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Right out of the gate

image L-R: Trails West Gate Company manager Bill Walker and owner John King

HOUSTON - Trails West Gate Company could design and install the grandest of gates to mark its Chappell Hill office entrance. Visitors could be greeted with iron images of Roman gods, majestic wildlife, or even the company’s logo.




    Ironically, though, the company has no gate – but that’s all for the better. First, there’s no need for one: Trails West Gate Company is located at 11440 Hwy. 290 E. – way out in the “don’t-fence-me-in” country. Plus, no gate means customers – and new general managers such as Bill Walker – can come right on in.
    Walker was enjoying early retirement when his pal, JK Welding owner John King, bought Trails West Gate Company and invited Walker to run it. Impressed and inspired by the artistic design and quality installation of the company’s custom gates, Walker came on board four months ago.
    King, Walker, longtime artist Lee Lee Brazeal, designer Emily Glass and shop employees Rickie Deshotel and Roland Gonzales work together to give clients the gates of their dreams. Starting with the designer’s conceptual drawings, the team ensures that the design is beautiful from every angle. Then, they put the plan into Google Earth for an aerial view and the engineer makes blueprints, including electrical markers, for all of the contractors. The heavy gauge steel custom gate is then installed on the property, along with brick or stone columns if needed, and custom overhead artwork if the client desires.
    Walker says that the gates his company creates can be highly detailed with all of the bells and whistles. For instance, the team is currently constructing a double-sided, rolling gate with color-changing lights positioned on the inside.
    “We’re proud of all of our gates because they’re one of a kind,” Walker says. “They’re not something that you can go into a hardware store and a tractor supply and buy. This is something that we put our heart and soul into.
    “As far as requests, each customer is individual. They have what they like, and so we try to custom-fit their gate to match what they want,” Walker continues. “We’ve done zoo entry gates where you have lions, giraffes and elephants in the gates. We did another gate where the client liked fishing, so we did big boats and marlin jumping out of the water. We’ve had deer and elk in designs before as well.”
    Trails West Gate Company offers sign inserts as well as gates, and Walker says custom gun racks are being added to their offerings. Trails West Gate Company installs throughout the United States and ships across the country and to England and the company is also striving to reach a variety of potential clients.
    “Our future plans are to expand and try to do more trade shows; in fact, we’ll be doing the county fair,” Walker says. “We love what we do, so we want to make sure we can keep doing that.”
    The team loves what they do so much that they sometimes have to stop and take a moment to enjoy their craftsmanship.
    “As we build a gate, we sit back and admire it ourselves, and say, ‘Wow, that’s pretty,’” Walker says.
    Don’t feel bad that Trails West Custom Gates doesn’t have its own gate to admire, for that may soon change. The future gate might even have a bovine theme and serve as a pet portrait, of sorts.
    “Emily and her roommate bring their dog out here once in a while, and they have been trying to talk me into letting them bring their miniature cow out here,” Walker says with a chuckle. “We’re going to need a gate to keep that cow in, but it would be a small gate since it’s a small cow!”
    Subcontractor Trails West Gate Company in Chappell Hill offers custom gate design and installation and sign inserts. –mjm

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Author Info

Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net