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Selling RRP Projects, Part Two

By on September 25, 2011 in Lead Paint, Marketing with 2 Comments

We found from part one that if we would actually read the law, many of our projects would have low compliance cost.  If the compliance cost were under 10% of the overall job price, maybe it was simply a better idea not to mention RRP at all.

Part Two covers RRP projects that would exceed 10% in compliance cost, but where RRP may not apply because there is no lead based paint.  In this scenario, you have to mention RRP as lightly as possible, but you stress there is a good chance it doesn’t apply (since the odds are no lead based paint exist in the components you are disturbing). that if we would actually read the law, many of our projects would have low compliance cost.  If the compliance cost were under 10% of the overall job price, maybe it was simply a better idea not to mention RRP at all.

To review the odds of finding lead based paint, you should read where it’s found.

Lightly Mentioning RRP

From part one; we realize that bringing up RRP doesn’t help to sell the project.  In fact, the clients mind changes from getting their needs met to talking about lead poisoning.  So, in part two, we still want to shy away as much as possibly from talking about RRP.

The best way I found to mention testing to a client is to simply make a note of it in your estimate and/or contract.  Most contractors have a section on differing site conditions or unknown conditions.  The reality is, you don’t know if the building has lead based paint or not.  So, there is no way for you to give an accurate estimate until you find out.

I mention in my paragraph that after they have chosen us to do the project, we will do a lead test.  If no lead based paint is found, we will put the client in our schedule.  If lead based paint is found, we will calculate the additional cost and present it to the customer.  If the homeowner does not want to pay the additional cost, then the contract can be cancelled, without any penalties or fees.

So, in my estimates, I give a price for non-RRP and don’t give an estimate (or even mentioning the cost) for what it would cost to do RRP.  If you think about this, it only makes sense.  You don’t have a clue if the components have lead based paint or not.  Even if lead based paint is found, it could be only in one component.  Long story short, you don’t know how much to price in for RRP compliance until you actually find out what does or does not have lead based paint.

About Lead Test

Some negatives about doing testing yourself are that Lead Check and D-Lead can’t really let you know if its lead based paint.  Lead based paint is 1 mg/cm2 or more of lead content.  If it’s .9 mg/cm2 or less … RRP doesn’t apply.  Simply put, you won’t be able to determine if RRP applies or not using these test kits.

In October 2011, Certified Renovators will be able to test by using paint chip sampling.  Paint chip sampling is costly.  It takes a lot longer to do the test, plus you have to send it out to a lab and then you need to make repairs from where you took the test.

The best solution is to find a lead inspector or risk assessor who can use their XRF to find out exactly how much lead is in the paint.  Developing a good relationship with a person who has an XRF will help you win jobs and also helps you reduce your liabilities (the tester is the one with liability concerns).  You do not need to do a “lead inspection” (a whole house inspection).  You can request a “limited lead inspection” (component check), which cost less.

Part Three will cover what to do when you have high compliance cost and probable/known lead based paint.

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Dean Lovvorn
Dean Lovvorn is a Lead Based Paint Specialist working in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area. He is a licensed lead inspector, EPA certified renovator and a RRP Instructor. Dean also administers a private discussion group comprised of RRP Instructors, EPA-HUD-CDC professionals, Lead Inspectors & Assessors, City-County-State Health Departments, Universities and lead organizations.
Dean Lovvorn

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  1. Selling RRP Projects | The Blogging Painters | December 20, 2011
  1. Jhoell says:

    Lead is dangerous, it can be fatal. Lead poisoning occurs when lead is inhaled or ingested. Lead is odorless, colorless and tasteless. It is invisible to the naked eye. Lead testing is a must. Great article about lead paint. Keep up the good work.


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