Lost business with lead law

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Window4U (IL)
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Lost business with lead law

#1 Post by Window4U (IL) » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:18 am

Here is an article from Window & Door Magazine regarding the negative effects of the lead law to contractors so far:

RRP Impact Already Negative, WDDA Survey Finds
June 15, 2010
Organizations

Designed to gather input to make a case against clearance testing requirements, a Window & Door Dealer Alliance survey indicates that new Environmental Protection Agency rules covering renovations in homes with lead paint are having a significant negative impact. More than 70 percent of the 100-plus respondents to date say their company has lost business since the Renovation, Repair and Painting rule went into effect in April.

"We have lost work to contractors who refuse to abide by the LRRP rule and therefore can provide lower prices," says one respondent, discussing the impact of the current regulations. "Interestingly, the average consumer agrees with them that the law is much ado about nothing."

"Customers don't seem to really care about the lead paint ruling and are unwilling to go through the hoops to comply with the new ruling and will not pay additional costs," reports another. "There are non-legal people that will install without the concerns."

As reported last week, WDDA is preparing comments and collecting input from dealers around the country to present to EPA regarding new clearance testing requirements proposed when the RRP rules went into effect. According to a WDDA statement of principles, contractors would be required to hire (or have as a member of staff) an EPA-certified inspector, certified dust sampling technician, and/or certified risk assessor. This person would collect dust samples to be sent to an EPA-accredited lab to a conduct lead-based paint dust clearance test after the contractor has completed “cleaning verification.”

More than 70 percent of respondents to the online survey, which is still live and still being used by WDDA to collect input and comments, indicated they agreed with the organization's statement of principles opposing additional testing requirements. Nearly 80 percent of respondents say they have already seen an increase in hard and soft costs as a result of the RRP.

WDDA notes that by EPA’s own estimate, contractors may incur a minimum cost of $250 for testing lab fees. Respondents to the survey offered a wide range of predictions regarding additional costs for testing, but most seemed to think it would be significantly higher.

Commenting on the additional cost of clearance testing, one respondent notes, "You did not mention the additional cost of money that will be incurred by contractors as they await final payment for a job. Homeowners will not make final payment on most renovation jobs until it is complete and signed off. This rule will result in huge cash flow problems for contractors, as they await testing results and possibly re-testing as well. Then, good luck chasing down the customer. This affects financed jobs greatly, as many of those programs only pay out once the customer signs a completion certificate."

"The real cost is going to be the lost business," says another respondent. "People are not going to want their home tested for fear of disclosure. Property values will decline and the values will decline in our older neighborhoods."

"I cannot believe that the EPA has taken this rule so far. They are putting the economy in more jeopardy and costing thousands of useless dollars," another respondent asserts. "We are already losing tons of business due to this rule with hardly adding any cost to the job. This is going to ruin the home improvement industry, and put many companies out of business. Honestly, we just don't know what we are going to do."

David Walker, WDDA VP, notes that the group is not only continuing to collect data using the online survey, but it is also gathering letters to be presented to EPA officials in July. WDDA has drafted a letter for dealers to use that can be supplemented with anecdotal information from their own companies and printed on company letterhead. "We're getting tons of letters and we hope to get more," Walker concludes, urging dealers to send a copy of their letters to WDDA by June 21.

Letters can be emailed to dwalker@glass.org or mailed to David Walker, Window & Door Dealers Alliance, 8200 Greensboro Drive, Ste. 302, McLean, VA 22102.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Lost business with lead law

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:10 am

I know that I have flat out lost work because of the lead law. I am sure that I have lost work to non-conforming contractors too!

Great law and even better implementation.... :roll:

Skydawggy.
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Re: Lost business with lead law

#3 Post by Skydawggy. » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:07 am

We have definitely lost business. I don't know yet if the HO had a non-certified firm do the work but we have been told by HO's that they can't afford the additional cost. I was in a neighborhood the other day talking to a HO about the RRP law. A neighbor down the street was sanding and scraping the paint off his 1920's era house, in a breeze and sending lead paint dust all over the neighborhood. Apparently, this is OK but since I am just tearing out a few windows, I am endangering children unless I set up interior and exterior containment areas and then toss hundreds of square feet of plastic into a land fill.

This law is ridiculous. If EPA insists on having it, they must have a permit process set up and they need to include a severe penalty for the HO's who willingly violate it. Either that or get rid of it. I see no point in offering tax credits to improve the energy efficiency of older homes and provide a stimulus to the economy when the EPA just turns around and takes them back with a poorly implemented law like this.

buddy11
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Re: Lost business with lead law

#4 Post by buddy11 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:12 pm

Yep, we have also lost work because of it. As the article pointed out, it's only going to get worse with third party testing.
Your tax dollars at work.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Lost business with lead law

#5 Post by Windows on Washington » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:29 pm

buddy11 wrote:Yep, we have also lost work because of it. As the article pointed out, it's only going to get worse with third party testing.
Your tax dollars at work.
Just wait for Cap and Trade.

buddy11
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Re: Lost business with lead law

#6 Post by buddy11 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:32 pm

Windows on Washington wrote:
buddy11 wrote:Yep, we have also lost work because of it. As the article pointed out, it's only going to get worse with third party testing.
Your tax dollars at work.
Just wait for Cap and Trade.
:?: :?:

Window4U (IL)
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Re: Lost business with lead law

#7 Post by Window4U (IL) » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:01 pm

I've lost jobs because of it too. When I bring it up it's like they blame me for the extra cost like I'm the bad guy. One other thing I've noticed driving around Chicago and the surrounding areas. I have not seen even one contractor working with containment set up. Painters, roofers, siders, carpenters, ...NOBODY.

buddy11
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Re: Lost business with lead law

#8 Post by buddy11 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:18 pm

That may be because people can still opt out. I've seen it too. In one case I know there are children living in the home so it may just be that people are ignoring it. I can't say as I blame them but if this GD law is here they better damn well enforce it or it's useless and the honest contractors will bare the brunt. Frankly I'm sick of being punished for doing things right

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Re: Lost business with lead law

#9 Post by Skydawggy. » Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:12 pm

The fines have been suspended until the end of Sept. so you have to make your own decisions as to whether to charge extra and do it in compliance with the RRP and lose business or to ignore the RRP for now since there really isn't a penalty to pay and gain the business. All I'm going to say for now. We should probably move this to the Contractors Board.

buddy11
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Re: Lost business with lead law

#10 Post by buddy11 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:20 pm

Skydawggy wrote:The fines have been suspended until the end of Sept. so you have to make your own decisions as to whether to charge extra and do it in compliance with the RRP and lose business or to ignore the RRP for now since there really isn't a penalty to pay and gain the business. All I'm going to say for now. We should probably move this to the Contractors Board.

Sky,
That depends on how you read or interperate the ruling. It says they can't use the $2,000,000 to levy fines. Nowhere does it say they can't use "other funds" to do the same.

Skydawggy.
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Re: Lost business with lead law

#11 Post by Skydawggy. » Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:58 pm

Makes you wonder why they need additional funds to levy fines doesn't it?

Why can't EPA use money from it's annual budget approved by Congress to levy fines? :roll:

buddy11
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Re: Lost business with lead law

#12 Post by buddy11 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:39 pm

Pretty frightening when you think about it.

toddinmn
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Re: Lost business with lead law

#13 Post by toddinmn » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:07 pm

I have gained business because of the lead rules.There are alot of homeowners who have a hard time finding a contractor who is RRP certified and is trying to get them for an extra $150 an opening.

Skydawggy.
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Re: Lost business with lead law

#14 Post by Skydawggy. » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:36 pm

toddinmn wrote:I have gained business because of the lead rules.There are alot of homeowners who have a hard time finding a contractor who is RRP certified and is trying to get them for an extra $150 an opening.

How much did your insurance premium go up when you added lead to it?

toddinmn
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Re: Lost business with lead law

#15 Post by toddinmn » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:23 pm

None,we have been doing lead abatment/reduction work for many years.In MN regulated lead rules are over and beyond RRP rules.How much has your insurance gone up?I am sure your insurance company would rather see you using lead safe work practices and documenting your work and cleaning.How did you contain your work before these rules?Almost all the other contractors I know have used a shop vac before the RRP rules and left dust and paint chips behind.Don't forget about the OSHA rules that have been in effect for years.

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