LED Lighting Outshines the Competition

Today’s manufacturers are designing LED light bulbs that have the ability to last for decades. When combined with their decreasing retail costs, it’s clear why LED lighting is becoming a popular and affordable option.

Doreen Schofield, CR, a designer with Callen, said technology alone hasn’t sparked these trends. “Newly enacted efficiency standards are also responsible for removing incandescent bulbs from the market in favor of environmentally friendly alternatives.”

LED lighting is the most energy efficient option, it ranks high in performance, and has an extended life. “When it comes to energy efficiency, LED lighting outperforms incandescent, halogen, and fluorescent bulbs,” Doreen said. “They convert almost all of the electricity they use into light instead of heat, unlike other bulbs. The unique design of LEDs makes them 90% more efficient than incandescent bulbs, which can significantly reduce annual energy bills.”

Like incandescent and halogen bulbs, LEDs produce bright light, instantly reach full power, and can be dimmed. They can even be repeatedly switched on and off, with no affect on the lifespan of the bulb. LED lights also come in an array of color options from yellows to blues, greens, reds and a number of other colors.

Finally, and perhaps most impressive, is the exceptionally long lifespan of LED bulbs; they shine bright for years and even decades beyond traditional light sources. “LEDs can survive up to three times longer than compact fluorescent, eight times longer than halogen, and 25 times longer than incandescent,” Doreen said. As a result, maintenance is kept to a minimum with LEDs because bulb replacement is virtually eliminated.

“On our first consultation with a homeowner, we talk a lot about lighting, its benefits, and the various types,” she said. “LED lights are typically the light of choice for under cabinet lighting, but they can also be used in can lights and appliance interiors. They are dimmable and very cool so that they won’t heat up the insides of cabinets or emit a lot of heat downward as some can lights do.”

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

LED lighting benefits



Remodeling Tips to Save Energy, the Environment

Remodeling Tips to Save Energy, the EnvironmentRemodeling your home sets up a clean slate to give it a new look and make your house more energy efficient. Not only will an energy-efficient home save money on utility bills, it will also make the home healthier and reduce its impact on the environment.

Christopher Wittmann, CR, an exterior product specialist with Callen, offers tips for creating a more energy-efficient living space.

“Start off your home’s remodel by checking for water intrusion, condensation, and excess moisture before you begin the project,” said Christopher. Excess moisture creates mold. By fixing these issues, you can improve your home’s indoor air quality.

Make sure your home is airtight to prevent heated or cooled air from escaping. This makes it easier to control the inside temperature in both summer and winter. “Wrapping the exterior walls of a house with an air barrier before installing siding or masonry will create a more energy-efficient home,” said Christopher. Another way to prevent heat from escaping is by adding more insulation to the attic or walls.

Replace old windows and exterior doors with newer, energy-efficient models,” he said. Look for double pane windows with Low E coating for optimal results. Correct insulation around your new windows and doors will further improve your home’s energy efficiency. All gaps should be properly caulked to prevent air from seeping into and out of the home.

Many older homes have poor airflow and ducts that leak, causing rooms to feel stuffy and uncomfortable. “Repair leaks in forced-air heating and cooling systems with duct sealant to make your home feel more comfortable,” Christopher said. “It also helps to upgrade heating and cooling systems, as inefficient systems have to work harder and use more energy.” Upgrading other appliances with ENERGY STAR equipment and new lighting will also reduce your home’s energy usage.

These energy efficient remodels will save money, increase the resale value of the home, and require less maintenance. Christopher noted, “We’re thrilled that doing the responsible thing—remodeling with energy efficiency in mind—is becoming common sense. Why not help the environment and yourself while improving your home?”

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



Tips for Transforming Small Interior Spaces

Tips for Transforming Small Interior SpacesSmall rooms can be cute and cozy, but they can also feel cramped and restricted. Doreen Schofield, a designer with Callen, offers tips on how to transform your tiny space into an airy abode.

“With the right colors and proper layout, any confined room can become a spacious sanctuary,” said Doreen.

Colors: Certain color combinations can positively change the feeling of a room. “You can make the space feel open by using different shades of the same color,” Doreen said. “Create this visual coherence by color coordinating the walls, rug, furniture, and accessories throughout the room. Dark colors absorb the light; so keep the walls and flooring a lighter color to create an airy feeling.”

Mirrors: Adding mirrors throughout your small space will reflect light and make the room feel larger than it actually is. To reflect the greatest amount of light, place mirrors across from windows. “For an extra twist, choose architectural-style mirrors to create the illusion of an additional window or door,” she said.

Furniture: “There are many ways to manipulate furniture to make the room seem bigger,” Doreen said. “Raised furnishings with exposed legs are ideal for small rooms as they create the illusion of more space.” Another option is to choose statement furniture that fills a room. “In small living rooms, one large couch instead of multiple small pieces decreases the look of clutter,” she said. Doreen also recommends pulling furniture away from the wall to make the space look more open and prevent a cramped feeling.

Rugs: You can separate one room into smaller spaces by using multiple rugs instead of one large rug. Another option is to use a striped rug to make the room appear longer. “Striped rugs have the same effect as vertical stripes on clothing,” Doreen said. “Orient the stripes to go the length of the room that is longest for optimal effect.”

She added, “It’s easy to make a room feel spacious with the right accessories and design. The designers at Callen Construction are here to help transform your home and give you that extra leg room.”

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



The Top 4 Outdoor Maintenance Projects for Autumn Days

Cooler weather makes autumn the perfect time to complete a multitude of home improvement projects. Taking care of these projects before really cold weather hits will drastically reduce the amount of time you have to spend on home maintenance in the winter months. Here are several tips from Callen Construction on the most essential fall projects to help get your home settled in for winter.

Examine the Roof

Winters can be brutal. Having a sturdy, leak-proof roof is vital to protect your home from the elements. Autumn is a good time to have a roofing professional do a yearly inspection to make sure your roof is in tip-top shape, and take care of repairs if necessary. If you prefer doing it yourself, keep an eye out for missing, cracked, or curling shingles.

Protect Lawn Furniture

Even the highest quality lawn and deck furniture will fade, rust and break down quickly when left to the mercy of the sun, wind, and other elements. Before winter sets in, make sure your furniture gets a thorough cleaning, then store it in a protected area or at least make sure it has an adequate cover. Check your deck or patio at the same time for loose or broken boards, nails that have popped, and bricks or stones that are cracked or loose.

Prep Your Lawn

Just like your house, your lawn needs to be prepped for winter. This is a little more involved than just raking leaves. Start by clearing out gardens and flowerbeds, then move on to aerating the lawn and fertilizing grass, bushes, and trees. The shortened days, cool temperatures, and heavy dews of autumn make it ideal for root development, so it’s a great time to plant cool-season grasses, flower bulbs, and trees.

The Top 4 Outdoor Maintenance Projects for Autumn DaysInspect Windows

It’s important to check your windows yearly to determine if they are performing well and whether window replacement in Waukesha is necessary. Check the locks to make sure they are secure and in good shape. Examine the weather-stripping on the interior and the sealant on the exterior to make sure that heat will stay in and drafts will stay out.

Get Help from the Pros

Not sure where to start? Need help with home exterior remodeling in Muskego, WI? Just give Callen a call at 414-765-2585 and we’ll be happy to share our home improvement expertise.