Thanks to Rings End Lumber, Remodelers learn about the new EPA RRP rule, the new A-Series Andersen Windows and get some great food too!
Thanks to Rings End Lumber, in cooperation with Brosco and Andersen Windows, for sponsoring this meeting!
This event was held at three different locations in Connecticut on May 11th, 12th and 13th, 2010
This Event Was By Invitation Only!
Rings End Lumber did a great job with these events. The events were held in Norwalk, Southbury and Groton Connecticut. Everything including the event planning, meeting facilities as well as the food were top notch and professionally done.
At the beginning of each event, Chuck Ryan from Andersen did a presentation to help inform attendees about the new Andersen A-Series windows and doors. Chuck did a great job helping remodelers understand the new line of windows and doors. He covered everything from standard features to custom options and answered any questions the attendees had for him. There were several Rings End employees at each of the events. It was obvious they too were very knowledgeable about Andersen's product line and were ready, willing and able to assist their customers.
I was impressed with Rings End Lumber's dedication to educating their customers. The attendees were obviously veteran seminar attendees. Rings End actually has a Director of Education, Tony Calistro. Tony did a great job with the event. I got to speak with Tony about the education Rings End offers their customers, at their own training center as well as other venues. Rings End has been hosting EPA RRP Certified Renovator classes for contractors in their market area as well as a variety of other classes covering a wide range of topics. Tony shared that Rings End finds educating their customers to be a mutually beneficial investment.
The attendee reactions to my presentation were mixed. All were taken aback by what they learned. Some were glad to get new information to help them and their businesses comply with the rule. Although they appreciated getting the information, others who had little knowledge about the RRP and or those who had not yet attended the certified renovator training class were not happy to learn about the new realities the RRP rule will have for their businesses. The EPA required certification classes may help remodelers understand the work practices, but they do not cover the new business considerations, thus leaving business owners to do this on their own. Credit to Rings End Lumber for understanding the business challenges their customers have in regards to this rule and for offering business education to help them.
Although our discussion about the RRP rule was of a serious nature, we still managed to have some fun and a few laughs. The attendees were good about laughing at my jokes and had a few of their own. On Thursday we had a moment of silence for the Yankees who lost that day 6-0 to the Tigers. The food was terrific at all three events, but, as a Boston guy, I really liked the "clam chowda" at the Groton event!
SNHHBRA Sponsors a Full-Day Intensive Program for Serious Business Owners, Managers and Sales Personnel
This event was held on Thursday, April 1st, 2010
Special thanks to Maggie Verani and Prudential Verani Realty for hosting the event at their Londonderry office. A great example of members helping members!
"I think Shawn did an excellent job with the overall lead requirements, covering the field all the way to sales and administration"
Will your business and employees be ready on April 22nd, 2010? How will you know for sure?
This full day class was attended by members and guests of the Southern NH Builders and Remodelers Association. The purpose of the class and its content was to help business owners, management staff and sales staff better understand how their businesses and their roles within their businesses would need to be rethought due to the realities of the new EPA RRP Rule. Attendees had lots of questions. I could tell right away as we started the day that this was a very intuitive group. Their questions proved they had already been working hard to understand how the new rules would not only impact their current business practices, but also how their businesses could benefit by becoming early leaders in their marketplace. These attendees were looking for ways to separate themselves from non-informed businesses or those businesses that will choose not to comply with the law.
After discussing the purpose of the seminar with the attendees, they were asked what else they wanted to be sure would be covered during our time together. Here is their list:
- Understanding blood testing and related considerations for the consumer and the remodeler
- Clarification about how the EPA would be handling enforcement of the rule, for both those who were attempting to comply as well as those who choose not to.
- What liabilities they needed to be aware of and how to best manage them.
- How they could use what they would learn to differentiate their businesses.
- Clarity on the documentation requirements and strategies for ensuring proper documentation by their employees.
Attendees quickly grasped that they could control business overhead as well as production costs by better understanding and creating job specific critical paths for projects that would fall under the requirements of the new rule. We discussed using a "forced" approach to not only the activities each team member at their business would be responsible for, but also why certain activities should be done before or after other activities. For example, strategically planning how and when demolition of certain job components could be scheduled to limit and control the creation of dust and ultimately the related costs for cleanup and cleaning verification. Another example discussed was causing and verifying through documentation that homeowners and tenants received proper notification of the work as well as the required Renovate Right brochure prior to commencement of any work.
One concern that was raised several times during the day was how to discuss and sell the additional costs to prospects. I offered several options for "pre-educating" prospects about the rule. We discussed how doing so could also save a lot of time for the salesperson on each sales call. As one example, we viewed a sample video that could be posted on a remodeler's website for viewing by a prospect in advance of a sales call. Such an approach could give the prospect time to do more research, discuss the new realities with others and think through their reactions to the new information before sitting down with a salesperson.
The day was certainly a win for me. One attendee shared, and then the group agreed, that compliance with the new rule wasn't as challenging as they had imaged it could be now that they were better informed about it and could connect the dots in a logical way. I want to thank Jan Jacome of Crossroads Contracting for helping make this event happen. Also, Lisa Bowman, Executive Officer at the association, did a great job organizing and facilitating the event that day. The folks at Prudential Verani Realty in Londonderry made their conference room available and were very helpful, making sure everything went well with the room setup and related AV equipment for my presentation.
Attendees received and reviewed sample documentation forms created by Shawn to help them comply with the Rule.
This is the list of critical definitions we reviewed during the seminar. The EPA often has different definitions for words than what might be assumed by remodelers or would be found in Webster's dictionary
Comments From Some of the Attendees
"Step by step, you walked us through the process. Great job!"
Jan Jacome, Crossroads Contracting
"He does a good job staying on topic and making sure we received all the info"
Johnny Hawkes, J. Hawkes Builders.
"Shawn was a fantastic presenter and made the information interesting. It was the next logical step to apply what was tought at the RRP certification class. This closed the loop. The Power Point worked well"
Timothy S. Williams, Blackdog Builders
Shawn presented seminars to help Septic System Designers and Installers improve their business practices at the Association's 23rd Annual Spring Septic System Conference and Exposition
This event was held on Monday and Tuesday, March 29th and 30th, 2010
Radisson Hotel Manchester, 700 Elm Street, Manchester, NH
I had a really good time at this event. The attendees at my sessions were eager for business education, grateful for what they learned and hungry to learn more.
On Monday evening I presented a dinner program for business owners titled "Taking Some of the Mystery Out Of Margins and Markups". At dinner before the presentation, I had some great conversation with the business owners at the table. It was very helpful to listen to their business concerns and challenges. There was lots of discussion about pricing and the challenges they face everyday due to competition with other businesses that operate illegally and or moonlighters who do the work without proper permitting. Many of their challenges and concerns are similar to those experienced by the remodeling contractors I typically interact with.
I'd like to thank Matt Gatzke from the association's office for contacting me and working with me to make the seminars happen. Through Matt's help I also spoke to association members Jim Hanna and Deborah Hinds in advance of the event to discuss topics and content for the seminars. With their help I was able to personalize the presentations so each one would be in context with the needs of the attendees. Because of their help, in Tuesday's seminar titled "Small Business Finances for Non-Accountants", I was better prepared to answer questions and offer suggestions related to pricing strategies to cover things like site equipment loan payments and how to price tank pumping jobs depending on the number and sizes of tanks to be pumped.
Tuesday afternoon's presentation titled "Determining Your Real Labor Cost: Are You Really Charging Enough?" was packed. Several attendees grabbed more chairs from an adjacent room and some were even gathering in the hallway outside the room so they could listen in. In the seminar we discussed ways to build employee related costs such as vehicle expenses, non-productive time, vacation time and bonuses into an hourly burdened rate to use for estimating and job costing purposes. We also did some "what-if" scenarios to show the effects on labor costs for things like employee raises and offering benefits.
Thanks to all of the attendees for making me feel welcome. I hope to have an opportunity to work with all of you again in the near future! If you were at the event, please scroll down and leave a comment about your experience.
Taking Some of the Mystery Out of Margins and Markups
For many small construction companies first getting into the business, financial management skills are not necessarily a part of their educational background. A fundamental goal of any growing business is to maximize and protect its profits. By understanding the profit process (how to define it, create it, and measure it), a business owner or manager will come to better understand how fragile profits can be and the importance that good financial management plays in protecting them. If earning and keeping profits is important to you and your business, attend this down-to-earth, easy to follow seminar program. By knowing the mathematical formulas to determine things like margins and markups, they become real tools rather than magical numbers that some person suggests that you use to run your business.
Small-Business Finances for Non-Accountants
The number one reason contracting businesses fail is due to a lack of available money when they needed it, even if they are operating profitably. The number two reason is that they do not know the costs of being in business. Do you know if you will make a profit this year? Do you always have enough money to pay monthly bills on time or to meet payroll? Do you know whether you are buying rather than selling projects? Do you know how and when to predict the costs of doing business? Why try to figure this stuff out yourself by attending the "Suppliers School of Hard Knocks"? Shawn has already graduated from that institution and he is willing to share some hard earned lessons from the trenches! Join us for a fun and enlightening discussion.
Learning objectives: By completing this class, you will be able to:
- Determine the markup your business needs to use when pricing projects to ensure your ability to cover project and overhead expenses and to maintain planned net profit
- Understand how to determine your company's gross profit margin requirement and breakeven point and how to use both to track your company's profitability
- Understand how sales volume and gross profit margins are interdependent and what you can do if one or both are falling short as you do business
Determining Your Real Labor Cost: Are You Really Charging Enough?
The most difficult part of estimating is predicting the labor required to complete a project. What does it really cost your business to support and compensate your employees for each hour they work before you even make a profit? The burdened cost of labor includes much more than just the hourly wage of the employee who will complete the work. Knowing what to charge for labor should be based on the actual expenses of the company doing the work. Attend this seminar to find out how to do it. You will even get a free MS Excel spreadsheet template so you can get started right away!
During this program, we will be discussing and demonstrating the following:
What really makes up the burden cost of labor and why?
Estimating by the hour, man or crew
Estimated hours vs the labor budget
How to include non-paid time (vacations, holidays, company meetings...)
How to include benefits (health insurance, 401K,
JLCLive Residential Construction Show 2010: Seminars by Shawn McCadden
March 24-27, 2010
Rhode Island Convention Center
As usual, it was another great event at the JLC LIVE Construction Trade Show in Providence RI this year. The Hanley Wood staff did a great job with the the Show Floor and Exhibits. Sherry Daniels and her team did a great job with the Education Conference. The free beer and live music with Carl Hagstrom and friends at the Welcome Party on Friday night was lots of fun and well attended.
It was obvious that the attendees in my session where there to learn new skills, add best practices and discover new ways to improve their businesses. I want to thank the many familiar faces I see each year at the show, but especially those who come to my seminars year after year. I am fortunate to learn new things from all of you each time I have the opportunity to be with you.
Here is a list of items the attendees at Tuesday's full-day seminar titled "The Game Has Changed- It's Not Business as Usual" asked that I be sure to include during our time together that day:
- Strategies for moving forward after the class
- Exit strategies
- Working smarter, not harder, maximize invested time
- Boosting margins on small jobs
- Dealing with growth and growth stages
- Differentiation - other than price
- Improving job site management
- Coping with new realities
- Understanding existing conditions
- Recognizing new markets and niches
- Employee action plans
At my "Smart Selling for Tough Times" seminar we discussed how and why the buying process consumers were using before the recession had changed. Attendees agreed they learned new ways to help their prospects find ways to make confident decisions and at the same time reduce the time it would take to close sales and add them to their customer list. One attendee, a home builder, said he was better prepared to help buyers see how his homes were different than his competition's and how those differences might make it more likely they would buy his homes. Attendees also agreed to never again use the word "bid" when interacting with prospects and clients!!!
On Friday I presented a seminar titled "Seven Reasons Your Business Must Embrace Technology". We discussed reasons including; profitability, competition, greening your business and government documentation requirements related to EPA RRP compliance. Many attendees were surprised at the technology considerations related to both hiring and being in competition with those in "Generation Y", or what I referred to as "Generation Why".
More from Shawn's Full-Day Seminar at JLC LIVE 2010
Attendees filled out a business assessment questionnaire and plotted results on a radar graph to help them prioritize areas to work on.
Mary Regan from SawGear attended Shawn's full-day class to help her better understand contractors' businesses and their business challenges.
Attendees discussed areas where they would need to advance their business management and leadership skills.
Time was set aside so attendees could create an action plan to use when they got back to their places of business.
Post seminar survey comments forShawn's full-day seminar:
What Worked Well?
"Small class, enabled intimate interactions"
"Visual assessment of business health; puts it in perspective"
"Positive attitude - been there done that attitude "
"New perspective on how to reorganize company"
"Shawn is a great speaker, good analogies, makes things make sense and applicable"
"Shawn is an excellent speaker. Good subject matter that helps you look at what you are doing and where your company is going"
"Great ideas, good pace, correct info presented"
"Excellent communication - clear points - understands how what he spoke about really applies in real life"
"Very well organized agenda, accuracy, enthusiasm, information galore, great perspective and examples"
Seminars Presented By Shawn McCadden at This Year's JLC Show:
Click on a seminar title to see that seminar's description
Session 1: March 24, 2010, 10AM - 5PM
Session 2: March 25, 2010, 2-5PM
Session 3: March 26, 2010, 12:30 - 1:45PM
Business Power Tools: Building a Strong Foundation for Profitability
Thanks to Snow and Jones and Weil McLain for making this Seminar possible!
Tuesday March 16, 2010
Location: Hilton Garden Inn, 5 Home Depot Dr. Plymouth, MA Right off Exit 5 on Rt. 3
This seminar was attended by plumbers, HVAC contractors, builders, remodelers and others looking to improve their businesses.
Click here to find a Snow and Jones location near you
Mike Toal and Danielle Jones of Snow and Jones
Attendees really enjoyed the breakout discussions
Thanks to Snow and Jones for inviting me to present this seminar for their clients. Danielle Jones shared with me that many of their clients had expressed interest in business education to help them weather the business challenges they were experiencing. Danielle and I worked out a curriculum that would address her customer's needs now, but also help prepare them and their businesses for the eventual economic recovery.
One of my goals for the day was to personalize my presentation to the attendees needs. When asked at the beginning of the seminar what they hoped I could help them with, attendees gave me the following list:
- 1. Cause more sales to happen
- 2. Make more Money
- 3. Improve efficiency
- 4. Get an edge on the competition
- 5. Cause new behaviors
- 6. Improve marketing and close ratios
- 7. Insight on cross training
- 8. Time management
Attendees said we did a good job addressing their list. Here are a few comments shared by the attendees on the post seminar survey:
"Excellent. Gives a realistic approach to track financials for the small business owner" Matt Nelson, South Shore Heating & Cooling
"I don't attend many of these seminars, but the material answered what needs to be implemented to make my business more successful" Robert MacNeill., Old Colony Mechanical, Inc.
"Shawn reinforced the procedures we use daily on estimating and how we relate to customers. Marketing strategy changed my ideas for OCMI" Andrea MacNeill, Old Colony Mechanical, Inc.
"Shawn is a very passionate speaker. The breakout sessions worked well" Steve Conneen, Snow and Jones
"Taught us - Know your costs. This will give you the conviction to sell at the price you need." Phil Cronin, Coastal Restoration
"Good Pace - Interactive activities - helped me see where we are on track and help me set new goals to work on. Liked that it encouraged more people to get onboard running professional companies" Allison Guido, Almar Building
"Good examples, very interactive. Excellent if you are looking to grow and improve your business." Danielle Jones, Snow and Jones
Click Here to Request a Copy of the Seminar Handout
Click Here to Request the Spreadsheets Offered at the Seminar
This fun full-day program will focus on the core business systems that are the foundation of strategic planning for your company's success and profitability. It will include systems for financial operations, marketing, design, sales, personnel, production, and communications. Shawn McCadden will discuss how operational systems interrelate to work toward an improved bottom line. Plus, he will cover the development of a business budget and business planning concepts. You'll learn how to determine the burdened cost of labor and what markup to use to get a return on investment. This intensive program will include lecture, discussion, and breakout times to help attendees discover what options they and their businesses have for operational improvement, future growth, and financial profitability.
Learning objectives: By completing this class you will be able to:
- Explore the systems for each core area of your business, including marketing, design, sales, financial operations, personnel, production and communication
- Learn budgeting and planning concepts
- Learn to determine the burdened cost of labor and what markup to use to get a return on investment
- Consider your options for operational improvement for future growth and financial profitability
At this event Shawn presented seminars to help builders and remodelers deal with the realities of a tough and changing marketplace and to make them aware of the EPA RRP Rule. See below for descriptions of the two topics Shawn presented.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The Inn at East Wind, Wading River, NY
Gael Harden and Shawn
Lesa Dresher of NARI-NY
Wow! Great event! Riverhead Building Supply did a first class job with this trade show for builders and remodelers. The venue was beautiful and the show floor was well set up. Even with the live demos underway on the show floor, attendees and exhibitors were able to easily interact without the typical noise challenges common at most shows. Special thanks to Gael Harden, Marketing Manager for Riverhead. Talk about organized and helpful... Gael organized the show and was great to work with. All of the Riverhead employees that I interacted with were also very professional and eager to make sure my sessions went well for me as well as the attendees. Riverhead expressed their interest in having me back to present other topics in the near future to help their customers with more business related education. Other vendors should look to Riverhead as a good example of how serving and keeping contractors as customers goes far beyond just the building materials they offer.
In the "Show Me The Money" seminar, attendees really liked the solutions I offered to help them better manage cash flow for their businesses. Several commented that, despite the tough economic times, they felt better prepared to weather financial realties as a result of what they learned. Others were convinced they needed to switch from cash to accrual based accounting so they would have better visibility of their cash flow position and as a result would know in advance what options they could consider if they were challenged to meet monthly vendor bills.
In the EPA RRP Awareness seminar, again, most of the attendees knew little or nothing about the new realities that will affect their businesses come April 22nd. My demonstration of wearing and removing the white coveralls while I was explaining the required work practices and cleaning procedures really made a hit. The crowd wanted to know who it was that was responsible for the new rule and the shortsighted regulations. When I told them Congress was responsible, many attendees called out for replacing incumbents at the mid-term elections. They were also furious at the EPA for its lack of promoting awareness about the new rule. Only three attendees had already submitted their Firm Certification application and not one attendee's firm would be certified in time to do the work covered under the rule before the April 22nd deadline.
The Long Island NARI Chapter was also represented at the show. Lesa Dresher, Executive Director for the chapter told me the chapter was trying to pull together a bus load of remodelers to go to Washington DC on April 13th to protest the new RRP rule and seek changes. For more information about this effort you can e-mail the chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org
Show Me Where The Money Went!
Is your checkbook balance often lower than you expected?
Nine of every ten high quality remodeling businesses with raving fans for clients fail within the first five years. The number one reason contracting businesses fail is due to a lack of available money when they needed it, even if they are operating profitably. So what do those who want to succeed need to know? Come to this session and understand why (even though you earned a profit), there may be no money in the bank. These money tips will help you better manage money and help you succeed in the future.
Learning objectives: By completing this class attendees learned how to:
- Know the difference between cash and accrual accounting and which one to use for your business.
- Understand and use a variety of options for better managing cash flow
- Write payment schedules to improve collections and avoid being under billed with your clients.
An Introduction to the New EPA RRP Lead Rules Program Description:
The New EPA RRP LEAD Rules will be a game changer for most businesses that perform work that disturbs paint. This session is a quick introduction for those who know little or nothing about the new rules. Find out if the work your business does and how you do that work will be affected. Contractors and trades doing this work must get their employees and their businesses ready to operate under these new rules or risk fines of up to $37,500 per individual violation. Claiming or pretending to be ignorant of these new rules won't be an option. Attend this informative session so you won't be caught by surprise by what you need to know. Shawn will be allowing plenty of time for Q&A.
(The new rules go into effect on April 22, 2010)
At this event Shawn presented seminars to help builders and remodelers deal with the realities of a tough and changing marketplace.
See below for the three topics Shawn presented on the main stage
Friday, March 5th, 2010
Connecticut Convention Center, 100 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford CT
The PROS ONLY Event was scheduled from 12-5PM, before the the association's annual home show opened to the public
Your opinion is important - please leave feedback below!
I'd like to thank the HBA of Hartford for inviting me to speak at this event. This was the first time the association has offered the Pros Only event. It was held prior to the opening of their annual home show. Special thanks to the association's president, Chris Nelson of Nelson Construction Inc. for inviting me and working out the details. Also, thanks to Eric Person, the association's Executive Director. Eric did a great job overseeing the event and organizing the home show. I will be doing two half day seminars for the association in the next few months. The first will be "Building A Stronger Foundation for Profit and Success " and will be held on April 6th. The second will be "Smart Selling Strategies for Tough Times" and will be held on May 4th. More information will be available soon.
2 PM: Seven Important Considerations for 2010
Shawn McCadden, remodeling industry specialist and Remodeling magazine columnist has assembled his list of the seven things remodelers and builders should keep on their radar screen for 2010. His list will make you aware of changes, trends and opportunities that can help you survive and thrive in these challenging times.
3:15 PM: The Game Has Changed; It's Not Business As Usual Anymore!
Business owners today find themselves in a new world with a changing landscape, one most have never experienced. Don't bother waiting for the old reality to return, as it's not going to happen. Shawn McCadden will share his views regarding how your business systems; including sales, marketing, design, and production will need to evolve if you still want to be around when the economy improves.
4:30 PM: Why Customers Aren't Buying and Why You're Not Selling!
With the marketplace slow down, selling projects isn't as easy is it used to be. The old rules for buying and selling have been tossed and homeowners and contractors both need to find new rules to play by. Shawn McCadden will share his three-part solution to an insecure consumer mindset. If you wait for buyers to figure out the new rules themselves, you will either need to sell on price or you will get to them too late.
EPA RRP Update for EM NARI Members
Written by: Shawn McCadden CR, 3/2/10
On January 5th, 2010 Greg Antonioli, Mark Paskell and I met with representatives from the EPA Region One office in Boston to discuss NARI's concerns about the new RRP rules and to submit a list of questions about the rule. The list of questions, about 7 pages in total, were intended to seek clarification on ambiguous sections of the rule and or to seek answers for questions that did not appear to be addressed in the rule. At that meeting, the EPA agreed to answer our list of questions and thanked us for our help. They did admit that they could not answer many of the questions and would need to seek the answers from the EPA's legal counsel in Washington. James Bryson, the Regional RRP Coordinator for the Boston office was to assemble the answers for us. Our impression from the meeting was positive and we felt confident that, based on our experience, the EPA would follow through as promised.
Since then, I have attempted to remain in contact with James Bryson to get a commitment from him for a date by which NARI would receive the answers to our list of questions. Despite my numerous attempts to do so, I was never able to get a commitment from him. Eventually, he stopped answering my e-mails and did not return any of my calls. I eventually contacted Nancy Barmakian, Manager of Toxics & Pesticides Technical Unit and the person overseeing the Boston office's efforts regarding the RRP. On March 18th, she did respond to let me know that our questions were forwarded to Washington and would be added to the list of questions the EPA has been receiving from other entities around the country as well. She said the EPA planned to post at least some of the questions on the FAQ section of the EPA website and she would let me know when they were posted. As of writing this, I have not heard back from her.
The EPA and the RRP program are plagued with many challenges. It has become obvious to many who are at the forefront of digesting this rule that the EPA was extremely shortsighted in regard to the completeness and practicality of the regulations contained in the rule as well as the realities that contractors are faced with in the field. The EPA is extremely short staffed, limiting their ability to keep up with marketplace awareness and implementation of this rule. The rule, regulations and work practices are extremely ambiguous and or lacking of clarity. The employees at the Boston EPA office wait for answers from the Washington EPA office and at the same time the Washington office waits for interpretation from their legal counsel so the contractors and the public can get answers. As of writing this, seven weeks have passed since submitting our questions; only two are addressed in the FAQ section on the EPA website.
In an effort to help remodelers, I will be including a FAQ section on my website as a way to collect and answer questions related to the RRP rules. This new area on my site should be up within the next 10 days. For now, you can go to the EPA RRP Info page of my site for helpful information and links related to the rule. I apologize for not having better news. Be assured that EM NARI has been trying to stay on top of this matter and will advise the membership of new information as it becomes available. As part of our efforts to do so, Greg, Mark and I will be attending a public hearing on Wednesday afternoon prior to the March NARI Membership Meeting. At this hearing the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety (DOS) will be seeking comments on its intent to seek authorization from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to administer and enforce the RRP Program in Massachusetts. Greg will be able to share what we learn at the hearing with the membership at the Chapter's monthly meeting on Wednesday March 3rd.
An Introduction to the New EPA RRP Lead Rules
Find Out What's Coming So You Can Start Getting Ready!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
The Yard Restaurant
1211 S. Mammoth Rd. Manchester NH
Southern NH Home Builders & Remodelers Association's Monthly Meeting
I'd like to thank Jan Jacome of Crossroads Contracting for inviting me to speak at last night's event. Jan and Lisa Bowman, Executive Officer at the association, did a great job making this happen. Ed Stewart, chapter president and owner of Boardwalk North, introduced me to the attendees. I'd like to thank Ed for his kind words about me and his past experiences attending my seminars. The attendees were great too. I felt they really appreciated my being there and offered a bunch of "Silver Bullets" at the end of the night to let me know how the presentation helped them and their businesses.
The majority of attendees at last night's EPA RRP introduction seminar had not yet done their Certified Renovator training, nor had they applied for firm certification. This was good for my purposes, because the seminar was intended to be an introduction and awareness event to help contractors. However, it is a challenge for the attendees because they are running out of or are already out of time.
Attendees were surprised to learn that under the RRP rules, if their businesses have not become certified firms by April 22nd, they cannot offer or perform work that falls under the RRP rules. Becoming a certified renovator can be done quickly; simply by finding a class, attending and passing the exam. But according to the RRP rules, the EPA has up to 90 days to process a properly completed firm certification application. I mailed my firm certification application on January 15th and still have not gotten my firm certification back from the EPA as of writing this. Even if they all went home last night, downloaded and filled out their applications and mailed them this morning, they would not receive their firm certifications back before the rules take effect. Unfortunately, they are in the same position as most contractors.
It was also made clear to attendees that the EPA would not be limited to on-site inspections. Rather, they would most likely be visiting their offices to review their compliance documentation for all projects they work on at homes built prior to 1978. So, if the EPA looks at their job list, cross references addresses to determine the year built of the homes they worked on, had they worked on any pre-1978 homes before their firm certification was approved, they would be in violation of the rules and subject to the $37,500 fine for each violation. I think they were glad to be informed of this consideration, but were also frustrated that the EPA has done little to make contractors and consumers aware of the new rules to give them adequate time to prepare.
At the meeting, the association passed out a flyer describing and offering my full day seminar, created to help contractors get their businesses ready for the new rules and responsibilities. Their intent was to see if they had enough interest to offer the seminar. Many of the attendees signed up. A tentative date has been set for April 1st, 2010. More information should be available soon.
Ed Stuart, Chapter President
Jan Jacome, Crossroads Contracting
Your opinion is important - please leave feedback below!
Thanks to Arnold Lumber, in cooperation with Brosco and Andersen Windows, for sponsoring this meeting!
Attendees at last night's RIBA seminar were a bit taken back by the new considerations and responsibilities the new EPA RRP Lead Rules will have for their businesses. The majority of attendees had not yet taken their required certified renovator class, so discussion about the work practices and the documentation requirements led to some emotional discussions during the session. But, who can blame them. Working as a Remodeling Industry speaker, like most contractors I speak with, the attendees were good guys, trying to earn an honest living for themselves and their families. The new rules are obviously just one more challenge they will have to deal with in tough economic times.
The state of Rhode Island intends to administer the RRP program themselves, rather than leave it in the hands of the EPA, so there are some differences between the EPA rules and what RI proposes in their rules. One example is that third party clearance testing at the end of the project will be required, rather than cleaning verification by the certified renovator as per the EPA rules. RI contractors will need to watch for when the final rule will take effect in RI and what will be included in the final rule.
RI contractors working in MA will also need to understand and comply with any differences in the rule. For now, MA falls under the EPA rule. However, tomorrow I will be attending a public hearing regarding the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety (DOS) intent to take the rule under the state's umbrella. As information becomes available I will post it on the EPA RRP Info page of this site.
Thanks again to RIBA and the event sponsors for having me present this important information to their members and guests. Because of the generous sponsorship by Arnold Lumber, Andersen Windows and Brosco, 50 plus contractors are now more aware and better prepared for the realities of this new rule. I would also like to give special thanks to Joe Cracco of Modern Yankee Builders and Don Hamel of Brosco for working behind the scenes to make this happen for RIBA Members.
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