BBB Business Review Reliability Report for
Baldwin Building Improvements

A BBB Accredited business since 7/12/2013

Rating: A+

BBB issues Business Reviews on all businesses, whether or not they are BBB accredited.

BBB Accreditation

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This business has been a BBB Accredited Business since July 2013. This means it supports BBB's services to the public and meets our BBB accreditation standards.

BBB Standards for Trust, are eight principles that summarize important elements of creating and maintaining trust in business. This business has affirmed to meet and abide by BBB Standards for Trust.

BBB Rating

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Based on BBB files, this business has a BBB Rating of A+ on a scale from A+ to F.

Factor(s) that raised this business' rating include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 2 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Click here for details about the factors considered.


Business Contact & Profile

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Business Name:
Business Address: PO Box 432
Menasha, WI 54952

Hours of Operation: M: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
T: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
W: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Th: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
F: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Original Business Start Date: 1/1/1983
Local Business Start Date: 1/1/1983
Type of Entity: Sole Proprietorship
Principal:
Dale R. Baldwin, Owner / Operator
Customer Service Contact:
Dale R. Baldwin, Owner / Operator
Phone Number:
(920) 216-3253
Email Address:
Method(s) of Payment Accepted: cash, check, PayPal
BBB Accreditation: This business is a BBB Accredited Business

Date Accredited by BBB: 7/12/2013
Type of Business:
Construction & Remodeling Services
Basement - Remodeling
Bathroom Remodeling
Concrete Contractors
Contractors - General
Deck Builder
Garage Builders
Home Improvements
Home Improvements - Additions
Kitchen & Bath - Design & Remodeling
Kitchen Remodeling
Patio & Deck Builders
Patio, Porch & Deck Enclosures
Remodeling Services
Siding Contractors
Skylights
Storm Windows & Doors
Sunroom & Solarium Design & Construction
Windows - Installation & Service
Primary Email: baldwinbuildingimprovements@hotmail.com
Website Address:

Products & Services

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 This company is a general contractor offering new construction and remodeling services.  Projects include: storm damage repairs, roofing, siding, kitchens, bathrooms, basements, additions, garages, decks, patios, sun-rooms, windows, doors, insulation, concrete, fences and general home improvements.

Business Management

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Mr. Dale R. Baldwin , Owner / Operator

Service Area

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Fox Valley and surrounding areas.

Licensing

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This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (608) 261-8467

Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services 608-266-2112

Customer Complaint History

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When considering complaint information, please take into account the business's size and volume of transactions, and understand that the nature of complaints and a firm's responses to them are often more important than the number of complaints.

BBB processed a total of 2 complaint(s) about this business in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period. Of the total 2 complaint(s) closed in the last 36 months, 0 were closed in the last 12 months.

These complaints concerned:

2 regarding Contract Issues
2 regarding Contract Issues

These complaints were closed as:

1 Administratively Closed
1 BBB determined the company made good faith and reasonable offer to resolve the issues, but the consumer did not accept the offer.
1 Assumed Resolved
1 Company resolved the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to the BBB.


 

Customer Reviews

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The customer review(s) below are un-filtered. These positive and negative reviews are not used in the calculation of the BBB Rating. If you wish to file a complaint and request a resolution to your issue please click here. This customer review section is not BBBs complaint resolution system. Customer Reviews are the subjective opinion of the individual who posted the review and not of Better Business Bureau.

Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0

Refund & Exchange Policy

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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Government Action(s)

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BBB has no information regarding government actions at this time.

Advertising Review

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BBB has no information regarding advertising review at this time.

Industry Tips

There are various times of the year when less-than-reputable or unqualified contractors breeze into town promising a variety of services at cut-rate prices. They may show up at your door, advertise in local papers or deliver fliers to your home. Complaints to the BBB concern a wide range of problems, including high-pressure sales tactics, confusion over contract terms, poor workmanship, incomplete job performance, over-charging and in some cases, home foreclosures.

"It's not your lucky day when a contractor shows up on your doorstep offering a too-good-to-be-true deal on a project. The salesperson may claim he has materials left over from a recent job at your neighbor's house or the 'house down the street.' This is a common ploy of fly-by-night contractors who are based out-of-state and use their pick-up trucks as their place of business," said the president of the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin Complaints against home improvement/home repair contractors are among the most common consumer complaints received by the Better Business Bureau.

And there is little wonder, considering how lucrative the business is.  "There are thousands of reputable contractors who will deliver quality work, on time and within budget. Consumers can avoid costly mistakes and scams by doing some research before opening their wallets. Comparing cost before making a financial commitment toward any home improvement project is very important. In doing so, you should solicit at least two or three bids from prospective contractors based on the same building specifications, materials, labor and time needed to complete the project. "

The BBB advises homeowners to never let a contractor pressure them into making a snap decision. A reputable professional will recognize that you need time to consider many factors when deciding which contractor to hire. When looking for a reliable contractor, consumers should employ a contractor with an established business in their area. Ask for references and check them out. Look into the contractor's standard of work and his professional affiliations; verify his insurance; and check to see if he is licensed. Check with the BBB for a report on the contractor. Do not permit work to start without a signed written contract that includes all verbal promises that were made by the contractor. Be sure that the written contract includes a start and completion date, a breakdown of the cost and information about the contractor, including license number, street address and phone number. If you need financing for your project, it may not be wise to agree to financing through your contractor or someone he suggests. "Consumers complain that they were pressured to sign a lot of papers and only later found out they had agreed to a home equity loan with a very high rate, points and fees. Carefully read every document before you give your consent. You can usually get a better deal on financing by shopping around on your own and comparing loan terms from several lenders. If you are asked to pay for the entire job up-front, this should raise a red flag. Arrange for payments to be made as parts of the job are completed. Put one-third to one-half down at most and final payment should not be made until the job is done. And, homeowners should pay by check or credit card, never cash.


Construction Laws-Wisconsin Residential

 

Wisconsin Residential Construction Laws

 

Right to Cure Act:

 

The Wisconsin Legislature's primary goal was to facilitate resolution of construction defect disputes without litigation by implementing a system that requires contractors and consumers to attempt to systematically address problems before commencing a court action or arbitration.1 In March, Wisconsin became the 28th state to enact a contractor "right to cure" (also known as "right to repair") law.2

 

In general, Wisconsin's new Right to Cure Act requires homeowners and other specified claimants to give contractors written notice of alleged construction defects and an opportunity to cure them as a prerequisite to filing suit. It is comprised of two new statutes. Section 101.148, entitled "Contractor notices," requires contractors to supply consumers with notice of the defect claim procedures before, and at the time of, contracting. Section 895.07, entitled "Claims against contractors and suppliers," contains those claim procedures. The Act states that the term "construction defect" means the definition of "defect" contained in a warranty or, if there is no warranty, a deficiency resulting from defective material, violation of applicable codes, or failure to follow accepted trade standards for workmanlike construction.3

 

The Right to Cure Act applies to written or oral contracts to construct a new dwelling or remodel an existing one. It applies to any premises used as a home or residence and includes existing structures on or adjacent to the dwelling, such as driveways, sidewalks, swimming pools, patios, garages, and basements.

 

Contractor Notice to Consumers:

 

Before entering into a contract, a contractor is required to deliver to a consumer a brochure prepared by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce (DOC) that explains the process of handling construction defects.

 

Also requires contractors to provide consumers a written notice that alerts consumers of their obligation to follow the notice and right to cure process before filing a lawsuit against a contractor or door or window supplier for defective construction.

 

Notice and Opportunity to Repair:

 

At least 90 days before commencing any action against a contractor or door or window supplier relating to a construction defect, a claimant must give the contractor or supplier written notice of the alleged defect and an opportunity to repair it. The notice must "contain a description of the claim in sufficient detail to explain the nature of the alleged defect and a description of the evidence that the claimant knows or possesses, including expert reports, that substantiates the nature and cause of the alleged construction defect."7

 

Contractor Response:

 

A contractor has 15 days to serve the claimant with a written response to the claimant's notice.

 

If the contractor makes an offer to repair or pay money (or a combination of the two), the claimant has 15 days to accept or reject the offer. If he or she rejects the offer, within 15 days the claimant must serve a written rejection notice on the contractor, specifying the reasons for the rejection.

 

The contractor then has five days to respond by serving a written supplemental offer to repair or remedy the defect or a notice that no additional offer will be made.

 

Contribution Claims Against Door and Window Suppliers:

 

The Act mandates that a contractor intending to make a contribution claim against a window or door supplier must serve the supplier with a written notice of the original claimant's claim and the contractor's own contribution claim within five days after the contractor's receipt of the original claim.

 

The supplier has 15 days within which to reject the claim, serve a written offer to repair or pay money (or a combination of the two), or request an inspection.

 

Consequences of Noncompliance:

 

If a claimant proceeds with litigation or arbitration without giving notice and a right to cure, the new law requires the judge or arbitrator to either dismiss or stay the proceedings. If the claimant received a brochure and notice from the contractor but failed to give the contractor notice and an opportunity to cure, the action will be dismissed without prejudice. If a claimant did not receive the brochure and notice, the action is to be stayed pending compliance with the notification requirements.10

 

Some critics of right to cure laws stress that their protections may be somewhat illusory. For example, under Wisconsin's new law, contractors are not penalized for failing to provide the initial brochure or notice. Contractors also are not penalized for ignoring claims or reneging on agreements with claimants that arise from the right to cure process. Likewise, claimants are not required to respond to or accept any offer from a contractor. In other words, the law imposes no penalty on claimants who do nothing more than give the required notice and an opportunity to repair or remedy the alleged defects. However, while the law imposes no penalty, claimants who reject reasonable settlement offers may nonetheless face in ensuing litigation the affirmative defense of failure to mitigate damages.

 

Practical Considerations for Consumers:

 

However, the new law poses an opportunity for contractors to review and, if necessary, tweak or overhaul their written agreements. Toward this end, although the law does not require that the notice to the consumer be included in the contract, and allows contractors to provide the notice via a separate writing, it is prudent to include the notice to consumers in the contract.

 

The Right to Cure Act provides that after service of the initial notice of claim, a claimant, contractor, or supplier may agree to alter the notice of claim process.

 

Practical Considerations for Suppliers:

 

Suppliers technically have no legal obligation to respond to a claim once they receive notice. Suppliers should be aware, however, that if they do respond and their offer is accepted but they do not follow through, the contractor may pursue the contribution claim in circuit court and "may also file the supplier's offer and contractor's acceptance in the circuit court action, and the offer and acceptance create a rebuttable presumption that a binding and valid settlement agreement has been created and should be enforced by the court.â??

 

Construction Lien Law Changes:

 

The Act became effective on April 11, 2006. While the Act provides that it "applies to improvements that visibly commence on the effective date of this subsection (April 11, 2006),"25 it is reasonable to assume that the law applies to improvements that visibly commence on or after April 11, 2006.\par

Linguistic Upgrades:

 

The Act expands the definition of "improvement," which previously was defined as including "any building, structure, erection, fixture, demolition, alteration, excavation, filling, grading, tiling, planting, clearing or landscaping which is built, erected, made or done on or to land for its permanent benefit." "Repairing or remodeling" done on or for the land's benefit is now added to the list. The Act eliminates the requirement that the improvement be done for the land's permanent benefit.29

 

Procedural Upgrades:

 

To make a lien claim, a claimant must file the claim for a lien with the circuit court within six months after the claimant last performed work or furnished materials. Although the lien claimant previously was required to deliver to the owner a notice of intention to file claim for a lien at least 30 days before filing the lien claim, a lien claimant was not required to serve the owner with the claim for a lien once it was filed. The new law changes that situation, mandating that "a lien claimant shall serve a copy of the claim for lien on the owner of the property on which the lien is placed within 30 days after filing the claim."36

 

Contractor Education Act:

 

Under Wisconsin law, a contractor needs a certificate of financial responsibility from the DOC to engage in residential construction and get most necessary permits.40 To obtain the certificate contractors previously only had to meet certain insurance and bonding requirements. The DOC's new rules will require that to obtain a building permit for residential construction, in addition to obtaining insurance and bonding, a person also must annually complete at least six hours of continuing education relevant to the person's professional area of expertise and attend at least one professional meeting or seminar designed for both building contractors and building inspectors.41 Persons applying for a certificate of financial responsibility for the first time will have to pass a DOC examination on the required continuing education courses.

 

Conclusion:

 

Some people tout the new Right to Cure Act as establishing a process that will promote construction defect dispute resolution and thereby avoid the complexity and cost attendant to construction litigation. Other people believe that the Act's maze of deadlines and procedures may be counterproductive to that goal, because all parties may need attorneys to help interpret the Act. While it is true that contractors, consumers, and their attorneys may need time to become familiar with this law, its salutary effect of promoting dispute resolution short of litigation should outweigh any perceived burden of a learning curve.

 

As with all new legislation there may be glitches and periodic need for judicial interpretation. In the meantime, the Right to Cure Act, the lien law changes, and the Contractor Education Act will have the laudable collective effect of modernizing residential construction law in Wisconsin.

 

Please contact The Better Business Bureau toll free at 1-800-273-1002 or 414-847-6000. You can also find further info info at http://www.wisbar.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Search&template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=60563 .

 


Dwelling Contractor Certification

Are you considering hiring a home improvement/remodeling contractor?
The following items are some important things for you to know.

Licensing Requirements

1. A dwelling contractor certification.
2. A dwelling contractor - restricted certification.
3. A manufactured home manufacturer license.
4. A manufactured home dealer license.
5. A manufactured home installer license.
6. An electrical contractor certification.
7. An electrical contractor - restricted certification.
8. An HVAC contractor registration.
9. An elevator contractor license.


Required Permits

A contractor must inform you, before you enter into a contract, of all the required building or construction permits. Contractors can pull these permits for you, but it is not required. If the contractor asks you to pull your own building permits, you have no assurance that the contractor is properly licensed or insured, which may make you ultimately liable for any property damage, injuries or code violations. If the contractor pulls the required permits, he/she must have two certifications that are required by the state of Wisconsin:
1) Dwelling contractor certification (assigned to the business); and
2) Dwelling contractor qualifier (assigned to an employee).

In addition, contractors also must be registered with the Department of Safety and Professional Services, and show proof that they have paid for worker's compensation, unemployment insurance, and minimum levels of liability or a bond. The liability insurance covers worker and public injuries and damage to property. Please note that if a homeowner pulls the required permits, he/she will be required to sign a waiver that states the homeowner may be held liable for bodily injury, death or property damage, and the homeowner may not be able to collect damages from the contractor if the contractor violates any codes or ordinances.

Certificate of Insurance

To protect yourself, ask the contractor for a certificate of insurance with your name and address listed as a certificate holder. This certificate shows that the contractor has an active policy. As a certificate holder, you will then be informed if the contractor's insurance policy expires. Contractors should also hold the following types of insurance: personal liability, worker's compensation, and property damage coverage. Wisconsin Consumer Protection laws require that contractors be bonded or insured to protect homeowners against property damage or dwelling code violations caused by the contractor. You should also to ask for copies of all current insurance policies to protect yourself from any liability which may occur during the job due to injury or damages. 

Payment Options 
To ensure you are going to make the best choice for payment options when hiring a contractor, you should be aware paying cash should be avoid. Most contractors will have an option to finance for larger projects while paying with a credit card or check is a safe option for smaller projects. You can also work to ensure your down payment will be lower because some states have laws which limit how much a contractor can request from the customer.

Contracts
The law for written contract varies by state, but you can protect yourself by asking for a written contract though it may not be required by the law. The contract should be written clearly and simple, stating exactly who, what, where, when, and the cost of the specific project being completed. However, before you decide to sign the contract, some of the important aspects you should check for are as follows: the contractor's contact information,  the estimation of the start and completion dates, the obligation of the contractor to obtain all of the necessary permits, detailed list of materials,  and information about warranties and workmanship.
  Lien Waivers
When any payment is made - especially final payment, get lien waivers from the contractor. This will prevent a subcontractor or material supplier from putting a lien on your home if the contractor doesn't pay the bills. Wisconsin law requires that consumers receive a lien waiver from a contractor whenever they make partial or final payments. Consumers, however, should know in advance to ask for a lien waiver if one is not offered. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is working jointly with the Wisconsin Department of Commerce to help educate both consumers and contractors about licensing requirements. For more information and consumer tips from DATCP, go to http://datcp.wi.gov/Consumer/Top_Ten_Complaints/Home_Improvement_Tips/index.aspx

9-9-2014


Are you considering hiring a home improvement/remodeling contractor? The following items are some important things for you to know.

Licensing Requirements

Contractors in Wisconsin are not necessarily required to have a license. However, you can check for certain licensing with the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. To search for a company’s credentials with the Department of Commerce, go to http://apps2.commerce.wi.gov/SB_Credential/SB_CredentialApp/SearchById

Required Permits

A contractor must inform you, before you enter into a contract, of all the required building or construction permits.

Contractors can pull these permits for you, but it is not required. If the contractor asks you to pull your own building permits, you have no assurance that the contractor is properly licensed or insured, which may make you ultimately liable for any property damage, injuries or code violations.

If the contractor pulls the required permits, he/she must have two certifications that are required by the state of Wisconsin: 1) Dwelling contractor certification (assigned to the business); and 2) Dwelling contractor qualifier (assigned to an employee). In addition, contractors also must be registered with the Division of Safety and Buildings, and show proof that they have paid for worker’s compensation, unemployment insurance, and minimum levels of liability or a bond. The liability insurance covers worker and public injuries and damage to property.

Please note that if a homeowner pulls the required permits, he/she will be required to sign a waiver that states the homeowner may be held liable for bodily injury, death or property damage, and the homeowner may not be able to collect damages from the contractor if the contractor violates any codes or ordinances.

Certificate of Insurance

To protect yourself, ask the contractor for a certificate of insurance with your name and address listed as a certificate holder. This certificate shows that the contractor has an active policy. As a certificate holder, you will then be informed if the contractor’s insurance policy expires. Wisconsin Consumer Protection laws require that contractors be bonded or insured to protect homeowners against property damage or dwelling code violations caused by the contractor.

Lien Waivers

Under Wisconsin law, a building contractor must present a homeowner with a lien waiver at the very start of a project. It’s basically a document that shows the contractor and subcontractors involved in doing work on a home have been paid for goods and/or services provided. Without it, a homeowner could potentially run into a big nightmare. For example, if a homeowner pays a contractor to do work, but the contractor never pays his sub-contractors, the sub-contractors could, in turn, go after the homeowner for the money they are owed.  

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is working jointly with the Wisconsin Department of Commerce to help educate both consumers and contractors about licensing requirements. For more information and consumer tips from DATCP, go to http://datcp.state.wi.us/cp/consumerinfo/cp/top-complaints/home_improvement.jsp


The BBB advises homeowners:   Do not let a contractor pressure you into making a snap decision. A reputable professional will recognize that you need time to consider many factors when deciding which contractor to hire. When looking for a reliable contractor, consumers should employ a contractor with an established business in their area. Ask for references and check them out. Look into the contractor's standard of work and his professional affiliations; verify his insurance; and check to see if he is licensed. Check with the BBB for a report on the contractor. Do not permit work to start without a signed written contract that includes all verbal promises that were made by the contractor. Be sure that the written contract includes a start and completion date, a breakdown of the cost and information about the contractor, including license number, street address and phone number. If you need financing for your project, shop around and check financing rates, points and fees as well as loan terms with several lenders. Never pay for an entire job up-front.  Arrange for payments to be made as portions of the job are completed. Only make final payment when the job is completed and to your satisfaction.  The BBB recommends homeowners pay by check or credit card, never cash.


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Report as of: 9/16/2014
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