Kerry Bell, First Trust & Savings Bank

Kerry BellWhen First Trust & Savings Bank in Watseka, Illinois, needed to renovate its office and lobby space — without any downtime — they turned to Key Builders to keep the wheels of finance turning.

Q: How did you first come in contact with Key Builders?

A: They bid on a renovation project here at the First Trust & Savings Bank. We were introduced by our architect in Champaign, Illinois.

They made us feel like we were their most important client.

Q: What did you look at when evaluating Key Builders?

A: We did our due diligence. We wanted to see their track record. They had worked with our architect before and had a good reputation with that firm. We checked out their other projects as well. We were impressed with their longstanding history. For a company to be around as long as they had, they must be doing something right.

Q: From your perspective, what are Key Builder’s best qualities?

A: They were always on schedule and on budget. They paid attention to detail and they communicated well. If an unforeseen issue arose, they communicated with us to resolve it in the way that was best for us as the client. 

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Q: How did Key Builders accommodate your business needs during construction?

A: Key Builders was flexible. We are a bank, and we needed to make sure that our doors remained open for business throughout the day. So any construction plans had to take this into account. Key Builders’ people were polite at the bank and with the customers. They became part of our bank family because they fit in well with us.

Q: What was it like to work with a firm from outside of your area?

A: We did have a concern about Key Builders being from outside the area, but we don’t have many local commercial construction firms. Even though Key Builders was from outside of the area, they went out of their way to seek out local subcontractors to partner with. It was important to us to be able to give the local subcontractors a chance to be a part of the project.

The best testimonial for me is that if I had the chance to do it over, I would hire them again.

Q: Do you have a favorite experience in working with Key Builders?

A: Key Builders’ people stayed in a hotel here in town and worked 10-hour days Monday through Thursday. I understand what it’s like to be away from home for work. I enjoy company, and so does my wife, and I know that there are only so many times you can go out to eat. So we hosted cookouts for the folks at Key and the subcontractors so they could have home-cooked steak dinners.

Q: How did working with Key Builders make you feel?

A: They made us feel like we were their most important client. They were always asking if we were satisfied with their work. The best testimonial for me is that if I had the chance to do it over, I would hire them again.

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