Preparing for Winter: Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

As summer days get shorter and a hint of fall can be felt in the air, it’s time to start thinking about prepping your home for winter. Before you begin any home exterior remodeling in Brookfield, WI, here are just a few of the essential tasks that should be taken care of before cold weather hits. Simple precautions can go a long way to prevent expensive repairs down the road.

Maintain Your Mower

Before your mower is ready to stow for the winter, there are several things that should be done to guarantee a smooth start when spring rolls around. First, if you haven’t run your mower dry, you will need to stabilize any fuel left in the tank to prevent it from breaking down and damaging the engine. This can be done by adding stabilizer to the tank of your mower and running it for five minutes to ensure that it gets to the carburetor. Add stabilizer to the gas in your gas can too. It’s also a good idea to oil the engine and clean grass clumps and build-up from the deck of the mower.

Callen Preparing for Winter: Your Fall Home Maintenance ChecklistClean Out Gutters

The damage that can ensue from a clogged gutter is harmful to your home as well as your wallet. To prevent this, get out your ladder and clean gutters of all leaves, sticks and other debris. While cleaning, check to see if the gutters are loose or damaged, and tighten or call for replacement as needed. Make sure the areas where the water runs off are clear of debris as well, and protect your home’s foundation by ensuring that downspouts reach beyond the house by at least five feet. To make sure you do not need to worry about this chore in the future, call Callen to have Gutter Topper installed.

Examine the Roof

While you have the ladder out, take a survey of your roof. If you cannot safely climb to the roof line, use binoculars from the ground. Pay close attention to the shingles, noting any that are missing, cracked, or curling. If your roof is older than 20 years and you notice unusual amounts of granule accumulation while you are cleaning gutters, this could mean that your shingles are losing their protective coating. If you have any concerns, be sure to call a roofing professional such as Callen before harsh winter weather sets in.

As the leader in home remodeling and replacement windows in Brookfield, WI, Callen is always ready and willing to answer any questions you might have. Just give us a call today at 414-765-2585 for prompt, professional service.




Keep Homes Safe With Callen

home safetyPaulette Sodemann, senior designer with Callen, provides homeowners with advice on how to keep their dwelling safe while they’re away.

“You don’t have to turn your home into Fort Knox to keep you and your family safe, just take these simple precautions to ensure your safety,” said Paulette.

The simple addition of timed lighting throughout the home can help keep your home safe from burglars. “Automatic light timers that turn on and off will simulate your normal patterns and appear as though you’re home,” Paulette said. “This will make a burglar less likely to attempt to enter your house.” She also recommends adding motion sensor and timed lighting to the outside of your home to keep up the illusion that you’re home.

The next step is to make sure your home is secure. “Every home should have a strong door with a durable lock and deadbolt to make it difficult for intruders to break in,” said Paulette. Even though it may be convenient, don’t hide a key to your home outside where it can be easily found.

“Another home security measure is to reinforce windows with an invisible security film, especially those windows that are on the ground floor and close to doors,” Paulette said. Windows should also remain locked at all times your family is gone. “Don’t forget to secure window air conditioning units with brackets and locks,” she said. “For sliding windows and doors, place a metal or wooden rod in the track to prevent them from sliding open.”

Make sure to secure the garage, especially if it’s connected to your home. “Don’t rely on the automatic door to keep intruders out,” Paulette said. “If you go on vacation, disconnect your automatic garage door opener and lock the external and internal doors as well.” Double check to make sure garage windows are properly locked and secured, too.

“To put your mind at ease while you’re away, get to know your neighbors and ask them to help out,” said Paulette. “Make it a point to get to know your neighbors and ask them to keep an eye out while you’re gone. It also helps to have a neighbor bring in your mail to make it appear as though you’re home.”

For more information or to arrange an initial showroom consultation, call Callen at 414-529-5509.



Pick the Perfect Paint

By Doreen Schofield

Giving a room a fresh paint job is a great way to start clean and give the room a whole new theme and feel, according to Doreen Schofield, a designer with Callen. Doreen explains how to choose the perfect paint color to give it a brand new vibe, as well as when you’re planning an extensive interior remodel.

“Color accounts for 60 percent of our response to an object or place, so it’s important to pick a color that will set the mood for the room,” said Doreen.

When it comes to bedrooms, blue is a favorite choice because it is calming and a logical choice for slumber-inducing relaxation. Soft, cool colors and neutrals create a quieter feeling while stronger colors are more for drama.

“The dining room is another story. Warmer, contrasting, and somewhat brighter colors add to a sociable atmosphere while deeper blue-greens will give it a more formal ambiance.”

Doreen also mentioned the importance of lighting. “Natural daylight shows the truest color, incandescent lighting brings out warm tones, and fluorescent lighting casts a sharp blue tone.” While keeping this in mind, a strong color may be too bright and overpowering when used on all of your walls or walls next to large windows. Strong colors will be more effective when used on an accent wall with indirect light.

“Consider choosing a color for one room and painting the adjacent space two shades lighter or darker using tones from the same color chip.” Doreen explained this creates a smooth, seamless transition between the spaces.

Interior Design Paint ColorsOne way to decide on a paint color is to find inspiration around you and build off key elements in your house. A painting, rug, or piece of furniture may inspire the theme for the entire room. Once you decide on a color scheme that reflects your mood, start small by experimenting in a bathroom or in a hallway to see if the paint captures the look you were going for.

“Remember, think of the vibe you want your room to hold, take lighting into account, and always fall back to the trusty color wheel for making complementary and color cohesive choices.”

Callen’s design specialists can assist you in selecting the best colors for your renovated space. Call Callen, the leading remodeling company in Brookfield, for inspiration on how to get started.



Advice on When It’s Time to Replace Windows

By Brad Flannigan

Callen Blog - When to Replace Windows 082916Warm weather really calls to attention the many things that need to be done to keep the exterior of the home in good condition. Homeowners often find that when they tackle that spring cleaning chore of window washing, they run into problems. Mainly, they can’t open the window properly, find that the “fogging” can’t be removed by cleaners, and discover the wood frames are showing signs of rot.

Callen offers other signs that it’s time to consider window replacement.

  • Sticking windows: Difficulty opening and closing or windows are painted or nailed shut and impossible to open. This is the most obvious sign you need a window replacement.
  • Windows that need to be propped open: The balance is the mechanism that keeps the window up when you open it. When the balance fails, the window no longer remains up when opened and can slam shut, posing a serious safety hazard.
  • Condensation/Fogging: This is a sign that water vapor or even rain or ice is able to penetrate the seal. When you see damp spots by the seal after a storm, this is a sign the window is losing its ability to be a barrier between the external elements and your home.
  • Noise: Hearing the sounds of traffic, noisy neighbors, or even the sounds of nature.
  • Drafts: You should never feel or notice cold air seeping in. Your cooling and heating systems will have to work harder to compensate for infiltration, resulting in higher energy bills.
  • Warping: Wood windows can warp as a result of exposure to moisture of the elements. Poor seals can lead to flooding in rain events, diminished durability, and even window failure.
  • Hardware: Rusty, too tight, or too loose.
  • Single-Pane Windows: Old single-pane windows are not constructed to keep out drafts and damaging UV rays.
  • Appearance: Chipping, deterioration, water stains, or an outdated style that doesn’t blend well with the rest of the house.

“Choosing replacement windows is an important decision because you want your new windows to not only save money and keep your home free of drafts, but also you want them to be easy to clean and operate, be virtually maintenance free, durable, and enhance the home’s beauty and character,” said Brad Flannigan, exterior product specialist for Callen.

Installation options include both full frame replacement and insert replacement. With a full frame installation, the entire window, sashes, frame, stops, and interior casing are removed down to the framing studs. Full frame replacement allows for a complete restoration of the opening and addresses any problems that may be occurring behind the casing.

An insert installation starts with the sashes and stops of the existing window being removed, while the interior casings and frame of the existing window stay and the new window is installed into the frame of the existing window.

“When choosing a replacement window, visiting a showroom is very helpful because you can get an idea of the professionalism of the staff and the scope of options available – not just what you may view in a sample book, but in actually seeing how it looks. I have found that some homeowners want a certain style of window, but after visiting our showroom and seeing all the options, often ask if they can change out a casement window for an awning, or a double-hung for a glider. The answer is yes – the possibilities are numerous,” Brad said.

Callen’s exterior product specialists can help you determine the best option for your window replacement. Call Callen, the leading remodeling company in Brookfield, to schedule an in-home consultation.