Prairie Home Alliance

Trust in Home Improvement
by Sara Browning

An umbrella for multiple companies throughout central Illinois, Prairie Home Alliance has been “a friend in the business” to thousands since 1976.

Having built exclusive relationships with the finest suppliers in the country, it’s no wonder Prairie Home Alliance is known as Illinois’ leader in home improvement projects. With more than 100,000 completed jobs, the company has established a sterling reputation in central Illinois through its stability in an unstable industry, delivering worry-free home improvement at a great value.

“A lot of companies come and go in this business,” says Steve Jackson, president of Prairie Home Alliance. “But we have good, solid employees who care about the job and the customers for whom they work. Our total focus is on how we can best serve our customers’ home improvement needs through professional and timely communication, installing the best products by experienced craftsmen and delivering on our promises.”

The employees at Prairie Home Alliance strive to place their best foot forward to deliver a wonderful experience for all of its customers. They want them to witness firsthand the caliber of the company’s commitment and the services it has to offer, with the goal of building trust, relationships and longevity in the community.

“We know home improvement projects can sometimes be a ‘scary’ thing for homeowners,” says Jackson. “We’ve been family-owned and operated for nearly four decades, and we understand a family’s home is their most valuable asset. Our employees are dedicated to protecting and improving our customers’ most cherished investment. Our mission is to bring ultimate legitimacy to the home improvement industry.”

The Road Forward
Jackson, originally from Indianapolis, graduated from Butler University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. A few days later, he married his fiancée, Maggie, and they moved to Chicago, where he began working for the Dow Chemical Company. Early in his career, Jackson was tasked with introducing Dow Styrofoam to the remodeling market in Illinois.

“I left Dow in 1982 to go to work for the great people at Lumberyard Suppliers (LS) here in East Peoria. I worked for LS from 1982 until 1992. In that timeframe, I observed and became acquainted with almost every home improvement dealer from Chicago to St. Louis. It was an invaluable experience that I enjoyed immensely.”

In 1992, Jackson came to Peoria Siding. “I joined forces with Mike O’Reilly, who founded Peoria Siding in 1976. My good friend and trusted partner, Scott Spitznagle, joined our efforts in 1994.” Two years later, Jackson, O’Reilly and Spitznagle began branding the companies they acquired under the umbrella of Prairie Home Alliance.

“We made the businesses members of Prairie Home Alliance,” he explains. “They operate from their own locations with their own general manager and sales staff. We manage the administrative part here at Prairie Home Alliance.”

Over the years, Jackson and his colleagues added Cramer Siding and Window in Champaign (1993); Alumaside Siding and Window in Bloomington (1996); St. Joseph Siding and Window in Danville (1997); JB&D Siding and Window in Galesburg and Macomb (1997); and Bigg’s Home Improvement and American Siding and Window (2000).

“We looked for businesses that have a stellar reputation,” Jackson explains. “Businesses that are owned and operated by people who are fair-minded and treat their customers and employees well.” In 2003, they added a group of companies owned and operated by David Russell, who continues to be a valued partner and manager at Woodfront Kitchens, Gutter Helmet, B Dry Basement Systems and Custom Bath Solutions. O’Reilly and Spitznagle have both retired but are greatly credited for the success, growth and customer satisfaction for which Prairie Home Alliance has become known.

Attributing the business’ vast growth to its strong customer base, Jackson says he never takes his clients for granted. “Collectively, this group has well over 100,000 customers. We add about 5,000 new customers every year. Operating in Illinois is no easy task, but we love the people here. I am so grateful to our wonderful employees, most of whom are central Illinois-born and bred. I am proud of the bond of trust that we have built with our previous customers.”

Services Provided, Promises Kept
When it comes to home improvement, the employees at Prairie Home Alliance know how to satisfy customers—with products backed by the best warranties in the industry. Whether re-facing kitchen cabinets; building a deck; installing a gutter helmet; or replacing siding, windows or roofing, they possess the experience and expertise to improve customers’ lives by improving their home.

“I think it’s easier to tell our customers the things we don’t do, rather than try to tell them all the services we provide,” Jackson says with a smile. A majority of home improvement projects take place outside the home, including roofs; entry, storm, patio and French doors; screen rooms; patio covers; pergolas; awnings; window shades; and decorative trim, to name a few. Inside, the Prairie Home Alliance team specializes in kitchen cabinet re-facing through Woodfront Kitchens, complete bathroom remodeling through Custom Bath Solutions, and basement water problems through B Dry Basement Systems.

Guaranteeing decades of worry-free home living, Prairie Home Alliance team members are experts at installing Preservation Windows, which are backed by a fully transferable, lifetime limited warranty to not only protect homeowners, but assist in the resale value of the home. “Peace of mind and total satisfaction should be the result of any good home remodeling project,” Jackson declares.

And with the diverse range of products at Prairie Home Alliance, there’s never just an option or two. Sunrooms are available in an array of designs, styles and colors to satisfy any homeowner’s particular preference and help bring the beauty of the outdoors inside. Other products, such as siding, help fulfill customers’ desire for an exquisite home exterior at a value they will seldom find anywhere else. A kaleidoscope of colors and accessories plays on their creativity while brightening the home with an exterior that’s beautiful and easy to maintain.

With each and every product, Prairie Home Alliance never overlooks the importance of attention to detail. Every facet of home improvement—from deciding between the Avant or Impressions collections to accent a stained-glass entry door to choosing between granite and marble kitchen countertops—features only the highest quality, durability, comfort and luxury to transform a house into a home uniquely fitted to each customer’s personality, style and preference.

Because the staff understands that quality products help foster a strong customer base, it makes full use of Prairie Home Alliance’s indoor showroom. “Our state-of-the-art showroom gives our customers a firsthand visual of the quality and beauty of our products,” says Jackson. “It means more to people if they can see the finished product. It’s easier for them to envision a real-world perception of their project.”

Prairie Home Alliance also makes full use of modern technology to showcase its products to customers. “Customers can bring us a digital picture of their home, and we’ll be able to show them how our product will appear as part of their home,” Jackson explains. “We are working every day to find new ways to make it an easy and worry-free process.”

Setting Itself Apart
The team at Prairie Home Alliance understands there’s no magic formula for great customer service. It’s the little things—the tiniest details—that often succeed in setting a business apart. For example, the company uses no subcontractors.

“All of our installers are our own employees,” Jackson explains. “[They] are backed by a production department with over 50 years of experience. Our motto is: ‘Experience you can trust.’ Should any issues ever arise with projects we’ve completed on your home, you can trust that we’ll have skilled personnel to take care of anything on the jobsite. If there is a discrepancy, it’s always resolved in the homeowner’s favor. We do everything we can to handle your project with professionalism and meet or exceed your expectations.”

Prairie Home Alliance also sets itself apart through its community involvement. “We are a part of this community and have been for decades,” Jackson says, noting the business has been involved with St. Jude, Easter Seals and the Peoria Riverfront. Integrating community involvement with customer satisfaction is the ideal recipe for success in business, and—let’s not forget—a little bit of fun! “Our customers love what we are able to do for them. It’s a big deal when people take their hard-earned money and trust you with it to accomplish some really fun, cool projects. We’re not just improving homes—we’re making people’s lives better.” iBi

Prairie Home Alliance is located at 203 Eastgate Drive in Washington. For more information, visit prairiehomealliance.com or call (309) 699-9517.

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