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.



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!



Quick & Easy Ways to Update Your Home’s Curb Appeal This Spring

Callen Blog Photo - Spring Curb Appeal 022916The dark and dreary days of late winter make it easy to fall into the winter blues. Get your mind off the weather by planning improvements you can make to your home’s curb appeal this spring. This will give you something to look forward to as we slog through the remaining weeks of winter!

Spruce Up Your Front Door

The front door is one of the first features of your home that visitors notice, so investing in a replacement for an aged or damaged door is a great way to improve first impressions. If your door is still in good shape, try giving it a facelift with a fresh coat of paint. A pop of color and some shiny new hardware will allow you to make a statement and maintain the value of your home.

Frame Your Windows

Unadorned windows can make your home’s facade appear plain and boring. A simple fix is to frame them with shutters. A quick coat of paint on some basic shutters will help the windows stand out. A window box is another way to add color and charm to your windows. Pre-potted plants and flowers can easily be slipped in and out according to the season, and you won’t have to worry about getting your hands dirty from planting and weeding.

Landscaping on a Dime

If you can’t afford extensive landscaping as part of exterior remodeling in Muskego, WI, there are a variety of easy ways to add landscaping touches at a reasonable price. Try placing colorful potted plants by the front door or adding a new border or cheerful flowers around your trees. Mulch placed around flowers, trees, and other greenery will give your lawn a fresh appearance and aid in moisture retention. In addition, keep your lawn neat and well maintained by trimming shrubs and bushes, and make sure to mow and weed regularly.

Would you like to increase your home’s curb appeal with new siding, windows, doors, a deck or porch, or other home improvements? Call Callen’s experts for advice about home exterior remodeling in Brookfield, WI, and surrounding areas. We are ready and waiting to answer your questions. Give us a call today at 414-765-2585!



Create a Welcoming Entrance With Your Front Door

Callen Blog Photo - Create a Welcoming Entrance with Your Front Door 111615No other door of your home gets as much exposure or attention as the front door. It serves as a place to greet your friends and family, plus it commands attention from the street. Your front door can make a statement about who you are and what people can expect when they walk into your home. Replacing a front door can also add value to your home. Here are some ideas for creating an inviting entryway as well as choosing a door that fits your personal style and your home’s design.

When choosing a new front door, there are different materials to consider: wood, fiberglass, and steel.

Wood is a common choice for a front door. It offers a traditional look and provides a sense of warmth and richness. Homeowners can choose from a variety of styles and types of wood, and doors can also be custom made. A wood door should be carefully finished with stain or paint according to manufacturer specifications. When purchasing, look for a door with durable stains and high-gloss finishes – these are best for protecting the wood. While wood doors add a beautiful element to the outside of your home, they require a fair amount of upkeep. Wood is sensitive to moisture, and wetness can cause the door to crack and warp.

Fiberglass doors are perfect for harsh and humid climates we have here in Wisconsin because they can go several years without needing any paint or stain touchups. They come with an environmentally friendly polyurethane core that provides insulation properties that are at least four times greater than wood doors, and they also have a high-impact compression molded skin that will not splinter, warp, or rot. Wood grains that replicate the look of cherry, fir, mahogany, and oak are available.

Steel doors provide performance, safety, and beauty. They come pre-painted or pre-stained in a smooth or textured finish. Premium steel doors have a vinyl coating for improved weather resistance or sometimes even a wood veneer that can take a stain. Steel doors are durable and resist splintering and cracking; however, they are somewhat less energy efficient than wood or fiberglass. Heat or cold can be conducted to the inside surface unless a thermal break is incorporated into the door’s construction.

Next, consider the look of your door. Doors can be flat panel or have high definition panel profiles. Glass options include clear, double-insulated glass or a variety of triple-glazed designer glass styles. Homeowners have the option of choosing privacy ratings as well as choosing options in any size, shape, texture, pattern, or designer glass. The glass can be etched, patterned, textured, beveled, and designed with simulated divided lite and grilles between the glass. Homeowners can also choose from brass or lead caning. These decorative glass designs are sealed between two panes of tempered “safety” glass, providing the energy efficiency of triple glazing.

Just like glass packages, door hardware comes in many colors and shapes. Handles and hinges can be ornate or simple and finishes run the gamut, including nickel, satin nickel, bright brass, antique brass, oil-rubbed bronze, matte black, and satin stainless steel.

Other door options to take into consideration are whether you want to have a kick panel, peep hole, mail slot, and depending on the size of your opening, sidelights and transoms.

With all the customization options available, homeowners may become overwhelmed. That is where a trained product specialist from Callen with an eye for design can help by explaining and offering ideas of what will look and work best with the architecture and performance standards required. Call Callen today at 414-529-5509.