Are You Ready for Lead?

Christina Lewellen
December 16, 2009
THE TALK... | Operations

Survey Results for 12/16/2009:

Are you aware of/prepared for the new lead paint rules?

We were neither aware, nor prepared.




We're aware, but not prepared.




We're both aware and somewhat prepared.




More than 60 percent of survey participants fessed up to not knowing about pending regulations pertaining to remodeling and retrofit work in pre-1978 homes and buildings that may have lead-based paint. Don't feel bad—to some extent, these rules are catching most of the industry off guard.

Several companies' officials wrote to say they're on top of the rules and have already instituted training to make sure field reps know how to comply. I guess that would be the 17 percent indicating that they're ready if the rules do indeed go into effect in April 2010, as scheduled.

Still, a far greater number of emails I could safely classify in the "huh?" category. Many wrote to me for additional information, and some grumbled about how this is yet another example of how companies that play by the books are struggling to keep up with the fly-by-night contractors who take their chances that they won't get caught willfully ignoring the rules.

"We are a company that solely performs installation of door and window products for installing retailers," writes Bob Demers, owner of The Installation Advantage. "Trying to be prepared for the upcoming EPA guidelines we have already sent several people to training classes for certification. Surprisingly, the training staff themselves are a little unclear about some details of the new regulations and are still receiving updates themselves. As far as the installing retailers we contract with, few of them know about the upcoming program and fellow contractors don't have any knowledge of the upcoming changes."

Another dealer from South Carolina writes: "We are constantly battling guys that don’t pull permits, have correct DP ratings,etc. Now this adds another layer of expense to the guys following the rules. If you get caught without a permit, it’s just double the normal permit fee. Not much incentive to play by the rules. Instead it gives the guys without the permits more incentive to NOT pull the permit."

We'll continue to follow this issue in Window & Door. Don't hesitate to touch base if you'd like to weigh in on how the lead paint handling rules are going to affect your business. 

One other note: The new Window & Door Alliance is planning to host a webinar on the subject on February 9.


Contact Christina Lewellen, senior editor, at

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