Composite Fence Demand Skyrockets Among Colorado HOAs

World Fence News May 2017

The winning bid for the Smoky Hill Metro District was provided by Ned O’Rourke.

Trex composite fencing is currently being installed by Split Rail Fence Co. of Littleton, Colo. on two major Denver-area projects totaling about 20,000 lineal feet each. They are just two more examples of how much homeowners associations dread fence maintenance, based on comments of board members.

Two separate Colorado HOAs – Smoky Hill Metro District southeast of Denver and Broadlands Metro District to the north – came to the same conclusion independently to install Trex over other fence materials options, with Trex fencing proving to be first in value for their respective fence replacements, according to Split Rail Fence Co. sales manager Russ Lindsay.

Board members of the two HOAs were able to visit previously installed Trex sites, as the fencing material has been a popular choice among area HOAs, developers, homebuilders, and government entities for over a decade.

“One of the fence projects that HOA managers and board members typically look at is the Highlands Ranch Metro District Parkway Fence bordering some major roadways,” he said. “This project consists of 42 miles of old fence replaced with Trex fencing over a period of years.”

“The Trex fence, offering a combination of privacy, durability and beauty, is estimated to save the HOA 65% in maintenance.” The first of the two most recent Trex projects launched in late 2016 with the Smoky Hill Metro District. Phase 1 of about 8,000 lineal feet is completed. Phase 2 of the project, comprising about 3,000 lineal feet, commenced in April.

Meanwhile, Broadlands HOA awarded Split Rail Fence Co. the contract earlier this year. Good weather allowed installation to begin in the first quarter of 2017.

Smoky Hill Metro District board member Brandan Sackatt said he recognized his neighborhood had a fencing problem about two years ago.

“We had this ugly, hideous original wood fence with discoloration. We had to do something and we didn’t want to replace the fence ever again,” he said.

So he went about learning what options existed and initiated contact with fence contractors about various materials possibilities.

“I contacted five or six companies, got three quotes on PVC, cedar, and Trex. The board went to see Trex fence installed at other sites, really liked it, and expected it to be more money. But when we got the bid, it was not outrageously more than PVC.”

World Fence News May 2017

Split Rail Fence Co. sales manager Russ Lindsay (left) discusses installation details with project manager Wayne Nichols.

The result today is increasing property values, great aesthetics, and superior strength necessary to cope with the weather extremes of the Colorado climate. In addition to temperature variances, Colorado’s high altitude, 300-plus days of direct sunlight, and substantial winds along the Front Range of the Rockies can deteriorate fencing more rapidly.

About 60% of the Smoky Hill four-phase project has been installed.

“The Trex looks great,” said Sackatt. “The fencing had been ugly for so long. Restaining and repairs were eating up the HOA reserves. We finally looked at the value proposition and the 25-year warranty, and made the decision to go with Trex.”

The winning bid came from Ned O’Rourke, representing Split Rail Fence Co. O’Rourke partnered with the Smoky Hill board for over a year prior to the decision.

“They had their minds made up to replace the existing wood. We kept presenting the Trex option. When they eventually put it to the metro district board for a vote, that’s what they chose. They were done with painting and maintaining. Costs were going up on maintenance as well as a replacement,” said O’Rourke.

Overseeing the installation is project manager Wayne Nichols, a 33-year veteran of Split Rail Fence Co., who has a history of over 500 Trex jobs in his resume. Planning is an integral facet to ensure a smooth and efficient process in the field, he noted.

“The tricky part here was to avoid a lane closure,” said Nichols. “Otherwise, you have a limited time from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. that you can work. So our removal crew, set crew, and finish crew – 15 guys total – worked from the adjoining sidewalk.”

At the Broadlands, the Trex contract was awarded based on similar circumstances. The advocate for Trex was a property management firm that had previous experience with the product.

“They were so enamored with Trex,” Lindsay said. “The property management company was prepared for the budget by determining the savings and value over time. The HOA was willing to pay for value.”

The comparative cost of wood versus Trex fencing matches typically at about 12 years of ownership, he said. The cost of maintaining wood fence grows due to repeated staining, painting, and periodic replacement of posts, rails, and pickets.

Nichols is managing construction at Broadlands also. With installation recently underway, an early obstacle surfaced: Underground utilities which included a natural gas line. The crews had to painstakingly avoid the utilities, which involved quite a bit of hand digging.

World Fence News May 2017

Estaban Rodriguez lowers a top rail onto a fence section at the Broadlands site.

Another unique consideration during the early planning stage was deciding which method of dealing with slope to utilize. The Trex fencing system is designed to accommodate many different grade changes. It can follow grade, stair-step, or transition to achieve a level top. Nichols chose level top. “We think it’s a better look,” said Nichols. “There’s not much more labor time to adjust the brackets, because we are experienced at working with Trex. What I’m after is a ‘show fence.'”

Trex Seclusions is eco-friendly composite fencing made from an innovative blend of 96% recycled hardwoods from furniture manufacturing and high performance composite material with plastic.

Trex features an interlocking picket design, 5” x 5”, 9’ or 12’ post material depending on fence height, and aluminum bottom rail with Trex bottom covers.

The design and dense material contribute to Miami/Dade wind load certification of 110 mph steady winds, and 130 mph wind gusts, the highest in the industry, according to the manufacturer.

In 2016 Trex Horizons debuted the horizontal-style privacy system. Both Seclusions and Horizons accommodate heights from 3’ to 12’, and are available in three color options – Saddle, Woodland Brown and Winchester Grey.

SRF Fence & Supply Co., the supplier of the fence, is a national distributor of Trex fencing materials based in Highlands Ranch, Colo. SRF Fence stocks and distributes Trex Seclusions and Horizons composite fencing on behalf of Trex Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative fencing and decking products.

The company may be contacted at (855) 620-TREX. For more information about buying directly, distributorships, or the product, visit the web site www.trexfencing-srf.com.

Split Rail Fence & Supply Co. has been a Colorado Front Range installation company since 1974, serving industry, municipalities, and the residential market. It sells and installs commercial, industrial, and residential fence products including wood, chain link, ornamental iron, vinyl, and composite fencing, as well as automatic gates and masonry. For more information on the company and its services, call (303) 791-1997, or visit www.splitrailfenceco.com.

This article originally appeared in World Fence News.

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