How to Select a Front Door

How to Select a Front DoorEntry doors must be tough enough to withstand wind, rain, cold temperatures, sweltering sun and potential intruders, yet attractive enough to make a good first impression. Whether your front door is old and warped, or you just want to trade your solid door in for one with glass panels that offers more light, you will find plenty of options available.

With the advent of materials that look like real wood, resist the elements better than earlier wood versions, and provide greater security, replacing your entry doors is a low cost project that can also yield high returns on investment and update the front entry. So, here are a few items to consider when it comes to choosing a front entry door for your home.

The first thing to look at when it comes to installing a new entry door is how much of the elements your door will be exposed to. It’s important to look very closely at the durability of the material and the quality of the weatherstripping system to make sure the door will hold up and keep air and water out.

After examining exposure to the elements, it’s time to consider the three different types of materials entry doors are typically made of – steel, fiberglass, or wood. Made of an inner frame of wood or steel with a 24-gauge steel skin (or thicker on premium doors), the cavities of most steel doors are filled with high-density foam insulation. Finishes are usually a baked-on polyester, with premium doors having a vinyl coating for improved weather resistance or sometimes even a textured finish that can be factory stained.

Steel doors require little maintenance. These highly durable doors are resistant to rust, cracking, and bowing, which means they last longer and save you money in the long run. Since steel doors offer insulating properties, they are energy-efficient and can even lower your heating and cooling costs.

Fiberglass entry doors are also tough and virtually maintenance-free. With manufacturers offering products that resemble the look of Mahogany, Cherry, Knotty Alder, Fir, and Oak, these doors provide the look and feel of a solid wood door without the required maintenance. Typically made of molded skins of fiberglass on a framework of wooden stiles and rails, these doors also contain high-density foam insulation that ensures the best protection against energy loss inside the house.

Steel or fiberglass doors typically carry the longest warranties of any of the three material options, and can range anywhere from a basic unit without any glazing to a complete entry system with decorative glass, sidelights, and upscale hardware.

While still a popular choice for homeowners that want a period-correct appearance, wood doors come in a wide variety of styles and can accept nearly any stain or paint color. Most wood doors now are actually veneer skins over an engineered wood core that helps them resist shrinking, swelling, and warping that is common with solid wood doors.

Wood doors work best when installed in a dry, protected area. Unless they’re under an overhang or located in a shaded area, homeowners will have to perform some routine maintenance, such as periodic resealing, while keeping an eye out for warping and weather damage.

With the potential to increase the value of the home 7-10%, a front door is a major aesthetic of any house. It’s typically the first thing people see when they look at your house. So, be sure to take the time and explore each of these three materials and their various styles when deciding on the type of front entry door is right for your home.



Exterior Home Improvements: Where to Splurge

When planning an extensive remodel like a roof or window replacement, the number of offered options, and decisions you have to make, can be overwhelming. While in the long run you want to spend the least amount possible, it’s hard to know when it’s okay to go cheap and when something is worth a bigger investment. When it comes to home remodeling, Callen experts believe there are three home elements worth splurging on.

Exterior Home Improvements: Where to SplurgeWindows

While you may think you’re saving money by installing low quality, cheaper windows, the opposite is true. These cheaper versions are not nearly as energy-efficient as high-quality wood or fiberglass windows, so you will end up spending more money in the long run due to higher energy costs. In addition, the design options are much more limited, so it may be harder to get the customized style you’re looking for with lower quality windows.

Entry Doors

Many people don’t realize the impact a beautiful entry door can have on the appearance of a home. A sturdy, attractive front door draws the eye and gives off a welcoming vibe that adds to a home’s curb appeal. It’s also a great investment, as you will get back almost all you put into it when you sell. In addition, a well-built, durable entry door helps keep out the Wisconsin elements as well as intruders.


Your roof is your home’s shield and should be composed of materials of the highest quality. The strength and durability of roofing shingles have increased over the years, and there are now a good variety of affordable styles and materials available to help customize just the right look for your home. While high-quality roofing is an investment, it’s worth it knowing you’re protecting your largest investment of all: your home.

Stay tuned for a future blog with ideas on where to cut corners to save your exterior remodeling dollars! If you got in over your head with your latest remodeling project and need the expert help of a top remodeling company, Callen Construction has the experience to get you back on track. Give us a call today at 414-765-2585 to find out how we can help.



Excellent Entryways: Five Ways to Add Design and Function

The entryway is where visitors get their first glimpse into your home, so it’s important that it feels warm and welcoming. An attractive entryway should be both functional and organized, and should also reflect your own personal style. Here are some tips from Callen Construction, your favorite local remodeling company, on how to create a fabulous entryway without spending a lot in the process.

Excellent Entryways: Five Ways to Add Design and Function Start Outside

Contrary to popular belief, the entryway actually starts outside your home. A clear, unobstructed path, ample outdoor lighting, and cozy seating will all set the tone as guests prepare to enter your home. The type of seating will vary depending on the size of your porch or stoop, but it could range from matching rockers to a small bistro set brightened by colorful cushions. A cheery seasonal wreath and stately stone planters will help frame the front door and make it more inviting.

Mark Your Space

While having the same type of flooring throughout the main areas of your home is great for the flow of your rooms, it doesn’t do much to add interest or personality. A rug is the perfect way to define your entry space while also adding color and texture, plus catch the dirt and debris tracked in by friends and family. Indoor/outdoor rugs are a good choice because they’re durable and easy to care for.

Make a Statement with Lighting

An eye-catching overhead fixture, such as a chandelier or unique pendant, is the perfect way to make a statement with lighting. Make sure you pay attention to scale, however. If you have a small entryway, a heavy chandelier could be overpowering. The soft glow of sconces or a table lamp may be a better fit in this situation.

Make It Functional

Another important feature every entryway needs is a place to drop keys and mail when you come in the door. Choose one piece of furniture for this purpose, and keep it in scale with the entryway’s size. A place for guests to hang their personal items is also important, and could be as simple as a row of hooks on the wall or as elaborate as a fancy hall tree. Whatever you do, don’t go overboard with furniture, as this will give the entryway a cluttered feel and make it hard to maneuver.

Personalize the Entryway

You are now ready to personalize your space! Select accessories for your entryway that show your personal taste and style, but still fit well with the home’s overall design. Hang a mirror or beautiful piece of art over your table or console, display a stack of interesting books, or set out a flower arrangement. Whatever you decide to do, make it say something about you!

Whether you’re interested in kitchen or bathroom remodeling or are looking to upgrade the exterior of your home, call Callen. Contact us at 414-765-2585, and we will be ready to tackle all of your remodeling needs.




Make a Statement with Elegant Entry Doors from Waudena Millwork™

An entry door makes a bold statement about your style and is one of the first things your guests notice about your home. The high-quality materials and superior craftsmanship used to create exterior door systems from Waudena Millwork™ render “making a statement” easy!

Callen Blog - Waudena Entry Doors 052316Style Made in America

Exterior door systems from Waudena Millwork have a wealth of wonderful features. The products are made in America, and can be factory-finished so you don’t have to mess with painting or staining the door yourself. Five different decorative glass collections allow you to match the glass to your architectural style, quickly increasing curb appeal and making your door the focal point of your home. Adding transoms or sidelites in the same design will further increase the elegance of your entryway and make you the envy of the neighborhood.

Quality Construction

Energy efficiency is an important aspect of entry doors from Waudena Millwork. Sturdy weatherstripping creates a weather- and watertight seal between the doorframe and the threshold to keep out wind and rain, and a multi-point locking system keeps your home safe and secure. There is also an optional jamb cladding made from aluminum, which helps protect and preserve the wood by preventing rot and decay. Ball bearing hinges in eight different color options are standard, with Schlage and Fusion hardware optional.

Available Products

Waudena Millwork has so many available options, it can be hard to know where to start. You can check out an exterior door catalog for detailed pictures and information, but in the meantime, here is a list of the products that Callen Construction, the leader in exterior remodeling in Muskego, WI, can install for you.

  • Single or Double Doors, Transom and Sidelite Units
  • Timbergrain Fiberglass Doors
  • Taylorwood Exterior Doors
  • Smooth Steel or Stainable Steel Exterior Doors
  • Smooth or Textured Fiberglass Exterior Doors
  • Patio Doors

Is your porch or entryway ready for an update? Choose one of these beautiful doors from Waudena Millwork and your home will be the talk of the town. Call Callen, the best remodeling company in Milwaukee, at 414-529-5509 to find out more!