May

29

Window Remodel: Before (Paul Kronforst Review)

Window Remodel: Before | Paul KronforstI am going to do things backwards in terms of the projects that Callen has done on our home, starting with the current project. Callen is going to replace a VERY large original window (23 years old) that is a focal point of our home. The current window has rotted wood and the seal is broke. You may have seen this in windows – the milky or foggy look between the panes of glass. Once the seal is broken, there is no fixing a window.

The photo that accompanies this blog post shows the window. Note that it will be a challenge to take the original glass out, and replace it with two windows instead of the one big piece of glass. This is where Callen shines. I cannot say enough about the quality of the install and the professionalism, courtesy, and cleanliness of the guys that come into your home. Callen lets you know well in advance when the crews are coming, they will call you on the way, and they thoroughly explain every job before and after. There is no confusion and the communication is excellent.

We are going with the Marvin Infinity window, which is fiberglass. These windows are outstanding, as Callen has installed them throughout our entire home. I will talk about that installation, including the bay window, our patio door, and entry door, in future blogs.

Every home should have at least one WOW factor – this window is what you see when you walk up the path to our front door. The front of our house has a northern exposure and rotted wood is very common with the lack of sunshine. Several of the neighbors up and down the block have had the same problem with the northern side of their homes. For more strength and durability, Callen designers suggested going with two windows. Instead of wood, there will be a composite material on the outside, which will eliminate the potential for rotting. Added benefits of the new window are energy efficiency for summer and winter, plus aesthetics.

We cannot wait for this window to be installed. My next blog will have the finished photos, as well as an explanation of the installation process. Talk to you soon!

– Paul Kronforst of “The Remodeling Show” on News/Talk 1130 WISN

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May

22

Spring Cleaning Tips for Sparkling Windows

Spring Cleaning Tips for Sparkling Windows Window cleaning is one of the essential spring chores for keeping your home looking neat and fresh. It’s especially important if you’ve had a window replacement recently to keep your new windows looking as beautiful as the day they were installed. Fortunately, cleaning windows isn’t complicated. All it takes is a few common household cleaning supplies and a little elbow grease!

Phase One: The Cleaners and Supplies

Most people attack their windows with a bottle of store-bought window cleaning solution and a roll of paper towels. While many commercial sprays do an adequate job cleaning off dirt and smudges, a more effective and economical method for cleaning windows involves using common household cleaners you probably already have: alcohol, vinegar, and sudsy ammonia. Plus, ditch the paper towels, which will leave behind lint. Instead, use clean rags or coffee filters.

  • The cleaners: Alcohol, vinegar, and sudsy ammonia.
  • Other recommended supplies: Two buckets, rubber gloves, a squeegee, clean rags or coffee filters, and a ladder (if needed).

Phase Two: The Cleaning Solution

Squeaky-clean windows require a lot of hot water, so start by filling two buckets with 1-2 gallons each of hot water. Make it as hot as you can tolerate with your rubber gloves on.

To the first bucket, add one cup each of vinegar and ammonia; this will be your wash water. For your rinse water, add two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol. This will give your windows that streak-free shine by helping the water evaporate more quickly.

  • Bucket 1 (wash water): 1-2 gallons hot water, one cup vinegar, one cup ammonia
  • Bucket 2 (rinse water): 1-2 gallons hot water, two tablespoons rubbing alcohol

Phase Three: The Cleaning Process

Now it’s time for the real work to begin. Dip a clean rag in the wash water. Starting at the top and working your way down, use circular motions to clean the whole window. If you encounter sticky spots or dried-on materials that don’t want to come off, try using a synthetic scraper (metal ones will scratch your glass).

Quickly rinse down the window with your rinse water, then immediately use a squeegee to clear off the water, using solid vertical strokes. Be sure to clean off the squeegee between each pass to avoid leaving behind drips and water lines. Finally, use a dry coffee filter or rag to catch any water left in the corners or on the sill.

If you need a full service window replacement company, Callen would be happy to take care of that for you. Just call 414-765-2585 and we’ll have your new Infinity® from Marvin fiberglass windows installed and ready to enjoy in no time!

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Mar

13

Installation of Energy Efficient Windows Continues to be a Popular Home Improvement

Does your home seem cool in the winter and warm in the summer? If so, it may be worth your while to investigate this inconvenience, rather than ignore it. Chances are, the culprits of your discomfort are outdated windows.

Older windows often leak air between your house and the outdoors, which makes your heating and cooling systems work overtime. “Replacing your home’s old windows with properly sealed, energy efficient replacement windows is a step in the right direction,” said Christopher Wittmann, CR, an exterior product specialist with Callen. “Installing energy-efficient windows will not only lower energy bills, but also improve your comfort and reduce condensation,” Christopher said.

Faulty windows are one of the primary sources of energy drain in an average home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, traditional windows can waste up to 30% of energy used to heat or cool a building. “If you don’t want your energy dollars to seep through the cracks, it’s important to replace your out-of-date windows with Energy Star rated windows,” Christopher said.

Installation of Energy Efficient Windows Continues to be a Popular Home ImprovementThere are two main ways in which new windows can increase home energy efficiency and comfort. First, they eliminate air exchange. When windows are sealed improperly, there is an exchange between the warm and cool air in your home and the outdoors. “Every time your home loses air, your heating and cooling systems have to work overtime to replace it and maintain the optimum temperature,” he said. “Properly sealed windows will eliminate these leaks and seal any drafts.”

Second, they provide proper insulation. Even with storm windows installed, single paned windows allow radiant energy to leave your home, while newer windows with insulated double-paned Energy Star rated glass provides a proper insulating seal around your home.

“The window replacement process is enjoyable and hassle-free at Callen,” Christopher said. “We offer a one-stop shopping experience, with knowledgeable guidance from your first visit all the way through installation. Whether it be a vinyl, wood or the more prevalent fiberglass products, Callen offers all the popular energy efficient patio door and window styles – double-hung, casement, glider, awning, bow, and bay.”

For more information or to arrange an initial showroom consultation, call Callen at 414-529-5509.

Nov

28

Keeping Your Home Warm in Winter

When you’re an adult, the fun of winter activities like sledding, ice skating, and building snowmen with the kids doesn’t quite make up for the high utility bills that come with Wisconsin’s cold winters. Check out these tips from Callen, the top Lake Country remodeling company, to make the winter months a little easier on your pocketbook.

Let the sun warm your home naturally. An easy (and free!) way to help heat your home this winter is to take advantage of the warmth provided by the sun. Make sure that curtains and blinds are open in rooms that receive direct sunlight during the day. Just don’t forget to close them when the sun goes down, or the warmth you gained will be lost. Consider purchasing thermal curtains for the winter to help keep the heat in.

Keeping Your Home Warm in WinterInvest in a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat is a great tool to help keep the temperature in your home consistent. Setting the thermostat to lower temperatures when your home is unoccupied and when you sleep at night will help conserve energy and lower your energy costs. Cooler nighttime temperatures may even contribute to better sleep. Simply program your thermostat to the low- to mid-60s for the hours you’re asleep, then set it to start warming the house up again within an hour or so of when you usually wake up.

Keep the doors closed to rooms used the least. Most people spend the majority of their time in two or three rooms, such as the kitchen and living room. By keeping the doors closed to rooms that aren’t frequented as much, as well as closing the vents in those rooms, you are reducing the amount of space that needs to be heated. This will help your home heat up more quickly and stay warm longer, plus save on your heating bill.

Reverse the direction your ceiling fans spin. By changing the direction your ceiling fans rotate, from counter-clockwise to clockwise, warm air that rises to your ceiling is pushed back down into the room. Be sure to keep the ceiling fan at a low speed to prevent it from cooling the air too much.

Get Assistance from the Top Lake Country Remodeling Company. To save more money this coming winter, take stock of your windows to determine if your home would benefit from window replacement in Milwaukee. When you are ready to invest in energy-saving replacement windows, call Callen 414-765-2585 to get started.