Frustrated with unending requests to repair broken and dilapidated fences, Todd Sternfeld set out to find a better solution for the rotting wood, rusted metal, and crumbling masonry fences that plagued many of his customers. His search for an alternative that was durable and attractive led to precast concrete. However, in the early 1980s the typical concrete fence looked like an industrial military bunker with thick solid walls or panels which had texture applied to only one side. Neither held charm nor appeal to Sternfeld and his customers.
In 1986 Superior Concrete Products (SCP), of Euless, Texas, opened its doors and started manufacturing and marketing a line of eye-catching architectural precast concrete fencing and related products. SCP is a turnkey operation; managers handle all aspects of the project from inception to installation. “We don’t outsource our work,” says Sternfeld, the company’s CEO. “To maintain the high quality and durability of our fences, the SCP team works with the client on the design specs, and then turns the project over to our production staff to manufacture the product. After the components have been produced and cured, the product is shipped to the jobsite for our construction crew to install the fence.”
Pick your finish
SPC can duplicate the natural finish of wood, stone, masonry, or stucco on the company’s line of fence panels. A design/build product, the unique modular design can be customized by height, color, or finish, and manufactured to meet clients’ exact specifications. “Our ability to duplicate the look and feel of a traditional fencing makes a Superior Fence an affordable investment that is durable and enhances the value of any property where it is installed,” says Sternfeld. “It is an extremely attractive fence that is designed to last a lifetime. In our business, the biggest challenge is to continue striving to create a wider range of unique products that meet the needs of our customers. Also, traditional fence materials such as iron or aluminum can be incorporated to create a one-of-a-kind security fence, complete with cameras and automated gate systems.
The producer created molds that mimic the appearance of traditional fence materials using a six-sack mix design of 5,000 PSI fiber-reinforced concrete. Infused with pigments, each fence panel is designed to complement the color and finish of any home or business décor, yet have unparalleled strength and durability.
At first, the procedures to create fence panels are similar to the steps taken by other precast manufacturers. But extra care must be taken to create the fine natural finish on a decorative precast panel. The production team cleans and preps the forms and sprays form release agent while placing steel reinforcement in each panel or rail. Next, color-infused concrete is poured and vibrated. Forms are removed in eight to 12 hours.
A three-person crew can easily complete the construction of a fence for the average homeowner in less than one day. Composed of a proprietary forming system that utilizes steel and urethane linings, a SCP fence is strong. The panels or rails lock together, making the fencing rugged and durable. This same design has another benefit which gives the posts and panels the ability to flex during adverse weather and ground movement, effectively withstanding hurricane-force winds and earthquakes.
By Virginia Stuart, director of public relations, Vista Creative Services in Dallas. For more on the producer, visit www.concretefence.com.