Replacement winders, lead and the EPA

*Got the first bid on replacement windows from a national company for this 1939 hovel. Included is a "mandatory" per window "Lead Renovation Fee" per "Federal Lead Containment Law".
Eh, something just don't seem right...
I Google and find:
4. Abatement does not include renovation, remodeling, landscaping or other activities, when such activities are not designed to permanently eliminate lead-based paint hazards, but, instead, are designed to repair, restore, or remodel a given structure or dwelling, even though these activities may incidentally result in a reduction or elimination of lead-based paint hazards. http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/traincert.htm
EPA requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools be certified by EPA and that they use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices.
Contractors must use lead-safe work practices and follow these three simple procedures: Contain the work area. Minimize dust. Clean up thoroughly. http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm
Those don't sound like things I wouldn't expect to be "professional" SOP.
Of note: According to the sales manager of a smaller regional company the replacement window market is so strong it was perfectly reasonable for their CSR to decline to bid if my wife wouldn't agree to sit down for a sales presentation. Bidding, he said, would be "a waste of time".
*I can install my own windows, but I'm not so inclined, yet.
Any similar experiences out there? -----
- gpsman
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On 1/5/2011 11:41 AM, gpsman wrote:

Tough to say from your epa quotes. I see there a lot of cheap lead test kits and I might buy one to see if I have a problem.
I had several windows replaced in my pre '78 house last year and the issue never came up. Paint was blue, which is not normally a lead based color. Years ago most white paint contained lead which was supplanted by titanium dioxide pigment.
I think replacement window sales last year were good because of the government tax rebate and people were rushing to get done before the end of the year. I suspect, give it a few months, and these guys will be hungry for work. Right now they're probably busy installing windows bought last year.
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Ae you worried about possible lead paint on the window frames or possible lead in the glass itself? If you're worried about the paint, get a mask and remove the windows yourself and just get bids for putting the new windows in. Unless you create dust, there is no way to get lead into your body unless you're so hungry that you eat paint scraps.
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As far as bidding wthout a presentation I can possibly see his point.
I did my own windows, but I got a couple of bids mainly so I could see what was out there - window-wise and price-wise - but also because I didn't know what I didn't know.
I knew that I could physically do the work and I was pretty sure I had all of the tools, but I considered getting bids as part of learning process to make sure I didn't miss anything.
Here's what I found:
2 bids were from places where I went into the store/showroom, where they showed me various product lines and then came out, took some measurements and sent me a quote. Based on what they quoted me - and what they included in the quote - I knew what I would get for my money and determined that I could do it "better" and "cheaper" - but not faster. ;-)
The third was from a place that sent out a salesman with a little miniature yet fully operational window, a case of cut-aways showing how well their windows were constructed and a catalog full of options. The problem was, this place did not have an entry-level or even meduim- level line of windows. Everything they had was the best of the best and the quote reflected that.
Had they simply bid on the job wthout the presentation, I would have laughed in their face. However, after seeing their product, I at least uderstood why they were so much more expensive. If I was rolling in dough and wanted windows that were actually too good for my house, I could have rationalized their price and given them the job. Without the presentation, it wouldn't have even made sense to think about it.
Yes, I know that the price also included the expense for the presentation, but nonetheless, the presentation helped make the cost seem a bit more justified.
Thus, a bid without a presentation would have been a waste of their time because I wouldn't have really known what I was getting for my money.
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Call a few companies that deal with Known windows that have a 20yr- lifetime warranty by them selves, not a local made to order co. What you describe is bs.
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On 1/5/2011 5:36 PM, ransley wrote:

If the guy that shows up is driving a fancy car, has no calluses on his hands, and has a slick brochure, go elsewhere. Such companies make most of their money from their high-pressure in-house financing.
And yes, the 'lead abatement' routine will be just as bad as the asbestos abatement scam was. Only ones getting rich will be the lawyers and tyvek bunny suit makers. Never have your house tested, so you have plausible deniability. Use common sense and simple protective gear when scraping and repainting, keep the chips/dust out of the planting beds and heater vents, and once you are done the odds are you will be perfectly fine. Like asbestos, if the material is well contained, it is not a significant risk until the house is demolished.
IMHO, IANAL, and so on, of course...
--
aem sends...

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The new rules which went into effect in April of 2010 mandate that contractors must test for lead and abate it before doing work.
A few paragraphs down from what you quoted it specifically states that replacing windows and doors are not excepted by the square footage being disturbed guidelines.
Your choices are pay, use a hack or do your own. The burden is on the contractor so using a hack is a real option though I would do my own. You as long as it is a single family residence not used for day care purposes are except from the provisions.
--
Colbyt
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