Qualified Remodeler

Add Value to Product

The February NAHB Remodeler of the Month offers multiple design, decorating and handyman services

authors Kacey Larsen 

Jeremy Kelley, CGR, CAPS

Kelley Building Company

Lexington, Ky.


Title: President

Year Founded: 2007

Number of Employees: 12


When and how did you choose this career? Growing up in a very rural area of western Kentucky forced me to do many things with my own two hands, from loading tobacco to fixing most anything that was broken around the house, tractors and vehicles. For a few summers after high school, I worked with Architectural Designer Dave Waterland to build a large custom home. Doing so gave me the willingness to design homes, work with my hands and the confidence I could build anything. Even though I graduated with a degree in business, I was regularly in art, drafting and design classes. After college, I quickly figured out that sitting in a cubical was not for me, so I decided to start building creative decks and fences during the housing boom. In late 2006, I decided to start Kelley Building Company, DBA KBC Design/Build, a full-service residential construction company.

What does being part of NAHB mean to you? NAHB provides a venue where I can improve my business and contribute to our industry as a whole. Becoming a member of a NAHB 20 Club, a peer group of up to 20 members, has been a game changer for my business! Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

Where do you go to look for solutions and ideas for your business? The NAHB International Builders’ Show and Kitchen & Bath Industry Show are great venues for new ideas, but my NAHB 20 Club is my best resource for solutions and ideas.

What is the best advice you’ve received in your career? To quote Bob Peterson, “Revenue kills; profit thrills.”

How has the remodeling profession changed since you’ve been involved? Customers have higher customer service expectations. Social media makes it easier to get your product to the market.

Finding qualified labor is a challenge — are you hiring this year and how are you going about finding the right people for your company? We are hiring this year. Personality tests are a great way to find the right fit for the position you want to fill. We are committed to interviewing several candidates to find the right fit. Our local HBA has recently started a Building Institute to train our future tradesman. I currently have one student employed.  

Right now, what is your focus as a remodeler — more growth or steady revenue at greater profitability? A little of both, but profitability is definitely at the top of the list. As usual, 10 percent net profit is our goal; we just need to do a better job of attaining it.

What is your favorite item in your office? Sonos sound system.

What have you done to grow your business during the current economy? I look for ways to add value to our product. We now offer multiple design and decorating services, a 24/7 online access to their project schedule and handyman services for our clients.

Many remodelers are reporting increases in their average job size in 2015, are you seeing this as well? Yes, average job size has increased in 2015.  

What is your No. 1 source of leads right now, and why is it working? Referrals are our No. 1 lead source. If you provide a great service, you will always have referrals.

What motivates you every day? The families that depend on KBC and great design.

If you could have a 30-minute conversation with any business leader in the country to pick their brain for business ideas, who would it be? Lee Cockerell.  

What did you do before becoming a remodeler? I built designer decks, porches and fences.

Anything else you’d like to mention about career accomplishments? I would like to thank my staff for being committed to KBC’s success. Thank you Jason Hester, Kim Crowley, Ellie Bryant, Deborah Raad, Tim Kincaid, Gerald Patterson, Chris Schenk, Dustin Van Zent, Luc Gauthier, Carl St. Peir, Martin Castello, John Nepala, and Andrew Campbell.

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