Feb

05

Callen Recognized for Craftsmanship and Customer Service

Residential Bathroom $25,000-$50,000 Gold Award

Callen was recently recognized by three different organization for the quality of its work and how it conducts business.

The company received two awards in the Milwaukee NARI-sponsored 2017 Wisconsin Remodeler of the Year Awards (WRA) presented January 12, 2018. Callen was recognized with awards in the following remodeling categories:

  • Residential Bathroom $25,000 – $50,000: Gold Award
  • Residential Kitchen $60,000 – $100,000: Silver Award

Residential Kitchen $60,000-$100,000 Silver Award

This is the 18th consecutive year Callen has won an award in the WRA competition, which is conducted annually by the Milwaukee NARI Home Improvement Council, Inc.

Callen was awarded “Best Of Houzz” in Customer Service on Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. Callen was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service, and Photography. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2017. A “Best Of Houzz 2018” badge appears on Callen’s profile as a sign of the company’s commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz. Follow Callen on Houzz at www.houzz.com/Callen-Construction.

“The Houzz community selected a phenomenal group of Best of Houzz 2018 award winners, so this year’s recipients should be very proud,” said Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing at Houzz. “Best of Houzz winners represent some of the most talented and customer-focused professionals in our industry, and we are extremely pleased to give them both this recognition and a platform on which to showcase their expertise.”

Lastly, Callen earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award for the ninth time in the company’s history. The award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List in 2017

“The service providers that receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award demonstrate the level of excellence that members have come to expect,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These pros are top-notch and absolutely deserve recognition for the trustworthy and exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year and overall.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2017 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade and review period grade. The Super Service Award winners must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check, record a current trade license attestation, and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated continually on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in multiple fields ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

“Being once again recognized by these three outstanding organization represents the dedication to quality work and service by all Callen employees,” said Phil Callen, owner. “Since 1986, we’ve worked with our clients to create the home they desire with our unique approach. These awards show that our emphasis on providing the best products and service to our customers is appreciated.”

Mar

07

How to Plan for Your Bathroom Remodel

Remodeling a bathroom may seem like it’s not as extensive a project as a kitchen. After all, you’re working with basically four pieces – tub, toilet, shower, sink. But just like any other renovation, careful planning is necessary to ensure a successful outcome.

“There needs to be forethought before the project begins,” said Paulette Sodemann, a designer for Callen Construction. “Important considerations should be answered before you get started. It will be helpful for you to make a project plan to understand the steps necessary to get the job done.

“As you start planning your project, consider your lifestyle and how the bathroom fits into the picture,” Paulette advised. “Consider how you’re using it now and what you want this remodel to accomplish.”

March - bathroomHow long will you be in the home?

How long you plan to be in your home is a huge factor in the decision-making process.

“This will determine how much work and effort you will put into remodeling the bathroom. If this will be your home for the long haul, then you can give it a complete makeover, budget permitting. If you plan to move out in a couple of years, a refresh to increase the value of the house makes sense. Either way, this is something to consider so you and your designer can plan accordingly,” she said.

Know your budget.

It’s critical to decide what your budget will be. Know how much you want to spend and then plan for an additional 10 to 20 percent in a contingency fund for unexpected expenses. When you know your budget, the contractor can make the proper recommendations and help you prioritize your decisions.

Keep in mind that new configurations of tub, sink, or toilet may require additional plumbing and pipe placement, which also impacts the budget. It’s important to factor that into your overall plan and budget from the beginning.

Determine your wants and wishes.

Check out websites like Pinterest and Houzz, as well as shelter magazines and Callen’s project gallery on its website, to gather ideas of what you would like your new space to look like. Draw up a list of features you need to have and features you wish you could have. This will help your designer create a plan based on what you want to spend and the space available.

“There are many decisions when it comes to materials and finishes in the bathroom. This extends to cabinetry, flooring, backsplashes, countertops, lighting, exhaust fans, faucets, sinks, and more,” Paulette said. “Your designer should discuss with you different price points and differences in quality, maintenance, and durability.

“If this is your home for life, you also want to consider features that will allow you to remain in your home, should health or mobility issues become part of the picture in later years,” she said.

Find the right contractor.

Choose a contractor who has an established business and is knowledgeable about interior remodeling. Ask for references and follow-up on them.

Another key thing to consider is whether you have a comfort level with him/her. Can you communicate easily? While the contractor may not be the person who will be on-the-job daily, he should brief you on who will be, and how available they are for questions and project updates.

Expect the unexpected.

“Before you undertake your remodeling project, keep in mind that once that tub or shower is ripped out, the plumbing behind the wall may need to be updated, the same with electrical and the overall condition of the walls,” Paulette said. “There may have been an undetected leak and you might have a mold problem. This is something that your contractor will be able to remediate, but you need to be prepared that this can delay the project’s timeline and incur additional expense. If you are prepared for the unexpected, the process will be much less stressful.”

For more information on planning a bathroom remodel, or to schedule an initial showroom consultation, call Callen at 414-529-5509.

Sep

16

Determining Siding Color

by Christopher Wittmann

When it comes to choosing replacement siding on your home in Milwaukee, Waukesha, or Ozaukee counties, actually anywhere in southeastern Wisconsin, color is an important element because it really is the first impression of your home. Almost all siding manufacturers, whether they are vinyl, fiberglass, fiber cement, or composite wood, will offer different color combinations. So how do you choose?

One of the first things to consider is your home’s architectural style. For example, a Cape Cod home may look best in subtle colors, while a Victorian can carry more dramatic colors. Cruise your neighborhood and see what other homeowners are doing with color. There is no need to copycat, but if you live in a subdivision where everyone’s exterior is a neutral shade, you might not want to go too bold or too bright. Especially in areas where homes are closer together, you want your home to be in harmony with the neighborhood – make it stand out, not look out of place.

That’s not to say pops of color can’t be used, especially when highlighting architectural details, such as doors or shutters. I recommend using three colors on a house. Your main color will be the siding. If you have brick or stonework as part of the façade, you want to make sure the color will blend or complement it. All your aluminum trim (gutters, downspouts, soffits and fascia, window, and door trim) should match or complement each other. An accent color can be used for shutters or a front door.

There seems to be a trend in contemporary or modern houses to go with a dark trim, but most houses look better with a lighter trim that will brighten up and frame the house. Some homes have bump outs around windows and a lot of homeowners want to eliminate that. Instead, I recommend accenting it with color or a stone façade. Make it a focal point because that is what it was meant to be.

There are apps and web-based programs that will allow you to get a preview of how your home will look with different colors or different size siding. Mastic, for one, has a free app that allows you put color combinations together. Some websites offer stock housing pictures that you can select from that are similar to yours and you can play with color. Other websites allow you to download a photo of your home and you can photoshop your image so you can see how various products look on it. Another resource is houzz.com, where there are thousands of ideas on home exteriors.

When considering a color, take into account what will look best for the geographic region. You may love your winter getaway in the desert or on the beach, but a home that is terra cotta or sea green may not be the best choice for our climate.

While some siding material allows you to custom paint, I recommend going with the factory applied color. It’s more durable, more sustainable, and more guaranteed/warranteed.

Siding can also be used to break up tall lines of a house and accent other architectural features. For example, a really tall house might have shake siding on the gables, horizontal siding on the bottom, and framed with band board as a separation between the two.

When choosing siding, homeowners generally fall into three categories: those who repeat the same color and style; those who want to change the home’s appearance slightly by adding some color to the shutters or door or maybe adding some stonework; and those who use more than one siding profile along with bold colors.

Which type are you? Whether you are basic or bold, we can help you choose an exterior siding product that will make you proud of your home!