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Member Profile
Fairbanks Block & Building Materials
The Associated General Contractors of Alaska logo
Member Profile
Fairbanks Block & Building Materials
Fairbanks Block & Building Materials
Striving to Be Essential
Fairbanks Block & Building Materials specializes in having ideal building components for northern clients
By David A. James

rom oilfield supplies to building blocks for F-35 hangars, municipal sidewalk tiles, home foundations, and landscaping solutions, Fairbanks Block & Building Materials strives to be the first place customers think to go.

“We have a retail store here in Fairbanks, and we stock a wide array of products,” says store manager Scott Frarey. “I would consider us the one-stop shop for finishing tools for finishers and masons.”

This means stocking a lot of products. “We supply sacked goods, concrete mixes, mortar mixes, aggregates. We do concrete restoration products, decorative concrete, grouts, cures, sealers,” he explains. “Everything from geotextiles if you’re building a road to block if you’re building a foundation—if you’re building a house.”

It’s all about getting the right product into the customer’s hands, Frarey says.

“What I try to do for the contractor community and the homeowner community is try to be a problem solver for them; try to find the products they need for their projects. We take a lot of pride in the fact that if you have a hard-to-find product, or you have a complicated situation, that we can find the product that will help solve that for them.”

Frarey says the company supplies customers ranging from some of the largest operations in the Interior and Arctic right down to the person next door.

Defense contractors are among their biggest customers.

“What I try to do for the contractor community and the homeowner community is try to be a problem solver for them.”
–Scott Frarey
“We supplied architectural block for almost all of the F-35 buildings on Eielson,” Frarey recalls, adding that they also supplied more than a million pounds of non-shrink grout for the missile defense silos at Fort Greely.

“That was a big job,” he says.

The company is also a major supplier for state agencies like the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities. “For [DOT&PF], we provide quite a few structural grouts for bridgework. We provide a lot of ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant] tiles for intersections; a lot of structural concrete repair products.”

The company helps keep the oil fields on the North Slope running as well, with a steady flow of sealants and other vital necessities.

“Some of the products we supply, they use daily,” Frarey says.

“But,” he adds, “if a residential guy has a crack in his concrete driveway and walks in, we would help him just the same as we would help our big contract customers.”

The company’s range can’t easily be summarized, Frarey says. “To pick one job that explains everything we do is probably impossible.”

Fairbanks Block & Building Materials
Fairbanks Block & Building Materials strives to keep a range of items in stock to serve contractors and individual homeowners.
Scott Frarey, store manager of Fairbanks Block & Building Materials
Scott Frarey, store manager of Fairbanks Block & Building Materials, in the company’s yard.
Fairbanks Block & Building Materials is a division of Fairbanks Materials Inc., a part of Alaska Basic Industries, Inc., which in turn is a subsidiary of MDU Resources Group, Inc. While the ownership structure might sound complicated, the store operates like a local business, and Frarey proudly notes that longevity among his employees is a big part of the company’s success.

“I have a great crew, very knowledgeable sales people. And if we can’t help a customer on the spot, we will figure it out and get back to them as quickly as possible,” he says. “A lot of my employees have been here for a long time, so we must be doing something right.”

Staff stability and a focus on building relationships with customers is why Fairbanks contractor Skippy Johnston of Skippy, Inc. has been loyal to Fairbanks Block & Building Materials.

“There were other companies that sold masonry and concrete products in the Fairbanks area,” Johnston says. “But for Skippy, Inc., we decided that any company that treated us fair and showed us respect, we would be their customer for life.”

The Right Product for the Area
One of the most popular products the company supplies are Fox Blocks, insulated concrete forms that are popular in the Interior because of their high R-value, or insulation rating.

“It’s something that works quite well for our cold climate up here,” Frarey says. “It’s a form with insulation on both sides. They stack together like LEGO blocks and then you form concrete. You can do your foundation with them, and some people build their whole house with them. I consider us the premier distributor of that product line in the Interior.”

Fox Blocks are just one example of what Fairbanks Block & Building Materials has on offer.

“In the bigger picture, we’re much more than a block company,” Frarey says. “We want to supply the right products for the jobs up here, and we want to be a problem solver for the contractors and the residential customers and just keep things moving in the Interior.”

“We’ve been here a long time, and we’re proud of that,” he concludes. “We supply a lot of products for a lot of important jobs.”

David A. James is a freelance writer who lives in Fairbanks. Photos provided by Scott Frarey of Fairbanks Block & Building Materials.