Companies Provide Education Regarding Upcoming Lead Paint Regulations
February 9, 2010

While a few months ago not many in the fenestration industry knew about the upcoming regulations involving lead paint, which will affect window replacement contractors (CLICK HERE for that story), many in the industry are taking the necessary steps to educate those who will be affected by these major changes coming on April 22, 2010.

Gorell Windows and Doors hosted a webinar recently to educate contractors regarding these new lead paint laws. Kachina Contractor Solutions, a company that provides training regarding the new regulations, offered an overview of what will change come April. According to Kachina's Paul Toub, it means huge changes for window contactors.

"Our life as we know it will change so much that I've had people compare this to the Do 'Not Call Law'," says Toub.

Toub started the webinar by reminding attendees of what changes are in store including the fact that firms must be certified, renovators must be trained and lead-safe work practices must be followed.

To become a certified renovator an individual must successfully complete an eight-hour initial renovator training course offered by an accredited training provider.

Toub suggests that companies get several people in their companies trained.

"What happens when that person gets sick, or goes on vacation?" he says.

Currently homeowners can "opt out" of these lead safe work practices if they do not have a child under six living in the home or a pregnant woman. However, the contractor must give everyone living in a pre-1978 home a copy of the EPA booklet regarding lead paint. Toub tells people if they are unsure of the age of a home, "When it doubt hand it out." He also tells contractors they can check www.houseagecheck.com, which will tell when many homes were built.

However, contractors should be aware that it is possible that the opt-out clause could be removed.

"The Sierra Club and other environmental groups are putting pressure on the EPA to eliminate the opt-out," says Toub. "They're saying people aren't smart enough to make their own decisions."

As far as the training required, Toub tells contractors they need to get started "today" as "this will change the way you do business."

He also tells them that the added measures that must be taken will cost money and he suggests not lumping it in with the price of window replacements.

"Put it as a separate item," says Toub. "Tell homeowners, 'If you test positive for lead, I'll have to charge x amount." He says this will help honest companies compete against those who don't follow these rules and undercut honest dealers.

As far as what that price should be Toub says that is up to the individual companies.

"I've heard companies charging $25 per window. People are coming up with their own different formulas. I can't tell you what to charge."

Toub also reminded participants of the exorbitant costs that will be charged to dealers who don't comply with these news rules--$37,500 per violation, per day.

So what happens to the companies who take the time to get certified and take the extra measures, all of which cost money?

"I've heard a lot of people say they're going to start ratting out other contractors who don't comply," he says.

So companies definitely need to get started if they haven't already. And from the number of questions asked on the webinar (about 51 from the 130 participants), many companies still have questions.

For more information on Kachina, including renovate right pamphlets, forms and training, CLICK HERE.

For the EPA's Guide to Renovate Right which has all the information about the upcoming regulations and what contractors need to know, CLICK HERE.

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