Jul

18

The Fabulous Benefits of Fiberglass Windows

When you put the time and energy into window replacement in Milwaukee, you want to make sure you’re investing your money into the absolute best product available. While wood and vinyl windows have their virtues, Ultrex® fiberglass windows from Infinity® from Marvin offer an impressive combination of durability and strength.

Callen Blog - Fiberglass Windows 071816RGBA Unique Process

Ultrex fiberglass is formed through an intricate process that coats strong glass cables with a specially-formulated resin. The cables are then heated, cured, and cut with a diamond-impregnated sawblade. This technique results in an extremely long-lasting product that is stronger and more durable than other window materials, including wood and vinyl. Ultrex fiberglass is eight times stronger than vinyl, making it as strong as carbon steel. Its life expectancy is also 38% longer than vinyl.

Ease of Maintenance & Operation

Wood windows will expand and swell with the weather, but fiberglass windows have low expansion rates. This means they will not warp or stick, so you will be able to enjoy many years of smooth window operation. Low thermal expansion also keeps the window stable and sealed tight, so air won’t leak into or out of your home. The strength of fiberglass – 41,000 pounds can be supported by just one square inch! – means thinner profiles that duplicate the style of wood windows. These narrower profiles also mean a better view for you, with an expanded area of glass to broaden your views and let in more light.

First-Class Finish

Unlike the thin painted finish that some competitors use, ours is made of stronger stuff. With up to three times the thickness, Ultrex’s mechanically-bonded acrylic finish is much smoother and more attractive, and its performance exceeds that of other fiberglass windows. This patented commercial-grade coating is virtually impervious to dents and scratches, and will not warp like vinyl windows or rot like wood windows. Best of all, it doesn’t have to be sanded or painted!

Call for a Window Quote

Callen Construction installs Infinity® from Marvin fiberglass replacement windows in Brookfield, WI, and surrounding areas. For more information about this product line and to request a free quote, call 414-765-2585 today!

Jul

11

Tips for “Greening” the Kitchen

Callen Blog - Green Kitchen Remodeling Tips 071116By Paulette Sodemann

The Green Building movement is getting more buzz these days as homeowners and remodelers strive to reduce their carbon footprint. Going green in the home can mean many things from energy efficiency to recycling to remodeling instead of tearing it down and starting over.

“Remodeling provides an excellent opportunity to reuse existing materials while adding upgrades to the home that make it more energy efficient, less toxic, and more beautiful,” said Callen Designer Paulette Sodemann. “As the green movement grows, product selection is expanding too with many options for the environmentally-conscious homeowner,” she said “There is an abundance of countertop, flooring, and cabinet options, which are not only green, but look beautiful as well.”

  • For countertops, consider bamboo, recycled glass, salvaged wood, butcher block, concrete, or stainless steel. Granite, of course, is still very popular, but instead of leaving a big carbon footprint by importing slabs from Brazil, Italy, Africa, or other faraway locations, consider sourcing locally, or within a reasonable radius.
  • When it comes to wood cabinets, choose sustainable timber from fast-growth trees, such as maple, birch, alder, and poplar, species that typically grow to full size in 10 years. Wood cabinetry certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) ensures that wood products come from fast-growth rather than slow-growth trees.
  • Green flooring materials include eucalyptus, bamboo, Marmoleum®, linoleum, cork, and reclaimed wood. But again, even though many homeowners enjoy the features and benefits of cork and bamboo, consider the carbon footprint left to move the product from the point of origin to the point of distribution.
  • Green remodeling also includes improving the quality of air inside the home. There are many sources that contribute to bad indoor air quality including outside pollutants and toxic chemicals existing in the home – such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from glues, sealants, paints, and coatings. Green remodeling seeks to remedy these issues with better ventilation systems and using wood, paint, and sealants that are low VOC.
  • When choosing appliances, look for the Energy Star® or WaterSense® label for the best efficiencies. There is a wide array of kitchen faucets in pull-down, hands-free, and traditional styles that deliver the power needed in the kitchen, yet save water. Besides the Energy Star label on refrigerators and dishwashers, even more energy saving can occur with using a convection oven and induction cook top, which cook very fast, reducing usage of heat.

Callen’s design specialists have plenty of ideas on how to use green materials in your remodeling projects. Call Callen, the leading remodeling company in Brookfield, to get started.

Jul

04

Eco-Friendly Materials

Callen Blog - Eco Friendly Exterior Products 070416By Christopher Wittmann, CR

Remodeling your home to contain eco-friendly materials not only saves the Earth, but it also aids in more efficient heating and cooling, lowered utility bills, and increased resale values. Christopher Wittmann, CR, an exterior product specialist with Callen, lists the top eco-friendly products for home improvement.

“Eco-friendly materials not only keep your family safe from toxins, but also reduce harm to the environment and saves energy,” said Christopher. “If it’s a product that will only be on the house for a short period of time, they’re more likely to end up in the landfills, unable to break down. These materials aren’t always based on what they’re made of, but how sustainable they are and how long they will be in place in your house.”

The key component in reducing this activity is to review materials that are safe for the environment in the first place, and at a level of quality that won’t have to be frequently replaced. When you’re planning your remodel, make sure you inspect the materials being used to be sure they’re eco-friendly.

  1. Low or Non-VOC Products

Certain paints, adhesives, caulks and flooring materials contain volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). VOC’s, such as formaldehyde, can leak out over time and pose a health hazard. Examples of low or non-VOC materials include water-based wood finishes, cork or bamboo flooring, countertops made of recycled materials, and exterior composite materials such as fiber cement siding.

  1. Vinyl Products

“Products made with plasticizers such as certain flooring materials, vinyl siding, and windows are made with chemicals that can ‘off-gas’ or emit small amounts of vinyl chloride, a known carcinogen in humans,” Christopher said. “There is enough third-party information available supporting this, resulting in consumers reviewing other options that are safer for their family and their home.”

  1. High-Performance Windows

Windows and patio doors can let in a lot of natural light, but they can also let out a lot of wasted heating and cooling energy at the same time. “In our zone, double-pane windows with insulated, low-emissivity, or ‘Low-E’ glass will have a higher return on investment by saving more energy in heating and cooling,” said Christopher. “Window frames made with high quality wood or fiberglass won’t expand and contract in hot and cold temperatures, resulting in longer-preserved insulation performance and sustainability. These higher quality window products along with the recommended installation methods will also reduce the likelihood that they will be replaced prematurely.”

  1. Insulation, Air Sealing and Ventilation

“Over 80% of houses are under-insulated. While poor-performing doors and windows account for some of the energy loss, attics, walls, and floors with poor insulation accounts for the majority of this deficit,” Christopher said. “In addition to ensuring that our homes are properly insulated, air sealing, or restricting the passage of air through leaks in the walls, floor, and ceilings, will result in less energy-use and money spent in heating or cooling the home.”

  1. Low-Voltage/LED/Solar Lighting

Christopher explained that while outdoor spotlights are nice for lighting up the yard, they use a lot of unnecessary energy. “You waste a lot of energy by leaving your spotlights on all night,” he said. “If truly necessary, install motion sensors. The best way to save energy and the environment is with LED and solar lights.”

Callen’s exterior product specialists can assist you in installing products that are good for the environment. Call Callen, the leading remodeling company in Brookfield, for tips on how to get started.

Jun

27

Adding Up: An Attic Conversion Planning Guide

Callen Blog -  Attic Conversions 062716If your family is growing and you need extra space, or you would simply like to expand with a home office or hobby room, you might be considering a room addition. However, with the cost of a room addition ranging in the tens of thousands of dollars, it may be wise to first take a look at your attic and see if it can qualify for an attic conversion.

Be Aware of Rules & Regulations

As with most building projects, there are a multitude of building codes and regulations to consider before doing an attic conversion. They may vary slightly from place to place, so be sure to ask your Callen representative about building codes for your community.

  • Adequate space. Your attic room should have at least 70 square feet of floor space, with half of the usable space having a ceiling height of at least five feet, and the other half being 7-7.5 feet or higher. There must be at least seven feet of floor space in each direction, so the room at minimum should be 7’ x 10’.
  • Strong floors. For your attic floor to be strong enough to support a habitable room, it must be able to bear a load capacity of 30 pounds per square foot. Callen, the leading remodeling company in Milwaukee, is familiar with and responsible for following the codes that will ensure a strong floor.
  • Safe stairs. An attic being used as a living space must have a structurally sound staircase to allow access to it. It must be at least 36″ wide, with treads 9.5-10″ deep. Risers should be 7¼- 7¾” high, and the stairs must allow for 80″ or more of headspace.
  • Exit points. In addition to stair access, an attic must have another point of egress to meet fire safety codes, which means that you will need a window that can be opened in case of an emergency. The size and placement of attic windows is regulated and local codes must be consulted before installing.

If you think your attic may be a candidate for a conversion and you’re looking for advice from the best remodeling company in Lake Country, look no further than Callen. We know the codes and will have you well on your way to a new living space before you know it! Call us today at 414-529-5509.