Don’t Make This $32,500 Mistake…

Starting April 22, 2010, life gets just a little more complicated. You’ve probably been involved in some type of remodel over the years, whether it was a kitchen remodel, basement finishing project, or even something simpler like removing wallpaper or replacing tile.

Whether you prefer to hire someone to complete these projects or complete them yourself, what you don’t know could cost you $32,500!

You’ve probably heard about lead-based paint (LBP) before. When you bought or rented your house, maybe you received a LBP brochure and/or were asked to sign a LBP disclosure form.

Lead poses significant health risks to people and pets, especially to pregnant women and children from the ages of 0 to 6. Because of these risks, various governmental departments (most notably the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] and the Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD]) have developed policies and procedures to protect people and pets from these risks.

In April, the EPA’s rules for Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) go into effect. The RRP Rule regulates all remodeling activities which disturb lead. This doesn’t just mean paint, other building materials in your home such as tile, wallpaper, windows, and plumbing fixtures to name a few, contain dangerous lead.

Worse still, if your home has products containing lead, they can contaminate other products around it, for example an open window provides a nice breeze in the summer, but also distributes lead dust to the carpet.

Why should you care? First off, lead poisoning creates a real risk for nervous system disorders, kidney damage, miscarriage, premature birth, brain damage, fertility and sexual problems, high blood pressure, and decreased intelligence, ADD and learning disabilities, especially for young people.

Second, the new rules for RRP require that you hire an EPA Certified Renovator to complete your project. If you hire a contractor without certification, you both will be liable for fines up to $32,500! If you complete the project yourself, you could be fined up to $32,500! Unfortunately, ignorance of the rules is not a valid defense.

Before you start that project, whether it is a basement finishing project, a full scale kitchen remodel, or a simple carpet replacement, know the new rules! Because what you don’t know, CAN hurt you!

Building more…