Category: FAQs


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.




questions and answers street signQ.  What is your pricing structure? How do you determine the price you will charge?

A. We in most cases use a “Time and Material” method. We have known many painters that have lost healthy sums of money due to rigid quotes. They do not leave room for things that crop up during the process, and in most cases there will be something that has not been accounted for. If this lost of income due to misquoting is allowed to continue, the contractors may soon find themselves out of business. This is common with large contractors that are involved with large projects. We will typically give an estimate of what we feel this price will be, but always leave room for unexpected issues that surface typically when we are into the work. The flexibility of this method is wonderful should the owner wish you to include work that has not been outlined on the original contract. The circumvents the need to have additional contracts. All that is needed is an addendum describing the work to be included. A “Change Order” as it’s called in the business. The pricing is the same as all other work. Time and material.


If you’re the type of individual that will not consider a “Time & Material” method, then consider these possibilities.

EXAMPLE 1: Let’s say that a contractor has given you a quote to paint the exterior of your home. They look at it and don’t see anything wrong, so they give you a quote of $7,500 to – Wash, Prep, Prime, and apply 1-top coat. So part way into the process they find out that they not only underestimated the labor hours, but they underestimated the amount of paint they would need to do the job per the contract specs. What can happen is that the contractor will start to cut corners. Thinning the paint to make it stretch, rushing the workers which leads to sloppy work, not caulking areas that should be caulked, spot priming instead of full priming, spraying and not back-rolling or back-brushing, etc. This leads to inferior workmanship, which results in you having to repaint the house much earlier than necessary. We find evidence of this all the time.

SOLUTION: Using the “Time & Material” method, there is no need to cut corners. In fact, contractors are motivated to do more detailed work because they are being paid to do it. Painters are not being rushed and a good foreman will walk the site daily to ensure that quality workmanship is being met so that the price being charged is justified for the work that is being done.

EXAMPLE 2: While workers are up painting the soffits and fascia boards, (these basically are the boards that are under the gutters) they find that some soffits and fascia boards are rotted behind and need to be replaced. Most ethical contractors will bring this to your attention, and give you a quote to repair them, but they’re companies out there that do not have qualified carpenters on staff, so they will just paint over the soffits and fascia boards as to not delay the job. In addition they may not be qualified to give you a price to repair the damaged areas. This is sadly poor service to the customer.

SOLUTION: Using the “Time & Material” method, carpenters can be brought in to do the necessary work while compensation is determined for the service without loss to either the painting company or the carpenter. In fact the painting company can usually incorporate the service while still making a profit. This is the best solution for both the painting contractor, the homeowner, and promotes excellent relationships among tradesmen.

NOTE: I will say this however, “Ethics” play an important role with this payment arrangement. It is important for the homeowner, to “trust” the contractor. The foreman should review work performed daily, if possible, with the homeowner in addition to providing the homeowner with weekly reports that state the work that was done and the cost for that work. This way the homeowner can review the costs and work completed and determine if the charges are within reason.

I have based my reputation on fair and ethical practices and never allow workers to take advantage of this structure by working more slowly. The customer is not billed for breaks of any kind, and a detail of time spent on the job is given to the customer weekly and during each phase. i.e. prep phase, primer phase, topcoat phase, etc. This way the customer has something in writing which documents the charges for labor. click here  (we will be posting a sample of this document soon) to see an example of such a statement. It is for this reason I am proud to state; we have not had issues with such a payment structure.