Jul

17

Product Feature – Summer Storm Gutter Waterfalls Cause Home Damage

Did you know that just an inch of a summer rainfall pours close to 1,500 gallons of water onto your roof?  That’s why the performance of your gutters is so important to protecting your home.  Waterfalls flowing over your gutters during a strong summer rainfall are a strong indication that you have clogged gutters – and clogged gutters can lead to some expensive home repairs.

Investing in gutter protection is one of the wisest home improvements you can make, especially when you consider the damage caused by overflowing gutters.  Your home’s gutters and downspouts are designed to move water down from the roof and away from your home and foundation for proper drainage.  Water that can’t flow through your gutters finds the easiest path – and that often means the water comes right into your ceiling and walls.

A common call to Callen is from homeowners that have water flowing over the front and ends of their gutters and flooding their home.  Upon inspection, we usually find that the gutters are clogged with leaves or other debris.

When gutter debris gets wet, it absorbs the water from summer rainfalls like a large sponge – and you know how heavy a saturated sponge can get.  This extra weight stresses your gutters and hanging brackets, and can result in your gutters pulling off of your house.

Overflowing water from your gutters can also damage the paint and siding on your home, but even that is a small problem when you think of what happens if the water gets inside of a wall.  Wet wood behind siding can rot, and you often don’t know how much damage has been caused until it’s too late.

Callen installs Gutter Topper, independently tested and certified to withstand anything Mother Nature can throw at it, to safeguard your home from the problems caused by clogged and overflowing gutters.

In addition to the original Gutter Topper product, Callen can also install…

  • The Leaf Terminator – a heavy-duty gutter guard that allows water to flow through the patented perforation design, while at the same time, strengthens your gutter system.
  • The Solution – a budget priced gutter system that has been independently certified to outperform the competition.
  • Needle Beetle – specifically designed for areas where pine needles present unique gutter clog challenges.
  • Hott Topper – helps to eliminate the problems caused by icicles and heavy snow.

With so many gutter system solutions available, you don’t have to learn your gutters are clogged when that summer storm comes and you wake up to find a basement full of water.  Contact Callen to learn how a gutter protection system can be one of the wisest summer home improvements you can make.

Jul

17

Feature Project – Infinity Fiberglass Replacement Windows from Marvin

Recently Nick Kreyer, marketing project manager at Infinity® from Marvin replacement windows, contacted Christi Pryor, marketing manager at Callen to schedule a photo shoot of Infinity® from Marvin windows and patio doors.  “We couldn’t say no to this opportunity,” Christi said.

Christi excitedly reached out to several customers who recently had Infinity® from Marvin windows installed in their home to include them on a three-day photo shoot around southeastern Wisconsin.  “Our customers were very receptive and happy to be included,” Christi said.  “I believe they were as excited as I was to show off their windows!”

“As a replacement window manufacturer, it is very important that we keep an up-to-date library of photography,” Nick said.  “We are constantly looking for new photography for use on our website and marketing materials.  This photography is not only used by Infinity, but also our authorized installing retailers, such as Callen Construction, in their marketing efforts to both inspire and impress homeowners.  As one of our longest tenured retailers and knowing the quality work they do, we knew we’d get exceptional photos, so it was an easy decision to partner with Callen Construction on this project.  It was a busy three days, but the photography we got exceeded our expectations.”

“I agreed to be on the photo shoot because Callen is always nice and efficient whenever they are at my home,” said Sue Sweeney, Callen customer.  “The neighbors came out to see what was going on and they stayed to watch until they pulled away.  They were all very excited to watch the photographer work and took business cards from Christi because they were thinking about window replacement themselves!”

Infinity® fiberglass replacement windows were created by Marvin® Windows and Doors, a company which had been recognized as an industry leader in wood windows for nearly a century.  This revolutionary line is a durable, attractive, energy-efficient, and low-maintenance window replacement option.  Composed of an advanced fiberglass material called Ultrex®, Infinity windows also feature EverWood® interiors, a stainable and paintable woodgrain finish that looks and feels just like wood, yet is completely low-maintenance.  EverWood won’t absorb moisture or decay over time; there is no discoloration on the sashes, warping or material degradation – just remarkably reliable performance and lasting beauty.

“The reason we chose Infinity windows was simple,” said Lisa Baratta, another Callen customer.   “The windows met our two nonnegotiable criteria: they were not wood (my husband insisted we not replace our rotting 20-year old wooden windows with more wooden windows), and the Infinity windows with Everwood could be stained to look convincingly like wood (my criterion).  We were very satisfied on both counts.  I hadn’t given the easy-wash hinges much thought when we bought the windows, but I loved them this spring when I easily cleaned the windows myself, inside and out.

“We chose Callen because they were our local Infinity dealer and they have an excellent reputation in the community.  Installation went very smoothly, and our project manager Wade Avinger did an outstanding job – he was proactive, responsive, did a great job following up on everything, and is all around a great guy.”

Jul

14

Location of Refrigerator Leads to Kitchen Redesign

by Marie Owens

“We want our refrigerator in the kitchen.”  Who thought that would not be a given and would not be an easy request.

My clients came to me and said just that.  Their main objective was to get the refrigerator out of the rear entryway and into the kitchen.  They warned me that it was a small kitchen with several doors and windows.  They also wanted to open the kitchen to the dining room with a snack bar.  All very good ideas.

I initially thought this should be a piece of cake.  Then I started working on the plan.  It was much more of a challenge than I thought it would be.  I tried the basic units (sink, range, refrigerator, and microwave) in any and all positions I could think of.  My clients were willing to give up the view from their existing window to the back yard or replace it with a smaller one. The existing window was lower than countertop height.  I strongly suggested that removing it was not a good idea and replacing it would put us slightly over budget.   It could also create some difficulty in making the exterior look match when trying to patch the opening.

I was not willing to give up either window, but if one had to go or be changed, I suggested it be the one over the existing sink.  This window was on the side of the house and looked directly into the neighbor’s house.  However I am always reluctant to give up natural light.  Plus, adding natural light was not a place I wanted to spend money if we didn’t have to.

After many not so good ideas, a few days to ponder and going to my bag of tricks, I incorporated two key concepts that made the design work amazingly well.

Design Concept 1:  Put the sink in front of the window to the back yard and use the existing window to our advantage by incorporating a trick I have used many times called a window well.  The sink cabinet is pulled forward approximately three inches.  The back of the cabinet is finished so it looks great from the outside.  A window sill is added or replaced so it totally fills the gap between the outside wall and the sink cabinet.  The sides of the well are finished also to look good from the outside, but more important so things do not fall too far.  The counter is cut out in this area, which becomes a great place to grow potted herbs or year round flowers.

callen1

Computer generated drawing from the outside of the window well.

Design Concept 2: I was taught that your should NEVER put the cooking surface in front of a window for safety and cleaning reasons, however if you change the window to a glass block window you can and it looks great.  We had the glass block sized so it would fit into the existing opening so we did not have to get into reworking the existing siding.  There are usually challenges to make it look unpatched from the exterior.

callen2

With those two design concepts, I was able to give my clients a wonderful, functional, great looking space while getting the refrigerator back into the kitchen.  We did open the wall into the dining room incorporating a snack bar, and also opened the wall to the rear hall entry space and used the previous refrigerator closet space for a pantry.  See the finished photo below.

callen3

callen4

Above is a photo of the refrigerator’s previous location in the rear entry.  We removed the wall and made the closet space into a pantry.

The pair of doors next to the rear entry door is the new pantry.

callen5

Contact us to find out how to put the “wow” in your home!

Jul

08

Our Sales Are All About Customer Focus

Callen Team Photoby Lance Dahl

When it comes to home improvements, because there are so many different products and so much varying information, it can be overwhelming for a homeowner.  That’s why when a Callen exterior product specialist visits a potential customer’s home and sits down with them, we make education and information a priority.

What we do is to look at the process from your perspective – and most of the time you don’t need a sales pitch, you need information.  It’s very easy for us as sales people to want to explain to you what we have to offer.  But we find that it is better to listen and ask questions to find out what is important to you as the homeowner, to find out what your needs and wants are, and to be sure that we are the right company to fill those needs and wants.

At Callen, we are a high-quality company and that is how our sales staff works with homeowners.  We don’t high pressure you to make a decision.  Those companies that do are more focused on the sale than taking care of you.

Callen Brookfield Showroom ExteriorWe understand that occasionally, you may need some time to come into our showroom and look at our products and get a better feel for the company.  If you need more time, we encourage that.  We want you to be happy with your decision and to be happy doing business with Callen.  If it takes a little time, that is OK with us.

Don’t get me wrong; a good salesperson will ask for business.  That’s important for you to know. Just because we ask for your business, doesn’t mean you are being high-pressured.  It’s necessary in order for the process to move along.  It’s OK to say yes and it’s also OK to say no.  We will ask the proper questions to understand why you are making the decision to say yes or no.

I do believe that Callen provides the best solution for your home improvement needs because we know that you are looking for the best value for your investment.  Much of Callen’s business is from repeat customers and referrals that become our customers for life because we give them information, the best products for their situation, follow-up service, and guaranteed workmanship.

At Callen, we don’t just make a sale and you never hear from us again.  We want to make sure you are completely satisfied.  That is what differentiates us as sales professionals.

In the proper sales process for home improvement, it should be a win for everybody – a win for the company, a win for the person who sold you the product and/or service and, most importantly, a win for YOU, the customer.