5 Tips for a Winter-Ready Wisconsin Home

5 Tips for a Winter-Ready Wisconsin HomeAlthough the calendar says it’s still fall, the recent influx of cold polar air has been a stark reminder that wintertime will soon be officially upon us. Cold drafts and a hard-working furnace may also have reminded you that you have not yet winterized your home, a crucial step to survive the Wisconsin chill. “Winterizing” refers to a variety of improvements and repairs that can offset the undesirable effects of cold weather so you can maintain indoor comfort and keep utility bills low. Follow these steps to get your home in order.

1) Schedule a professional furnace tune-up. A certified technician can perform a cleaning and inspection of the system to ensure safe and efficient operation all winter. Getting the job done now is much more convenient than waiting for a repairman in a cold home with no heat!

2) Clean the chimney. A clean, well-maintained chimney ensures you can safely enjoy cozy fires throughout the winter. A chimney sweep knows how to remove soot and creosote build-up, substances which can cause potential fires and damage to the chimney itself.

3) Caulk and weatherstrip. Stop air leaks by caulking around windows and doors. Ensure that doors and windows shut tightly; if not, install weatherstripping to keep out drafts.

4) Check the attic. Poorly insulated attics are a notorious source of heat loss within a home’s building envelope. Ideally, a properly insulated Wisconsin attic should have enough insulation to provide an R-value of 50 (or about 14 inches, depending on the material). The R-value indicates the insulation’s ability to resist heat transfer.

5) Clean gutters. Be sure gutters are clear of clogs that could allow rain and snowmelt to back up and freeze, causing damage to the roof and gutter system.

With the right winterizing improvements, it’s possible to avoid winter headaches and cut your heating costs nearly in half. For assistance with many exterior improvements, call Callen today at (414) 765-2585. Our certified representative will visit your home and do a thorough inspection of your roof, gutters or any other area of concern. Discover for yourself why we are considered the best roofing and remodeling company in Brookfield, Milwaukee and surrounding areas!



Why Full-Frame Window Replacement Makes Sense for Wisconsin Homes

IMG_1332Full window replacement, also known as full-frame replacement, is Callen’s preferred method of replacing windows. Full-frame replacement involves removing every component of the existing window, including the casing, frame, sash and any surrounding trim. Because many existing windows in the Milwaukee area are wood and have suffered varying degrees of water damage, this method ensures that we do not install a new window into a frame that has been damaged by moisture or insects.

Here are more benefits of the full-frame replacement system.

  • Full-frame replacement can be done on any home, for almost any type of window.
  • The entire window is removed, so that the size and shape of the opening can be changed if desired.
  • Full-frame replacements will not reduce viewing area like inserts.
  • We install new interior and exterior trim.
  • The window is replaced from the outside of your home for less mess.

While full-frame Brookfield window replacement involves a slightly higher cost, it gives our installers the opportunity to closely inspect the structural integrity of the window opening. We can also better insulate around the window frame to stop energy leaks.

Get the Best Features of Wood and Fiberglass

With our Infinity® from Marvin fiberglass replacement windows, you can get the look of wood plus the exceptional strength, durability and low maintenance of fiberglass. Infinity Windows made from Ultrex® fiberglass are eight times stronger than vinyl and are not subject to a constant expansion and contraction cycle. Plus, they are guaranteed not to pit, rust, corrode, chip, peel or blister.

No matter which installation method you choose, you will receive superior service and energy-efficient performance when you select Callen for your window replacement project. Let us evaluate your existing windows and give you the information you need to make the best decision for your home. Call (414) 529-5509 or click here to schedule a no-obligation consultation for window replacement in Waukesha, Brookfield, Milwaukee or surrounding communities!



When a Door is More Than a Door

When a Door is More Than a Door

Entry doors are often the focal point of your home, plus they offer an excellent return on investment.  When visitors approach, it’s typically what draws their eye, and you want the first impression to be distinctive.  As a homeowner, you want it to say your home is welcoming and well cared for.

There are many design elements that allow your front door to make a personal statement. For example, there are many different glass packages and door styles, plus multiple staining options and paint colors, all of which can be mixed and matched.

There are the three types of entry door materials to consider: wood, fiberglass, and steel.

Wood doors offer a very traditional look and provide a sense of warmth and richness.  Homeowners can choose from a variety of styles and most wood species you can imagine.  Wood doors, which can be custom made, need to be carefully finished (stained or painted) according to manufacturer specifications and periodic maintenance is required.

Fiberglass doors come with an environmentally friendly polyurethane core that provides insulation properties that are at least four times greater than wood doors.  Low maintenance fiberglass doors come factory painted or stained for years of lasting beauty.  Fiberglass entry doors come with a high-impact compression molded skin that will not splinter, warp, or rot.  Wood grains that replicate the look of cherry, fir, mahogany, and oak are available.

Steel doors provide performance, safety, and beauty.  They come prepainted or prestained in a smooth or textured finish.  Steel doors also are durable, resist splitting and cracking, and are energy efficient.

Doors can be flat panel or have high definition panel profiles.  Glass options include clear double insulated glass or a variety of triple glazed designer glass styles.  Homeowners have the option of choosing privacy ratings as well as choosing options in any size, shape, texture, pattern, or designer glass.  The glass can be etched, patterned, textured, beveled, and designed with simulated divided lite and grilles between the glass.  Homeowners can also choose from brass or lead caning.  These decorative glass designs are sealed between two panes of tempered “safety” glass, providing the energy efficiency of triple glazing.

Just like glass packages, door hardware comes in many colors and shapes.  Handles and hinges can be ornate or simple and finishes run the gamut: nickel, satin nickel, bright brass, antique brass, oil-rubbed bronze, matte black, and satin stainless steel.

Other door options to take into consideration are whether you want to have a kick panel, peep hole, mail slot, and depending on the size of your opening, sidelights and transoms.

With all the customization options available, homeowners may become overwhelmed.  That is where a trained product specialist from Callen with an eye for design can help by explaining and offering ideas of what will look and work best with the architecture and performance standards required.



Are Your Old Windows Howling? Infinity from Marvin® Windows are Sealed Like a Coffin

callen-blog-picAre Your Old Windows Howling? Infinity from Marvin® Windows are Sealed Like a Coffin

Energy prices continue to rise across the nation, and as a result, heating costs consume an increasingly large portion of the average household budget. Callen offers beautiful, exceptionally strong replacement windows to help energy-conscious homeowners keep costs down.

With winter just around the corner, now is the time to evaluate your home’s energy efficiency to ensure your valuable heating dollars aren’t wasted again this season. If your existing windows are no longer keeping warm air inside and cold air outside, consider replacing them with highly efficient Infinity from Marvin® windows.

Get the Superior Performance of Infinity from Marvin®

Infinity from Marvin windows deliver a level of energy performance not achievable with older windows. They exceed the requirements for energy reduction established by the U.S. Department of Energy and qualify for the ENERGY STAR® rating in all U.S. climate regions. Replacing old windows with ENERGY STAR-qualified windows has been shown to lower household energy bills by 7-15%. To achieve greater efficiency and slash energy costs instantly, Infinity also offers an optional inside surface coating that reflects escaping heat back into the room. This is an excellent solution to keep out the winter’s cold for greater comfort and energy efficiency.

Call Now for Installation Before Winter

Before another cold Wisconsin winter arrives, call Callen for quality window replacement that will make your home more comfortable and keep those escalating energy bills at bay for decades to come. We proudly provide window replacement in Waukesha, Brookfield, Milwaukee and surrounding communities.

Our windows not only exceed performance standards, they are also available in a range of styles, including double-hungs, awnings, casements, gliders, bows and bays, so you can custom-design the perfect look for every opening. Call Callen today at (414) 529-5509 or click here for scary-low prices on Infinity from Marvin replacement windows!