Excellent Entryways: Five Ways to Add Design and Function

The entryway is where visitors get their first glimpse into your home, so it’s important that it feels warm and welcoming. An attractive entryway should be both functional and organized, and should also reflect your own personal style. Here are some tips from Callen Construction, your favorite local remodeling company, on how to create a fabulous entryway without spending a lot in the process.

Excellent Entryways: Five Ways to Add Design and Function Start Outside

Contrary to popular belief, the entryway actually starts outside your home. A clear, unobstructed path, ample outdoor lighting, and cozy seating will all set the tone as guests prepare to enter your home. The type of seating will vary depending on the size of your porch or stoop, but it could range from matching rockers to a small bistro set brightened by colorful cushions. A cheery seasonal wreath and stately stone planters will help frame the front door and make it more inviting.

Mark Your Space

While having the same type of flooring throughout the main areas of your home is great for the flow of your rooms, it doesn’t do much to add interest or personality. A rug is the perfect way to define your entry space while also adding color and texture, plus catch the dirt and debris tracked in by friends and family. Indoor/outdoor rugs are a good choice because they’re durable and easy to care for.

Make a Statement with Lighting

An eye-catching overhead fixture, such as a chandelier or unique pendant, is the perfect way to make a statement with lighting. Make sure you pay attention to scale, however. If you have a small entryway, a heavy chandelier could be overpowering. The soft glow of sconces or a table lamp may be a better fit in this situation.

Make It Functional

Another important feature every entryway needs is a place to drop keys and mail when you come in the door. Choose one piece of furniture for this purpose, and keep it in scale with the entryway’s size. A place for guests to hang their personal items is also important, and could be as simple as a row of hooks on the wall or as elaborate as a fancy hall tree. Whatever you do, don’t go overboard with furniture, as this will give the entryway a cluttered feel and make it hard to maneuver.

Personalize the Entryway

You are now ready to personalize your space! Select accessories for your entryway that show your personal taste and style, but still fit well with the home’s overall design. Hang a mirror or beautiful piece of art over your table or console, display a stack of interesting books, or set out a flower arrangement. Whatever you decide to do, make it say something about you!

Whether you’re interested in kitchen or bathroom remodeling or are looking to upgrade the exterior of your home, call Callen. Contact us at 414-765-2585, and we will be ready to tackle all of your remodeling needs.




Weekend Project: How to Organize Your Garage

Is your garage packed with stuff that you hardly ever use? You might not even know what’s in there, especially if you’ve been parking in the driveway. Maybe it’s time to tackle organizing the garage for your next weekend project. It might not be considered fun, but it will be rewarding once it’s done! Follow these tips from Callen Construction, Milwaukee’s leading exterior remodeling company, to get this space into shape.

Weekend Project: How to Organize Your GarageChoose a Weekend for Organizing the Garage

Don’t let the idea of giving up an entire weekend to work on this project keep you from doing it. If you follow the tips provided here, you may even get it done in a single day!

Create a Plan

Before you start, identify the items that you need to store in your garage. Sort all items into three categories: keep, donate, and discard. Sorting your items by category allows you to see how much stuff you have. If you take out all items that don’t belong in there, your organizing job will be that much easier to manage.

Purchase Shelves, Hooks, Tubs & Pegboards

Think ahead and stock up on shelving, pegboards, hooks, and plastic bins to help you store materials neatly. Make sure you take measurements before you purchase to ensure everything will fit on walls and in the storage space you have available.

Group Items and Choose a New Layout

Now that you know what you will keep, you can figure out the best layout for your garage. Hang cords, tools, and other frequently used items from hooks or pegboards. Place like items in stackable plastic bins and store neatly on shelves.

Perfect! Now that you’ve redesigned your garage, you might have noticed that your siding needs replacing or your entry doors should be repaired before winter. If so, Call Callen at 414-765-2585 for a free estimate on any exterior remodeling project. After all, the only thing better than a well-organized garage is a well-maintained home exterior that makes you proud every time you pull in the driveway!



Four Popular Updates for a Better Laundry Room

Four Popular Updates for a Better Laundry RoomWhile kitchen and bathroom remodeling still lead the pack when it comes to home renovation, homeowners have increasingly started to choose a laundry room upgrade as their remodeling project of choice. Smarter storage and better function resonate with homeowners who realize they spend a lot of time doing laundry, so they may as well do it in a space that they enjoy! If a laundry room update is in your future, consider these ideas from Callen Construction to get a fresh new look.

Hook It Up

If your laundry room doesn’t have a good spot for a clothes rod, you can go another route by adding hooks to the wall, the doors of an armoire, or the side of a revamped entertainment center. Being able to hang your clothes as you launder them is important, as it helps decrease wrinkling and allows for easy, convenient transfer of your clothing items from the laundry room to the closet.

Create a Folding Station

When it comes to folding laundry, folding as you go will save a lot of time and trouble. If you have side-by-side front loading appliances, a counter-height table built directly over them will give you an ideal surface on which to fold each load as it comes out of the dryer. If this set-up is not a viable option for you, a baby changing station is a good alternative that lets you fold at a comfortable height and has the advantage of additional shelving for your laundry supplies.

Lighten Up the Room

Many laundry rooms are in the basement, which can make the already dreaded task of tackling laundry even more challenging. To combat this, paint your laundry room a bright, cheerful color, such as a sunny yellow. With as much time as the average person spends in the laundry room, why not make it a more pleasant place to be?

Repurpose Furniture

As more and more people opt for wall-mounted flat screen TVs, big and bulky entertainment centers are becoming a thing of the past. Fortunately, there are many ways to repurpose them for other uses, one of which is as a laundry station! Simply adjust the entertainment center shelves as needed to allow room for laundry baskets and supplies, and add a clothes rod to accommodate items that need to be hung. Freestanding cabinets and armoires are another great option that allows your laundry station to be hidden when not in use.

If you want a local remodeling company that knows its stuff, Call Callen at 414-765-2585. We can answer your questions about laundry room updates, as well as any other home improvement projects you may have in mind.



When Is It Time For Gutter Replacement?

Day after day, year after year, your gutters and downspouts are always on call to channel damaging storm water away from the home. “Even if your gutters have provided you with decades of faithful, trouble-free service, every installation has an expiration date,” said Christopher Wittmann, CR, exterior product specialist with Callen Construction in Muskego. “If you’re not certain whether or not the time for replacement has come, look out for these telltale signs of failure to give you some insight.”

When Is It Time For Gutter Replacement?Look to see if there are cracks or splits of any kind. While small cracks in your gutters may not seem like a major concern at first, they will eventually turn into larger cracks, and it may happen sooner than you think. If you allow these cracks to remain, water will not only damage your gutters further, but it will also damage the fascia boards behind the gutters, the shingles above the gutter, and the foundation below.

Another warning sign is peeling paint on or around your gutters and or flecks of orange.

“The paint on your gutter is designed to withstand the typical wear and tear throughout the seasons. Unless your gutters are extremely old, peeling paint or orange flecks from the beginning stages of rust indicate that water is present on a continuous basis,” explained Christopher. This could mean that the gutter is not removing the water properly, or that cracks or other damage may be present.

Be on the look out for pools of water or signs of mildew around your home’s foundation. Gutters are designed with the purpose of keeping water flowing away from your home’s foundation. Pools of water or mildew can indicate that the gutters are not working as intended. This could be caused by something as simple as a clog, or as complex as a defect in the gutter system. Water can easily cause foundation damage, leading to costly, time-consuming repairs.

“Check your gutters at least once a year, preferably on a day that’s relatively sunny and free from rain, for water damage or watermarks directly beneath the gutters,” advised Christopher. “Water damage or marks underneath the gutter indicate that leaking or overflowing water is escaping the gutter. This type of water intrusion can damage your soffit and fascia board.”

One of the easiest ways to tell if your gutters require repairs or replacement is if you notice sagging or the gutters are beginning to pull away from the house. “This can indicate that the gutters are full of water and are pulling away from the house due to the weight,” he said “A full gutter means the gutter system may not be appropriate for the home, it’s draining improperly, or debris is causing blockage. Sagging gutters could require significant cost and can be a hassle to repair.

“Remember, gutters are an important part of your home. They direct water away from your home’s exterior walls, windows, doors, and foundation, preventing water from making its way inside. Be proactive when you look for these revealing cues, so you can address any concerns before they become major problems,” Christopher said.