HOME >> LEARN >> EMPOWERED HOMEOWNERS >> Complaints & Disputes

Complaints & Disputes

We wish it weren't so, but sometimes a home building or remodeling experience doesn't go according to plan, and you find yourself unhappy with the service or final result. 

Here, you can learn more about local association and WBA procedures for handling complaints, as well as what additional resources are available to you before pursuing litigation. 




The Wisconsin Builders Association (WBA) functions as a non-profit trade association primarily focused on its advocacy efforts. Membership in our organization, or any of the 21 local associations that are affiliated with us, is not mandatory for builders, subcontractors, or any other industry affiliates in the state.  In other words, we are *not* a government agency or regulatory body that oversees licensing, credentialing, or consumer affairs, and we do not have legal standing to issue any kind of judgement or fine in disputes between contractors and consumers.

In addition, the WBA currently does not have the resources available to provide arbitration services. Some of our local associations do provide arbitration services, though some of these services are only available if the builder/contractor is an active member of the association. A cost is typically involved in all arbitration services. 

Nearly all local associations have members review a code of ethics upon joining our 3-in-1 organization.  If the contractor is an active member, some locals do have an ethics review process, which could result in expulsion of the member from the organization. No additional action can be taken beyond this by a local association.


Here are some resources available to you before filing a lawsuit in the state of Wisconsin. 

Check Out the Wisconsin Right to Cure Law - The Right to Cure Law is an effort to achieve postive outcomes and spare both parties the costs and stress of litigation. It requires that consumers who feel they have a claim concerning defective workmanship or materials first provide a written notice to contractors or suppliers before taking legal action, with the goal of opening a productive dialogue between both the consumer and the contractor leading to a resolution. This law applies to contractors or window or door suppliers or manufacturers. It does NOT apply when there is no contract to construct, as in the case of purchasing an existing home. You can learn more about Right to Cure here.
Review What Arbitration Services Are Available in Your Area. See what arbitration or alternative dispute resolution services are available in your area. Some of our local associations do provide these services, but they vary in cost and scope.
Visit the Better Business Bureau. The BBB provides resources and a route to file complaints against companies.
Visit the Wisconsin DATCP. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection accept complaints related to home improvement. This department does not handle new home building complaints or commercial building complaints. Learn more here.
Visit the Wisconsin DSPS. The Wisconsin Department of Safety & Professional Services is the credentialing body for contractors in the state. It is possible to file a complaint through the DSPS if you believe a credential holder is in violation of a relevant condition or rule related to their profession. Please note that the only action the Department is able to take is against the credential of the person or entity. Learn more here.
Right to Cure Law: Information on process to handle construction defect complaints before litigation.

Industry Quality Standards: WBA manual outlining a standard level of building in Wisconsin.