Thursday, May 12, 2016

Give Your Customers What They Really Want, in Three Easy Steps!

Even if they don't know what that is.

Buying a fence can be a daunting experience for a homeowner. The huge variety of styles, materials, and types of fence available can be overwhelming. Add to that the wide range of options in quality, whether or not a do-it yourself option is worth considering, and the overall price of a residential fence, and it's no wonder that sometimes, customers feel let down by the process.

When it comes right down to it, your customer wants the peace of mind that they are getting good value for their money, and getting what they paid for.



There is a way to avoid customer disappointment with your work. 

 1.Wherever possible, written orders, including all customer concerns, need to be signed by the contractor and customer as part of your work order/customer contract. Be sure to include site prep, clean up, and disposal of old fence and excess fill, if necessary. This won't prevent disputes, but it does provide a common frame of reference when settling questions that arise.

 2. Wherever possible, specify in the work order the name of the manufacturer of the product you intend to install. Name the grade and species of lumber, along with accurate measurements of boards. (If you are using a full 1” thick Clear Select Western Red Cedar picket, call it out in the contract.) It will differentiate you from the competition, and justify your price. If the customer calls for an “economy model” fence, make sure that the 1/2” thick #2 pickets are specified, and consider a section that lays out the relative advantages of the various grades of materials you offer.

 3. The same goes for hardware and accessories for the fence. Let the customer know that you offer the very best American made hardware from Modern Fence Technologies. Always choose materials you are proud to stand behind. Don't let the customer force you into inferior products to meet an unreasonable price point.

If the customer is unable or unwilling to pay for the quality of materials and work that go into the fences you build, then that customer is probably better off going to another contractor.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Made in America?




 When you buy an American made product, what does that mean? According to the Federal Trade Commission, the product must be “all or virtually all” made in the U.S. Simply being headquartered in the U.S., or having a distribution hub in the U.S. does not qualify the products sold through a company to be identified as American made.

Why is this important? Because many companies imply that they are selling quality, American made products, pointing to their distribution facilities here or a misleading label as proof. The imported products they sell are not necessarily made to standards you would expect. Their manufacture definitely does not benefit the U.S. economy.

Products brought in from overseas rarely have manufacturers liability insurance to protect the end user and all people in the supply chain from damages in the event of failure. Ask your suppliers where their products are made. Ask if you can tour their facility. Ask them for certificates of origin for their materials. If the answer to any of these questions isn't what it should be, can you afford to use their products?




Monday, March 28, 2016

Is your hardware supplier “improving” their product right out of existence?



Take a look at the last set of hinges you bought from your supplier. Do they look like the hinge you bought the first time you switched to their hardware? Chances are, unless you are using American made Modern Fence Technologies hinges, latches, and drop rods, the product you are getting is not the same as the product you initially decided to buy.

Brackets are getting smaller, welds are getting weaker, hinges sold as “stainless steel” include aluminum and plastic parts where ours are all stainless, and even the thickness of the steel is being reduced. Today's hinge from some of these manufacturers uses 25-30% less stainless steel. Has your price dropped to reflect that? Did anyone ask if you wanted a lower quality hinge?

Modern Fence Technologies hinges. American made quality you can trust, at competitive prices.


Friday, March 11, 2016

Nationwide Exposure...Modern Fence Technologies On the Air!



Mark your calendars!

Set an alarm on your smart phone!

You don't want to miss Home Talk USA with host Michael King, the “Cajun Contractor” and our own Mark Knudson, founder of Modern Fence Technologies. The radio show will air Live at www.lifestyletalkradio.com at 11:00 am Eastern time and our TV segment at 11:00 am  on the BIZ TV Network at www.biztv.com. 

Saturday March 19th

Don't worry, you don't have to choose, they will be available as podcasts as well at http://www.hometalkusa.com/.

Modern Fence Technologies leads the fence industry with American made hardware and tools designed to add value to every fence and create a future with American made products.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Choosing the Right Hinge

Choosing the Right Hinge

  Modern Fence Technologies hinges are designed to be the strongest, most durable hinges of their type on the market. In order to assist you in the selection of the proper hinge for your application, we offer our Proportional Load Charts, that display the relative sizes and capacities of the hinges we make. 

  Choosing the right hinge is made easy, by having the weight, width, and the measurement between points on the gate where you will mount your hinges, and referring to the handy Proportional Load Charts available to registered users of the Modern Fence Technologies website, www.mftfence.com.

  ***Caution***These charts are compiled from test data based on Modern Fence Technologies' hinges.  The information contained in them will not apply to any other manufacturer's products,
 as they do not use the same quality materials and processes to make their products.

  To determine if one of our hinges will support a proposed gate, find the chart referenced in the hinge description on our website, then compare the measurements of the width, across the top of the chart, and the height*, or distance between hinges, on the side of the chart, and connect those lines across the body of the chart.  If the weight of your gate is the same or less than the number on the chart, the hinge will support your gate.

  You can see a video of this in action here.

* Note: For strength, hinges should be mounted as far apart as gate design will allow.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

American made...Or is it?

  


So your contractor assures you that your fence will be American made.   What does that mean?  Is he referring to the material the fence is made of?  Is he referring to the fact that it will be assembled in your yard, in America?  What about the post caps, or gate hardware?

  The fact is, very few companies can honestly tell you that they are offering an American made product through and through.  In some cases they have been sold products purporting to be American made, that just aren't.  In other cases, they rationalize using imported parts for a portion of the job, figuring "99.5% American made is close enough".

  If it is hinges and latches for your gates, this leaves you with the only moving parts on your entire purchase being imported, of inferior quality, and not covered by manufacturers' liability insurance, which means in the event of a loss, your chances of recovery go only as far as the contractors check book.

  Post caps and gate hardware typically make up less than one percent of the total cost of a fence job.  Is it really necessary to risk the integrity of your investment over such a small initial savings?  When asked, American consumers overwhelmingly prefer American made products.  When offered, Americans will choose more often than not to purchase American made products, even if they cost more!

  So why don't more companies offer American made products?  Is it because they honestly can't see the difference in quality and value?  Or is it because they are willing to risk the failure of a gate in your yard, if it means a few dollars in their pocket?

  Ask your contractor to use genuine, American made Modern Fence Technologies hinges and latches on your next gate.  

Thursday, December 3, 2015

How Do I Decide Which Hinge I Should Use For The Gate I Want To Hang?


With over 80 options to choose from, choosing the right hinge can seem difficult. We've done a few things to make it easier. To select the right hinge for your needs you will need to know a few things about the gate and the post it will hang from.



First, lets look at the gate. What material(s) will your gate be made of? How tall is it at the hinge end? How long is it? How much will it weigh? The answers to these questions allow us to determine the load that a gate will put on a hinge, so we can help select the right size hinge. Knowing the material(s) in your gate help us select compatible materials and design elements in our range of hinges.








Second, what type of post are you planning to use? We offer hinges that allow you to hang gates made of round or square materials to either round or square posts. We even offer hinges that allow wall or pillar surface mount. We offer hinges that fit any size square post starting as small as 1 1/2”. Round posts start as small as 2 3/8” and go to 8 5/8” standard O.D. pipe sizes. Gate brackets as small as 1 5/8” round or 1 1/2” square are also available, with round gate brackets up to 1 7/8” O.D.


(Just wanted to see the beach!)
Third, you will need to know something about the environment your gate will be in. Is it a residential gate, or is it in a high traffic, commercial area? Are you close to the sea coast, with a salt air environment, or are you in a hot, dry climate? Answering these questions will determine if you need stainless steel brackets, or if mild steel is sufficient. Our round post and gate frame options are all hot dip galvanized to match most chain link installations. If you are hanging an aluminum gate we recommend stainless steel brackets to limit corrosion that occurs when dissimilar metals are placed together.


It sounds more complicated than it is, and we are here to help so call and tell us all about it, and we will find the right hinge, made in America, for any gate you need to install. 

Modern Fence Technologies (888) 456-6786