Able Homebuilders makes such a priority of “giving back” that volunteering with local charities and participating in local industry groups is a key to its success.

Some 90% of its business is from referrals and repeats — many of them subcontractors, building inspectors, electricians, and others who know enough about construction to appreciate the Delfs' integrity, work ethic, and craftsmanship.

Able's projects range from $40 repairs for repeat customers to $40,000 remodels. But all of its work is distinctly Iowan. Tornado scares are common in summer, so the brothers (center) incorporate storm-safe rooms into projects when possible, along with water evacuation systems for foundations. In a nod to the cold winters, the company is a champion of energy-efficient building practices and a long-time partner of the EPA's Energy Star program.

Another hallmark is green building practices and recycling. Calculating the payoff isn't always possible, says Willie. “Our profit is more in the sense of knowing that we are producing a superior product for our customers and preparing for longer term benefits for everyone.”