High Standards, Grounded Results
BellBrook Fence Company delivers built-to-last fencing solutions
American poet Robert Frost is credited for saying, “Good fences make good neighbors.” Jeff Bell, President and owner of BellBrook Fence Company in Dayton, Ohio, takes that adage to heart.
“In 1965, my grandfather, Carroll ‘Bud’ Bell, founded BellBrook Fence Company with one vision in mind: to supply and install the highest-quality fence products for the residents and businesses throughout southwest Ohio,” Bell says. “When I took over the company’s reins from my father, James ‘Pat’ Bell, in 2012, I wanted BellBrook Fence Company to be as equally recognized for being a good neighbor as we are for delivering quality products and excellent customer service.”
A Family’s Vision
Bell credits both his grandfather and father for creating the strong work ethic that still defines the company today. “We continue to honor their legacy by doing things the right way,” Bell says. “Regardless of the size of the project, we ask specific questions upfront to better understand what each of our customers need and expect. By focusing solely on the installation of fence and fence products, we are able to provide expert advice in an ever-changing industry.”
BellBrook Fence Company offers unlimited fencing options, including ornamental aluminum and steel, PVC, wood and chain-link products for residential, commercial and government clients throughout southwest Ohio. “We’ve had referrals take us outside of our geographic region,” Bell says. “We’re happy to travel and will go where the job takes us. We recently installed sliding gates for a FedEx freight facility in Louisville, Kentucky.” The third-generation-owned company also provides agricultural fences, estate gates and arbors.
“In addition to serving both commercial and residential clients, about a fourth of our business revolves around installing gate operators and access control units for a myriad of facilities, such as gated communities or area pools,” Bell says. “This type of work usually requires yearly maintenance or periodic upgrades as technology advances. I tell my guys they need to be jacks-of-all-trades. One day, they may be digging a hole and pouring concrete, while the next day may find them cutting steel and hanging new gate operators. The good thing about our business is you rarely do the same thing two days in a row.”
Bell explains that his company leans heavily on the American Fence Association (AFA) when it comes to safety guidelines for gate operators. (The AFA has been serving the fence industry since 1962 and is the largest and most comprehensive resource in the industry for the latest developments, tools, materials, standards, trends and discounts.)
“Because of the technological advances in our industry, the safety regulations are constantly changing,” Bell says. “We want to make things as safe as we possibly can and not be responsible for injuring someone.”
The Good Neighbor Effect
In addition to diversifying its customer base, BellBrook Fence Company seeks ways to get involved in the community.
“After the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, some of my neighbors became concerned about the safety within our own local schools,” Bell says. “A group of parents created a nonprofit organization called Creek Safe, Inc., which is dedicated to increasing safety measures throughout the Beavercreek City School District in Beavercreek, Ohio. I got very excited when I heard about their initiative and knew that I wanted to somehow be involved in it.”
Creek Safe’s initial mission was to raise approximately $60,000 to provide emergency barricade locks for all the classroom doors in Beavercreek elementary schools. To help Creek Safe reach its goal, BellBrook Fence Company donated 5 percent of the price of every fence it installed in the city of Beavercreek during the summer of 2018.
After the money was raised, Creek Safe approached BellBrook Fence Company because the nonprofit needed help finding an authorized and licensed contractor to install the locks. “We bought one of these specialty locks from Anchorman, Inc., the manufacturer, and determined that because the device locks into the floor, installing it would not be too dissimilar from the work we do when we install fences,” Bell explains. “Once we understood the mechanics of the locks, it was an easy decision to donate our labor to install them.”
Three months and 380 locks later, all six Beavercreek elementary schools were outfitted with door-barricading devices that can be quickly engaged as a way to create a safe zone during a crisis.
“We plan to donate our installation services again once Creek Safe raises enough money to purchase locks for Beavercreek’s middle and high schools,” Bell says. “If adding this extra layer of protection can help keep even one child a little bit safer, it’s worth everything we did.”
Swing for the Fences
In addition to its involvement with Creek Safe, BellBrook Fence Company also supports the Reds Community Fund with some of its endeavors. Founded in 2001, the Reds Community Fund is the nonprofit arm of baseball’s first professional team, the Cincinnati Reds. Its mission is to connect children with the game of baseball by underwriting improvements to area youth baseball fields as well as provide funding for underserved youth baseball and softball programs.
“The Reds Community Fund renovates existing baseball fields in at-risk areas in the hopes of improving the lives of children through baseball,” Bell says. “Our company proudly rebuilt the outfield fences at two baseball parks in the Dayton area. This nonprofit does a fantastic job of putting the focus on the community by encouraging kids to get back outside and play.”
Since 2000, BellBrook Fence Company has tripled in size—from seven employees to 21 employees. Bell cites a culture rooted in teamwork, accountability and respect as reasons for the company’s growth.
“We install the best-quality products, even if we are more expensive than our competition. Sometimes we lose projects because of that, but that doesn’t stop us from doing what we believe is right,” Bell says. “We are honored that 70 percent of our business comes from referrals and repeat customers. Our customers know us and trust us.”