If you're a house flipper, you're always looking for ways to make a bigger profit when you renovate and resell a property. Read on for information about how training offered by the EPA (the US Environmental Protection Agency) can help you increase your bottom line by doing your own renovation, repair, and restoration (RRP) on homes with lead paint.

RRP Basics

If you've flipped homes that were constructed prior to 1978, you probably know that they need to be renovated by certified RRP contractors who have been trained by the EPA (or approved state agency) to remove lead paint. Many homes built before 1978 have lead paint lurking somewhere, often beneath other coats of paint. As lead paint poses a serious health risk for both rehab workers and occupants, the EPA mandates that all work in these homes be performed by certified construction professionals.

While the EPA can only recommend that DIYers working on their own homes conduct the proper lead abatement procedures, the law requires any property being sold or rented after being renovated to be restored by RRP certified contractors. Since the goal for most home flippers is to quickly resell renovated properties for a profit, this law applies to you.

Good home flippers know that some of the best properties for generating top resale profits are homes built before 1978, such as mid-century modern houses and early 20th Century bungalows. You could hire an RRP certified contracting team to work on these homes, or you could become RRP certified yourself to cut out the middle man and increase your bottom line.

What RRP Classes Teach

RRP classes teach contractors and DIYers how to identify lead paint risks, how to work safely when removing lead paint, and what materials and tools are needed for these jobs. The latter includes

  • HEPA vacuums to remove fine particles that could contain lead
  • proper respirators to prevent inhaling lead or other dangerous elements
  • wet sanding equipment
  • cleaning supplies
  • draping and sealing materials
  • personal protective gear

How to Get RRP Certified

The EPA makes getting RRP certified an easy process, as they want to encourage proper removal of lead paint. Some states are permitted to conduct their own training programs, while many follow the Federal curriculum taught by the EPA.

Initial EPA RRP classes take eight hours to complete, and a four-hour refresher course is offered for people who need recertification. Current certification lasts five years, a good value for the small time investment.

When you obtain your RRP certification, you are allowed to use the EPA certification logo on all your marketing materials. You can also become an RRP authority in your community by becoming certified to train other contractors.

You don't have to rely on outside labor or turn over a portion of your profits to RRP contractors when you learn to do lead abatement yourself. Contact the EPA today to learn about initial or refresher EPA RRP classes in your area, and you'll be on your way to providing safe work environments and renovated homes, while boosting your bottom line in the process.