Drawers or Doors? Tips on Configuring Kitchen Cabinets

Drawers or Doors? Tips on Configuring Kitchen CabinetsThe style, design and configuration of kitchen cabinets and drawers is one of the most important decisions a homeowner has to make when it comes to kitchen remodeling. The outcome can mean the difference between a kitchen that functions smoothly, and one in which it’s hard to find stored items.

While most traditional kitchens have a full set of upper and lower cabinets with a few drawers, there are several benefits to replacing more of your lower cabinets with drawers. In the end, it’s all about finding the right balance.

The Benefits of Kitchen Drawers

  • Ease of access. Lower cabinets are typically about two feet deep. This can be a problem when it comes time to retrieve what you’re looking for. Items tend to get lost in the dark recesses of lower cabinets, meaning you have to awkwardly crouch or kneel and pull out everything in the front to find what’s in back. The solution to this annoying problem is to replace some of the lower cabinets with drawers. Utensils, pots, and pans can be situated in drawers near the stove, while mixing bowls and other cooking supplies can be conveniently located near the prep area.
  • Increased efficiency. Another problem that’s common with the typical lower kitchen cabinet is the amount of “dead” space, those hard-to-reach areas where you don’t store anything because the space is so difficult to get to. Install drawers in these areas, however, and you’ll be able to use 100% of your storage space.
  • Improved organization. If your kitchen storage space is mainly composed of cabinets, you know that the big, boxy areas under the lower ones can be hard to keep organized. This often results in chaotic piles of cookware and other kitchen essentials. With kitchen drawers, you can easily utilize handy dividers that will make organizing everything much easier.

The Benefits of Kitchen Cabinets

  • There’s a reason why the majority of kitchens still predominantly use traditional lower cabinets with doors instead of drawers: the cost. With more hardware and more materials necessary to create drawers strong enough to hold heavy pots, pans and glassware, drawers typically have a higher cost as compared to cabinet doors.
  • Storing tall items. If you have appliances that you only use on occasion, you’re not going to want them cluttering up your countertop. Try storing them under the counter instead. Whether they’re tall or big and bulky, under-counter cabinetry gives you plenty of room to store almost any item.
  • Vertical storage. If you’re like most people, you have a big stack of baking sheets and pans crammed into the drawer under your stove. These types of items actually store well vertically; simply set them upright in one of your cabinets, along with things like trays, muffin tins, and cutting boards. You can even add a few dowel rods to further separate them.

If you’re looking for an honest, reliable remodeling company to help you modernize your kitchen with some convenient new kitchen drawers, look no further than Callen Construction. Call Callen today at 414-765-2585 and one of our experienced professionals will be happy to answer any questions and set up your FREE no-obligation consultation.



Bathroom Remodeling: Where to Splurge

bathroom remodeling where to splurgeWhether you’re building a new house or starting on the bathroom remodel you’ve been dreaming of for years, you have a lot of choices to make when it comes to deciding where to spend and where to splurge. While you certainly want your bathroom to be functional, it’s also nice to add little touches of luxury to give it that spa-like feel, particularly in the master bath. There are certain areas of bathroom remodeling where it makes sense to spend a little more to get what you want. Incorporating these changes now will be less expensive in the long run than making them later.

Showers and Tubs

Once a house is built, adding, moving, or changing out a shower or tub can be difficult, particularly if you plan on moving the plumbing lines. As is usually the case with remodeling, difficult often means expensive. If you’re currently building a home, don’t be afraid to splurge on exactly what you want, whether it’s a modern steam shower or a quaint claw-foot tub. When doing a remodel, try to build your design around the existing plumbing lines. If they must be moved, spend the money to get just what you want now to avoid additional remodeling expenses later.

Floor and Shower Tile

If you really want to make a statement in the bathroom, invest in high-quality flooring, such as classic marble mosaic tiles, to create colorful or interesting patterns for the floor, shower, or even the backsplash. Small, intricate patterns tend to be more expensive, but also make the most impact. In addition, beautifully tiled bathrooms are always attractive to potential home buyers, and will help increase the home’s resale value.


If you’ve always loved wallpaper but are afraid to try using it in a larger room, consider papering your bathroom. Wallpaper adds instant elegance and elevates the look of a small space, as long as you choose a pattern that isn’t too bold or busy. Go ahead and splurge a little on the perfect wallpaper design to give your bathroom a unique look without being overwhelming.

Callen Construction is a remodeling company that believes in working with the customer, not just for the customer. This is why we have knowledgeable design specialists to help you create the special bathroom you’ve always wanted. Call Callen today at 414-765-2585 and see for yourself how we can help you achieve the bathroom of your dreams!



Callen Recognized for Craftsmanship and Customer Service

Residential Bathroom $25,000-$50,000 Gold Award

Callen was recently recognized by three different organization for the quality of its work and how it conducts business.

The company received two awards in the Milwaukee NARI-sponsored 2017 Wisconsin Remodeler of the Year Awards (WRA) presented January 12, 2018. Callen was recognized with awards in the following remodeling categories:

  • Residential Bathroom $25,000 – $50,000: Gold Award
  • Residential Kitchen $60,000 – $100,000: Silver Award

Residential Kitchen $60,000-$100,000 Silver Award

This is the 18th consecutive year Callen has won an award in the WRA competition, which is conducted annually by the Milwaukee NARI Home Improvement Council, Inc.

Callen was awarded “Best Of Houzz” in Customer Service on Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. Callen was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service, and Photography. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2017. A “Best Of Houzz 2018” badge appears on Callen’s profile as a sign of the company’s commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz. Follow Callen on Houzz at www.houzz.com/Callen-Construction.

“The Houzz community selected a phenomenal group of Best of Houzz 2018 award winners, so this year’s recipients should be very proud,” said Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing at Houzz. “Best of Houzz winners represent some of the most talented and customer-focused professionals in our industry, and we are extremely pleased to give them both this recognition and a platform on which to showcase their expertise.”

Lastly, Callen earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award for the ninth time in the company’s history. The award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List in 2017

“The service providers that receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award demonstrate the level of excellence that members have come to expect,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These pros are top-notch and absolutely deserve recognition for the trustworthy and exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year and overall.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2017 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade and review period grade. The Super Service Award winners must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check, record a current trade license attestation, and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated continually on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in multiple fields ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

“Being once again recognized by these three outstanding organization represents the dedication to quality work and service by all Callen employees,” said Phil Callen, owner. “Since 1986, we’ve worked with our clients to create the home they desire with our unique approach. These awards show that our emphasis on providing the best products and service to our customers is appreciated.”



New Window Keeps Out Frigid Temperatures

New Window Keeps Out Frigid Temperatures Paul KronforstI have written previously about the new Marvin Infinity Fiberglass window we had installed during the summer 2017.

The two-week sub zero stretch we experienced over the holidays reminded my family how drafty and cold our house used to be. My two daughters, who were both home form school for the holidays, said they immediately noticed that the home felt warm and cozy. Dawn and I agreed.

Well, when bitterly cold temperatures arrived with a vengeance, all I heard from callers on WISN’s “Remodeling Show” was “the condensation on our windows froze, and now we have ice on the inside of our window! I turn the thermostat higher and higher, but the house still feels cold and drafty.” Or, this one: “The window seemed fine in summer, but when these sub-zero temperatures hit, we noticed how cold the area around the window was.”

There is a solution – have Callen inspect your home’s windows and check your home’s humidity, which can be attributed to the condensation on your window glass. If the seal is broken, like we had with the large window above our main entrance, there’s nothing that can be done except getting a new window installed properly. I have not-so-fond memories of my college house at UW-Oshkosh that four friends and I shared for two years. We put that 3M plastic stuff on our windows, but it really didn’t help, and it looked horrible (fitting for that house!) The windows clearly were shot, wood was rotted, but it was just a college rental.

Your home is your castle. If you need to have windows replaced, but budget is a concern, start with  one or two. Prioritize and work your way through the ones that need replacement.

New Window Keeps Out Frigid Temperatures Paul KronforstThe new window above our front door, with its proper installation (which included fixing some rotted wood) and additional insulation has been tremendous. I knew the new window would help make the house more comfortable, but I didn’t realize it would make such a difference that sub-zero temps don’t scare me anymore.

Be sure to Call Callen if you are considering replacement windows. Just like me, you’ll be happy you did.

Paul Kronforst