Why Full-Frame Window Replacement Makes Sense for Wisconsin Homes

IMG_1332Full window replacement, also known as full-frame replacement, is Callen’s preferred method of replacing windows. Full-frame replacement involves removing every component of the existing window, including the casing, frame, sash and any surrounding trim. Because many existing windows in the Milwaukee area are wood and have suffered varying degrees of water damage, this method ensures that we do not install a new window into a frame that has been damaged by moisture or insects.

Here are more benefits of the full-frame replacement system.

  • Full-frame replacement can be done on any home, for almost any type of window.
  • The entire window is removed, so that the size and shape of the opening can be changed if desired.
  • Full-frame replacements will not reduce viewing area like inserts.
  • We install new interior and exterior trim.
  • The window is replaced from the outside of your home for less mess.

While full-frame Brookfield window replacement involves a slightly higher cost, it gives our installers the opportunity to closely inspect the structural integrity of the window opening. We can also better insulate around the window frame to stop energy leaks.

Get the Best Features of Wood and Fiberglass

With our Infinity® from Marvin fiberglass replacement windows, you can get the look of wood plus the exceptional strength, durability and low maintenance of fiberglass. Infinity Windows made from Ultrex® fiberglass are eight times stronger than vinyl and are not subject to a constant expansion and contraction cycle. Plus, they are guaranteed not to pit, rust, corrode, chip, peel or blister.

No matter which installation method you choose, you will receive superior service and energy-efficient performance when you select Callen for your window replacement project. Let us evaluate your existing windows and give you the information you need to make the best decision for your home. Call (414) 529-5509 or click here to schedule a no-obligation consultation for window replacement in Waukesha, Brookfield, Milwaukee or surrounding communities!



Total Window Replacement Usually the Best Option

windowsBy Bob Mamerow

Many times when we are invited into a home to give a quote on window replacement, we find that we were not the first to be consulted.  Frequently, the homeowner will tell us that another company was there; telling them they didn’t need full window replacement, just an insert replacement.  Most homeowners like to hear that because they can keep their inside trim and don’t need to paint or stain.  But what is left out of that easy fix is that the homeowner wasn’t told about the lack of insulation between the frame of the window and it’s structural members that may not have been insulated 20, 40, 50, or 80 years ago.

An insert is just removing the sashes, parting stop and/or jamb liner on newer replacements and putting a window inside an existing frame.  There are several disadvantages to this.  For example, if an opening isn’t square, a window won’t operate properly.  Merely adding an insert is not going to help that window’s operation.  Another disadvantage is by putting a new window inside the frame of the old one, there is less glass, resulting in less light.  On a vinyl insert, you can lose as much as an inch on each side of the sash.  On a double hung window, that is a lot of light loss, which almost everybody finds undesirable.  But, the most important disadvantage of an insert is that the problem of air leaks is not resolved.

Compare this with a total window replacement.  The entire window is removed including exterior brick mold, nailing fins, frame, and sashes right down to the wood framing.  The new full frame replacement window is plumbed, squared, and shimmed so it can open and close properly.  The nailing fins are screwed in.  This is important to mention because typically we find that the nailing fins are held with roofing nails.  We prefer to use screws for a more secure connection.  Additionally, the sill pan and nailing fins are protected by a Tyvek butyl window wrapping.

To fill any gaps that cold air can leak through, we use closed cell foam insulation with low expansion.  That gives an R5 per inch insulation on each side of the window.  To prevent air coming in the pocket between the drywall, insulation, and framing, additional foam insulation is applied behind the jambs.

New brick mold is installed on the exterior and trimmed with aluminum.  It’s maintenance-free and the homeowner doesn’t have to worry about sills rotting or water infiltration.  Interior trim is available in pine, poplar, or oak and custom species and shapes when required.

When Callen does a window installation, we have installers who only do replacement windows, not other exterior projects.  Many have “Installation Masters” Certification and receive additional factory training from our premier window product, Infinity® from Marvin Fiberglass Replacement Windows.

In addition to quality installations and a Marvin Limited Lifetime Guarantee, homeowners are also protected by Callen’s lifetime workmanship warranty through our Total Owner Protection (TOP) program.

With our assessment of your true window replacement needs, full-service installation including interior and exterior trim, staining service availability, attention to detail, and lifetime warranty, you can be assured you are getting the best in window replacement from Callen.



Are Your Windows Eye Catching?

By Brad Flannigan

Your windows are the eyes of your home.  They are what you look out of to see the world outside and it is what attracts others to look at first when they pass by.  If you are a homeowner who wants your windows to make your home eye catching, then you may be in the market for custom window replacement.

When choosing a replacement window, you’ll look for windows that are aesthetically appealing from inside to outside, provide light and view, and let in fresh air when desired but be airtight when needed.

Infinity Fiberglass Replacement Windows from Marvin are Callen’s premier replacement windows, because Infinity from Marvin windows are eye catching, easy to operate, durable, and besides, you’ll save money on your fuel bills.  Callen was chosen by Marvin to be the exclusive retailer for Infinity windows in the metro Milwaukee area because of its long history offering premium replacement windows, and the way it comes to market with those windows.

Let’s talk about design first.  Infinity windows are a custom window, made exclusively for your home’s “point of view.”  Whether you want to replace a standard double-hung, or try something different, window configuration options are many, including awning, casement, bow, bay, polygon, octagon, and picture window.  If you are tired of a standard double hung, you might consider a bay.  A large picture window can be replaced with a bow.  A popular choice we are seeing are gliders – windows that slide from side to side – as a replacement for casements.  Besides windows, Infinity from Marvin also offers sliding patio doors in a French or Contemporary style, from 5 ft., 6 ft., or 8 ft.

Color is another element you want to consider to complement your home’s exterior.  With Infinity, you can choose from multiple color choices.  Interior color options include white and Sierra but what appeals to many discerning homeowners is the EverWood finish, a stainable product which can be custom stained, just like wood, to match your interior existing molding.  EverWood provides the rich appearance of wood; does not absorb moisture and will not decay for years of lasting beauty.  Six colors are available on the exterior.

Further customizing the look of your windows are the choices of grids between the glass or simulated divided lite windows with prairie style, colonial, and cottage-style designs.  Hardware finish options are just as customized and include white, satin taupe, brass, satin nickel, and oil rubbed bronze.

When you invest in replacement windows, you want those windows to last.  We recommend fiberglass because it is the most durable and energy efficient of all the window materials available.  You won’t have the concern of rot, mildew, or mold that plague wood windows.  Our standard insulated glass contains Low-E 366 with an argon fill, which is a high-efficiency glass package to alleviate fading, keep solar heat from coming through, and keep your home’s interior warmer in winter and cooler in summer.  The superior strength of Infinity Fiberglass Replacement Windows from Marvin also allows for a narrower window frame and more glass area than vinyl replacement windows, providing more daylight and better views.

The key to window replacement is the expertise of the installers.  At Callen, we measure the windows twice; once when the product specialist measures for the selling costs, and a second time by the project manager who measures for a precise fit.  All our installers are employees of Callen.  The installers work exclusively with windows – they don’t get involved with roofing or siding.

Callen is a factory-trained Marvin retailer and registers your purchase with Marvin for a Limited Lifetime Warranty, meaning your Infinity window and other non-glass components will be free from manufacturer defects for as long as you own your home.  Also, Callen’s lifetime Total Owner Protection (TOP) program means that if your product fails to perform due to improper installation, Callen will fix the problem for free.

If you are thinking of window replacement, now is a good time to do it.  Callen is running a savings sale until December 15 – buy five windows and get the sixth window free.  That includes the window and the labor!

Let us show you how your home can be eye-catching and more energy efficient!  Give us a call at 414-529-5509 or visit either of our Muskego or Brookfield showrooms.



Understanding Window Glass and Energy Efficiency

By Christopher Wittmann

One of the questions I hear from homeowners looking for window replacement is “Are your windows energy efficient?”

Well, yes, they are.  I, and the other Callen exterior product specialists, wouldn’t sell you windows that weren’t energy efficient.  But since this question comes up often, I think it needs to be addressed.

First a bit of history on energy efficient windows: Energy efficient windows were developed during the energy crisis of the 1970s.  As then President Jimmy Carter was putting solar panels on the White House, the Department of Energy began a program at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to find additional ways to conserve energy; windows were among its targets.  Developments from that research included Low-E coatings, insulating argon glass between window panes, and the development of the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC).  The NFRC provides an independent verification of product performance through a rating and labeling system that is clearly visible for consumers to see when they go to purchase windows.

A Window’s Job

There are several components that make a window energy efficient.  In this blog, I will address the glass element because that is what people look at first when choosing windows.

It’s important to understand a window’s basic job, which is to control heat gain and loss, regulate air flow, and provide natural light.  These functions are rated by the NFRC so you, as the homeowner, are knowledgeable about the window’s performance.

Heat gain and loss occurs through conduction, convection, and solar radiation. Conduction is the transfer of heat through the windows to the exterior.  For example, if you touch a hot pan, you’ll feel heat conducted from the stove to the pan.  Heat flows through glass in a similar way.  Convection occurs when warm indoor air meets a cold window, loses its heat, and sinks toward the flow.  More warm air rushes to take its place and the cycle repeats.  You feel this movement as a cold draft.  Solar radiation moves the heat from a warmer body to a cooler one.  Sit by a window on a sunny day and you will feel like an ant trapped under a magnifying glass.

The NFRC measures heat gain and loss (or insulation) through the U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC).

The U-Factor measures insulation value – the heat from inside a room that can escape.  This rating takes into account all parts of the window – the glass, the frame, and the sash.  The lower the number – .30 or lower is recommended – the better insulation and greater performance.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures the percentage of sun’s solar heat that passes through the window.  Higher numbers mean more heat gain, which you would not want during the summer, but it is desirable during the winter.

Windows also need to regulate air flow – they should be able to open to allow fresh air in and be airtight when closed.  The NFRC use an Air Leakage (AL) number measures air that passes through the window assembly.  The lower the number, the lower the potential for draft through the window.

Because windows are our opening to the world and contribute to how we feel inside our homes, they should provide natural light and frame views both near and far.  The NFRC’s Visible Transmittance (VT) measures the amount of physical light that passes through windows.  Values range from zero to one; a higher number equals more natural light.  Most ratings are between .3 and .8 because manufacturers take into account the light that is blocked from the frame, screens, and sash.

Double vs. Triple Pane

In Wisconsin, we live in a Zone 6 climate, so with our weather a double-pane, Low-E coating and argon gas window will give you the return on your investment.

Do we need triple-pane windows in Wisconsin?  Triple pane windows, from a numbers point of view, would be better than a double pane.  But a lot of it has to do with the environment it is in.  In our zone, a triple pane window’s return on investment is 12 to 15 years out.  A lot of manufacturers try to sell people on triple pane, but they are vinyl window companies.  The question is whether their vinyl will last as long as the window pane.

In urban areas, some may desire a triple-pane window as additional sound insulation.  For those who have a need for that, Marvin manufacturers a “sound transmittance glass” available for their double paned windows.

By choosing a window with a Low-E (emissivity) coating, the glass protects the house from heat coming in from sun in summer, but during winter it blocks heat loss to the outside while reflecting heat back in.  By reducing ultra violet rays, it helps keep upholstery, carpeting, and drapes from fading.

Glass Spacers

Spacers are also an important part of energy efficient window construction.  Spacers keep an appropriate distance between the panes of glass on an insulating unit.  Without a quality constructed spacer, the window can lose much of its energy efficiency.

I hope you found this blog helpful on the fundamentals of window glass.  Again, it’s only one element of having energy-efficient windows in the home.  For any questions on replacement windows, don’t hesitate to call us.  It’s our pleasure to provide you with all the information you need to make the window choice that’s right for you.