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I am writing this to explain my feelings about RRP: Guest Blog

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Thu, Feb 17, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

I am writing this to explain my feelings about RRP

Joe Levitch

One Person’s Opinion: This is a guest blog submitted by Joe Levitch of Levco Builders to express his opinion.  Joe is a remodeling contractor and he is also a Licensed Lead Inspector and the owner of Lead Locators, a lead inspection firm in Boise Idaho. He comments and contributes to RRPedia quite often.  If you would like to express your opinion or offer something of value for RRPedia visitors let me know.



I am writing this to explain my feelings about RRP

There is a wide spectrum of folks who have been affected by the RRP rule from carpenters with a pickup and a dog, to multimillion dollar companies. Not all trades have the same challenges. I believe the painters have it the worst of all with their vertical containment issues and the concern of using ladders over plastic covered surfaces. However, since RRP is a blanket rule for all trades, I suggest we all need to be involved in collectively solving each other’s dilemmas.

Elevated Blood Lead LevelsHow we all choose to respond to the EPA’s oversight of the remodeling industry is a personal one.   I will be the first to admit that initially I found it difficult to understand how invisible dust particles can cause serious health hazards.  But with a little research, I got it. I suggest you can understand it too. Take my word for it, or look it up. I’m sure you will come to the same conclusion.

Not everyone wants to have a real business.  I often describe that my business was akin to “A Lemonade Stand” (Not that I don’t like them in fact I have a family rule that it is illegal to pass one up without stopping).  I have evolved it into a real business and have accepted the responsibilities that go along with it.  My big step forward occurred when I joined NARI.

RRP ContractorThe business part turns me on right now.  However, I understand that there are those who prefer the hands on, the nail gun and the saw.  I happen to prefer the keyboard and the pen.  Having this new RRP rule is a huge challenge to incorporate into any business and I feel many of the same pressures you do.  I believe following the rules and separating my business from others will take me to the next level of success. I also understand there are those who are seeing it from a totally different perspective.

It reminds me of an old story from India about the six blind men that were asked to touch a different part of an elephant and describe what an elephant looks like. The man that touched the leg said it is like a pillar.  The man that touched the tail said an elephant is like a rope; and so on. The truth is that each man is absolutely correct. Only the sighted person can see what the elephant looks like as a whole.

From the perspective of a carpenter the RRP rule is a pain in the butt. From the homeowner’s perspective, it is a way to keep her kids safer, and it jacks up the price for remodeling. From many professional remodelers’ perspectives, the RRP rule is another level of certification and a credential that sets them apart from the competition.  No matter how you look at RRP, it is a new requirement and changes the game we were all used to.

As an industry I would like us to see us move to the fifth step in the Kübler-Ross model made famous in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying.

  1. Denial= “ I feel fine, this can’t be happening to me“ (This was done prior to 4-22-2010)
  2. Anger =”Why me?” (Lots of this still floating around)
  3. Bargaining= “Just let me do it the way we always have… I did a fine job of cleaning.” (Some professional organizations are still lobbying for this.)
  4. Depression= “I am so sad, why do I even bother?” (A whole lot of us are dealing with this)
  5. Acceptance= “It’s going to be okay, I can do this thing”  (Most larger companies and some of the rest are well on the way to incorporating the RRP rule into their marketing strategies)

Leaded DustThere is a sufficient body of scientific evidence that lead dust is created during renovation and while disturbing lead based painted surfaces. There is also a significant body of medical knowledge that lead is bad for people. I am educating my perspective clients as fast as I can. To the extent that they get it, and see a value in what I offer, I will be a clear choice for those who live in Pre 1978 homes.

For those among us that have made it to the fifth level, I would like to open a national discussion about how we are coping with the challenges and succeeding. The East coast has been dealing with these issues for a lot longer that the West. Shawn has been gracious enough to share the stage for a moment and see if the concept gains traction. My goal is to plant the seed.

Topics: Sales Considerations, Guest Blogs, Marketing Considerations, Opinions from Renovators, Health Effects of Lead