Interviewee #1: VIKEN: Ohansian
APRIL 16TH 2020
Hello all, today we will have a brief chat with Viken Ohansian, the CEO of U.S Polymers. First off, we would like to thank you for giving us your time to answer a few questions about your company. U.S Polymers is a leading manufacturing company in PVC building materials. The customers of Duramax building products are home owners, cannabis growers, restaurants, Car washes , garages, and contractors.
“So, Viken, I would like to begin by asking you …”
QUESTION: When did vinyl fencing start finding wide spread acceptance in the US?
Duramax which is a division of U.S Polymer’s, focuses on vinyl fencing, patio covers, decking, railing, aluminium fencing, and all outdoor products..U.S Polymers has other divisions, but the focus of this discussion are our Duramax building products, that focuses on those various products.
ANSWER: Vinyl fencing found its wide spread acceptance in the U.S in the early 90’s where. By the late 90’s early 2000’s vinyl was pretty much all over the country. So, on the hindsight now, it been about 30 years.
QUESTION: What’s the difference between vinyl sold at the home centers, online resellers or by fence contractors?
ANSWER: Vinyl fencing is sold through a variety of different outlets. For example, you can go to home centers like Home Depot or Lowes to get vinyl fencing, or you can also call fencing contractors who come to your home to take measurements & and then begin their installment process in your backyard Sometimes these contractors have dealership stores specialized with displays, and they show all the variety of different types of fencing, especially in the vinyl area where they can display the different styles and so on many more choices as compared to wood fences. Then of course you also have online stores where you can buy vinyl fencing from. Although, those are not as prevalent. But you certainly can still have that as an option. The products available at the Home Centers are typically the lowest- residential grade product there is out there. They are really focused on price and meeting a certain budget. When you focus on one thing too much you give up some other things for example durability & strength, the functionality, and design elements. When you go with a pro like a fence contractor or dealer you find a more upgraded or prograde product. Typically, a little thicker, more durable, better formulations, less in the way of recycled materials and certainly a more professional grade of a product. On the online resellers side of things, there are some great online specialty shops that really specialize in vinyl fencing, for example we have a Duramax fence store and our Duramax fences .com site really specialize on offering a prograde product whether it’s through our dealers in specific areas, or whether it’s through direct online sales in areas where we don’t have dealers. If you find a right online store you can get prograde products at a great value, because there are no overheads of warehousing and storing and all that stuff that you find with the home centers. That being said fence contractors and online stores are big GO TO places for a commercial prograde product that I would recommend for most homeowner that are looking for vinyl fencing.
QUESTION: What are the pros and cons of buying from each of these sources?
ANSWER: The pros I think are typically when you’re buying from fence contractors, it’s an installed product, they rarely sell you the materials because they are selling you their product and installation. The advantage of buying from Home Centers’ is that you can have your gardener or someone else install it for you, so from a budget standpoint that might work out for you better. But then again, it’s better to get a professional to install it securely. When you are buying vinyl online you are able to get a prograde product, if you buy it from the right store, with full instructions on installations. So that is a great way to save money and also have the full guidelines. So those are some of the pros & the cons, it really depends what you are looking for. If you’re looking for full service then the fence contractor dealer is your way to go. If you’re looking for a good quality product then you can buy it online at the right specialized store and share the instructions with a gardener or landscaper or even a fence contractor, or any contractor to install it for you. If you are looking for something that is within a budget, then you may want to buy it from a Home Center, because and go through the challenges of installment with your own resources, whether that’s your gardener or whatever it is. Also, you don’t have as much guidance in terms of instructions helping you on how to get that done, because they aren’t as specialized in that particular area.
QUESTION: Does brand mean much?
Answer: It’s not commonly known, but definitely different brands of fencing do give different grades of quality and are different in performance. For example, some brands are really focused on being in different parts of the country, due to the various characteristics taken into consideration with vinyl fencing. Vinyl is a product that has a number of qualities that need to be considered in the different areas such as heat deflection, UV stability, and impact resistance. These qualities are important in order to avoid the fencing from turning yellow under the sun, or cracking when hit with freezing temperatures. So obviously when you are making a fence for the cold weather in New York, it’s going to be different when you are making a fence for the dessert sun in Nevada. So you have different grades of products, different manufacturers that really carter to their regions. The nice thing about Duramax is that it’s a Western company designed for the Western Climate, the Southwest sun. The UV resistance, the heat deflection becomes number one on the list of quality characteristics of the Duramax product. Then you have things like heat deflection for the sun, and the impact resistance for sub-zero weather, where you ask yourself if your vinyl is going to shatter. All of this is largely associated with the quality of the product, how much regrinds are used. Duramax runs its product with virgin materials, we don’t use regrinds from outside our factory. To that extent you definitely want to be mindful of what your purchasing and from who. The one guideline I will give is to look at who the manufacturer is and make sure you have a solid manufacturer’s warranty, because when there is no brand and it’s a generic type of product then you don’t really know what you are buying or who is standing behind it. You want to research the manufacturer, go to their website make sure that you have the confidence that if anything should go wrong you are going to be backed up. Everyone may claim warranty. However, the thing is you want to go with a trusted company that not only gives you a warranty but that ensures you that you are not going to have any problems where you may need to use it. You don’t really ever want to exercise that warranty because who wants to go and change a fence that’s yellowing or a fence that’s cracked. This being said, its best to stick with companies that have reputable brands that you recognize and that you can go to their websites and see that they know what they are talking about as opposed to some off-beat company who may also give you warranty but you are more luckily to actually exercise that warranty at some point which will end up being a nightmare.
QUESTION: What are the best ways to buy Duramax vinyl fences?
ANSWER: If you go to the Duramax Fences .com site you can find authorized Duramax dealers. If you are in an area where there is no dealer, then you have the option to buy the specific product you are looking for right there on the site. My first stop would be to go to Duramaxfences.com