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Want Us to Pay You a Visit?
Ask for Your Sales Consultant By Name!

June 18, 2018 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

At Frederick Fence, we do things a bit differently than most home improvement organizations. We like to think of our customers as family. We don’t believe in flashy marketing campaigns or time-sensitive promotions to get you to buy a fence—we are all about providing the best materials possible that work to meet your needs and your budget.
You’re always welcome to visit our showroom and supply yard to see samples of our products and get your questions answered. However, when you need advice and want someone to help you build a fence for your home or business, we’re more than happy to send one of our team out for a visit!

When you invite us into your home or your business, we make sure we send only the most knowledgeable members of our family who will work with you to come up with the most reasonable fence solution you can afford.

Meet Our 2018 Team of All-Star Fence Consultants–Pictured Left to Right: Jeff Black, Louise Barnard, Paul Abel, Doug Martin, Luther Fitzgerald, Perry Orman, Justin Lambert and Wes Helsley. They’re here to help you make the best decision possible when buying a fence!

Meet Your Frederick Fence Team by Service and Location!

Need help designing a fence for your business or home? You can use the following list to either chat or with us or call and ask for your local fence consultant by name and we’ll work with you to schedule the best time for them to pay you a visit!

Commercial Solutions

We have two experts who partner with our commercial customers to help them design either fences, dumpster enclosures or even rails to meet their business needs:
• Doug Martin
• Jeff Black

Residential Fence Solutions

Our residential team is here to serve you when you need a fence to surround your home property. This fence sales team covers a lot of territory and will work with you to design a fence that meets your needs and works within your budget:

Frederick County, Maryland

• Paul Abel
• Luther Fitzgerald
• Wes Helsley
• Justin Lambert

Carroll County, Maryland

• Louise Barnard

Montgomery County Maryland

• Perry Orman
• Paul Stambaugh

Howard County, Maryland

• Jeff Black

Washington County, Maryland; Berkeley & Jefferson County, West Virginia

• Luther Fitzgerald

Loudoun County, Virginia

• Paul Abel

Don’t see your area listed in the above list? Simply use our online chat feature or give us a call at 1-800 49-FENCE and we’ll schedule one of our fence experts to visit your business or home!

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Spring is the Perfect Time for Ordering Your Pool Fence!

April 2, 2018 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

vinyl pool fence

Have a pool? Make sure you also have a fence that surrounds it to meet state and county standards or run the risk of huge legal fees should something happen!

Planning to install a swimming pool on your property this year? Have an existing pool that got installed last fall and still needs a swimming pool safety fence to live up to code in your county?

If your goal is to have a pool fence in time for that July 4th celebration in your back yard, now’s the time you’ll want to get your pool fence order in so that you can host your party while meeting the guidelines within your county!

Why Now is the Time to Get Going on Your Pool Fence

Spring is the best time to order your pool fence, even if your pool won’t go in the ground until May or June.  If you wait to order your pool fence from a vendor after your pool gets installed in June, you’ll have difficulty getting the fence installed in time for your holiday celebration.

Why?

It’s a matter of scheduling.  Once the warm weather breaks, the busy season for fence installation kicks in.  Ordering a fence in early spring means a huge difference in getting placed on the installation schedule for any vendor.  This time of year, there are fewer customers in the queue waiting to get permits from the county where they reside as well as fewer homeowners waiting for a fence to get installed.

The longer homeowners wait to order the aluminum pool fence during warmer weather, the longer it can take to get on the schedule to get the fence installed. Even if your pool isn’t scheduled for delivery until late June, you need to get your fence order on the books now so that once you fill the pool with water, there’s a fence around it.  Failure to comply with having a fence around your pool means putting your investment at risk.

pool-fence

Pool fences keep your family, friends and pets safe and can also keep out unwanted guests.

Why You Need a Pool Fence Before Taking Your First Dip

Every state and local government has its own set of pool fence regulations that all consumers and businesses must follow when there’s a pool on their property.  Failure to follow these guidelines means being subject to significant legal risks, such as being sued if there’s an accident. A great start for understanding the implications of pool ownership is to check out the guidelines the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission publishes each year.

These helpful guidelines can keep you out of trouble and ensure that your pool area meets regulations and minimizes your legal risk should there be an accident.   Things you can do to minimize risk include:

  • Follow all home safety guidelines and laws for pool ownership in your area.
  • Always supervise your children and their guests—never leave a child unattended even for just a few minutes.
  • Keep your and your guests’ pets away from the pool area.
  • Make it a rule that no one swims alone—that includes both adults and children.
  • Don’t mix alcohol and pool time—if someone has had a few drinks, keep them out of the pool.
  • Keep your pool fence locked to keep uninvited guests out of the pool area; consider an alarm on the fence for maximum safety.
  • Make sure your homeowner’s insurance includes coverage for liability lawsuits as a result of pool injures or death. Some policies do not cover pools with slides or diving boards so before installing them, find out what your insurer covers!

 Thinking About a Pool Fence?

If there’s a swimming pool fence in your future this summer, give us a call now and we’ll send one of our expert consultants out to your home to give you an estimate for the perfect pool fence solution.  Whether it’s wood, aluminum or vinyl, we’ll work with you to develop the ideal fence solution that maintains local regulations and works within your budget!

You can either click on our chat feature to the left, give us a call or visit our Contact page to get started.  You can even come by our showroom and look at samples of swimming pool safety fence options!

Just remember that if you want a fence installed by July 4th, you need to act as fast as possible to meet that date!

 

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Happy Holidays from Everyone at Frederick Fence!

December 23, 2017 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

FenceChristmas

Happy holidays from Erin, Todd, Charlie, Kelly and Diane Powers!

Before we all take a little time off this week to honor and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, we want to take a moment to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas.  No matter what holiday you celebrate this time of year, we hope that each of you have a joyful holiday season with your family and friends.  Our wish is that everyone throughout the world find peace in their hearts and that we all learn to take better care of each other.

Thank You For a Fantastic Fence Season

Frederick Fence had an amazing 2017, thanks to you, our amazing family of clients.  As you may have read in this blog, our company celebrated its 35th year in business, an achievement we know is made possible thanks to the thousands of clients who chose us as their vendor for a fence solution.  We’re extremely proud to serve each one of you—we consider every client to be part of our family.  We value your patronage and we truly appreciate knowing that many of you have stayed with us as you’ve moved to bigger homes or have moved out on your own and chose us to put a fence around your first home.  We are truly humbled in our success when we think of all the great people we’ve serviced for nearly four decades. This was a monumental year for our company as we officially changed leadership since opening our doors many years ago.  Our founder, president and original owner, Charlie Powers, officially transferred ownership of Frederick Fence to his children—Erin, Kelly and Todd—and they are all happy and proud to be part of the next generation of Frederick Fence.

Our Newest Addition

Finn

Meet the newest Frederick Fence member: Finn Maddox Orman!

At Frederick Fence, we are pleased to announce the newest addition to the Frederick Fence family: Finn Maddox Orman, born to Perry Kelly (Powers) Orman, our Retail Sales Manager and Owner.  Charlie Powers, of course, is overjoyed to have a new grandchild to spoil!

See You in 2018

We hope that you and yours have a safe and prosperous new year and that you have the best year possible in 2018!  So long as the weather holds out and the ground doesn’t freeze any time soon, we’ll still be here to help you with any of your fencing needs.  Whether it’s a new fence, a small repair or materials for your own fence build, Frederick Fence is open for business.  If you have a question about a product or material, you can either click on our chat feature or just give us a call! Happy holidays, everyone!

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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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6 Tips for Building a Split Rail Fence

November 25, 2017 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

Traditional wood split rail fence is both economical and fairly easy to install.

Traditional wood split rail fence is both economical and fairly easy to install.

Homeowners like split rail fences as they are among the simplest and most economical type of fence to build.  Drive around the rolling hills of the western Maryland area and you’re sure to see quite a few of them surrounding some lovely farms or gorgeous homes in suburban areas.  To many of us at Frederick Fence, there’s nothing more gorgeous than a split rail fence—they’re one of the most decorative and you can now build them using vinyl, which means the sections will never warp or fade!  A majority of the time you’ll see split rail fence covered with welded wire, which helps keep your children and pets in the yard and pesky critters like deer and rabbits off property.

Adding a split rail fence to your yard augments its appearance with a natural, rustic beauty. Split rail’s design is simple and it’s one of the easiest fences for a first time DIYer.  If you’re considering building a split rail fence soon, here are seven tips to help you build fence that will make your process easier:

 

  1. Consider installing a split rail style gate.  It’s a lot easier than installing a picket gate fence.  However, if you want to install a picket gate and are not sure how, call us for help!
  2. Make sure to set your posts on 10’6” centers.  Rails for a split rail fence are 11’ tip to tip.  The ends of rails are tapered or “paddled” so they can overlap when they are put in the post. If you set you posts 10’6” from the center of post to center of post, this will give you the perfect space to accommodate the rails.
  3. Rails should overlap 3” on either side. If you have less overlap, the rail are more likely to fall out over time, if your posts are too close, you can’t overlap too much and the rails won’t fit.
  4. Secure your rails with a nail on the ends and corners, and short sections.  These portions of fence are the most likely to move.  The ends are corners are called terminals and bear a lot of the load.  The short sections are custom built and need to be secured to avoid any rails falling out.
  5. Dry pack all post holes with about 25 lbs of concrete.  This will keep them in place even among the harshest of weather conditions.  If your posts are not properly set, your fence may become less sturdy over time and you may find yourself re-installing some sections if we have to endure a lot of harsh weather during winter and spring.
  6. Your gate opening should be 2” wider than the width of the actual gate panel in order to accommodate for the hardware
3 rail vinyl fence

Vinyl split rail fence is the perfect fence for DIYers wanting to install one fence to last a lifetime that requires little to no maintenance!

Got more questions on building a split rail fence? You can chat with us online or just stop by our showroom on Tilco Drive—we’re open weekdays until 5 PM during winter and we’ll be open on Saturdays from early spring through late fall—we’re happy to offer you everything you need to build a split rail fence!

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Our Most Frequently Asked DIY Questions and Answers!

October 15, 2017 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

At Frederick Fence, we love it when DIYers choose to take on the task of building their own fence.  In fact, sometimes the most rewarding thing you can do as a home owner is take personal pride when you step into your yard and see the outcome of your own handiwork!

Sometimes, however, a DIY enthusiast needs a little help.  Even though fence installation seems like a relatively easy process, we often get the same questions time and again from folks looking to build their own fence.  To help you with your next DIY fence project, we’ve assembled our most frequently asked questions and answers!  Hopefully seeing them here will help you should you decide to take on the great outdoors and build a fence for your home!

arch topHow wide is the gate?

With the exception of a split rail style gate, all of our gates are made to fit an opening.  The gate itself is not the size listed.  For example, an aluminum 4’ wide gate Is actually 46.5”, which is designed to fit in an opening of 48”.

Do you sleeve a vinyl post over a wood post?

Not only is it not necessary, it’s also not recommended.  Our vinyl posts are structural and do not need reinforcement.  The only time you might need them are for gate posts, which use metal inserts.  Putting a wood post inside a vinyl sleeve makes it more vulnerable to problems as the wood post is likely to bend, twist, or warp inside the vinyl sleeve.

Do I need to call utilities?

Yes, before you dig any hole for your DIY fence post installation! Failure to do so may result in some expensive repair damage that any county will force you to pay for, along with some hefty fines.  Don’t risk it at all!  Call before you dig!

vinyl pool fenceWhat do I need to do in order to make my fence meet pool code?

Typically, with the exception being Montgomery county, swimming pool fencing should be at least 48 inches above the side of the barrier, facing away from the swimming pool. Some states have pool fence regulation indicating the fence needs to be at least 60 inches.  Openings in the pool fence should be no larger than 4 inches wide.

There should be no more than 4 inches of space between the pool surface and the bottom of your fence.  When a fence is comprised of diagonal rails, the maximum opening between diagonal pieces should be no more than 1 ¾ inches.  Pool fence gates should be self-latching, and open away from the pool. The gate should also be self-closing.

Why don’t you sell cedar posts?

Cedar is not recommended for ground contact.  It is susceptible to rotting.  We use pressure treated pine posts that are treated for in ground contact.

Is your aluminum painted?

No.  We use aluminum fencing that comes with a Dupont certified powder coating that surpasses a salt spray test of 10000 hours.  We use an Alumiguard product, which we feel is the industry best!

How tall should my deer fence be?

On average, a deer fence is 8’ tall.  However, deer can jump really high, so don’t be surprised if a deer ends up on your property from time to time!

How do you keep rabbits out of your yard?

It is often suggested that you install a wire fence, and “trench” or bury about 4-6” of the bottom of the fence.

fence contractor securing a fence

Planning on starting your own fence project? Stop by our showroom on Tilco Drive in Frederick, Maryland to get fencing information and everything you could possible need to build your own fence! Our fence installation experts are always on hand to answer your questions in person!  You can also use our online chat feature during regular business hours for a quick answer!

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How to Improve Your Curb Appeal: Four Tips for Accessorizing Your Fence:

September 3, 2017 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

Have you ever stood in your fenced-in yard after a few years and wondered how you could make the space more attractive?  You’ve yanked out old bushes and shrubs, replaced them with new ones, changed your outdoor furniture and still you’re looking to do something to improve curb appeal for your property.  So what should you do?

Perhaps it’s time to accessorize your fence!

It’s true—there are now plenty of after-market items to choose from that will improve your home’s curb appeal by upgrading your fence.  Many of them are minor additions but they can have a huge impact on your outdoor space—especially when it comes time to sell your home.  Here are a four ways you can accessorize your fence:

Decorative Post Caps

Decorative post caps add instant appeal to an existing fence!

Decorative post caps add instant appeal to an existing fence!

One easy upgrade you can add to your fence that instantly adds appeal to your fence is to add decorative post caps to your fence.  Whether your fence is made of wood, vinyl or aluminum, there are a myriad of options to choose from when it comes to adding post caps.  You can choose to add simple flat-tops to your fence post installation which are available in various colors, or you can add a lot of flair by selecting highly ornamental post-caps made of copper, vinyl or geometric aluminum.  For years, the most decorative option on the market was a flat top or a

Solar postcaps are great for creating additional mood lighting and beauty for your fence.

Solar postcaps are great for creating additional mood lighting and beauty for your fence.

ball-shaped post cap; however, a lot has changed and you can now purchase practically any shape, size and color.  If you’re looking for additional lighting in your yard, you can now purchase post caps with solar powered lights in them.  These caps range from as little as $6 per cap to as much as $60, depending on the materials used to create them and their design.

Flower Boxes

With some wood, nails, a hammer and some paint, you can make your own unique flower box for your fence or deck railing!

With some wood, nails, a hammer and some paint, you can make your own unique flower box for your fence or deck railing!

Love to garden and are looking for both a way to decorate your fence and plant some herbs or flowers that take up minimal space?  Flower boxes hung on the fence are your best bet!  The good news is that you can you can be as creative as you like when it comes to fence flower boxes. If you’re not necessarily a do it yourself person, you can buy a flower box from your local nursery and purchase hooks to hang the box on your fence.  If you consider yourself somewhat crafty, you can design, build and paint your own boxes to match other elements either in your yard or your home.

Shop around online and you’ll find you can also purchase ready-made flower boxes that come in various shapes and sizes that either come with either hooks or openings on the bottom of the box so you can just sit them on the fence rail.  Be mindful that if you live in an area that gets a lot of wind that you’ll want to find ways to brace the boxes so that they don’t fall off should major gusts  hit your area.

Privacy Mesh

Have a picket, split rail or aluminum fence and want to add a bit of privacy without having to replace the entire fence?  You can now purchase privacy mesh for your fence and hang it inside your yard.  If you have small dogs or other four-legged pets, privacy mesh also keeps them from crawling through the fence rails.  Likewise, privacy mesh can also keep some unwanted animals—like rabbits—from getting in your garden and chewing your flowers.

Arbors

You can easily add an arbor instead of a gate to create a lovely entrance into your yard

You can easily add an arbor instead of a gate to create a lovely entrance into your yard.

Have a gate that needs replacing and want to add some additional appeal to your yard’s entranceway? Add an arbor and you get instant beauty that allows you to either hang plants off the structure or grow vines and climbing plants off it for a more natural look.  Arbors come in all shapes and sizes and in all materials; purchase one of vinyl if you’re looking for a long-lasting maintenance free solution.

Looking to accessorize your existing fence or are ready to upgrade from wood to a longer lasting material?  Click on our chat feature or give us a call and one of our fence consultants will visit your home and show you how to add value to your current fence or price a new one! You can also visit our Contact page!

 

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The (Vinyl) Fence With Something Extra: Natural Looking Color!

July 15, 2017 ~ Posted By Jim Jenkins

Remember when vinyl fence appeared in the marketplace and you could have any color you wanted so long as it was white? Yes, there used to be a time when manufacturers sold only one color of vinyl fence, which looked great in almost every setting.   In fact, many home owner associations often choose white as the main color for vinyl fence in many communities. White vinyl offers a clean look and if your goal is to establish community-wide curb appeal with a consistent fence style and color scheme, vinyl fence makes sense as it’s easy to maintain and never requires staining and painting.

But what if you live in an area where you have the freedom to choose both the style and color of your fence and you’re a bit creative and want to make a statement that reflects your unique personality or design a fence that complements the colors for your home’s exterior?

Simple, build a vinyl fence with natural-looking color!

Thanks to the amazing folks at CertainTeed, you can now design the perfect vinyl fence with an earthy color and texture that truly satisfies your singular taste in exterior décor while also looking like a natural part of your outdoor environment. Whether it’s a split rail fence built for simplicity and traditional charm or six-foot privacy fence that offers you and your family the opportunity to live outdoors without observation, CertainTeed’s Bufftech line of innovative vinyl products will showcase your home and yard at highly affordable rates.

Textures and Color: Blended to Perfection

One of the major innovations from Certain Teed home owners can choose from include a variety of textures in a fence design. If you want a smooth, classic look, you can always go with a smooth texture for your fence. However, if you prefer the look and feel of natural wood or the graininess of stucco walls, you can design a vinyl fence with either of these textures, and in various colors ranging from shades of brown to almond and clary. These natural colors will complement a yard filled with trees, shrubs and plants.

railgrain

Split Rail and Pickets: An Open Fence with Diverse Views

Looking for a strong, open fence for enclosing your horses, livestock or four-legged friends and want to install a fence that lasts a lifetime? CertainTeed’s Bufftech wood vinyl fence products come in wither a smooth or grain texture and offers the authentic look of a painted wood fence, but comes with the durability, low maintenance and limited-lifetime guarantee. The good news is that you can choose from 2 to 4 rails and mix it with a crossbuck pattern if you want a little variety in your fence design.

Want more traditional vinyl fence options? You can also design the perfect natural looking picket vinyl fence in various colors and picket sizes, included single-sized straight pickets to more concave pickets that create a swoop pattern.

Style and Privacy: A Wining Combination

vinylstucco

Want to relax outdoors in maintain some peace and quiet and a chance to enjoy your pool without being in a fishbowl? CertainTeed’s Bufftech privacy fences are truly works of art when it comes to color! In fact, their wood grain privacy sections look so authentic that casual passersby may not realize that they’re looking at a vinyl fence! If you want a more ornate and polished look, their stucco fence offers you that rich textured feel without having to ever worry about it peeling, chipping or cracking from the sun’s hottest rays. For added accents, you can also top your vinyl privacy fence with several lattice styles or design a fence that swoops in certain sections, giving you the ability to transition from low to high fence so you can still observe what’s beyond your yard while maintaining some sense of privacy.

 

Gates and Accessories to Match Your Unique Fence

CertainTeed’s Bufftech vinyl products include gate sections that complement every fence design, based on your unique style and color. You can go with a solid panel fence or design a concave or convex gate with lattice work on top that will truly set your entrance apart from the rest of the fence. For added beauty, you can also add a vinyl arbor or pergola to your fence, along with a variety of decorative post caps, including ones with solar powered lighting.

vinyllattice

Design the Fence of a Lifetime

When you install a wood vinyl fence, you’re getting the fence that will typically last the entire lifetime of your home. Now that you can choose vinyl materials with the look and feel of natural wood, a vinyl fence serves as a more cost-effective solution given that even the best wood fences often require full replacement after many years of enduring the extreme heat, wet and cold the seasons in our area bring.

Curious to see all the vinyl fencing supplies available to you? We encourage you to come by our showroom and see some of the amazing CertainTeed samples in person or schedule one of our expert fence consultants to stop by your home with the latest samples and up to date brochures. Simply click on our chat feature, fill out our Contact form,  or give us a call at 301 663-4000 and we’ll help you design the perfect, most unique colored vinyl fencing to showcase your property!

Want something a little more whimsical and unique?  Check back for our next entry where we talk about some truly wild ideas for vinyl fence!

 

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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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