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Frequently Asked Questions



Your questions. Our answers. You can't Google these!

Probably. We’ve been in business for 15 years. Unless you have an extremely rare architectural style, then we’ve seen a version of your home. We’ve worked in anything from 100% concrete homes to 90% glass homes to conventional construction from the 1900s on.

We start like this:

Showroom Tour:

  • This is a Zoom call where we discuss who we are, and if we’re a good fit.

Site Discovery (No cost):

  • We’ll come out, take photos. and gather information to get you a budget range.

Design Agreement:

  • We put this simple document together for you to explain the scope, budget, and fees.


  • This is where we measure the home, you meet our designer, and we’re off and going.

Concept Review:

  • We’re going to show you what your new home could look like and connect with you for feedback and adjustments.


  • This is a powerful step where we bring multiple trades into your home to evaluate and understand your project to provide an accurate estimate specific to your home renovation.  
  • During this phase, we’re providing you with over 100 years of combined experience. Finally, you will receive our First Professional Estimate.

For an in-depth description of our process please click here. 

People run the processes!

  • Brooke will guide you at each step along the way.  
  • Amanda will make it look amazing and function exactly the way you wish it to be.
  • Kent our Production Manager will provide an accurate estimate.

Eventually, you’ll meet one of our Project Managers, and they are on site every day, ensuring your home is being taken care of through construction.

Brooke Smejkal

  • Brooke is our Design Consultant. She’ll be with you through the entire design process. Her job is to take care of you.

Amanda McBirnie

  • Amanda is our architectural designer. She makes everything she’s involved with look amazing. Every rendering, floor plan, color, and texture has passed through Amanda to ensure a compelling project.

Kent Simmons

  • Kent is our production manager. He’s the head of our production department and is capable of making every and any production decision needed.

Nick Woodward

  • Nick is a project manager, and during your home renovation, is at your home daily. He’s the leader of the project and is in direct contact with you to ensure your project runs smoothly. Nick bends over backward to ensure that your home is a statement of excellence.

Mark Shulz

  • Mark is a project manager, and during your home renovation, is at your home daily. He’s the leader of the project and is in direct contact with you to ensure your project runs smoothly. Mark’s smooth delivery and calm-confidence is a powerful asset as we take homes apart and then complete the plan to reassemble them.

Brett Nday

  • Brett is a samurai of sawdust. He’s one of those guys who can see in 3D and can make anything made of wood look fantastic.

Michelle McClintic

  • Michelle is the keeper of the cash. She’s responsible for paying all of our team, subcontractors, and vendors and sending out those pesky invoices to our customers.

Nicole Hill

  • Nicole is our administrative assistant and knows no job description she couldn’t expand. From keeping the printer going to keeping ten people’s calendars running, she’s got it under control.

Denise Smithson Green

  • Denise runs the show. The more responsibilities Denise gets, the happier she becomes. In the span of her career, she’s managed financial institutions at one extreme to the performing arts at the other. She’s the tip of the spear on every process and procedure here at CH.

Rusty Green

  • Rusty started Compelling Homes in 2009, but that doesn’t mean he knows it all. You’ll find him drawing on walls and constantly leading the team to push the boundaries of the entire remodeling experience.

You will be working with Compelling Homes, and not some mystery company that your entire project has been “subbed out” to.

Brooke, who works for Compelling Homes, will guide you at each step along the way through the entire design process. She even shows up occasionally to see the project once the guys have started.  

Amanda, our designer, will be responsible for all drawings, colors, fixtures, textures, etc. She’s been with us for three years and is amazing to work with.

Kent is our Production Manager. All “things production” roll up to him, and our two project managers report and work with Kent to ensure that once your home is underway, expectations and deadlines are being met.

At the Pre-Construction Meeting, you’ll meet one of our Project Managers.

  1. Mark Shulz
  2. Nick Woodward

For more on our Product Managers, check out our "Tell Me About Your Team" tab above.

Yes, and insured nicely. 

At any given time, quite a few. We love this stuff! 

However, if you’re asking how many projects we have underway at one time, the most we’ll do is four projects per project manager, so the most we can have cooking is eight projects simultaneously.

That said, in design, we can have many. We structure the production to be able to provide customer service throughout your project. 

Nothing like what you see on HGTV. That’s drama for TV and not reality.

The mechanical and electrical systems in your home may be insufficient for your future needs. 

In-depth conversations about relocation of your new appliances and what impact that has on your home, outside of the kitchen.

If your home was built before 1976, we should discuss asbestos and lead-based paint.  

  • During both the design process and during construction, we’ll invite you to our portal to track all choices, finances, and progress.
  • Our project managers are in your home managing your project daily. We will provide a written lookahead weekly to ensure we’re moving towards completion.
  • Do you prefer texts, emails, or old-school phone calls? We can accommodate.

Great question.

  • We wish you didn’t have to ask this; however, it can be a part of major renovations.
  • Communication is key.  We have a mantra: "The only thing almost as good as the good news is bad news delivered immediately”.   Ultimately you will know if the unforeseen setback impacts finances or schedule before the work occurs.

We review and adjust your estimate at least 3 times. During our first Discovery Meeting, we gain more detailed information about your project and put together a budget range.

After you authorize the budget range, we move into approval of the Design Agreement, which captures your wants and needs. 

Finally, we go shopping and work through all of the selections, update the estimate, and provide you with a Contract Proposal.  Now it’s time for construction!

As part of the remodel, there are a couple of ways costs can increase. One is if you, the client, add items and scope of work. The other is unforeseen circumstances. We can’t dismantle your home before we write an estimate, but at a certain point, we want to drill some holes and place a camera in the walls to determine what’s inside. We will educate you and identify risk before we begin so as to offer up best and most accurate scenario.

No “hidden costs” but in any remodel, we run the potential for hidden expenses through finding rot, termites, unforeseen circumstances, etc.

We don’t bait and switch our customers into a budget, and then increase costs. 

For the design process:

  • 1/3 at the signing of the agreement
  • 1/3 at estimating
  • 1/3 at shopping.

For the construction process:

  • 10% deposit
  • Weekly invoices throughout the project, up to the final contract amount.

Yes, we do. We keep the design fee and construction costs separate for full cost disclosure.

No. Contrary to what some businesses may lead you to believe, we can’t just “throw" the design fee into the construction.
RUN AWAY if you’re being told that the design fee is “free” or can be “thrown into" the job.

“ABC” — Always Be Cleaning. 

To quote Nick, one of our Project Managers: 
"Always be cleaning" is a motto that holds true in any workplace, especially on a construction site. Leaving debris around the job site can create a mindset that it's acceptable to be messy. To encourage tradespeople to pick up after themselves, it's important to make them aware that their actions are noticed. My philosophy is that dedicating a little bit of time to cleaning up each day reinforces the idea that debris is not welcome on the site. A clean workspace can lead to greater safety by eliminating potential hazards caused by clutter.

We ONLY remodel. We don’t build homes, strip malls, dental offices, or anything other than luxury design build remodeling.

Design build remodeling can only work when you have a team of artists and engineers under the same roof. We’re all employees of Compelling Homes, and we can walk down the hall and discuss design questions with the production team every day.

The staff and leadership here at Compelling Homes have a combined history of 108 years in the construction industry. So, when your project hits our desk, here’s who’s looking at it:

  • Amanda. Designer, 10 years designing and building beautiful spaces.
  • Brooke.  Design Consultant, 10 years in the business is responsible for walking you through the entire design process.
  • Denise. General Manager, on the design team and a leader/award winner in the Des Moines area construction industry.
  •  Kent. Production manager, with over 20 years in the business. Responsible for building out all of the specs and details that pertain to your home, not a generic spec-home.
  • Mark. Project Manager with a passion for delivering and meeting expectations that are far higher than the norm.
  • Nick. Project manager who started in mechanical drafting. His attention to the smallest detail will floor you.
  • Brett. The creator of beautiful sawdust.  Over 20 years in the carpentry industry, and we’re 100% confident he can build anything out of wood.
  • Rusty. 34 years in the industry and dedicated his life to creating spaces where people can be the best version of themselves.

You bet we do! We offer a 3-year warranty for all aspects of your home that we were part of the construction.