Category: Contractors

These are typically posts that are directed toward contractors.


questions and answers street signQ.  Can any painting contractor work on lead paint homes?

  • A. Hundreds of young children are poisoned by lead paint in Massachusetts each year. Lead poisoning can cause permanent damage to a child’s brain, kidneys, and nervous system. It can also result in serious learning and behavior problems. The Lead Law protects child’s right to a lead-safe home.

What Does The Massachusetts Lead Law Require?

What does the lead law require? The Lead Law requires the removal or covering of lead paint hazards in homes built before 1978 where any children under six live. Lead paint hazards include loose lead paint and lead paint on windows and other surfaces accessible to children. Owners are responsible with complying with the law. This includes owners of rental property as well as owners living in their own single family home. Financial help is available through tax credits, grants and loans.

How does an owner comply with the lead law? There are two ways:

  1. Have all lead hazards removed or covered? The owner must first hire a licensed lead inspector who will test the home for lead and record all lead hazards. After the work is approved, the owner will receive a Letter of Full Compliance.
  2. Have only urgent lead hazards corrected, while controlling remaining hazards. This temporary method is called interim control. The owner must first hire a licensed risk assessor who will explain what work needs to be done for interim control.

After the work is approved, the owner will receive a Letter of Interim Control. Owners then have up to two years before they must have the remaining lead hazards removed or covered and receive a Letter of Full Compliance.

Who can remove or cover lead hazards?
Some work must be done by a licensed deleader. However, an owner or agent (someone working for an owner without a deleader’s license) can perform some specific tasks. An owner or agent cannot begin any of those tasks until:

  1. The home is inspected by a licensed lead inspector
  2. The owner or agent is properly trained to perform the deleading work

For more information about what work may be done by an owner or agent and how to become trained, call the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 1-800-532-9571 

Can a rental property owner be held liable for a lead poisoned child? Yes. If a child is lead poisoned by lead hazards where the child lives, the owner is legally responsible. An owner cannot avoid liability by asking tenants to sign an agreement that they accept the presence of lead paint. Complying with the Lead Law is the best protection an owner has from liability.

Can an owner evict or refuse to rent to a family with children under six if there is lead paint in the home? No. An owner cannot evict or refuse to rent to anyone because or lead paint. Discrimination is against the law and carries penalties.

For more information against discrimination, call the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination in Boston at (617) 727-3990 or Springfield at (413) 739-2145

For more information, call the Massachusetts Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at toll free 1- 800-532-9571.

Financial Assistance Programs To Remove Lead From Your Home

Click the link above for more detailed information

Did you know there are refinancing, loan, and tax credit programs available for qualifying homeowners and prospective buyers to help them remove lead paint from homes purchased before 1978? Find out if you qualify, what your options are, and who to contact for financial assistance.

Get The Lead Out !

This program provides low cost financing to owners of 1-4 family properties to remove lead paint and reduce the possibilities of lead poisoning among children.

Owner-occupants who meet the income guidelines are eligible for a 0% deferred payment loan not due until the sale, transfer or refinancing of the property.

Non-profit organizations are eligible for 0% fully amortizing loans on properties that are being rented to income eligible households.

Investor owners are eligible for 3% fully amortizing loans on properties that are being rented to income eligible households.

The maximum loan amounts are:

  • Single-family $20,000
  • 2-family $25,000
  • 3-family $30,000
  • 4-family $35,000

For non-profits and investor owners, loan terms run from 5-20 years, based on the size of the loan and borrower qualifications.

Contact the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency at 617-854-1000 or (click on Home Ownership) to locate a housing rehabilitation agency in your area who can assist you in applying for financing and in locating authorized personnel to handle the inspection and abatement process.




There is a simple art to using an airless paint sprayer to paint the exterior of a house. And in some cases the interior. But let’s talk mainly about the exterior of a house in this blog.

Here are the tips we’ll talk about …

How to hold the spray gun:
Contrary to what everyone has heard, It’s better to hold the gun closer to the substrate. About 5-6″ will be just fine. It’s not important if you spray a bit to heavy, because you’re going to back-roll and back-brush what you’ve just sprayed, working the paint into the substrate while you smooth out the paint. This way the coat is consistent. If one just sprays without back-rolling and back-bring, the result is an uneven distribution, and the paint is not massaged into the substrate like it should be, which will give the best protection and he longest life to the paint job.

How to apply the paint on the siding:
The key is to hold the spray gun the same distance from the substrate. When you’re moving your hand don’t fan it from left to right because that’s how you get over-spray. And don’t hold the spray gun 12-16″ away from the substrate, because the wind will blow half the paint away from the substrate causing you to use more material than necessary. Remember, the key is, if you back-roll and back-brush, it doesn’t matter how you apply the paint on the substrate, because you’ll even it out when you back-roll and back-brush. So you can spray “side to side”, ‘up and down”, or in “circles” if you want to get silly. It doesn’t matter, because the process of back-rolling and back-brushing will level the paint and work it into the substrate. Insist that your contractor back-rolls and back-brushes when spraying!

How much paint should be sprayed on the siding?

Spray a generous amount of paint on the substrate. Then use a 4″ mini roller to spread out the paint. Don’t leave it to thick, or two thin. The best rule of thumb is to keep an eye on the roller sleeve. If it starts to get flat you’re rolling to thin. The roller should stay fluffy and sound wet when you’re rolling just the right amount.

What direction should I spray?

It really doesn’t matter until you come up to a corner trim piece, a window, door, soffit, or the foundation. Here’s a trick. Especially coming close to the foundation or a window.

Windows – tilt the gun away from the window on an angle. Better yet, start from the window and spray away from it at an inward angle. This way you won’t get over-spray on the window
The Foundation – When spraying close to the foundation, don’t spray the last coarse of siding. Instead spray the one above it, and spray the paint on heavy. Then use the roller to pickup the paint from the upper coarse, and just roller the last coarse. This way you won’t risk getting spray on the foundation.

Do I need to tape and cover windows, doors, trim, and the foundation because of over-spray?
If  you do, than you don’t know how to spray. A good sprayer can actually cut with a sprayer by tilting the sprayer away from the areas that you don’t want to spray. In addition by holding the sprayer closer to the substrate, you not only save paint, but you don’t deal with over-spray. AND you can paint when it’s a bit windier than normal.

Should I back-roll and back-brush or just spray? 
ALWAYS !! Insist that you’re contractor back-roll and back-brush. It will add an average of 3-years to the life of your paint job. In addition the paint job will look richer and deeper in color.


painter with spray gun

 Stratos Painting Company Blog Post
  Painting Tips, Painting Instruction, Painting Help



It’s a great idea to get several estimates when you’re looking to have any professional work done by a contractor. So let’s talk about estimates for having your house painted. It starts with asking the right questions. Don’t be shy, it’s your money, and you have the right to know what you’re going to get in return for it.

So Here is a list of the 10-top questions you’ll want to ask.
  1. Ask the contractor to explain in detail the process they’ll use to complete the job. THEN get it in writing.  Does it make sense to you?
  2. What’s included in the prep work?
  3. What type of primer and finish paint will they use, and more importantly, how will they apply it?
  4. What type of equipment will they use? Ladders, scaffolding, boom lifts, sprayers, blasters, etc.
  5. Are they licensed and insured? Remember: (Lead paint removal requires a “RRP” (Renovation, Repair and Painting) Certification. Fines to both contractors and owners may be as high as $32,000 per offense.
  6. What type of guarantee do they offer in writing on the finished work? Labor, materials and how long is it good.
  7. How long will the project take? – The “Less” time it take, the “More” you should worry! Quality workmanship take more time. Cutting corners takes less time
  8. Do they have a website where you can see samples of their work?
  9. How long have they been in business under that company’s name?
  10. Do you feel comfortable with them?

Don’t make the mistake by selecting the contractor with the lowest price. You’ve heard the saying “You Get What You Pay For” Well it TRUE! Don’t focus on how “fast” a contractor can complete the job, focus on the “quality” of their work. In most cases “Quick” work entails cutting corners.

If you would like the answers to these questions, or help with other questions you may have, just contact us for a FREE consultation. We are dedicated to educating and helping consumers make the right choices no matter who they hire.


Estimates Cartoon
 Stratos Painting Company Blog Post
  Painting Tips, Painting Instruction, Painting Help