Many people who hire a contractor to build a new house or do remodeling end up in a dispute with that contractor. This is because the relationship between the homeowner and the contractor is based upon a contract. The terms of the contract become very important. Contracts often contain provisions which state when the contractor must start and complete a project. Contractors usually provide some form of warranty in their contracts, often a one year warranty which covers defective materials and workmanship.
Many of these contracts also include arbitration clauses. If there is an arbitration clause, the homeowner may not file a lawsuit against the contractor, but must agree to resolve disagreements in arbitration. Some contractors specify the organization that must be used in arbitration, and some of these organizations are very pro contractor.
If the homeowner hires a contractor to do remodeling or other work after the house is completed, the contractor must comply with the specifics of the Wisconsin Administrative Code. There are many very stringent requirements that contractors must comply with if they do work that may be classified as a “home improvement.” One of the most important duties of a home improvement contractor is the duty to be honest and upfront with the consumer. If a home improvement or remodeling contractor makes a misrepresentation, the contractor may be liable for significant damages and possibly attorneys’ fees.
Some disputes with contractors involve cross claims by both the contractor and the homeowner. Very often the contractor sues the home owner for money that wasn’t paid, while the home owner sues the contractor for defective work. Sometimes, these claims may offset against each other.