Vol. 76, No. 10, October
Revisiting Wisconsin's Home
With an increase in home improvement projects,
consumer complaints about contractors have risen. The Wisconsin
Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's code governs
the conduct of home improvement contractors. Attorneys for contractors
and homeowners should be familiar with the code, because violations
invite government investigation, criminal prosecution, and civil
by Mark R. Hinkston
More people are investing in their homes and hiring home improvement
contractors. Americans spend more than $118 billion per year on home
improvements.1 This boom has resulted in an
increasing number of consumer complaints2
and what the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has perceived as a "public
outcry concerning the home improvement trade in the last several
years."3 Fortunately, the Wisconsin Home
Improvement Trade Practices Code ("the code"), effective in 1974,
provides rules to govern home improvement transactions and remedy
While most home improvement contractors are reputable, some perform
grossly negligent work or engage in fraud. The Wisconsin Supreme Court
has noted the necessity of protecting homeowners from such contractors
"by placing a burden of regularity, evenhandedness and legal guidelines
on the purveyors of the services."4 Yet many
contractors are unfamiliar with the legal guidelines outlined in the
code. Many homeowners also are unaware of the code and its remedies.
Attorneys often are the first persons consulted when a home improvement
project goes bad, so they are wise to possess a working knowledge of the
code. This article discusses the code's genesis, parameters, and
remedies, and interpretation by the courts. Practical considerations
also are provided.
Regulation of home improvement contractors varies widely from state
to state.5 Most states have some regulation
of the industry (although seven states do not regulate contractors at
all and others rely on counties or municipalities to do so). Wisconsin's
approach is more sophisticated than that of most other states, in that
it has a comprehensive regulatory framework of statutes and regulations
(the code), a committed and resourceful oversight agency (the Department
of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection), stringent criminal
penalties, and potent civil remedies.
Wisconsin's code emanates from the powers granted to the state
Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) by Wis.
Stat. section 100.20, which regulates unfair trade practices and unfair
methods of competition in business and vests in the DATCP the power to
issue orders forbidding certain trade practices and to prescribe rules
for fair trade practices and methods of competition.6
Initially, the DATCP, via its order-issuing powers, instituted
practices standards for several different trades.7 In 1941, the DATCP issued the "Roofing and Siding
Order," which later became known as the "Building and Home Improvement
Order."8 Over the ensuing years, the order
was revised to broaden the number of trades and types of improvements
within its reach.
Today the order is known as the Home Improvement Trade Practices Code
and is set forth in chapter ATCP 110 of the Wisconsin Administrative
Code. The code has been hailed as "no doubt the most comprehensive, and
perhaps the most significant, general order that has been promulgated by
the Department of Agriculture."9 It
specifies prohibited trade practices in the home improvement industry,
identifies the types of home improvement agreements that are to be in
writing, sets forth required terms and conditions for written home
improvement contracts, and describes the parties' rights and obligations
upon contract cancellation.
The Home Improvement Context
The code cuts a wide swath. It refers to the contractor and homeowner
as "seller" and "buyer," respectively. "Improvement" is defined as the
"remodeling, altering, repairing, painting, or modernizing" of
residential property. The code lists at least 15 types of improvements
that are subject to the code, including construction, installation,
replacement, improvement, or repair of driveways, sidewalks, swimming
pools, landscaping, fences, garages, basements, heating and air
conditioning equipment, and floor coverings.
Improvements must be to a residential or noncommercial property,
generally defined as a structure used as a home or residence and all
adjoining structures as well as "all other existing noncommercial
structures and the immediate premises on which they are situated even
though they are not used for residential purposes."10 While the code does not apply to the
construction of a new residence, it does apply to the conversion of
existing commercial structures into residential or noncommercial
property.11 The code applies to leased
property if a tenant is obligated to make payment under a home
Prohibited Trade Practices
In general, under the code, a seller may not make "any false,
deceptive or misleading representation in order to induce any person to
enter into a home improvement contract," to obtain payment, or to delay
performance.13 The code also sets forth
many specific prohibited trade practices under the rubric of 10
categories,14 relating to identity, sales
tactics, the nature of materials, pricing and payment, performance, and
competition. The range of prohibited trade practices is illustrated in
Precontract Notice Duties: Building Permits and Lien
The code imposes well-defined duties upon contractors during initial
seller-buyer communications, contract formation and execution, and
performance. See Figure
Under the code, a contractor's obligations start before the contract
is signed. Before contracting, a contractor is to inform the buyer of
all construction and building permits that are needed for the
project.15 To obtain a building permit, the
contractor must obtain from the state a certificate of financial
responsibility showing that the contractor is bonded or has liability
insurance and, if applicable, has worker's compensation insurance and is
making the required unemployment insurance contributions.16 The contractor also is required to disclose to a
buyer that the buyer is entitled to receive written lien waivers.17
The Written Contract Requirement
Once the necessary precontract disclosures have been made, the
contractor can turn to contract formation. Although the code applies to
both written and oral home improvement contracts, it mandates that
certain home improvement contracts must be in writing: 1) contracts
requiring a payment before completion; and 2) contracts generated by
door-to-door sales or telephone sales made away from the seller's
regular place of business.18 Most
transactions will require a written contract because it is rare for a
contractor to perform work without some precompletion payment. Before a
seller begins work or receives payment, the seller must provide a copy
of the contract to the buyer.19
Terms and Conditions. Where a written contract is
mandated, it "shall be signed by all parties and shall clearly,
accurately and legibly set forth all material terms and conditions of
the contract." The code includes a specific list of items to be included
in a home improvement contract. The contract must include: 1) the
seller's name and address (and the name and address of any general
contractor other than the seller); 2) a description of the work to be
done and the principal products and materials to be used; 3) the total
price, including finance charges; 4) the start and completion dates; 5)
a description of any mortgage or security interest; 6) a statement of
any warranty; 7) an identification of any other document that is
incorporated into the contract; and 8) terms and conditions of any
insurance coverage provided.20 Of all of
these required terms, sellers most often neglect to include the start
and completion dates.
Warranties. All warranties must be in writing and
provided to the buyer. Warranties must be clear and specify any
conditions or exclusions, any limitations on scope or duration, and the
time period within which the seller will perform the warranty
obligations after a valid warranty claim is made.21
Wisconsin Consumer Act: Right to Cancel. A home
improvement contract that constitutes a "consumer approval transaction"
also is subject to the Wisconsin Consumer Act (Wis. Stat. chapter
423).22 Thus, home improvement transactions
that are initiated by face-to-face solicitation away from the
contractor's regular place of business or by mail or phone solicitation
and that are consummated away from the regular place of business are
subject to the Wisconsin Consumer Act right to cancel. In these cases,
the homeowner "customer" has the right to cancel the transaction within
three business days after written notice is provided.23
Wis. Stat. section 423.203 specifies the contents of the required
notice and requires the contractor to provide two copies of the notice
to the customer. Despite the fact that many home improvement
transactions will qualify as "consumer approval transactions," many
contractors neglect to include the mandated written "Customer's Right to
Cancel" notice in the contract.
Once the contractor and homeowner agree on contract terms and execute
the contract, performance should commence on the date specified in the
written contract. The code imposes an obligation upon the contractor to
perform as promised, in that a seller may not accept payment for
materials or services that it either does not intend to provide
according to the contract or has reason to believe will not be provided
according to the terms of the contract.24
One goal of the code is to prevent contractors from using project
funds to pay for personal expenses or fund other projects. Thus, it
imposes a "trust fund" obligation upon contractors. The code provides
that a seller may not use any homeowner payment received before
completion for any purpose other than to provide materials or services
for the improvement.25 This provision is
designed to protect homeowners from the danger that liens will be placed
on their property when a contractor misappropriates money paid by the
homeowner and fails to pay suppliers or vendors.
Because a contractor is required to issue written lien waivers at or
before the time of the buyer's final payment,26 it is often not until the project's end that the
homeowner learns that waivers have not been procured. Often, this notice
comes in the unfortunate form of a phone call, letter, or lien from an
unpaid subcontractor or supplier.
A further performance mandate under the code is that a seller may not
request that the buyer sign a completion certificate or make final
payment on the contract before the improvement is completed.27 This is obviously designed to protect against
those contractors who "take the money and run" without completing the
Code Violations: Homeowner Remedies and Criminal
When a contractor delays a project without justification, fails to
pay a subcontractor, or flees without finishing despite a homeowner's
full payment, damage to the homeowner is immediately evident. Yet some
wrongs are far more subtle and, in fact, are not discovered for some
time (for example, when the roof that was supposed to be repaired leaks
or occupants swelter because the air conditioner that supposedly was
fixed was not). Upon discovery of the code violations, buyers have a
panoply of remedies. For unjustified delay, homeowners may cancel the
contract. For code violations resulting in pecuniary harm, homeowners
may initiate suit for restitutionary relief (money damages). Contractors
also face investigation and injunction by the DATCP or criminal
prosecution. (See remedies and penalties in Figure 3).
Cancellation. In addition to the right afforded by
the Wisconsin Consumer Act to cancel the contract within three business
days, the code allows a buyer to cancel the contract by giving the
seller written notice when: 1) the seller fails to perform by the
specified deadline; 2) the seller fails to give written notice of an
impending delay, specifying the reason for the delay and the new
proposed deadlines by which the work will be completed; 3) the seller
fails to get the buyer's agreement to a new performance deadline; or 4)
the contract specifies no deadline, but the buyer believes that the
seller has failed to perform in a timely manner.28
In addition to canceling the contract, the buyer also may demand: 1)
return of all payments that the seller has not yet expended on the
improvement; 2) delivery of unused materials paid for by the buyer; and
3) a written accounting for all payments that the buyer made to the
seller, detailing how all payments were used by the seller. If these
requests are made, the seller must return payments within 15 days.
Materials are to be returned within 15 days or within five days after
the seller receives the materials from the seller's supplier, whichever
occurs later. The requested accounting must be provided within 30
Money Damages: Wis. Stat. section 100.20.
Cancellation is not the buyer's exclusive remedy.30 If a contractor has engaged in unfair trade
practices, the buyer may seek monetary damages in a circuit court
action. Pursuant to Wis. Stat. section 100.20, a cause of action exists
against contractors who engage in unfair trade practices. Any buyer who
suffers a pecuniary loss as a result may sue for damages and, if
successful, shall recover twice the amount of any pecuniary loss plus
reasonable attorney fees.
DATCP Investigation and Enforcement. Aggrieved
buyers also have the option of initiating a complaint with the DATCP,
which has the authority to issue orders restraining home improvement
contractors from engaging in unfair practices and, conversely, requiring
them to engage in fair practices.31 The
DATCP has a Bureau of Consumer Protection devoted to investigating
complaints. Almost 1,000 home improvement complaints were filed in
The DATCP also may commence an action in circuit court to restrain
the violation of its orders. The circuit court has authority to order
restitution. The Department of Justice (DOJ) also may investigate and
file a complaint with the DATCP, which then adjudicates the
Criminal Prosecution and Civil Forfeitures. Wis.
Stat. section 100.26 provides criminal sanctions for code violations.
Violators may be fined between $25 and $5,000, imprisoned in the county
jail for up to a year, or both.
Pursuant to Wis. Stat. section 100.26(6), the DATCP or any district
attorney may commence an action in the name of the state to recover a
civil forfeiture of between $100 and $10,000 for each violation of an
order or injunction issued under Wis. Stat. section 100.20. If the
forfeiture is imposed for a code violation perpetrated against an
elderly or disabled person, a supplemental forfeiture of up to $10,000
may be imposed.34
In addition to the fines and forfeitures, a sentencing court must
impose a "consumer protection assessment" of 25 percent of the total
fine or forfeiture. The court also may order restitution and award to
the DATCP its "necessary costs of investigation." Also, in cases in
which the DOJ is involved, the court may award to the DOJ "the
reasonable and necessary expenses of prosecution, including attorney
fees," from any violator.35
Practical Considerations for Contractors
Mark R. Hinkston,
Creighton 1988 cum laude, practices business litigation with Knuteson,
Powers & Wheeler S.C., Racine. He is admitted to practice in
Wisconsin, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado.
With the foregoing outline of code requirements and remedies as a
backdrop, there are several main points contractors and homeowners
should consider during a home improvement transaction governed by the
Criminal Intent Not Required. Some contractors are
shocked that forgetting to include a contractual provision or to inform
a homeowner of lien waivers invites liability, investigation, or
prosecution. DATCP investigation or criminal prosecution may result from
even the most unintentional inadvertence, such as failure to specify a
start and completion date. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has held that
criminal intent is not a prima facie element for prosecution under Wis.
Stat. section 100.26(3), which is the criminal statute targeting "[a]ny
person ... who intentionally refuses, neglects or fails to obey any
regulation or order made or issued under s. 100.19 or 100.20."
In State v. Stepniewski,36 the
court held that the word "neglects" in the statute is not modified by
the word "intentionally." The contractor in Stepniewski argued
that the statute was meant to include only intentional conduct and that
it is a due process violation to convict a person of a crime absent mens
rea. The court disagreed, noting that the statute is "obviously intended
to implement a high standard of care to protect the public; to
accomplish this, it allowed a convicted wrongdoer to be punished
pursuant to judicial discretion, in order to accomplish the public
welfare concern that underlies the statute." The court also noted that
"good, honest entrepreneurs" recognize the importance of being honest
and forthright and "are not hurt by the law holding them strictly liable
in a punitive statute which requires minimum standards of
Unenforceability of Contract. Contractors who
violate the code face more than the possibility of criminal prosecution,
civil forfeiture, or a lawsuit. Because the code's underlying intent is
to protect homeowners, it is possible that a court would consider the
subject contract unenforceable by the contractor.38 Thus, contractors who file suit to obtain
payment may find themselves not only unable to collect, but also in the
unenviable position of facing a counterclaim for double damages and
attorney fees (although, as discussed later, they may have an equitable
remedy in quantum meruit).
Give Notice of Impending Delay. Sometimes a project
will be delayed because of factors outside a contractor's control (such
as weather or a shortage of material). To obtain a reprieve from the
contractual obligations under these circumstances, the contractor must
provide notice of the delay and get buyer consent to new deadlines,
because it is a prohibited trade practice to fail to give a buyer timely
written notice "of any impending delay in contract performance, if
performance will be delayed beyond a deadline specified in the
contract."39 The notice must specify the
reasons for the delay and set forth new start and completion dates. For
the deadlines to be effective, the buyer must agree to them in writing.
Failure to give the notice can result in criminal prosecution and can
also justify the buyer's cancellation of the contract.
Put Changes in Writing. Even when an initial
contract is in writing and complies with the code, some contractors
neglect to put modifications in writing. Any changes to written
contracts must be in writing and be signed by the parties.40 This includes the substitution of products and
the extension of the completion deadline.41
Also, if a seller makes an oral warranty, it must be documented in
Educate Employees. "Seller" includes corporations,
partnerships, associations, and any other form of business entity and
their officers, employees, agents, and representatives.43 A cry of "he or she is just an employee" will
not get the company off the hook. Because code violations committed by
employees are imputed to the employer, it is prudent to make sure that
all employees are well-versed in code compliance.
Bragging Rights. Finally, the code prohibits sellers
from misrepresenting that the seller's materials or services are equal
to or superior to those of a competitor.44
Although a contractor could look at this prohibition as leaving the door
open for truthful boasting, contractors may not wish to test the waters
in that regard, for fear that it may ultimately be shown that their
self-aggrandizement and promotion clouded the unfortunate reality that
their product is, in fact, inferior.
Practical Considerations for Homeowners
Read the Contract Carefully. Homeowners should
diligently review the contract for onerous terms that violate the code.
For example, provisions that penalize the homeowner for backing out of
the deal are not tolerated. If the seller includes a liquidated damages
clause, such damages may not exceed the lesser of 10 percent of the
contract price or $100.45 Further, a seller
cannot insulate itself from liability. A seller may not have a buyer
waive the right to assert against the seller any claim or defense the
buyer may have against the seller under the contract.46
Not All Transactions are Covered. Not all
residential construction projects are covered under the code. For
example, the code does not apply to the construction of a new
residence.47 The code also does not appear
to apply to casual or informal transactions in which a friend, although
in the business of making home improvements, does work gratis for
another friend or "significant other."48
"Buyer's Remorse" Breeds Feigned "Violations." A
recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals case, Snyder v. Badgerland Mobile
Homes Inc.,49 serves as a warning to
homeowners who rely on the code to extricate themselves from what they
might in hindsight consider to be a bad deal when, in fact, an alleged
code violation resulted from actions undertaken to benefit the
In Snyder, the homeowners' suit against the contractor arose
from a contract for installation of a bathtub in the homeowners' mobile
home. They terminated the contract after they heard allegations that the
contractor was unreliable and after deciding that they did not want to
vacate their home during construction. In the ensuing litigation, they
alleged that they had the right to cancel due to the omission of a start
and completion date in the contract. But the court noted that the dates
were omitted for the benefit and convenience of the Snyders "to allow
them flexibility in choosing when to vacate their home" during the
construction.50 The court refused to "allow
the Snyders to profit from the omission of a requirement that was
eliminated for their benefit."51
No Damages, No Claim. The lure of "double pecuniary
damages" on a claim under section 100.20 is strong. Yet the court in
Snyder also reiterated that a section 100.20 claim is not
viable if, even though there is evidence of unfair trade practices,
there is no pecuniary loss.52 The court
held that the Snyders had no cause of action, because they could not
prove that any pecuniary loss resulted from the alleged omission of the
start and completion dates.
The Specter of Quantum Meruit. Homeowners
relying on the code as a "way out" also should recognize that even if
they fall victim to a contractor who has failed to comply with the code,
that does not automatically vitiate the contractor's right to payment.
Although contracts that do not comply with the code are unenforceable, a
noncompliant contractor may still recover under a theory of quantum
meruit for the reasonable value of the contractor's services (assuming
that the services are of value).53 At least
one commentator has criticized this anomaly, stating that "[a]llowing
quantum meruit where the violation has been intentional makes the
Practical Considerations for Attorneys
Contractors' Attorneys. Attorneys who represent
contractors must stress to their clients that it does not pay to be
cavalier or indifferent to code requirements. Courts and the DATCP take
code violations seriously, as reflected by the Wisconsin Court of
Appeals' admonition that "[t]here is no excuse for failing to follow"
Code noncompliance can be costly, resulting in fines, civil
forfeitures or penalties, monetary damages (including double damages and
actual attorney fees), consumer protection assessments, department
investigation expenses, and restitution amounts as well as invalidation
of contractual recovery. The contract form a business uses may need
tweaking or overhauling. It obviously pays to closely comply with all
code provisions, and a contractor would likely prefer having its
attorney notify it of the need to amend its contracts and practices
rather than having the DATCP do so. Therefore, attorneys should take
every advantage of the opportunity to review their clients' business
practices and contracts to make sure that there is full and complete
adherence to the code.
Attorneys drafting or reviewing home improvement contracts should be
certain that contract provisions over and above those required by the
code do not run afoul of other potentially applicable statutes. For
example, although the code does not expressly prohibit attorney fees
clauses, such clauses are not allowed in "consumer credit
transactions."56 Also, attorneys should
consult the statutes relating to interest57
and delinquency charges58 to ensure that contractual
provisions as to these items comply. Finally, attorneys should make sure
that appropriate lien notices, as applicable, are included.59
Homeowners' Attorneys. Not every client who claims
to have been wronged by a contractor will prevail, as highlighted by
Snyder v. Badgerland Mobile Homes Inc. Although a prevailing
homeowner is entitled to recovery of attorney fees - an entitlement
obviously designed to promote representation when a wronged homeowner
might otherwise not be able to afford an attorney - some clients may be
better served by involving the DATCP initially than by immediately
filing a lawsuit. Homeowners' attorneys should be mindful of the
resources and dedication of the DATCP to pursue and resolve
Some commentators have suggested adopting a state uniform model home
improvement code which, in addition to providing safeguards such as
those Wisconsin has in place, would: 1) implement stricter licensing
requirements, including the establishment of a contractor licensing and
oversight board, mandatory training and continuing education,
examinations, insurance and financial solvency requirements, and regular
financial disclosure; and 2) establish a homeowner recovery fund, funded
by licensing fees and fines, to pay restitution to victimized
homeowners.60 Although the Wisconsin
Legislature may consider some of these suggestions, until reforms are
passed or a uniform code is adopted, Wisconsin's home improvement
regulatory system remains one of the strongest and most comprehensive in
the Midwest and appears to be quite effective in stemming the tide
against contractor abuses.
Although there is a noted dearth of case law applying and
interpreting Wisconsin's Home Improvement Trade Practices Code,61 the courts that have had occasion to consider it
have proffered valuable lessons. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has urged
"anyone connected with the home improvement trade" to "first and
foremost" follow the code "explicitly."62
Contractors and their counsel should be well aware of the code and the
traps that can befall contractors if they ignore its provisions and the
criminal, civil, and administrative penalties that can result for even
inadvertent violations. For homeowners and their counsel, the lesson
from the court of appeals in Snyder is that although the code
is designed to protect at all stages of a project, it should not be
asserted as a pretense to get out of a bad deal when, in reality,
alleged violations have emanated from accommodations for the homeowners
or resulted in no pecuniary damage.
[Editor's note: This article has been revised since the
printed version appeared]
1Elizabeth Renuart & Rich
DuBois, Home Improvement Contractors: A Model State Statute,
AARP Public Policy Institute, p. iv (June 1999).
2Associated Press, Home
Improvement No. 1 Cause of Consumer Complaints, Survey Says, Milw.
J. Sent., Nov. 26, 2002.
3State v. Balistrieri, 87
Wis. 2d 1, 274 N.W.2d 269 (Ct. App. 1978).
4State v. Stepniewski, 105
Wis. 2d 261, 277, 314 N.W.2d 98, 105 (1982).
5Renuart & DuBois,
supra n. 1.
6Wis. Stat. § 100.20(2).
7Fred M. Wylie, The Regulation
of Trade Practices by Codes, 12 Wis. L. Rev. 265, 275 (1937).
8John G. Kellogg, Note, Czar in
Lambskin? Administrative Regulation of Commercial Activities in
Wisconsin, 1965 Wis. L. Rev. 133, 137, 141 n. 54.
9James D. Jeffries, Protection
For Consumers Against Unfair and Deceptive Business, 57 Marq. L.
Rev. 559, 578 (1974).
10Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
12Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
13Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
14Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
15Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
16Wis. Stat. § 101.654.
17Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
18Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
19Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
20Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
21Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
22Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
23Wis. Stat. §§
24Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
25Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
110.02(10). A contractor also faces "theft by contractor" charges
pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 779.02(5), if payment amounts are used for
anything other than labor or materials on the project prior to project
26Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
27Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
28Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
30Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
31See Wisconsin Bureau
of Consumer Protection Web site at
Telecommunications Tops List of Complaints Again, Racine J.
Times, Jan. 3, 2003.
33Wis. Stat. § 100.20.
34Wis. Stat. § 100.264.
35Wis. Stat. §§
36105 Wis. 2d 261, 314 N.W.2d 98
37Id. at 278, 314 N.W.2d
38Baierl v. McTaggart,
2001 WI 107, 245 Wis. 2d 632, 629 N.W.2d 277.
39Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
40Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
41Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
42Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
43Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
44Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
45Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
46Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
47Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP
48See, e.g., Bronk v.
Kowalski, No. 83-542 (Wis. Ct. App. April 25, 1984) (unpublished
opinion) (agreement between boyfriend and girlfriend did not fall under
492003 WI App 49, 260 Wis. 2d
770, 659 N.W.2d 887.
50Id. ¶ 18.
52United States v.
Schumacher, 154 F. Supp. 425, 430 (E.D. Wis. 1957). See also
Jakubowski v. Rock Valley Builders Inc., No. 98-0811 (Wis. Ct. App.
Nov. 25, 1998) (unpublished opinion) (Wis. Stat. section 100.20
"requires that damages be measured by pecuniary loss to the homeowner
and that there be a causal connection between the code violation and the
53Zbichorski v. Thomas,
10 Wis. 2d 625, 628, 103 N.W.2d 536, 537 (1960).
54Kellogg, supra n. 8,
55State v. Balistrieri,
87 Wis. 2d 1, 8, 274 N.W.2d 269 (Ct. App. 1978).
56Wis. Stat. §
57Wis. Stat. §§ 138.05,
58Wis. Stat. § 422.203.
59See, e.g., Wis. Stat.
60Renuart & DuBois,
supra n. 1.
61Snyder, 2003 WI App
49, ¶ 22, 260 Wis. 2d 770; State v. Clausen, 105 Wis. 2d
231, 243, 313 N.W.2d 819, 825 (1982).
62Balistrieri, 87 Wis.
2d at 8.