Charlie Powers

November 22, 2016 ~ Posted By Kathy Crum

Thanksgiving remains one of my favorite holidays of the year; I look forward to it almost as much as I do for that first glimpse of spring, when things begin to bloom and I know that Frederick Fence will be gearing up for our peak installation season.

One reason why I enjoy this time of year so much is because I so value taking time out of my life to reflect on where I’ve been, how Frederick Fence has changed, and how much it means to me to know that what started nearly 35 years ago, in a small trailer, has evolved into a dream come true—a flourishing small business!

Thankful for You

I cannot say how thankful I am that so many homeowners chose Frederick Fence as their partner of choice in building a border for their homes and establishments.  It means a lot that you selected our company to enhance your dream of home ownership and allowed us to place a fence around your home.  Whether it was for security, privacy or establishing a boundary for your property, nothing humbles me more than seeing that little red and yellow sign that tells me you’ve made Frederick Fence a part of your lives.

The same goes for the many commercial businesses, local and state governments, non-profit organization and housing developments that we’ve served over the years.  What I appreciate most about our business customers is that many of them started off as residential owners who appreciated our handiwork and called us when it was time to support their business ventures.  Another thing I am thankful for is that a lot of our commercial accounts came to us by sheer word of mouth—and that means more to me than any money you could ever spend on an advertising campaign.

If you’ve ever visited our About page, you’ll know that our core values are Family, Integrity and Loyalty.  I believe it’s those values that have allowed us to thrive for these past 35 years.  And I’m thankful that for most of our history, we’ve achieved our success through our quality craftsmanship, excellent word of mouth and our amazing team.

Thankful for My Crew

Truly, I would not be writing this today if it were not for my amazing crew—the folks who go out and install the fences.  Year after year, we’ve had some highly consistent folks who have shown up each day to go out and build some truly great fences.  What impresses me most is that they dedicate themselves to each project with the same rigor and care when it comes to construction.  Even if it’s a repair job, I know our crew does a great job.  This, for the most part, is due to my installation manager Eric Saum and operations manager Jon Wisner.  I cannot say how thankful I am that we’ve all been friends for most of my life.

Thankful for My Sales and Office Staff

I can take credit for starting Frederick Fence, but the fantastic folks who make up our sales and office staff remain my true heroes—they’ve helped bring in a lot of business and have weathered through many a lean season as the economy shifted over the years.  Not many companies can boast the kind of tenure we’ve had among our sales team.  Many of you ought to be familiar with two of our finest sales professionals—Louise Barnard and Doug Martin—as they’ve been here for most of our existence.  The same holds true with Kathy Crum—our office manager.  In many ways, Kathy has been one of my closest confidants.  I always trust and value her opinion and she keeps me honest on my worst days!

This year, I’m truly thankful for our current sales manager, Neil Forthman.  We hired Neil for his depth of knowledge in both fence and salesmanship.  He’s truly an asset to our organization and helped lead his team to produce one of our highest grossing seasons.  He’s extremely customer-focused and highly patient—he’s helped some of our newest folks learn the fence industry rapidly while also being there to address our customers’ questions and concerns.  Thanks, Neil!

Thankful for Family

Finally, I am thankful for my family.  I’ve got a truly wonderful wife and three children—all with some great spouses who have given me some amazing grandchildren.  I am thankful for their health and well-being, but what gives me the greatest joy is knowing that each of my children have chosen to be part of the next generation of Frederick Fence leadership.  My daughters—Erin and Kelly—and my son—Todd—make me proud every day.  They were given complete freedom to choose their vocation in life and all three made the decision to remain with Frederick Fence.

As I look forward to more time with my grandchildren and wife, I know that Frederick Fence will continue to succeed.  I am most proud that all my children have embraced my work ethic and I marvel at how they remain equally devoted to taking great care of our staff and crew as they do our many clients.

I don’t know that I’ll ever fully retire, but I am thankful that I can trust my family and our amazing employees to always do their very best to make Frederick Fence a great place to work and the right choice for our customers.

Once again, thank you, friends, for joining us here online and for letting us take good care of you over the years.  May you and your family and friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration and may you have a joyful holiday season!

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“The folks I am most thankful for: my children and their families!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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