New Window – WOW!

In my first two blogs, I explained I was starting with the most current remodeling projects that Callen completed on our home and work backwards. The timing was perfect, because we just finished the biggest window installation that I’ve ever been through.


In the pictures accompanying this blog, you can clearly see a large platform lift was needed to not only remove the old rotted wood window, but also install the new Infinity from Marvin Fiberglass Replacement Window we chose. There was also an urgency to the project, as my wife and I were leaving the country for a couple weeks and we wanted the installation completed before we left.

Then the rain came, which delayed the install. Callen, which excels in communication, worked around all of those obstacles and got everything done and finished on time before we left, so we could rest at ease.

The old window had a broken seal, you could visibly see fog and condensation, and it was just hideous. We even had some rain coming in on the north side of our house due to this rotted window and broken seal. The Callen crew leader, Robert, brought my phone up on the lift and took photos of the cavity so I could see the rotted window and what the inside of the wall looked like. The new window went in with ease, and they finished off the wood trim inside. They fixed everything!

In my previous blogs, I stated this was the final window to be installed by Callen, as over the years, we did three or four each year. Now we are completely sealed with new Infinity from Marvin Fiberglass Replacement Windows.

Here’s an interesting point, which I didn’t think about before we left for vacation – we returned home to 90° temperatures in early June. The air conditioning is not going on nearly as often, and my house is to the point where my kids noticed the rooms are chilly! So I turned the thermostat up a couple degrees. Obviously, we’re saving money and the air conditioner is running more efficiently.

As you can see, it looks much better as well, with the grids on the inside of the glass giving a cleaner, more streamlined appearance. This window was so large that I probably didn’t realize how much heat we lost in winter and of course I have a tight and very cool home for these warm summer days! The best part is the curb appeal. This window is now our WOW factor!

Next month’s blog will talk about little details, like painting the inside trim. I don’t like ladders (or painting), so I have the experts at Callen care for those things. Talk to you soon.





Six Easy and Instant Curb Appeal Projects for Summer

Even if you aren’t interested in selling your home, enhancing its curb appeal can do wonders for the aesthetics of your home. Plus, it’s not as hard as you might think.

The experts at Callen Construction, a leading exterior remodeling company in Waukesha County, have a few ideas to get you started.

Install Window Boxes

Adding a few window boxes to your home’s facade provides fragrant aromas along with the welcoming touch of brightly colored blooms. If you find the windows themselves need attention, call Callen to get an estimate for window replacement.

Perk It Up With Paint

Add a coat of paint to a wooden fence or the garage door for an instant upgrade. If your window and door trim is looking dingy, now is a good time to give those areas some love too.

Six Easy and Instant Curb Appeal Projects for SummerAdd a Doorbell or Knocker

You may not use the front entryway often, but remember this area makes the first impression to your guests. A shiny new door knocker, stone accents, welcoming entry door color, or doorbell provides an eye-catching hint of newness to the entry of your home.

Invest in Solar Lighting

Solar lighting does more than simply illuminate a sidewalk or front entryway. Use it to highlight architectural features, lawn ornamentation, and landscape designs.

Hide the Trash Cans

If your outside trash cans are an eye sore to your neighbors, consider storing them out of sight behind a fence or landscaping.

Stain the Deck or Porch

Staining the deck and porch, particularly if it sits on the side or front of your home, is a great way to upgrade your home’s curb appeal.

We hope these tips have given you a ideas on improving your home’s curb appeal quickly and easily. If you’d like help with window replacement or another exterior improvement, give Callen a call at 414-765-2585 for fast, professional service. We proudly serve Brookfield, Waukesha, Milwaukee and surrounding communities.



2017 Design Trends

2017 home design trends“From gunmetal, to customized storage walls, to laundry rooms with personality, there is an array of new design trends that have come to the forefront in 2017,” said Kathleen Yttri, designer with Callen Construction in Muskego.

“Gunmetal finishes have been making a jump in popularity in recent years, admired for their ability to bring be bold and stand on their own without the high price tag. They are reflecting the new trend in appliances with the black stainless finish,” Kathleen said. More recently, designers have been turning away from the reflective finish of polished chrome and are embracing satin or brushed finishes, which is more muted. “A matte gunmetal finish can be transitional or contemporary and it looks fantastic against any color of cabinetry,” she said.

In search of more open space in their kitchens, many homeowners and designers are pushing storage into a single hardworking wall, instead of using upper cabinets. This design development creates a one-stop storage area that frees up the rest of the space to promote a more open free flowing look and gives you the opportunity to use tile and floating shelves in place of upper cabinets.

The use of different white tones is also becoming more popular, as there’s something refreshing about a room bathed in white with subtle accents of other neutral colors. Conversely, things can start to feel clinical when only one stark white tone is used. “Balancing a white palette with creamy off-whites, cool greys or natural linen hues creates a breathtaking look that can be rich with character. It can also let you have tons of flexibility with bold color accents and a rich wood tone floor,” she said.

Upgrading on laundry rooms is increasing in popularity, as homeowners are seeing value in enhancing this area of the home. “Smarter storage and better function resonate with homeowners who realize they spend a lot of time doing laundry, they may as well do it in a space that they love,” Kathleen said.

Similar to the laundry room, entryways are also receiving more attention. The entryway is the first part of the home guests see and therefore has become a focus of organization, a reflection of the homes style in a compact area. You can have fun with design and a function and organization to the hub of coming and going without allocating a significant amount of money. “Sometimes all it takes is a few customized sayings in frames, a statement mirror, and a narrow table or bench with a tray for shoes underneath,” she said. “After all, first impressions matter.”

Lastly, counter-depth refrigerators are providing an option when kitchen space is tight. “For small to modest-size kitchens, remodeling is often a game of inches,” said Kathleen. “Counter-depth refrigerators sit closer to cabinetry and countertop depth, freeing up just a bit more clearance space, while creating a more streamlined look.”




Tips for Selecting Patio Doors

“Sliding, swinging, French, and bi-fold patio doors are just a few selections available today, allowing you to create a truly custom design that complements your home’s architectural style and helps define your outdoor living space,” said Christopher Wittmann, CR, exterior product specialist with Callen Construction in Muskego. “There is an array of new options for homeowners to choose from, such as low-maintenance fiberglass that mimics the look of wood, architectural inspired-styles, decorative glass, custom colors and designs and energy efficient systems,” he added. Ultimately, the type of patio door you choose should depend on your home’s design, your lifestyle, and convenience. The following is a list of five design tips to help you choose the right patio door for your home.

Tips for Selecting Patio Doors“First, you will want to consider furniture and wall placement before determining which opening method works best for the space,” Christopher said. For instance, swinging and French doors need room to open. Conversely, if space is tight, consider using a stationary panel with a single swinging door or sliding doors that will fit well in any sized space.

Next, choose a design that has a wide doorway to provide greater access and stronger connection to your outdoor living space. Look for folding patio door systems to integrate multiple French and swing doors into your design.

Third, you’ll want to select the right type of glass with the most benefits and efficiency, since glass is a major component of patio doors. “Low-E glass helps lower energy bills all year and protect against UV fading,” he said. In addition, decorative tempered glass provides privacy and added style, all while letting in natural light. Options like internal blinds and grills allow you to control the light and views.

Afterwards, choose a durable material with low maintenance, especially if you plan on using your patio door as a main entrance to your home. Fiberglass, vinyl, aluminum, and clad-wood patio doors weather well and never need painting.

Finally, be sure the quality and style of your patio door complements your home. Just like your home’s exterior siding, the material of your patio door is equally important to your home’s overall look. “For instance, if your home is cedar, you’ll want to use a solid wood or high-end fiberglass patio door rather than a vinyl siding door,” Christopher said. French siding doors offer the most design flexibility, because you can hand select the door style, accessories and glass. If you want your patio door to match the architectural style and feel of your front entry and garage doors, then you’ll want a hinged or French door, rather than a sliding patio door, which is mostly comprised of glass.