Aug

14

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.

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Jul

31

Window Project Enhances Look and Improves Comfort

So, you saw photos of the latest window installed by Callen at our home in Cedarburg. It has the “WOW” factor that Callen refers to when talking about the remodeling jobs it completes.

Callen Bog - Paul Kronforst July 2017 073117 IMG_4822Well, the project is now all done! This was a BIG window that required new insulation all around it. Callen not only showed me the old rotted wood, but explained what they planned to do after the window was in. Yes, those details like caulking, sealing it up, and cleaning the job site so everything looks perfect.

I don’t have much time for household jobs, as cutting the grass and general maintenance inside and outside is about all I want and have time to do. I despise painting, and do it only when absolutely necessary.

I know some homeowners want to paint to save a bit of money. Great, if that’s your thing. This job required scaffolding and a VERY large ladder. The inside trim was entirely replaced and required priming, a coat of paint… and lots of work up high on that ladder (Did I mention that I’m also terrified of heights). I told Callen I would prefer not to paint and have them do it. They said they have their own painting crews (avoiding subcontractors) and these skilled painters did what they do best – paint!

Callen Bog - Paul Kronforst July 2017 073117 IMG_4844I could not be happier with how it matched our existing white trim and how clean and precise the painting was. Callen really does it all… I didn’t have to lift a finger, except to take the pictures when it was finished!

This window has been in for a few weeks and the air conditioner is on this summer in the Kronforst household, but it is not kicking in as much. It is also much cooler, with less humidity in the house. I am convinced the previous large window was the culprit. As I explained in my blog last month, when the seals on that window became ineffective (it was the biggest piece of glass in our home), we were in trouble.

I cannot wait to discuss our master bath (featuring a large glass walk-in shower) and bump out walk-in closet project done a few years ago for the next blog, complete with before and after photos. This renovation added so much to our entire home’s “WOW” factor and value.

Until then, check out Callen’s website with a gallery of photos or its Facebook page, which is loaded with terrific information (and more photos).

Paul Kronforst, WISN-AM 1130

Callen Bog - Paul Kronforst July 2017 073117 IMG_4856

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Jul

10

When Is It Time For Gutter Replacement?

Day after day, year after year, your gutters and downspouts are always on call to channel damaging storm water away from the home. “Even if your gutters have provided you with decades of faithful, trouble-free service, every installation has an expiration date,” said Christopher Wittmann, CR, exterior product specialist with Callen Construction in Muskego. “If you’re not certain whether or not the time for replacement has come, look out for these telltale signs of failure to give you some insight.”

When Is It Time For Gutter Replacement?Look to see if there are cracks or splits of any kind. While small cracks in your gutters may not seem like a major concern at first, they will eventually turn into larger cracks, and it may happen sooner than you think. If you allow these cracks to remain, water will not only damage your gutters further, but it will also damage the fascia boards behind the gutters, the shingles above the gutter, and the foundation below.

Another warning sign is peeling paint on or around your gutters and or flecks of orange.

“The paint on your gutter is designed to withstand the typical wear and tear throughout the seasons. Unless your gutters are extremely old, peeling paint or orange flecks from the beginning stages of rust indicate that water is present on a continuous basis,” explained Christopher. This could mean that the gutter is not removing the water properly, or that cracks or other damage may be present.

Be on the look out for pools of water or signs of mildew around your home’s foundation. Gutters are designed with the purpose of keeping water flowing away from your home’s foundation. Pools of water or mildew can indicate that the gutters are not working as intended. This could be caused by something as simple as a clog, or as complex as a defect in the gutter system. Water can easily cause foundation damage, leading to costly, time-consuming repairs.

“Check your gutters at least once a year, preferably on a day that’s relatively sunny and free from rain, for water damage or watermarks directly beneath the gutters,” advised Christopher. “Water damage or marks underneath the gutter indicate that leaking or overflowing water is escaping the gutter. This type of water intrusion can damage your soffit and fascia board.”

One of the easiest ways to tell if your gutters require repairs or replacement is if you notice sagging or the gutters are beginning to pull away from the house. “This can indicate that the gutters are full of water and are pulling away from the house due to the weight,” he said “A full gutter means the gutter system may not be appropriate for the home, it’s draining improperly, or debris is causing blockage. Sagging gutters could require significant cost and can be a hassle to repair.

“Remember, gutters are an important part of your home. They direct water away from your home’s exterior walls, windows, doors, and foundation, preventing water from making its way inside. Be proactive when you look for these revealing cues, so you can address any concerns before they become major problems,” Christopher said.

Jun

26

New Window – WOW!

In my first two blogs, I explained I was starting with the most current remodeling projects that Callen completed on our home and work backwards. The timing was perfect, because we just finished the biggest window installation that I’ve ever been through.

 

In the pictures accompanying this blog, you can clearly see a large platform lift was needed to not only remove the old rotted wood window, but also install the new Infinity from Marvin Fiberglass Replacement Window we chose. There was also an urgency to the project, as my wife and I were leaving the country for a couple weeks and we wanted the installation completed before we left.

Then the rain came, which delayed the install. Callen, which excels in communication, worked around all of those obstacles and got everything done and finished on time before we left, so we could rest at ease.

The old window had a broken seal, you could visibly see fog and condensation, and it was just hideous. We even had some rain coming in on the north side of our house due to this rotted window and broken seal. The Callen crew leader, Robert, brought my phone up on the lift and took photos of the cavity so I could see the rotted window and what the inside of the wall looked like. The new window went in with ease, and they finished off the wood trim inside. They fixed everything!

In my previous blogs, I stated this was the final window to be installed by Callen, as over the years, we did three or four each year. Now we are completely sealed with new Infinity from Marvin Fiberglass Replacement Windows.

Here’s an interesting point, which I didn’t think about before we left for vacation – we returned home to 90° temperatures in early June. The air conditioning is not going on nearly as often, and my house is to the point where my kids noticed the rooms are chilly! So I turned the thermostat up a couple degrees. Obviously, we’re saving money and the air conditioner is running more efficiently.

As you can see, it looks much better as well, with the grids on the inside of the glass giving a cleaner, more streamlined appearance. This window was so large that I probably didn’t realize how much heat we lost in winter and of course I have a tight and very cool home for these warm summer days! The best part is the curb appeal. This window is now our WOW factor!

Next month’s blog will talk about little details, like painting the inside trim. I don’t like ladders (or painting), so I have the experts at Callen care for those things. Talk to you soon.

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