New federal law affects remodels of older homes

Real Estate Agent with Total Property Resources 200510126

A new federal law went into effect on April 22, 2010, that affects all homes built prior to 1978. That's over half of all homes in the U.S., including about 33,000 here in Central Oregon. The new EPA "Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule" or "RRP", is intended to protect U.S. citizens from the health hazards associated with construction work around lead-based paint. (The EPA estimates that about half of all homes built prior to 1978 contain lead-based paint. Lead was banned as an ingredient in household paint in 1978.)

The new RRP rule is complex, but the key points are as follows:

  • Effective April 22, 2010, all contracting firms disturbing painted surfaces or replacing windows in pre-1978 homes must be EPA certified and must have at least one employee additionally certified as a Certified Renovator. (I have a list of Certified Renovators.)
  • The contractor is required to provide the customer with a copy of the EPA, "Renovate Right" brochure, prior to beginning the renovation.
  • All work must be conducted using EPA designated lead-safe work practices, including approved warning posters, dust containment, paint removal methods, cleanup and disposal.
  • The Certified Renovator must keep detailed documentation on file for three years to prove compliance with all RRP requirements.
  • The EPA can seek penalties of up to $37,500 per day against a contractor for noncompliance with the RRP rule.

The following situations are exempt from the RRP rule:

o Homeowners doing their own work on their own home.
o Contractors disturbing less than 6 square feet of interior paint per room or 20 square feet of exterior paint.
o The portion of the house to be renovated is tested and found to be lead free by a Certified Lead-Based Paint Risk Assessor, Certified Lead-Based Paint Inspector, or Certified Renovator.

How the New RRP Rule Affects Homebuyers
Homebuyers considering a pre-1978 home have always had to consider the possibility of lead-based paint and its associated health risks. The RRP rule now adds a cost consideration. Many buyers of older homes do so with plans to renovate or repaint. Contractors performing this work will now have added costs to comply with the RRP and these costs will be passed on to the customer. The EPA has estimated the additional cost to the contractor will be around $35, but most contractors I've talked to say that's unrealistically low and expect the actual cost increase to be in the hundreds on small projects and easily above a thousand dollars on large projects like kitchen remodels or exterior house painting. Homebuyers planning large renovation projects would be smart to get written estimates from EPA certified contractors prior to purchase.

Thanks to Pillar to Post Professional Home Inspection in Bend, OR for this informative summary.



Thank you for reading my Bend real estate blog!

Cheri Smith, Broker, SFR
Total Property Resources  |
c: 541-788-8997  o: 541-330-0589  f: 541-330-0589

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. David Popoff 08/06/2010 04:35 AM
Home Improvement
Oregon Deschutes County Bend
new lead paint law
certified renovator lead paint
remodel pre1978 home
remodeling a home with lead paint

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David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
RealtorĀ®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

All homeowner with homes built before 1978 should read this post. I took the RRP class in the Spring to see what's it all about.. ..  Containment, containment, CONTAINMENT OF LEAD !!!! Unfortuneatly to do it properly will and a fairly large expense to the job. Be aware when renovating ~ Dave

Aug 06, 2010 04:33 AM #1
Gloria Todor
Century 21 Absolute Realty - Media, PA
& Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA

Hi Cheri, Thanks to David Popoff for giving a link to your post about this issue in one of my posts.  Many people are unaware of this change.  Good post.

All the best.


Mar 03, 2013 04:29 AM #2
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