Why You Need a Lawyer to Review Your Home Improvement Contract
In Massachusetts, homeowners are not held responsible for complying with safety regulations in construction. They can sandblast paint that may contain lead, walk on their roofs without protection and operate in blissful ignorance of the laws regarding safety. If homeowners hire contractors who do not follow safety rules, they are not responsible for that either. The risk of noncompliance falls on the contractor. If a homeowner creates an unsafe condition, of course he/she may be liable if someone gets hurt, but the homeowner does not have to police the contractor. In fact, since many safety regulations make the cost of doing a job more expensive, there is an incentive for homeowners to hire contractors who do not follow the rules! Today my friend and colleague, Mark Paskell posted a story about a roofer in Connecticut who died after falling off a roof http://www.thecontractorcoachingpartnership.com/Blog-Contractor-Coaching--Construction-Business-Coach-EPA-RRP-Lead-Rule/bid/65475/roofer-killed-in-fall-from-roof-in-westport-ct-osha-investigates?source=Blog_Email_[Roofer%20killed%20in%20fal]. You do not want to have that occur during your job.
Homeowners who are considering doing a renovation must know that if their homes were built prior to 1978, their contractors are required to follow certain procedures if they are going to disturb more than 6 interior square feet of paint or 20 exterior square feet of paint. This law requires that the general contractor must become certified with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and that the contractor himself take an eight-hour class in order to become a certified renovator and learn lead-safe practices that contain lead dust.
If you're trying to decide on a renovation project, here's one way to make your decision: