EPA reports enforcement actions on lead paint rule

The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced its first known enforcement actions on remodelers following implementation of the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP) on April 22, 2010. In the first of three cases, a rental property owner agreed this March to pay $10,000 to resolve rule violations tied to what the agency says was improper use of power equipment to remove paint from the exterior surface of an 1850s apartment building in Rockland, Maine. The complaint further alleged that workers had not been trained under the rule and that the property owner had failed to apply for firm certification with the EPA. Read more here…

Homeowners avoid expense of remodeling under lead paint rule

The costs of remodeling a home built before 1978 can increase by as much as 24 percent, the result of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule, according to the NAHB.

“Remodelers are finding that conducting renovation work in older homes has become more expensive under the lead regulation and that homeowners are reluctant to pay the increased cots,” said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Bob Peterson, CGR, CAPS, CGP, a remodeler from Fort Collins, Colo.

Responding to special questions in NAHB’s quarterly Remodeling Market Index (RMI) survey, many remodelers said they had estimated the price of remodeling projects with and without the lead rule requirements.  The percentage of price difference depended on the size of the remodeling project, with the smallest projects – less than $5,000 – experiencing the greatest cost increase at 24 percent.  As the project sizes increased, the overall costs of applying the lead rule fell.  At the high end, projects costing more than $100,000 had a 9 percent increase for lead rule requirements.

At least 65 percent of the remodeler respondents to the RMI survey reported that homeowners are taking actions to avoid the costs of the lead rule by attempting do-it-yourself work, looking for an uncertified contractor who would not comply with the lead rule, scaling back the size of planned remodeling projects, or deciding not to remodel at all.

“Remodelers want to protect vulnerable children from lead exposure, but we’re seeing that homeowners do not want to pay the costs for complying with the lead regulation,” said Peterson.  “A huge part of the problem is that homeowners with no children do not see the need to pay this expense.

Under the lead paint regulation, contractors disturbing painted surfaces in pre-1978 homes must obtain training and certification, distribute the Renovate Right pamphlet to homeowners, contain dust during the renovation, use lead-safe work practices, clean up after the project, and maintain detailed records.

According to the American Housing Survey, from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Census Bureau, professional remodelers are hired to perform about 16.6 million projects per year in housing built before 1980.  The vast majority of these projects – nearly 13 million – are small, priced under $5,000.  This means that homeowners with small remodeling projects will experience the majority of lead rule expenses.

The total estimated costs for remodeling under the lead rule, including training, equipment, materials, and work hours, would reach as high as $10.5 billion per year if homeowners did not change their remodeling plans.

For more information on the lead rule, visit www.nahb.org/leadpaint or call NAHB at 800-368-5242.

Cash in with the Remodeling Outlook Webinar

  • Thursday, May 26, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (EDT) NAHB Remodelers presents a special webinar: “Remodeling Outlook Webinar”

NAHB will offer a webinar on the outlook for remodeling nationally. This program features experts David Crowe, NAHB chief economist, and Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, for their presentation of the latest remodeling market forecast.

NAHB’s forecasting information is crucial to planning for any business. Educational opportunities like this help to make businesses more profitable and meet the changing needs of their clients. We hope you’ll join us for this revealing remodeling market webinar.

To register, visit www.NAHB.org.

Learn How Green Building Offers Growth Market For Remodelers

On April 28 HBA Remodelers can learn more about “Selling to the Green Client” at the Remodelers Forum at the HBA of Greenville office, sponsored by Advanced Renovations. The speaker is Kathy Vass of Vass Markets Inc.

  • What: HBA Remodelers Forum
  • Topic: Selling to the Green Client
  • When: Thursday, April 28, 8:30 a.m.
  • Where: HBA of Greenville Office
  • Speaker: Kathy Vass, Vass Markets
  • Sponsor: Advanced Renovations

Click here to register for the HBA of Greenville Remodelers Forum.

The U.S. home remodeling industry is poised for growth in 2011, with NAHB predicting as much as a 20 percent increase in spending for home improvement projects. Studies show that in the next five years, the focus of remodeling spending will shift from upper-end discretionary projects to replacements and systems upgrades. With energy costs on the rise and consumers becoming increasingly aware of the need to conserve resources, green remodeling is providing remodeling business opportunities ranging from insulation upgrades to whole-house renovation projects.

Most of the nation’s 125 million homes were built before today’s high efficiency materials, appliances and construction techniques were incorporated into new homes. As homeowners look toward remodeling, they are considering and asking for products such as low-e windows, Energy Star® rated appliances, upgraded insulation and other green products.

Click here to register for the HBA of Greenville Remodelers Forum.

Government Affairs Forum with Greenville City Manager

Government Affairs Forum with Greenville City Manager

Your Home Builders Association of Greenville held the first Government Affairs Forum this week at the HBA Office. The guest speaker was John Castile, City Manager of the City of Greenville.

Nearly 20 HBA members turned out to discuss city issues with Castile. Among the issues discussed were balancing growth and development with density, staff reductions in the building inspections department, code enforcement issues and keeping the permit process up-to-date, future plans for moving the city forward in a new economy, and reforming business licenses.

The HBA committed to Castile that the association will work with the city to help it solve problems in a manner that does not contribute to delays and expenses for Home Builders.

A light breakfast and coffee was sponsored by Quinn-Satterfield.

The next Government Affairs Forum is being planned for early December in conjunction with the Remodelers Forum. Stay tuned for more information, including the meeting date.