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Winter Warning: Get Your Fence Repairs Done Now!

December 15, 2017 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

broken-fenceTemperatures are falling, holidays decorations are up, and hopefully by now you’ve remembered to shut off your outside faucets so that nothing bad happens while we experience chilly scenes of winter the next few months.  Before you settle in for the long cold spell here in the NOVA/MD area, we encourage you to take a few minutes and walk along your fence line to make sure that your fences are fine and that you’re not in need of any repairs.

If there’s a warped board or two or your fence panels are starting to lean, it’s best to get them fixed before we have our first major snow as a dense snow fall can sometimes prove detrimental to a fence that’s starting to fall apart.  Since our area can also experience an ice storm or two in the middle of winter, you may also consider trimming the branches on trees that may tend to droop or fall over should they end up covered in ice.

Here are a few of our tips for making sure your fence survives the winter months so you can return to the great outdoors and enjoy your yard once the warmer temperatures return:

Taking Care of Wood Fences in Winter

Check your wood fence and make sure that there are no warped boards or panels.  A heavy snow can easily create more damage.  Remember, it’s not just the snow that causes damage, it’s also the heavy winds and freezing temperatures that can wreak havoc on your fence’s structure.

If you own a split rail fence, make sure that the snow doesn’t tend to settle on any one section as the weight from the snow can cause the rails to break in the middle section.

If you’re a dog owner and you tend to let your dogs take care of their business in your yard instead of taking them for walks in winter, just make sure that your dogs refrain from trying to dig themselves out of your yard during cold weather.  Yes, sometimes your four-legged loved ones can damage your fence, especially if they’re left to their own devices in the cold.

Got a new snow blower and can’t wait to use it?  Just remember not to get to close to your fence or bump up against it while removing the snow as you could easily damage your fence should the rotors rub up against the lower portion of the fence panels.  Those high speed snow blowers are great and we recommend buying one if you live in our area; just don’t lose control of your machine and let it hit the fence—especially if you have a gate that straddles a walkway!

Inspect Your Vinyl (Aluminum and Wrought Iron) Fence

The good news about vinyl fence is that its maintenance free and so the most you may need to do during winter is wipe it down if any yard debris has left any kind of stain on the panels.  As long as your fence panels are set in concrete with posts at least three feet deep, you should be fine.  However, if you’ve purchased a home with an existing vinyl fence, we encourage you to check the integrity of your fence’s structure after any winter storm to make sure there are no panels that need reinforcing.

picket-fence-in-snowLikewise, if you own an aluminum or wrought iron fence, there’s not much you need to do to prepare for winter; just remember to take a walk and ensure your fence’s structure remains intact should we experience a brutal winter storm.

The only real danger for these types of fences are trees that may fall should they be subject to extreme winds and freezing rain.

Need a Fence Repair Now?

Regardless of whether or not we installed your fence, our service teams are happy to come out and repair your fence.  Depending upon the magnitude of the repair, we can take care of it while you’re away from home!

Need to replace a board or two and need materials?  Stop by our showroom on Tilco Drive during regular business hours and we’ll be more than happy to get you what you need to repair fencing issues.

To get started, either use our online chat feature to discuss a fence repair cost estimate or give us a call to schedule your repair or materials pick up!

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Buying a New Home and a New Fence in Frederick

September 24, 2017 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

Frederick_marylandIn terms of new housing opportunities, Frederick County remains one of the best places to live that’s just outside the Washington DC area.  With its revitalized downtown district, there are a plethora of bars, shops and fine dining establishments that make Frederick a destination for any special occasion.  Many visit Frederick to check out Top Chef contestant Brian Voltaggio’s Volt, and then end up hearing about the Tasting Room or the Wine Kitchen on the Creek, which are two of Frederick’s finest restaurants.  If you’ve never had a Tasting Room filet, you’re missing out on perfection!  If you’re into the outdoors, you can play tennis at Baker Park, hike the Catoctin Mountains or play golf at one of the area’s award-winning golf courses.

Work in the DC?  You’re in luck if you don’t relish the thought of driving down I-270 each day to the city as you can hope on the train to Union Station or take a shuttle bus to Shady Grove Station, and avoid the high parking fees and gasoline that a daily commute to DC often requires.  Work in the Chantilly or Reston area?  You can still avoid the I-270 traffic jams by taking Route 15 South each day and enjoy the view of the sprawling hills and green trees on each side of this two-lane road.

The great thing about most new communities in Frederick is that some offer a fence with the purchase of a home, depending upon which community you choose.  Having a fence included in the price of the house often makes it easier for home buyers as the fence is there when they take possession of the home, meaning they don’t have to worry about financing a fence afterward.  If you end up buying a home where you’re required to purchase your own fence, be thankful that many of these builders understand the value of curb appeal and allow just one type of fence—often maintenance free vinyl—to go on your property.

Looking for a new home and a new fence installation in Frederick? Here are a few of Frederick Fence’s favorite new communities where you can typically find our red and yellow signs within these neighborhoods.  Check them out and tell them Frederick Fence sent you!
Housing Developments with Great Fence Options in Frederick

Brunswick Cropssing offers a variety of home styles and requires vinyl fencing to maintain its community appeal

Brunswick Crossing offers a variety of home styles and requires vinyl fencing to maintain its community appeal

Brunswick Crossing features a variety of home models, ranging from town homes to single family homes to Villas where the master bedroom suite is on the first floor.  There’s also a pool with a poll house and a large community center and convenience to 26 miles of trails and walkways at Brunswick Crossing.  There’s also a plan to build a marketplace filled with shops and restaurants, including a new Weis Markets.  To ensure cohesion and improve curb appeal, Brunswick Crossing residents can purchase vinyl picket fence to surround their homes.

 

 

northpointe

Want to be part of the vibrant shopping and restaurant scene in downtown Frederick? Check out North Pointe, where owners can get a six foot privacy wood fence with their home!

North Pointe, featuring several home models by Lancaster Craftsman Builders, offers you the opportunity to live in downtown Frederick, where you can take advantage of the many shops, bars and upscale dining establishments that downtown offers.  Lancaster Builders prides itself on creating energy efficient homes, including optional solar panels that can reduce your utility bills by quite a bit!  Most homes come with a paved driveway and six-foot board on board privacy fence.

 

 

Ashcroft

Wormald’s Georgetown model automatically provides buyers with a six foot white vinyl privacy fence with a new townhome! And, even better, you can also purchase an elevator that goes to all floors!

East Church, a rapidly growing community located just one mile from downtown Frederick, features Wormald Homes’ Georgetown town home model, that comes with a two-car garage, optional loft and elevator that travels to all four floors and a great community center and swimming pool.  When you purchase one of their townhomes, you automatically have a six-foot vinyl privacy fence included in the price.

 

 

 

linton

Want to be close to the city but still enjoy scenic mountain views? Check out Linton at Ballenger Creek, where you also can purchase a six foot vinyl privacy fence with lattice work! The community is gorgeous!

Linton at Ballenger Creek offers both town homes and single-family homes, as well as elevator condominiums and town home condominiums.  Linton at Ballenger Creek is just minutes from downtown Frederick and offers its residents some quiet time away from the energy of downtown and gorgeous mountain views, meandering rivers, and historic landmarks right in your backyard.  This community allows residents to install six-foot vinyl privacy fence with lattice work on top, meaning you need to purchase just once fence that will last a lifetime!

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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 Role of a HOA in Residential Fencing

January 12, 2016 ~ Posted By Kathy Crum

Many neighborhoods have a local HOA which regulates certain additions, demolitions, and renovations made to homes within their designated areas. The central focus of many satirical TV episodes and notorious for being strict, you may be worried about installing residential fencing with a HOA.

hoa-residential-fencing-frederick

Check with your HOA regulations before installing residential fencing.

In most cases, a HOA regulation on fencing is fair and beneficial. Although this may not be true with all HOA chapters, you are likely okay to install most home fencing. However, be aware of the following information regarding HOA and residential fencing.

Read more…

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    1505 Tilco Drive
    Frederick, MD 21704
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