Don’t Wait to Plan Your Remodeling Project

Last month I talked about even with the holiday, it is a good idea to get a head start on your remodeling project, whether it’s interior or exterior. Many of us are currently immersed in holiday celebrations because “it’s the most wonderful time of the year!” This includes end of year planning and of course, trying our best to enjoy the holidays.

However, let’s look ahead to 2018 for a minute. What are your goals around the house? Do you have any remodeling plans? Even the smallest projects take time to investigate, call for estimates, and compare quotes and contractors (more on that in a bit) to make sure it turns out the way you intended. Ever since I started my relationship with Callen (Gutter Topper was installed on our previous home), I became tuned in to how things take time and effort, but in the end, result in an exciting time for you and your family.

By thinking ahead, like planning for next spring for example, you will accomplish all of those goals while everyone else is just getting started. Many contractors tell me they get a flood of remodeling projects in spring – it’s just human nature to want new windows after the long winter, or decide it is finally time for new siding or roofing or an updated lower level or bathroom. The problem is everyone else have the same thoughts in spring.

Designers, both for inside and outside your house, need to work with you on planning the project, then order product, schedule the project, well you get the point. It doesn’t happen overnight. There is a certain sense of relief in getting things done ahead of your anticipated goals.

So, if spring is your goal for getting some estimates on a simple window install or a kitchen remodel, let’s move that date up and start now. Callen is there for you, as they have full time designers to assist you in every way.

One of my best memories working with Callen was the suggestion that I put heated floors in my bathroom remodel. We ended up putting heated floors in the bath and our new walk-in closet that Callen designed and remodeled. I would not have done it had they not brought it up. It is easily one of the best decisions I ever made! I no longer walk into cold tiles, but rather a cozy and warm tiled bathroom and closet. I absolutely recommend it.

Also, take time in getting ideas from Houzz or any good website, such as www.CallCallen.com, to get ideas and save photos for your designer. Then call Callen for an appointment to get an estimate. Callen’s award winning team have been remodeling Kronforst homes for more than 20 years. We trust them and listen to their ideas, because they’re the experts. They, in turn, will listen to what you want and then the fun begins.

Thank you to all of our WISN-AM 1130 listeners that tune in to my Remodeling show on Saturday mornings. Enjoy the Holidays and Merry Christmas to all of you.

Paul Kronforst



The Most Wonderful Time of Year to Plan a Remodeling Project

The Most Wonderful Time of Year to Plan a Remodeling Project

The holidays, the time of year we are supposed to enjoy with family, relax, and not be stressed out. This month, I’m going to give some personal remodeling advice that I hope helps alleviate some stress and give you something to ponder with regard to your next remodeling project.

The common thought is to wait to until after the holidays are done to begin thinking about remodeling the house. Now I know what a lot of you are thinking – we start the holidays way too early. If you’ve been to stores, you have seen holiday lights up since before Halloween. Is this early? Perhaps. My point is, at the mention of “the holidays,” many of you reading this begin to stress out. The last thing on your mind is likely your next remodeling project.

Here’s my advice – start thinking and planning for remodeling your home now. It takes your mind in another direction, and don’t worry, there will still be plenty of time to trim the tree and bake cookies. Giving your brain something else to work on is a healthy and positive move, in my opinion.

Also, designers need time to well, design. There is a great deal of communication and planning required for kitchen, bathroom, and lower level remodeling projects that you can do even before the Callen crew would show up at your house to begin that exciting project.

The sooner your start the planning, the sooner the project will be done. You get a jump-start on others and will likely be done before the first robin arrives in spring.

Exterior projects are the same. Callen can and will install windows, doors, siding, and roofing in winter!

So, go ahead and start the holidays – hang the lights, decorate your house, shop for gifts, and bake cookies. But don’t forget to start thinking, planning, and meeting with a designer at Callen to start your remodeling project. It may just take some of the stress out of the most wonderful time of year!

Happy Holidays (yes, a bit early) to everyone!

Paul Kronforst



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.