Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Law Makes Remodeling “Older Homes” More Expensive

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that its new Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule will apply to all homes built before 1978. The agency is eliminating an “opt-out” provision that largely limited the regulation’s applicability to older homes that were the residences of pregnant women or children under six years old.

Expected to be enforced starting in July, the new mandate will increase the number of homes covered by the lead rules from an estimated 9.4 million to about 79 million, even though the EPA itself estimates that a significantly smaller number of homes — about 38 million — still contain lead paint.

Citing the economic impact of the rule, a remodeler from Colorado said that he has already lost bids because of the additional expense and an Alaskan remodeler said the rule is likely to add between $7,000 and $10,000 to his company’s cost of a major home addition project. The EPA estimates that the rule will add between $8 and $187 per project. “We stand by our analysis,” they said.

Whether the contractors are correct or the EPA is correct, it still proves the point that it is a good time to build new.

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