Spring Home Exterior Evaluation

I just returned from a radio station cruise and was expecting snow and cold when I got back. To our pleasant surprise, when we landed in Wisconsin (and maybe because it was daylight saving time), it now feels like spring.

It got me to thinking how quick warm weather will be here and all of the fun and excitement that Wisconsin summers bring. In summer we are outside a lot, walking dogs, playing with the kids, or just sitting on the front porch or back deck.

I encourage you to think about your home’s exterior and all the possibilities it brings. Is your home ready for the nice weather that is coming? Maybe you’re tired of the maintenance of staining and painting your wood siding. Do your shingles have black streaks on them (a personal pet peeve of mine)? Is the paint cracking around your windows?

Sometimes a simple rip in the screen of your storm door will take attention away from your home’s beauty. Remember that curb appeal is everything. Not just for real estate and those of you thinking of selling your home, but for the pride of home ownership. Don’t you want to pull in your driveway and see your home shine?

Over the years, at the homes my wife and I have owned, Callen has installed everything from Gutter Topper to a new roofing system, from adding new windows to doors being replaced. The front entry door at our current home particularly stands out. We added sidelights and it brings in abundant natural light. Plus the storm door actually works, and is very sturdy and attractive! Remember Callen’s expertise when it comes to the exterior of your home. It’s what started the company over 30 years ago.

Now that spring is here, take a walk around your house. Nobody knows it better than you. Determine what needs attention the most, then Call Callen for a no obligation consultation. The professionals at Callen put the WOW in our home’s exterior, and they can do the same to yours!

Spring Home Exterior Evaluation



Vegetarian Options for Your Holiday Feast

Although many people may think that no holiday meal is complete without ham, turkey, or some other meat, this doesn’t ring true for vegetarians. There are many unique and flavorful alternatives to traditional holiday dishes that even your meat-loving friends will enjoy. Take a look at some of these fresh and tasty vegetarian dishes recommended by Callen Construction, your expert remodeling company in Milwaukee, to try at your next holiday meal.

Butternut Squash

For a quick and easy side dish to complement your meal, try this recipe for Honey Roasted Butternut Squash. Large pieces make prep a snap and are perfect for capturing the flavor of the honey-butter drizzle. You can also incorporate other favorite winter vegetables with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash or Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables.


Many people find mac and cheese to be the ultimate comfort food. Fontina and Mascarpone Baked Pasta, made with Italian cheeses and topped with garlicky goodness, is a version of mac and cheese fit for a more discriminating adult palate, and could be a great addition to your holiday spread. Lasagna, another popular Italian favorite, takes on new life in this recipe for Butternut Squash Lasagna made with spinach and caramelized onions.


Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D and other nutrients, and their dense and meaty texture make them a great meat substitute. Add Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Eggplant and Gorgonzola to your menu for a rich and filling main dish, or try replacing the chicken broth with vegetable broth in this recipe for Soft Polenta with Wild Mushroom Sauté for an appetizing side dish.

If your holiday menu is all set but you want to get a start on the New Year by doing some kitchen remodeling in Milwaukee, don’t hesitate to call Callen at 414-765-2585. We have all the knowledge and experience necessary to help you create your dream kitchen before your next holiday gathering!



Callen – Proud to Serve Homeowners for 30 Years

Callen Blog - Phil Callen 050916by Phil Callen

It is with great pride that we recognize Callen Construction celebrating 30 years of providing southeastern Wisconsin homeowners with the best in home improvement and remodeling products and services.

When my brother Tom and I decided to launch the company in April of 1986, we wanted to have a business that people could depend on. We soon established a company mission statement that we work hard to adhere to on a daily basis: “We genuinely care for people, our customers, and their homes. We believe in the philosophy Quality Craftsmanship Works.”

One of the best parts of the past 30 years was being able to work with Tom. We both brought different abilities and strengths to the business, but we shared an unwavering devotion to our customers and employees, which has played an integral role in our success.

Speaking of employees, it has been a privilege to have worked will all the individuals that have been part of the Callen team over the last 30 years. The men and women that were part of Callen at the outset created the work atmosphere that remains prevalent today. That commitment to providing the highest quality products and service will continue to be present in those that call Callen home for years to come.

I have also taken great pleasure in seeing so many people that work or have worked for Callen flourish not only in their professional lives, but in their personal lives as well. Whether it has been marriage, having kids, earning advanced degrees, or becoming grandparents, we have shared in the success of our staff. All those that comprise Callen are family, looking after one another, our customers, and the places we call home. We are thankful that we have been able to offer those that work at Callen opportunities to succeed in their careers.

I am also proud of the positive way that Callen has impacted the communities that we serve, and how our employees have been stewards of service in their neighborhoods. As we move forwad, we will maintain our pledge to be positive corporate citizens.

As we begin the next chapter in our history, we will maintain our commitment to execellence – to the work we do for customers and the people that we employ. I look forward to Callen growing for years to come, sustaining our standing as southeastern Wisconsin’s preferred remodeling contractor.

With Appreciation,

Phil Callen



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.”