Four Simple Ideas for Cleaning and Organizing Your Home

Four Simple Ideas for Cleaning and Organizing Your HomeWe all struggle with keeping our homes tidy from time to time. As a premier remodeling company, Callen Construction loves working with clients to make their homes as comfortable as possible. We’re happy to share these tips to help make your home a little neater and a little cleaner.

  • Hold off on buying storage bins and containers. Before heading for the store, take stock of the areas you want to clean up and organize, then sort through and decide what to keep and what to pitch. Once you have familiarized yourself with what is left, you’ll know which organizing products will work best, and as you shop, you will be able to picture exactly what will be going in them.
  • Don’t overload your space. Whether it’s books on the bookshelf, knick-knacks scattered around the room, or family pictures, too much of anything will make your rooms seem disorganized and over-crowded. When it comes to organizing and displaying your personal items, less is more. And the nice thing about having fewer belongings is that it’s easier to clean around them.
  • Incorporate mini cleaning sessions. What’s the best way to keep a room clean? Don’t let it get dirty in the first place! For example, take a few minutes each morning or evening to wipe down the bathroom mirror and do a once-over of the sink and counter. The same can be done in the kitchen for the sink, countertops, and table. A few minutes of cleaning every day can save you from heavy scrubbing later.
  • Move your message center. Nothing makes a kitchen look messier than a refrigerator buried under invitations, school papers, sticky notes, and photos, so clear off the fridge and instead hang a bulletin board in your kitchen that can be used to corral all those items. The best option could be a dry-erase/bulletin board combo that is designated as the message center of the house, where everyone knows to check for important reminders and messages.

From kitchen upgrades to basement refinishing, Callen staff the skills and training to tackle any size project within our realm of expertise. Give us a call today at 414-765-2585 and let’s get started on your next remodeling project.



Installation of Energy Efficient Windows Continues to be a Popular Home Improvement

Does your home seem cool in the winter and warm in the summer? If so, it may be worth your while to investigate this inconvenience, rather than ignore it. Chances are, the culprits of your discomfort are outdated windows.

Older windows often leak air between your house and the outdoors, which makes your heating and cooling systems work overtime. “Replacing your home’s old windows with properly sealed, energy efficient replacement windows is a step in the right direction,” said Christopher Wittmann, CR, an exterior product specialist with Callen. “Installing energy-efficient windows will not only lower energy bills, but also improve your comfort and reduce condensation,” Christopher said.

Faulty windows are one of the primary sources of energy drain in an average home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, traditional windows can waste up to 30% of energy used to heat or cool a building. “If you don’t want your energy dollars to seep through the cracks, it’s important to replace your out-of-date windows with Energy Star rated windows,” Christopher said.

Installation of Energy Efficient Windows Continues to be a Popular Home ImprovementThere are two main ways in which new windows can increase home energy efficiency and comfort. First, they eliminate air exchange. When windows are sealed improperly, there is an exchange between the warm and cool air in your home and the outdoors. “Every time your home loses air, your heating and cooling systems have to work overtime to replace it and maintain the optimum temperature,” he said. “Properly sealed windows will eliminate these leaks and seal any drafts.”

Second, they provide proper insulation. Even with storm windows installed, single paned windows allow radiant energy to leave your home, while newer windows with insulated double-paned Energy Star rated glass provides a proper insulating seal around your home.

“The window replacement process is enjoyable and hassle-free at Callen,” Christopher said. “We offer a one-stop shopping experience, with knowledgeable guidance from your first visit all the way through installation. Whether it be a vinyl, wood or the more prevalent fiberglass products, Callen offers all the popular energy efficient patio door and window styles – double-hung, casement, glider, awning, bow, and bay.”

For more information or to arrange an initial showroom consultation, call Callen at 414-529-5509.



Basement Conversion Provides Extra Living Space and Higher Market Value

Basement Conversion Provides Extra Living Space and Higher Market ValueBasements have experienced a dramatic shift in reputation over the years. In the beginning, they were often a neglected space. Serving little purpose, other than extra storage space and collecting cobwebs, basements were deemed unlikely to yield a smart return on investment. As time has gone on, more and more homeowners are realizing the benefits of remodeling their lower levels into a potential living space.

“Basement conversion is such an inviting prospect because it is significantly less expensive than putting on an addition,” said Paulette Sodemann, a designer with Callen. More specifically, many architects and contractors put the cost savings of redoing a basement versus putting on an addition at one-third to one-half less, depending on project scope and area of the country. “Homeowners already own the space and taxes are paid on it; not to mention basements come equipped with a roof, walls, ceiling, foundation and sewer hookups in place,” she added. Consequently, a basement remodel adds value to your home, particularly in urban areas where extra square footage brings a premium.

According to Paulette, there are a few aspects homeowners should keep in mind when tackling a basement remodel. For instance, if your basement shows signs of water or moisture, it’s imperative to resolve these problems in order to avoid replacing furnishings. “Be sure to have a dehumidifier and have proper heating and cooling systems installed for a more comfortable atmosphere,” she said.

“It’s also important that your contractor know the local ordinances regarding the required number and sizes of exits for adding in a bedroom,” said Paulette.

In addition, it’s vital to never seal off existing mechanical systems, circuit breakers, and future plumbing lines. Professionals will need to have access to these for maintenance and repairs. “If needed, homeowners can always soundproof mechanical systems,” she explained.

Moreover, try not to chop up space. “Similar to how homeowners prefer open space on main floor living areas, it should be more open downstairs too,” Paulette said. “It makes the space more transitional of how you will use it as time goes by.”

Finally, homeowners don’t necessarily need to renovate their basement in a style that that is consistent with upstairs. “Basement conversion is unique to the individual. Whether a gym, a theater, or a playroom, the basement can be an outward expression of personality,” she said. “Our team of experts not only makes the necessary provisions, we will also advise you on how you can further optimize your basement design to ensure higher value for your home.”

For more information or to arrange an initial showroom consultation, call Callen at 414-529-5509.



4 Ways to Love the Home You’re In

Embellish the Front DoorDo you ever get bored with your home or overwhelmed by the endless tasks required to maintain it? If you have, you’re not alone. Dwelling on the less-than-perfect aspects of our home, however, can lead us to feel unhappy with our situation. To combat this, Callen Construction, the leading remodeling company in the Milwaukee area, recommends a few ideas that might help you better enjoy and appreciate your home.

Embellish the Front Door

Paint your door an attractive color and add some kind of decorative element to suit your taste, whether it be a wreath or a seasonal decoration. A pretty front door will give you a little boost every time you walk through it, and remind you how nice it is to have a place to come home to.

Start the Day Off Right

The bedroom is one place in the home that often gets neglected. Even if you don’t have time to clean the entire room, try to at least make the bed every morning. A neatly made bed is a great motivator to tackle the rest of the mess, and it will help you feel more prepared to face the day.

Clean in Spurts

Rather than getting discouraged by all that needs done in your home, try breaking your cleaning up into 15-minute sessions here and there as you have the time. Just turn on your favorite music, set the timer and get going. In the end, your home will be cleaner and you’ll be surprised by how much you accomplished.

Dress Up Your Table

Instead of saving your nicest dishes and flatware for company, use them for your own family. If you don’t have a separate set for company, mix and match what you do have and add your own special touch. Whether it be a new serving dish, a brightly patterned runner or tablecloth, or elegant tapers to light your meal, you can learn to love the home you’re in by making your dinner table a special place.

If your home is long overdue for some kitchen remodeling, give Callen a call at 414-765-2585. We can help make your home into a place you will love for many years to come.