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info-graphic Lead poisoning affects over one million childeren

Michigan Builders License Renewal classes and Lead Paint Classes

Continuing Competency FAQs


I've been a licensed contractor for 15 years. Do I need to take the 3 hour Continuing Education class?


Yes. All licensed residential builders are required to take the 3 hour Law, Safety and Code Class.

Anyone licensed less than 6 years needs the 3 hour class, and 18 hours of other Continuing Competency credits.


Do painters need to to be licensed?

Not any more. In 2018, the State passed a law, PA 527, that specifically excludes painters and decorators from needing a Maintenance and Alteration License.

 Does the lead Paint RRP class count toward my Continuing competency credits?


Yes, if you need the 18 hours of "elective" credit mentioned above. All licensed residential builders are required to take the 3 hour Law, Safety and Code Class.

The RRP classes do not take the place of those credits.


I just took this class about a year ago. Do I need to take it again?


All licensed residential builders are required to take the 3 hour class every time we renew our licenses. It often seems like "I just took this class", when in fact it has been several years. If you took the class before May 31, 2018 you need to take it again before renewing your license in 2021.


I heard that there is a new energy code. Will that be covered in this class?


Yes. The Michigan Energy Code is a part of the Michigan Residential Code, and it will be covered in the Code portion of the class.


Do I need to buy a new code book again?


When you renew your license, you need to state that you have a copy of the current code book. The current code is the Michigan Residential Code 2015. If you have that code book, you do not need to buy another.


What happens if I miss the May 31 deadline for renewing my License?


Your license will be "lapsed" as of June 1. Within 60 days, you can renew your license, but need to pay a $20 late fee. After 60 days, you must file a form for relicensure. After 60 days, you can still renew your license without starting over! Take your continuing competency course, and renew that lapsed license!


Can I take the 3 Hour Continuing Competency Course online?

Yes! The State of Michigan allows this course to be taught online. Click the button at the top of the page to sign up through our "Digital Chalk" program.


Lead Paint FAQs



I got Lead Safe certified back in 2010, when the law first came out. When do I need to take a refresher course?


The EPA had an extension, but it has expired. All certificates must be "Refreshed" within 5 years of taking the course.



Can I take the RRP Refresher course online?


Yes! We are approved by the EPA to offer the RRP Refresher Course online. See our home page to register.

The EPA requires that everyone take the course before their certificate expires, so don't miss your deadline!


Do all of my employees need to be certified if they are working on a house built before 1978? 


As long as the work is not federally funded, only one person on each job needs to be a "certified renovator". They will learn in the RRP class how to train their helpers.

If the work is funded through HUD (Section 8, Neighborhood Stabilization Grants, etc.) all workers must take this class before disturbing 2 square feet of lead paint.



I am not licensed, but I work as an independent painter working by the hour for homeowners. Do I need to be a "certified renovator"?


Yes. Anyone working for pay is required to be certified.

Even in this case, where you do not need to be a licensed builder (because you only work by the hour), you need the EPA's RRP certification.



I am a sole proprietor. Do I need to be registered with the EPA as a "Firm?


Yes. Even though you have no employees, you must be a certified renovator, and you must get certified as a "firm".


I am a landlord. I can work on my rental units without a residential builders license. Do I need to get EPA certified?


Yes, because you work for pay. If you receive Section 8 or other federal assistance, you must follow the more strict HUD Lead-safe rules, which are also taught in this class. If the work is HUD funded, all of the people working for you must also take this 8 hour class if they disturb at least 2 square feet of lead paint.






The water crisis in Flint has brought extra attention to the possibility of lead poisoning. If someone has had some lead exposure, it is VERY IMPORTANT that they keep their exposure down. For this reason, following the RRP Rule in Flint is even mopre important than eve!


Up to $8000 grants are available!!!

There are some state funded programs that help homeowners and landlords make their homes more "Lead Safe". To find out about these programs, check out this link at the Lead and Healthy Homes Section:









For those who need 21 hours of Continuing Education, an excellent choice is the MIOSHA Training Institute. They offer many different classes all over the state, and you can get 1/2 of the cost waived through  their scholarship program.

Click here for the MIOSHA  Training Institute Schedule:









On February 18, 2014 the EPA announced its most recent rounds of fines. 35 contractors were fined for not following the EPA/HUD RRP Rule.

They even fined Midwest College Painters LLC from Bloomfield Hills MI!










Some valuable resources for Energy Code and Green Building Information:



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Lead in Water is Not the Main Cause of Lead Poisoning

 While the Flint water crisis is getting a lot of publicity, water is not the most likely way for lead poisoning to occur. The most common way that people get lead poisoning, is from lead paint dust coming from old Lead Based Paint (LBP) in their homes. While this is often portrayed as a “low-income” problem, or a “minority” problem, lead poisoning can effect anyone. Those living in older houses are the most at risk, because the use of LBP in homes was banned in 1978.


Just like there are federal and state laws governing water quality, there are federal and state laws governing what can be done in a home or school that contains lead paint. And just as there are people who have been breaking those water quality laws in the Flint Water Department, there are contractors and landlords who have been breaking those federal and state laws regarding Lead Based Paint (LBP) in the Port Huron area. And, just as in Flint, sometimes not following these lead laws results in children and adults becoming lead poisoned. Children are the most susceptible to lead poisoning, but all ages can be affected by high levels of lead in their systems.

According to Joe Crowley, owner and training manager of Builder Training Classes in St. Clair, there can be stiff fines for those who do not follow these laws. Because of the serious and permanent damage that can occur, the EPA and HUD instituted a law in 2010 that regulates anyone doing repairs, renovations or painting in houses built before 1978. Homeowners are exempt from this law, but anyone working for money is required to follow the law. The law prescribes certain “Lead-Safe” practices, and certain “Pre-renovation education” to the homeowners and residents. It also requires certain recordkeeping practices to be followed by the contractor or landlord. The contractor is responsible for following this law, called the “Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule”.  While the homeowner is not required to follow the law, the EPA recommends that homeowners and landlords always hire “Lead-Safe Firms” to do any renovation or remodeling where 6 square feet of paint might be disturbed in a home or day care. Lead –Safe firms will have someone on their staff who knows how to handle the dust and debris created during a remodeling project.


Builder Training Classes is certified by the EPA to provide this training, which certifies someone as an “EPA Certified Renovator”. They have provided the training to people all over Michigan and in Ohio. While they regularly put on the course in Flint, they miss a lot of the people who should be taking the class, says Crowley. “We do the class through Mott Community College’s Workforce and Career Development Program. We train lots of people who will be employees at various types of remodeling and painting companies. But a lot of the guys out there actually doing the work are people, often landlords, who have the skills to do the work, but no license. They don’t have employees, but just do the work themselves.”


Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says that of 32 % of the children under 6 years old tested in the 48060 zip code (Port Huron) in 2013, 6.9% were found to have elevated BLLs. (2) Anyone who suspects that their child has been exposed to lead can have a simple blood test at a doctor’s office or St. Clair County Health Department. Call (810) 987-5300 to schedule a lead testing appointment. It does not matter how the exposure happened, as all lead exposure is harmful. The longer the exposure occurs, the more significant the damage. The symptoms of lead poisoning are often not immediately apparent, making it that much more important to have children tested early.


In order to help prevent lead poisoning, the State of Michigan, through the Healthy Homes Division, has up to $8000 per home in grant money available to both homeowners and landlords. This money can be used for repairs or to replace windows and doors which are one of the most common places for LBP to have been used.  For more information on this program, call 866-691-5323 or visit:


Tamara Rubin, founder of Lead-Safe America Foundation, says that while the emotional costs of lead poisoning are staggering, so is the economic cost. She puts that at $50.9 billion per year in the U.S. This comes from a study done by Leonardo Trasande, MD, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine (2), who analyzed the costs of various environmental diseases. His figures include both direct medical costs as well as lost income and productivity. She says that these costs are a result of a lack of political will to do something about lead poisoning. Unless it is happening to you or someone you love, most of us do not want to spend the extra effort and money to make our homes more lead safe. Or in the case of the Flint Water department, they did not want to spend the extra $100 per day for the anti-corrosion additive that would have prevented the Flint River water from leaching the lead from the pipes. The cost of prevention is very low compared to the cost of treatment.



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