Aug

04

Project Scheduling and Clean Up

By Brad Flannigan

When you call Callen for any of your home improvement needs, you receive the total customer experience.  By that I mean we don’t just sell you a product; we sell service.

In this blog, I am going to talk about what happens after the purchase is made.  When you have agreed to the sale, I will explain the timeline to you – when your product is expected to arrive and how we go about scheduling.  We are not a company that just shows up with your order.  Scheduling at your convenience is an important part of the service we provide.  We schedule to your schedule.

After the paperwork is finished, one of our project managers will revisit your home and take a second set of measurements to ensure absolute accuracy (measure twice, cut once!).  The project manager will again go over the installation process and the timeline.  We will have an approximate time when we expect your order to come in, but the project manager won’t set up an install date until after your order arrives.

Then the install is set at your convenience, and I want to stress it is at your convenience.  Also, if you are not able to be home because of work or other commitments, you can be assured of your home’s security.  All our installers are employees of Callen Construction, fully bonded and insured.

Each exterior job requires a different time when we are on the premises.  With windows, for example, we can do about four windows a day.  A roof may take one or two days, depending on the scope of work.  We are also impacted by weather; we won’t tear off your roof in the middle of a downpour.  Should weather conditions or unforeseeable delays occur, we will call to inform you about it.

One thing to add about windows is that Callen offers professional interior staining.  That is done after the windows are installed and it is also a separate scheduling item.

We Protect Your Property and Clean Up Daily

When the installers arrive, they will protect your home, interior and/or exterior with the appropriate materials.

There are some companies out there that don’t clean up the various construction debris until the job is complete.  The Callen difference is that we clean up each day so when you come home you are not walking into a mess.  Even with roofing and tear offs, the crew will be cleaning as debris accumulates.

After the exterior job is complete, your project manager has a meeting with you to see if the job is done to your satisfaction or if any tweaks are needed.  When that is done, the person who sold you the product will come back with a warranty packet and explain the warranties.

At that time, you also will be asked if there is any additional work you are considering.  We are a full service company and offer a full line of products for the home, interior and exterior and we are available to help you with any other additional work.  We want to keep you as our customer.  It’s all about building a strong and trusted relationship with you.

We genuinely care for people, our customers and their homes. We believe in the philosophy: Quality Craftsmanship Works.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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