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.





Six Easy and Instant Curb Appeal Projects for Summer

Even if you aren’t interested in selling your home, enhancing its curb appeal can do wonders for the aesthetics of your home. Plus, it’s not as hard as you might think.

The experts at Callen Construction, a leading exterior remodeling company in Waukesha County, have a few ideas to get you started.

Install Window Boxes

Adding a few window boxes to your home’s facade provides fragrant aromas along with the welcoming touch of brightly colored blooms. If you find the windows themselves need attention, call Callen to get an estimate for window replacement.

Perk It Up With Paint

Add a coat of paint to a wooden fence or the garage door for an instant upgrade. If your window and door trim is looking dingy, now is a good time to give those areas some love too.

Six Easy and Instant Curb Appeal Projects for SummerAdd a Doorbell or Knocker

You may not use the front entryway often, but remember this area makes the first impression to your guests. A shiny new door knocker, stone accents, welcoming entry door color, or doorbell provides an eye-catching hint of newness to the entry of your home.

Invest in Solar Lighting

Solar lighting does more than simply illuminate a sidewalk or front entryway. Use it to highlight architectural features, lawn ornamentation, and landscape designs.

Hide the Trash Cans

If your outside trash cans are an eye sore to your neighbors, consider storing them out of sight behind a fence or landscaping.

Stain the Deck or Porch

Staining the deck and porch, particularly if it sits on the side or front of your home, is a great way to upgrade your home’s curb appeal.

We hope these tips have given you a ideas on improving your home’s curb appeal quickly and easily. If you’d like help with window replacement or another exterior improvement, give Callen a call at 414-765-2585 for fast, professional service. We proudly serve Brookfield, Waukesha, Milwaukee and surrounding communities.



What You Need to Ask When Planning Your Porch

“If you are thinking about adding a porch to your home, you’ll want to consider everything from how you want it to look to how you plan to use the space,” said Brad Flannigan, exterior product specialist with Callen. “You want to maximize the use of your porch and make sure the location flows with the rest of your property.” Ask yourself these five crucial questions as you plan the porch of your dreams.

What You Need to Ask When Planning Your PorchFirst, how do you want to use the porch? The answer to this question will help determine the depth and length of your porch. For instance, a porch with a small café table and two chairs will have different size specifications, than a porch suited for dining and entertaining. “You need to incorporate room for circulation; it helps to think of a porch as a small-scale house with a foundation, roof and walls,” Brad said.

When do you want to use your porch? Due to Wisconsin’s often cool climate, you may want to include details that will make your porch usable throughout the year. A fireplace, insulation in the ceiling, and screens to keep out bugs are just a few options to consider.

Third, is your porch user-friendly? Consider the best entry to and from your porch into your home, to make the space easily accessible and encourage good traffic flow. “Large patio or French doors can offer easy access to side and back porches and be an excellent source of natural light for your home,” explained Brad.

Do you want a porch made for entertaining? If you have the space, make your porch a destination for guests by creating separate seating and dining areas. A seating area with all-weather furniture and an indoor/outdoor rug gives visitors a spot to enjoy cocktails and conversation. You can make a separate dining area inviting by including a table and chairs with comfortable outdoor pillows and cushions.

And lastly, do you know how you want your porch to look? “The best porches are designed with scale and proportion in mind,” he said. For inspiration, talk to a professional designer, go online, cut pages out of magazines, and get ideas from your own neighborhood. Once you have a solid concept for how you plan to use the porch, have a rough drawing of the basic floor plan created. Be sure to note all existing windows, doors, and obstructions. You can even trace a photo of your home and add the details you would like to see on your porch. This will help when you explain your ideas to a design professional.



Hot Landscaping Trends for 2017

Landscaping entails a lot more than just mowing, trimming weeds, and maintaining flowers, trees and shrubs. The best landscape designers also incorporate other features of interest into the landscape. Each year certain trends stand out as the most popular, and top landscapers believe that the following trends will continue to grow in popularity in 2017.

“Green” Landscapes

As in many other areas, homeowners are starting to look for ways to make their landscapes more sustainable. This could mean reducing the use of chemicals by looking for more natural methods to control weeds and insects, planting native plants and grasses that require less water, and designing their landscapes in such a way that they provide natural habitats for insects, birds, and small animals. These types of landscapes are better for the environment, more economical for the homeowner, and require less maintenance.

Water Features

Water features were usually added after other exterior remodeling projects were completed, but this is no longer the case. Now homeowners are realizing the positives that come with integrating natural rock waterfalls, small ponds, freestanding fountains, and water walls into their landscapes from the beginning. They provide balance and ambience, help block unwanted outside noise, and benefit local wildlife.

Outdoor Living Areas

Outdoor kitchens, fire pits, patios, and decks – you name it and homeowners are building it. This trend of bringing the comforts of home outdoors is predicted to continue in 2017. People are starting to see the benefit of investing in their own properties, which can be enjoyed for many years to come, instead of spending thousands on one-time experiences that are soon nothing more than memories.

Landscape Lighting Hot Landscaping Trends for 2017

Since the development of LED bulbs, landscape lighting has gained in popularity. LEDs use much less energy and last much longer than traditional lighting, so you won’t constantly be changing burned-out bulbs. LEDs are a great choice to illuminate outdoor seating areas, walkways, and architectural features, plus you can even use lighting timers so you don’t have to turn them on and off.

Now that you are up-to-speed on some of 2017’s hot landscaping trends, why not look into what’s trending in home exterior remodeling? Callen knows all the latest designs and styles, so just give us a call at 414-765-2585 to find out more.