A survey of remodelers regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recently launched rule regarding renovations in homes with lead paint indicates remodelers are counting on their local building supply dealer to help them deal with the rule. The online poll in September by Remodeling, a sister publication to ProSales, found that 28% of the 157 respondents said their local building supply dealer is the primary source for the tools and materials they need to do work related to the EPA's Repair, Renovation, and Painting (RRP) rule. In contrast, only 10% named big box stores as their primary source, while 24% said their go-to source is a specialty store, while 29% said they go online.

Among the 24% of respondents whose firm has not yet been certified to do work under the rule, the reliance on building material dealers is even greater. About 41% of those respondents say they're counting on their local building supply dealer to be the primary source of tools and supplies vs. 16% for big box stores and 8% for specialty stores.

But the poll also found that some remodelers may be disappointed in what their local suppliers stock. While 42% of respondents said all of the RRP tools and supplies they need are available from their current suppliers, 38% of remodelers said their suppliers carry only a portion of what they need, and 20% said the RRP tools and supplies they need are not available from their current suppliers at all.

"This data suggests that building materials suppliers may have an RRP-related business opportunity to capitalize on," wrote Remodeling, which analyzed the survey with consulant Shawn McCadden. McCadden told ProSales that opportunity involves training. He also suggested something a few dealers already have done: create displays or kits containing RRP-related supplies.