CPI Blog

How to Clean Your Kitchen Cabinets

Different cabinet surfaces require different cleaning techniques. Whether your cabinets are stained, painted or laminate, they all need special attention. Here are a few easy tips and cleaning recipes for keeping them looking their best.


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Why the “During” is as Important as “Before” or “After” the Remodel

When you are looking to hire a remodeler, you’re usually drawn in by the before-and-after pictures and by the potential of your new space. While those photos are attractive and grab your attention, BEWARE — they don’t tell the whole story.

What happens in the time between those before-and-after photos is just as important as the end result. That’s why when you’re ready to hire a remodeler, make sure to discuss the “during,” specifically how the remodeler will take care of you while your house is being remodeled.

Most homeowners want to stay in their homes during demolition and construction.  We understand this, and it is why Callahan & Peters, Inc. discusses a livability plan with clients before we start a project. This plan helps homeowners understand the timeline, logistics, dust control and safety precautions associated with the project.

For example, 85 percent of homeowners surveyed said remodeling dust was the most serious inconvenience of their entire remodeling project. To ensure a better remodeling experience, we control dust by isolating the work area, controlling airflow and capturing dust with an air scrubber known as the BuildClean Dust Control System.

During a remodeling project, the responsibility for indoor air quality (IAQ) is in the contractors’ hands. It’s vital for remodelers to use the latest technological tools such as BuildClean to control the excessive amount of dust that gets stirred up every single day of a remodeling project. One study shows that homes being remodeled have five to eight times the amount of particles in the air than homes that are not being remodeled. Remodeling dust – some of it so small you can’t see – can damage your short-term and long-term health.

You can rest assured that Callahan & Peters, Inc. uses BuildClean to control the air during our projects because it is the most effective way to keep dust out of your lungs and off your belongings.

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Best Of Houzz 2017 – Customer Service

Callahan & Peters, Inc. has won “Best Of Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The Design/Build Remodeling firm was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. A “Best Of Houzz 2017” badge appears on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence.

“We’re so pleased to award Best of Houzz 2017 to Callahan & Peters,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz, “who was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”

Follow Callahan & Peters, Inc. at Callahan & Peters Houzz

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Quality Is Part of a Company’s DNA / Qualified Remodeler

Quality is a concept that is considered so important the International Organization for Standardization developed a family totally devoted to quality assurance, ISO 9000. Although each standard in the family clearly defines terms and systems, quality assurance isn’t always so black and white – particularly in the remodeling world.

“Right off the bat when someone says ‘quality assurance program,’ I think of a manufacturing facility or machine shop,” says David Callahan, CR, business management and sales at Glenview, Ill.-based Callahan & Peters Inc. “There’s a long binder of things that need to be implemented and checked off. That’s not us and that’s not many remodelers I know.”

Rather, quality assurance is part of the company’s DNA and a core attribute of the company. “There is no formal book or manual,” Callahan says. “It’s scattered throughout our company in documents, procedures and how we do things. There was no one point in time when I said, ‘Aha, we need a QA program.’ It’s always been part of who we are.”

Callahan sees two major arms to quality. “There’s the quality of the sticks and bricks. The parts and the workmanship that went into it,” he says. “The other part is the remodeling experience in total – from the first time [clients] call us until we walk out the door at the end of the project. The quality of the experience we give them is equally important.”

Setting clear expectations is vital to achieving quality. “We tell people our process when they come in our door,” Callahan explains. “Our contracts are clear for our projects. I write a lengthy description of work and include plans. People know what they bought. We establish clear expectations.”

Another cornerstone of a successful remodel project is good communication at all levels, Callahan asserts. Communication methods often depend on what the client prefers, as well as what is being communicated. If it’s a yes/no question, a text or email is great. If it’s a more complicated concept to communicate, a phone conversation or in-person meeting is more effective. Scheduling falls under communication, as well. “We’re crazy about scheduling,” Callahan says. “We give a client a schedule at the beginning of a project that shows everything that will happen until the end. We update it weekly as things change.”

Callahan & Peters has a weekly production meeting the whole company attends where each project under construction is discussed. A project list review includes: schedule, issues and opportunities, purchasing, client demeanor, additional work requests/change orders, budget, receivables, mid-construction/end-of-project gift and marketing potential.

Callahan cares most about discussing client demeanor. “I ask my production manager to give me a number on a 1 to 10 scale. Are they at an 8 or a 3 or a 10? Why? Clients go through different phases,” he explains. “They have emotional ups and downs. We monitor that and know there’s a graph. When the roof goes on, for example, they’re on a high because they see big progress. In days that mechanicals are installed and that takes a lot of time, they often wonder why it’s taking so long and then might be lower on the scale.”

Another part of the weekly meeting discusses company processes. “Continuous improvement is one of my favorite sayings,” Callahan says. “Every week I bring something up. What can we make better? Whether it be a vehicle, something in the shop or something in the office – how can we be better?”
Callahan & Peters provides a five-year warranty. “That says something about our faith in quality,” Callahan says. “We’re also GuildQuality members, so we do third-party verification. At the end of the project, either myself, the designer or whoever worked on or sold the project will conduct an exit meeting. We’ll get final photographs, interview the clients and give them an end-of-project gift.”

A plaque in front of Callahan & Peters’ office, engraved with a quote from Willa A. Foster, shares their company ideology: “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” | QR

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Going Green Matters

On March 13th we represented the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) at the Going Green Matters environmental fair in Willmette. It was a great opportunity to explain to homeowners how the remodeling industry is at the forefront of sustainable and healthy building. In addition to building, there were numerous other vendors there providing education and businesses to help promote environmental living. One new organization that really caught our eye was the Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse. The Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse is a non-profit organization that promotes reduction of waste in landfills through sustainable deconstruction and renovation building practices. On all our remodeling projects we promote deconstruction and reuse. Often times the majority of the material we take out of the job, such as cabinetry and plumbing fixtures, will be donated or given away piecemeal. Now, with the Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse, we a have a single location to drop off all the items that can be reused. The concept has been wildly successful in other areas, and we hope for it to flourish on the North Shore. Contact us if you have any questions on how we can help you to remodel smarter.


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