The Top 4 Outdoor Maintenance Projects for Autumn Days

Cooler weather makes autumn the perfect time to complete a multitude of home improvement projects. Taking care of these projects before really cold weather hits will drastically reduce the amount of time you have to spend on home maintenance in the winter months. Here are several tips from Callen Construction on the most essential fall projects to help get your home settled in for winter.

Examine the Roof

Winters can be brutal. Having a sturdy, leak-proof roof is vital to protect your home from the elements. Autumn is a good time to have a roofing professional do a yearly inspection to make sure your roof is in tip-top shape, and take care of repairs if necessary. If you prefer doing it yourself, keep an eye out for missing, cracked, or curling shingles.

Protect Lawn Furniture

Even the highest quality lawn and deck furniture will fade, rust and break down quickly when left to the mercy of the sun, wind, and other elements. Before winter sets in, make sure your furniture gets a thorough cleaning, then store it in a protected area or at least make sure it has an adequate cover. Check your deck or patio at the same time for loose or broken boards, nails that have popped, and bricks or stones that are cracked or loose.

Prep Your Lawn

Just like your house, your lawn needs to be prepped for winter. This is a little more involved than just raking leaves. Start by clearing out gardens and flowerbeds, then move on to aerating the lawn and fertilizing grass, bushes, and trees. The shortened days, cool temperatures, and heavy dews of autumn make it ideal for root development, so it’s a great time to plant cool-season grasses, flower bulbs, and trees.

The Top 4 Outdoor Maintenance Projects for Autumn DaysInspect Windows

It’s important to check your windows yearly to determine if they are performing well and whether window replacement in Waukesha is necessary. Check the locks to make sure they are secure and in good shape. Examine the weather-stripping on the interior and the sealant on the exterior to make sure that heat will stay in and drafts will stay out.

Get Help from the Pros

Not sure where to start? Need help with home exterior remodeling in Muskego, WI? Just give Callen a call at 414-765-2585 and we’ll be happy to share our home improvement expertise.



Preparing for Winter: Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

As summer days get shorter and a hint of fall can be felt in the air, it’s time to start thinking about prepping your home for winter. Before you begin any home exterior remodeling in Brookfield, WI, here are just a few of the essential tasks that should be taken care of before cold weather hits. Simple precautions can go a long way to prevent expensive repairs down the road.

Maintain Your Mower

Before your mower is ready to stow for the winter, there are several things that should be done to guarantee a smooth start when spring rolls around. First, if you haven’t run your mower dry, you will need to stabilize any fuel left in the tank to prevent it from breaking down and damaging the engine. This can be done by adding stabilizer to the tank of your mower and running it for five minutes to ensure that it gets to the carburetor. Add stabilizer to the gas in your gas can too. It’s also a good idea to oil the engine and clean grass clumps and build-up from the deck of the mower.

Callen Preparing for Winter: Your Fall Home Maintenance ChecklistClean Out Gutters

The damage that can ensue from a clogged gutter is harmful to your home as well as your wallet. To prevent this, get out your ladder and clean gutters of all leaves, sticks and other debris. While cleaning, check to see if the gutters are loose or damaged, and tighten or call for replacement as needed. Make sure the areas where the water runs off are clear of debris as well, and protect your home’s foundation by ensuring that downspouts reach beyond the house by at least five feet. To make sure you do not need to worry about this chore in the future, call Callen to have Gutter Topper installed.

Examine the Roof

While you have the ladder out, take a survey of your roof. If you cannot safely climb to the roof line, use binoculars from the ground. Pay close attention to the shingles, noting any that are missing, cracked, or curling. If your roof is older than 20 years and you notice unusual amounts of granule accumulation while you are cleaning gutters, this could mean that your shingles are losing their protective coating. If you have any concerns, be sure to call a roofing professional such as Callen before harsh winter weather sets in.

As the leader in home remodeling and replacement windows in Brookfield, WI, Callen is always ready and willing to answer any questions you might have. Just give us a call today at 414-765-2585 for prompt, professional service.




Remodeling Trends: The Comeback of Bronze

Stainless steel finishes have been en vogue for the past decade or so, along with nickel, chrome, and oil-rubbed bronze, but lately the warmer touch of classic bronze is starting to make a return to the home remodeling scene. Take a look at these innovative new products that can bring the glow of bronze into your home.

Unique Pendants

Pendant lights are becoming increasingly popular. If you are planning for kitchen remodeling in Milwaukee, Callen Construction can install slim-profile pendant lights over your kitchen island, or pendants with wider mounts for the perfect focal point for your entryway or dining room. The combination of a rich bronze fixture with colored glass can result in an elegant look or a more modern, utilitarian feel, depending on the style of your light. Either way, the turn away from chrome and steel will lend a much softer look to the space.

Callen Blog - Interior Trends 042516Surface Shimmer

The warm tones of bronze are also appearing on other surfaces. Paint colors are evolving, and many homeowners are finding that a little metallic shimmer on the walls can really brighten a room. Others are transitioning from the more limited color options of granite countertops to counters made of recycled glass. Glass countertops can be applied wherever natural stone is used, and shards of crushed glass (incorporated during the manufacturing process) in shades of amber and flint are the perfect complement to bronze fixtures. Other common applications are in surrounds and architectural cladding.

Natural Cooling

Cool roof tiles are an ingenious product developed to reduce cooling costs by reflecting solar heat back into the atmosphere. This can dramatically decrease the temperature of a building by as much as 20%. Not only are your energy savings increased, it is also better for the environment and increases the life of your roof. While there are a wide range of tile colors available, choose tiles in tones of weathered bronze and grey to get in on the growing bronze trend.

If you would like to add a little extra shine to your home, call Callen for expert interior renovations, kitchen remodeling, and bathroom remodeling in Waukesha, WI. Our talented design team looks forward to helping you create a more beautiful interior space.



Home Issues You Shouldn’t Ignore

Callen Blog Photo - Home Issues You Should Not Ignore 012516Water in the basement after a rain, cracks in the foundation or scary sounds from your HVAC are some red-flag problems you shouldn’t ignore. Here are some other home issues that you should address before they become an even bigger problem.


Seeing ants on the kitchen countertops or finding mouse droppings in cabinets are signs that you have openings in your house that need to be closed. Check exhaust vents, condensate lines, pipes, ducts, utility access panels, and garage doors. Look for obvious gaps, signs of nesting or chewing, ripped screening, and seal and repair. Lay traps for your uninvited house guests, but if that makes you queasy, a pest-control professional may be needed.


Mold can occasionally occur in wet spots in the kitchen and the bathroom, especially after an undetected faucet leak. These areas can generally be cleaned by yourself with a bleach/water solution, and taking precautions such as using rubber gloves, wearing safety glasses, a respirator mask, and keeping the area well ventilated. However, when mold shows up on the living room wall, ceiling, or baseboards, that is a larger problem. If not remediated, mold can do extensive damage to your home and make you very sick. According to the EPA, all mold has the potential to cause ill health. The best solution is to call a professional for evaluation and clean-up.

As with all contractors, check for certifications and references.

A Sagging or Warped Floor

A warped floorboard may be the result of natural settling, but you shouldn’t assume that it is harmless without having a look in your basement or crawlspace. Warping and sagging can be signs of structural damage. Call a home inspector or engineer for advice and assistance.

Missing or Damaged Roof Shingles

When you see signs of damage to your roof, you should tackle them right away. If moisture reaches the wood sheathing underneath the shingles, it can cause the roof to structure to rot. Extra moisture also encourages mildew and rot in walls, ceilings, insulation and electrical systems. Replacing a shingle or two may be a temporary fix. Other factors can impact the roof’s quality as well, including proper ventilation, flashing, gutters and drainage, and the impact of surrounding trees. Your best option may be to call a professional roofer for a complete inspection.

Smelly or Gurgling Drains

Gurgling may be caused by a blockage you can remove with a snake or plunger. If a sink is smelly and you do not use it frequently it may be due to the fact that the water in the U-shaped pipe underneath may have dried out, allowing methane gas into the room. This can be fixed by pouring water down the drain and airing out the room. If a smell or noise persists, call a plumber to investigate your vent pipes.

Dripping Faucets

A leaky faucet may seem like a minor problem, but it can waste a shocking amount of water. Don’t wait until you hear or see a drip, but actively check the cabinets under your sinks to make sure nothing is leaking.

Shaky Stair Railings

Wobbly stair railings should not be ignored, especially if there are children or elderly residents. A stair railing should resist a force of about 200 pounds, so if your staircase moves more than a little just by touching it, tighten the railing’s attachment to the wall.

Peeling Paint

If paint is peeling on the outside of the house, sun and water can damage the wood underneath. If paint is peeling in rough squares on the inside of the house, that is usually a sign that a lead-based paint is underneath. Removing lead is a safety hazard and should only be done by a lead-certified professional.

For assistance with any interior or exterior improvement projects, call Callen today at 414-765-2585 for a FREE inspection and estimate. We’re the exterior remodeling company Milwaukee homeowners have trusted since 1986!