Callen – 30 Years Strong

Callen_30th_logo(2016)OFFICIALThere is a rich history behind Callen Construction, Inc. that started in 1986 with founders Tom and Phil Callen. Two brothers who both had experience in the home improvement and remodeling industry decided to combine that knowledge and passion to form Callen Construction. With Phil’s experience in sales and production and Tom’s experience in sales and marketing, the brothers had a strong base for starting their exterior home improvement business.

In 1986, when Phil worked for a local siding and window distributor, and brother Tom had just left corporate life and was working for a contractor in Denver, Phil suggested they form a business partnership. Tom moved back to Milwaukee and began the process of incorporating the business. “I signed the papers on my 38th birthday, April 29, 1986,” Tom said.

Their small office in Franklin at 111th and Forest Home was their home base. “We both ran leads and slowly built a customer base,” Phil said.

The business soon began to grow and permanent staff was hired. The game changer for Callen was bringing on the wood window product line from Pella in 1988. “That decision in ’88 to sell Pella windows had many different offshoots,” Tom said.

A full-time salesperson was added in 1988 – Brad Flannigan who is still with Callen. The first major Callen remodeling project took place in New Berlin in 1990. More crew was hired including Mike Petersen as lead carpenter. Mike is still with Callen today and plays a key role in interior remodeling projects as well as mentoring and training new hires on the job site.

“We built our business on personal contact,” Tom said. “We were on site with sales, installation, clean-up, and picking up the final check. We made sure our customers were happy.”

The Callens moved the business to their present Muskego location in 1988, first renting 800 square feet. In 1994, they incorporated a showroom and expanded to half the building. By 1996, they owned and occupied all 5,400 square feet of space and established an interiors division for kitchens, bathrooms, and basement and attic conversions.

On April 29, 2006, 20 years after incorporation, Callen opened a newly built 2,800 square foot addition to its Muskego showroom featuring an expanded line of interior and exterior home improvement building products, including kitchen and bath vignettes, full-sized window, siding, and roofing displays, conference room and reception area.

Adding another window product line significantly helped the exterior division. In August 2006, Callen was chosen to be the exclusive Infinity from Marvin fiberglass replacement window dealer for the metro Milwaukee area. That resulted in an Infinity® from Marvin Replacement Window showroom in Brookfield at the Sendik’s Towne Centre, which opened in May 2010.

Like the Muskego flagship, the showroom features a wide variety of in-wall and freestanding Infinity window displays, entry and patio doors, along with siding and roofing displays.

Phil Callen emphasized the importance to everyone at Callen, from the top down, of treating customers with respect, as well as their home as their own. “Our employees come to us with skills, but we make sure they know the fundamentals of giving our customers the best possible remodeling experience,” Phil said. “It may sound simple, but we emphasize the basics of working with the customer, the please and thank you’s and helping the customer out. Through these efforts, we’ve created a team where everybody has one thing in common – they believe in the company, the work they do, and their fellow workers.”

Over the years, Callen has won numerous national and local remodeling awards including Remodeling Magazine’s Big 50 in 2000, given to the top 50 Remodelers across the country for professionalism in the industry; The Vinyl Siding Institute’s Award of Distinction multiple times; GAF Master Elite Excellence Award: and numerous wins in the Wisconsin Remodeler of the Year Awards (WRA) sponsored by the Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council, Inc.

One of the cornerstones of Callen Construction is its commitment to community. The company supports the Milwaukee NARI Foundation, which promotes public awareness of the home remodeling and improvement industry through educational programs and community activities, as well as Muskego’s Country Christmas, Blue Lotus Farm and Retreat Center, the Richfield Soccer Club, Friends of Hales Pool, the Channel 10 Auction, and a number of others. At Milwaukee’s Irish Fest, Callen’s Cottage serves as the information booth in the Cultural Village.

One of the company’s most prominent and successful fundraisers is Refashion for Life, benefitting CommonGround Ministry/Elena’s House (Wauwatosa) and held at the Callen Muskego office and showroom. The event featuresfrom Marvin th respect, as well asparate and distinct sales forces for the interior and exterior divisions.ationships with its t a fashion show combining the newest looks in early and late fall apparel with fashionable products for the home, including countertops, tile, cabinetry, windows, flooring, and hardware

Tom Callen estimates that over the years, they have done close to 12,000 individual remodeling projects. “We have a lot of people to thank – Callen employees, customers, suppliers, trade contractors, and vendors. Close to 50% of our business comes from repeat customers, friends, and referrals,” Tom said.

“It’s amazing how the business grew; it’s been a pretty neat ride,” Phil said. “It’s unusual for two brothers to stay in business, but we always had the same goal – keeping communication open between everyone involved in the project and continuing to provide quality products and installation.”



Remodeling Trends: The Comeback of Bronze

Stainless steel finishes have been en vogue for the past decade or so, along with nickel, chrome, and oil-rubbed bronze, but lately the warmer touch of classic bronze is starting to make a return to the home remodeling scene. Take a look at these innovative new products that can bring the glow of bronze into your home.

Unique Pendants

Pendant lights are becoming increasingly popular. If you are planning for kitchen remodeling in Milwaukee, Callen Construction can install slim-profile pendant lights over your kitchen island, or pendants with wider mounts for the perfect focal point for your entryway or dining room. The combination of a rich bronze fixture with colored glass can result in an elegant look or a more modern, utilitarian feel, depending on the style of your light. Either way, the turn away from chrome and steel will lend a much softer look to the space.

Callen Blog - Interior Trends 042516Surface Shimmer

The warm tones of bronze are also appearing on other surfaces. Paint colors are evolving, and many homeowners are finding that a little metallic shimmer on the walls can really brighten a room. Others are transitioning from the more limited color options of granite countertops to counters made of recycled glass. Glass countertops can be applied wherever natural stone is used, and shards of crushed glass (incorporated during the manufacturing process) in shades of amber and flint are the perfect complement to bronze fixtures. Other common applications are in surrounds and architectural cladding.

Natural Cooling

Cool roof tiles are an ingenious product developed to reduce cooling costs by reflecting solar heat back into the atmosphere. This can dramatically decrease the temperature of a building by as much as 20%. Not only are your energy savings increased, it is also better for the environment and increases the life of your roof. While there are a wide range of tile colors available, choose tiles in tones of weathered bronze and grey to get in on the growing bronze trend.

If you would like to add a little extra shine to your home, call Callen for expert interior renovations, kitchen remodeling, and bathroom remodeling in Waukesha, WI. Our talented design team looks forward to helping you create a more beautiful interior space.



Get Beautiful Protection with ProVia® Custom Storm Doors

Callen Blog - ProVia Storm Doors 041816Adding a storm door to your home can be money well-spent. It creates a barrier that protects your entry door from weather, and also reduces air leakage for better insulation. Many storm doors can be fitted with insect screens in summer, allowing for better air flow and reducing the need for air conditioning. Callen Construction, the leader in home exterior remodeling in Brookfield, WI, can install a storm door that creates a unique focal point for your home and provides long-lasting protection. When you see the wide range of storm doors we offer from ProVia®, you’ll fall in love with the beautiful styles and superior craftsmanship.

Spectrum™ storm doors are perfect for enjoying a fresh breeze while watching the world go by your front door. You’ll appreciate the InVent retractable screens at the top and bottom of the door that will give you increased ventilation. An attractive bottom expander, hardware and piano hinges in satin nickel round out the attractive look of this series. For added elegance, choose from several beveled glass designs with zinc inlay.

Decorator™ doors come in a selection of different styles and colors, with matching dual closers and a new and improved brass-look piano hinge. You also have the option of adding a full screen with a stabilizer bar. With intricate, detailed frames and beveled glass, Decorator doors will give the entry to your home a fresh, stylish new look.

Deluxe™ storm doors offer the best of both worlds, with full or top screens and a range of options in color and style. Color-matched bottom expanders, leaf hinges, and heavy-duty closers work together to produce a product that is both functional and attractive. The Spectrum, Decorator, and Deluxe Storm Doors all boast multiple options for door glass, including the exclusive, gorgeously designed Inspirations™ Art Glass.

DuraGuard™ doors have a heavy-duty, non-removable stainless steel screen, available in black or white, which will keep your two- and four-legged babies safely inside. With the exception of the screen, it has the same hardware and accessories as the Deluxe Storm Doors, with a little added protection.

Superview Storm Doors have a simple black pull and closer and fewer glass and color options, but still give you value and style wrapped up in one neat package. The slender frame also allows a more expansive view than some of the more decorative styles.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are ready for a new storm door or any other type of exterior remodeling in Brookfield, WI, get a jump on that project and start your spring off right with a call to Callen at 414-765-2585.



Define Your Home’s Style With Architectural Details

Architectural details added to your home – from entranceway to kitchen to family room – can create a defined, even grand look for your home. Marie Owens, designer for Callen, offers some tips to bring interest to otherwise ordinary spaces.

“One characteristic that distinguishes a room is attention to moulding at baseboards and ceiling. It’s an easy way to upgrade a room, adding width, depth and height to the trim,” she said. “Ceiling are often overlooked, but adding beams or mouldings can add warmth and contrast as well as draw the eye upward. Crown molding can make a low ceiling appear high and a vaulted room feel cozier.

Callen Blog - Architectural Details 041116“Visual interest can also be created with wainscoting, which comes in many different patterns, adding detail to walls that are otherwise bland,” she said.

“Wall niches are natural focal points, adding depth and texture to a wall as well as being an area to display a sculpture, vase, books, or mementos,” Owens said. “While creating a built-in niche may be best left to professionals who are equipped to deal with the wiring or mechanicals on the other side of the wall, pre-made niches that can simply be hung on the existing wall are available.”

When painting, consider something other than a flat finish. For example, a knockdown texture, which is more intense than a flat finish, but not as passé as an orange peel or popcorn texture. Or, take one wall and make it a dramatic focal point by using a high gloss finish.

Don’t underestimate the power of well-orchestrated lighting, both natural and artificial. “The shape and scope of the room can be defined with recessed lighting, pendants, sconces, and table lamps. A chandelier, kept in scale to the room, can add a lush touch,” Owens said.

Other tips from Callen to consider when undergoing a kitchen remodel include:

  • Position cabinetry at different heights to give the room a focal point.
  • Add furniture-style details such as decorative legs on an island or details at the base of cabinets.
  • Vary the edging on countertops between kitchen and island. Keep the counter edging straight and simple, but go for more flair in the island with a beveled, bullnose, or an ogee edge.
  • Install a chair rail or frame a ceiling, doorway or existing built-in with slender or wide moulding for high design impact.
  • Go dramatic with stacked stone as a backsplash or a feature wall. Stacked stone is made up of a variety of natural materials such as sandstone and quartzite and cut to various sizes and lengths to add diversity to the pattern.

Owens advised that when adding any detailing make your selection complement the architectural style of your home. “Don’t try to change your home into something it is not meant to be,” she said.