New Window Keeps Out Frigid Temperatures

New Window Keeps Out Frigid Temperatures Paul KronforstI have written previously about the new Marvin Infinity Fiberglass window we had installed during the summer 2017.

The two-week sub zero stretch we experienced over the holidays reminded my family how drafty and cold our house used to be. My two daughters, who were both home form school for the holidays, said they immediately noticed that the home felt warm and cozy. Dawn and I agreed.

Well, when bitterly cold temperatures arrived with a vengeance, all I heard from callers on WISN’s “Remodeling Show” was “the condensation on our windows froze, and now we have ice on the inside of our window! I turn the thermostat higher and higher, but the house still feels cold and drafty.” Or, this one: “The window seemed fine in summer, but when these sub-zero temperatures hit, we noticed how cold the area around the window was.”

There is a solution – have Callen inspect your home’s windows and check your home’s humidity, which can be attributed to the condensation on your window glass. If the seal is broken, like we had with the large window above our main entrance, there’s nothing that can be done except getting a new window installed properly. I have not-so-fond memories of my college house at UW-Oshkosh that four friends and I shared for two years. We put that 3M plastic stuff on our windows, but it really didn’t help, and it looked horrible (fitting for that house!) The windows clearly were shot, wood was rotted, but it was just a college rental.

Your home is your castle. If you need to have windows replaced, but budget is a concern, start with  one or two. Prioritize and work your way through the ones that need replacement.

New Window Keeps Out Frigid Temperatures Paul KronforstThe new window above our front door, with its proper installation (which included fixing some rotted wood) and additional insulation has been tremendous. I knew the new window would help make the house more comfortable, but I didn’t realize it would make such a difference that sub-zero temps don’t scare me anymore.

Be sure to Call Callen if you are considering replacement windows. Just like me, you’ll be happy you did.

Paul Kronforst



“Why Is There Moisture on My Windows?”

“Why is There Moisture on My Windows?”

“Why is There Moisture on My Windows?”

This is a common question asked by many homeowners annually in the winter when the temperature drops. More often than not, people with homes that are less than 20 years old ask the question, or people with homes that are much older with newly installed windows. While the simple answer would be to just blame the windows, it is actually much more complicated than that.

For those of you that are not meteorologists, Wikipedia defines the dew point as “the temperature below which the water vapor in a volume of humid air at a constant barometric pressure will condense into liquid water.” Have you ever had an ice-cold glass of lemonade outside on a warm, humid day? Did you notice how the outside of the glass accumulated moisture? The reason that the water collected on the outside of the glass has everything to do with the dew point.

“So what does this have to do with my windows?” you might ask.

When discussing window condensation with homeowners, I always tell them there are two parts to solving their window moisture problems.  One part is my job, and one part is their job.

The first part (my job) is to make sure that the home has windows with a high quality glass package that will keep that glass temperature as high as possible. It is important to set realistic expectations at this point. When the temperature outside is 0° and the inside temperature is 70°, it is unrealistic to expect your inside glass temperature to be 70°. Typically, depending on the quality of the window, the inside glass temperature will be somewhere between 30° and 55°. Obviously, the warmer it is, the better. This is important because, if that glass drops below the dew point, you will see moisture appear on the glass.

The second part (the homeowner’s job) is to control the humidity levels in the home in order to keep the dew point as low as possible. There are many sources of humidity in the home, including humidifiers, heating systems, cooking, showers and baths, plants, pets, and even our bodies. All of these things contribute to the amount of moisture in the air inside our homes. As newer homes have been built tighter with less air leakage, and older homes are being retrofitted with tighter energy efficient products, this moisture cannot escape to the outside like it used to be able to.

So what can a homeowner do?

During the winter months, carefully monitor the humidity levels in the home. The following chart shows where your indoor humidity levels should be based on the outdoor air temperature.


Outside Temperature (°F) Inside Relative Humidity (%)
-20 15-20%
-10 15-20%
0 20-25%
10 25-30%
20 30-35%


Another solution that has proven to be very effective is to use a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) to exchange the moist inside air with the dry outside air. These systems work by drawing the warm moist air from the house into the unit through your cold air returns, sending it to the outside of the home through a duct, and then drawing cool dry air from the outside back into the house to replace it. An HRV can be purchased from your local heating and cooling contractor, who will typically do the installation and adjustments required.

In addition to maintaining lower humidity levels, open any heavy curtains and move furniture away from windows that may block air circulation. Also, keep plants out of your bow and bay windows in the winter.  Be sure to use an exhaust fan in any bath or shower areas to take the moisture outside of the home, because that moisture doesn’t just stay in the bathroom.

If all of this sounds like a lot of work, or if you like to have a little more humidity in the air than what is listed above, you should expect to see some moisture on your glass. If you have wood windows, you can expect this moisture to seep into the sash frames and damage the finish, rot the wood, or grow mold along the edge of the glass.

However, if you have windows that are made of fiberglass or vinyl, this moisture will typically dry up once the weather outside warms up or the humidity level in the home drops, without causing damage to the finish or function of your window.

To alleviate the issue of window condensation, consider installing Infinity Fiberglass Replacement Windows. Contact Callen to schedule a free consultation.

by Mike Wood, Sales Manager



Exterior Home Improvements: Where to Splurge

When planning an extensive remodel like a roof or window replacement, the number of offered options, and decisions you have to make, can be overwhelming. While in the long run you want to spend the least amount possible, it’s hard to know when it’s okay to go cheap and when something is worth a bigger investment. When it comes to home remodeling, Callen experts believe there are three home elements worth splurging on.

Exterior Home Improvements: Where to SplurgeWindows

While you may think you’re saving money by installing low quality, cheaper windows, the opposite is true. These cheaper versions are not nearly as energy-efficient as high-quality wood or fiberglass windows, so you will end up spending more money in the long run due to higher energy costs. In addition, the design options are much more limited, so it may be harder to get the customized style you’re looking for with lower quality windows.

Entry Doors

Many people don’t realize the impact a beautiful entry door can have on the appearance of a home. A sturdy, attractive front door draws the eye and gives off a welcoming vibe that adds to a home’s curb appeal. It’s also a great investment, as you will get back almost all you put into it when you sell. In addition, a well-built, durable entry door helps keep out the Wisconsin elements as well as intruders.


Your roof is your home’s shield and should be composed of materials of the highest quality. The strength and durability of roofing shingles have increased over the years, and there are now a good variety of affordable styles and materials available to help customize just the right look for your home. While high-quality roofing is an investment, it’s worth it knowing you’re protecting your largest investment of all: your home.

Stay tuned for a future blog with ideas on where to cut corners to save your exterior remodeling dollars! If you got in over your head with your latest remodeling project and need the expert help of a top remodeling company, Callen Construction has the experience to get you back on track. Give us a call today at 414-765-2585 to find out how we can help.



Window Project Enhances Look and Improves Comfort

So, you saw photos of the latest window installed by Callen at our home in Cedarburg. It has the “WOW” factor that Callen refers to when talking about the remodeling jobs it completes.

Callen Bog - Paul Kronforst July 2017 073117 IMG_4822Well, the project is now all done! This was a BIG window that required new insulation all around it. Callen not only showed me the old rotted wood, but explained what they planned to do after the window was in. Yes, those details like caulking, sealing it up, and cleaning the job site so everything looks perfect.

I don’t have much time for household jobs, as cutting the grass and general maintenance inside and outside is about all I want and have time to do. I despise painting, and do it only when absolutely necessary.

I know some homeowners want to paint to save a bit of money. Great, if that’s your thing. This job required scaffolding and a VERY large ladder. The inside trim was entirely replaced and required priming, a coat of paint… and lots of work up high on that ladder (Did I mention that I’m also terrified of heights). I told Callen I would prefer not to paint and have them do it. They said they have their own painting crews (avoiding subcontractors) and these skilled painters did what they do best – paint!

Callen Bog - Paul Kronforst July 2017 073117 IMG_4844I could not be happier with how it matched our existing white trim and how clean and precise the painting was. Callen really does it all… I didn’t have to lift a finger, except to take the pictures when it was finished!

This window has been in for a few weeks and the air conditioner is on this summer in the Kronforst household, but it is not kicking in as much. It is also much cooler, with less humidity in the house. I am convinced the previous large window was the culprit. As I explained in my blog last month, when the seals on that window became ineffective (it was the biggest piece of glass in our home), we were in trouble.

I cannot wait to discuss our master bath (featuring a large glass walk-in shower) and bump out walk-in closet project done a few years ago for the next blog, complete with before and after photos. This renovation added so much to our entire home’s “WOW” factor and value.

Until then, check out Callen’s website with a gallery of photos or its Facebook page, which is loaded with terrific information (and more photos).

Paul Kronforst, WISN-AM 1130

Callen Bog - Paul Kronforst July 2017 073117 IMG_4856