I feel like the magic number in this business was always $50/hr. In fact, one of my competitors bills by the hour at $50/hr per man.

But honestly, I’m just not seeing how this is enough unless i [manage to] work like 12 hours a day every day of the week. Even working (just cleaning, not including office, etc.) 8 hours a day, and if i got the target of $50/hr, after taxes, business expenses, buying my own benefits, etc, I’d be making less than my dad who was a mailman!

Obviously, many of you guys have figured out how to make this work. Can you please provide some input? I’m beginning to question if i made a wise choice with all this.

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$100 per hour is a nice goal for residential. 75 for route work.


Maybe I’m still too slow, but there’s no way i could charge that around here.

I’d say a typical biggish house around here might have 70 panes consisting of maybe 30 or so double-hungs and some other stuff like doors, stairway windows, etc. There’s normally always some inside ladder work.

Usually I’ll have the screens out and washed and the tracks washed in about an hour and a half. I just don’t see how you can go any faster than that. Exterior wfp is about 1.5 hours. Interior traditional is prolly also 1.5 hours. Putting back screens, inspection, cleanup, maybe another 0.5 to 1 hour. All in all, if I’m hustling and nothing major goes wrong, it’s about a six hour affair and around $300 bill. I don’t think anyone would pay $600 in that scenario.

But I can’t do another house then the same day. And unless you’re pulling in $500 a day, your basically skirting the poverty line.

Omg hells no. That’s why you can’t go by competition especially if your a solo act
They have to keep there guys going you just jace to keep you going

Someone on here said it’s important to know what they charge no it’s not. Especially if your solo.

You need to find a numbe trhys makes you happy an your business profitable.
$50 am hour is low even for route work

Now this man hour thing is convaluted. Someone new in the business won’t make what I make per hour with the same price I charge


You don’t “think” you could charge $600. But you won’t know until you try. I used to think that too.


Daniel are you washing the screens by hand or with a screen washer?
Wfping the exterior the run off from the glass and scrubbing with brush should do most of your work for, the exterior track, all that should be left is maybe a quick wipe of the track when reinstalling the screens.
And like @Majestic66 says below is your pricing in line with the work your doing?

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Are you giving a gold package cleaning for a silver package price ?


Whoa. That jumped off the screen at me. What happened? Something triggered this. You were just talking about how you loved this.

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For your example, you might not ever get $600 for that house, but I’m betting you could get $450-$500 (I’d be around $500, here in New England).

But it may take some time to establish your reputation, before people see the value in hiring you at a higher cost. Reviews and social proof are important factors.

Your efficiency will also continue to increase.

Personally, I’ve sort of hit a ceiling with window cleaning. $650 is about what I can plan to complete in a day, solo. I’ve had a few days over that, but I can’t consistently complete more than that. And I’m usually asking for trouble if I book a full week of $600+ days.

But this week my schedule is full of 2/3 days. $300-$400/day. No practical way of cramming more income into those days. I just have to make the best of my free time in the afternoons, and realize that other weeks balance it out.

This is why I’m trying to shift focus onto more power washing, since the potential hourly is much higher. Even a half day (like 2-3 hours) of power washing and windows nets me $500+. A full day of just power washing I can see $1300-$1500+.


what type of power washing?

res or com

flatwork, roofs, home walls etc?

Residential siding. The market here is really good :blush: And I think I have a pretty efficient setup, for a smaller rig.



Ok. Thinking this through more…

This actually is a real positive. To me, its a sign that you are reaching the next phase of your business, namely, raising your prices. That’s a whole new world waiting for you.

I realized at some point that i am the only person holding myself back. @sethfenster is right.


that’s because $50/hour on the glass, as an annual average, ends up being $68,510/yr or $263.50/day annual average

10 standard ground level windows with screens benchmarks at 1 hour inside and out

that implies you a charging $5 a window?

or your homes are filthy, just remodeled or never been done? requiring lots and lots of initial work

service industries are gravitating around $120+/hour now


I love replies like this Bruce!


I use a screen washer. The actual washing only takes about 15 minutes.

What I don’t like about wfp without first washing the tracks by hand is that all that yucky run-off and dirt end up dirtying their siding.

Probably. I’m always so scared of disappointing the customer, so I tend to shoot for over-doing rather than risking under-delivering.

It’s a combination of things. I’ve been improving in speed a lot and selling a decent amount. But now that I’m really crunching the numbers (and reading Profit First) it just doesn’t seem to add up. I would love to by a van for work and I would love to be able to afford a house eventually…and health insurance…and I’m just not seeing how this work in it’s current state can achieve any of that. It’s really tough still being single too, but I don’t even want to attempt to start a relationship with anyone unless I feel confident I could support a family. And, it’s like, all this effort, all these hours, all this heart and soul…and I still don’t foresee making more money as a business owner than a mailman?? Idk…maybe I’m just discouraged and need to be patient. This is the first year that things have picked up and from here on I can actually pay myself for a change, which is nice, but when I do the math, it’s really not enough to live on.


Also Daniel, you’ve invested in a wfp and screen cleaner. 2 excellent investments to increase your efficiency.

What i find is the myriad of other things that slow down the day -
getting lost,
missing your exit,
waiting in lines for lunch, coffee,
not taking the most efficient route, excessive trips to your vehicle on the job,
Chit chat
Not having the right tool
Tool repair
Not having invoices printed out the night before
Cell phone use

Its all those little things that subtract from the bottom line. That’s why i laugh when people are obsessed with stroke count and technique.


I think your feeling overwhelmed with the numbers, if you keep upgrading your thinking and process you’ll do well Daniel.


You are miles ahead of where I was at, 5+ years into “business” (self-employment). This stuff doesn’t happen over night, but if you keep at it with your goals, you’ll make this work better than many here do.

To be completely honest, I see two main types of individuals in this profession (and ones like it): those who do it by necessity, and those who do it by choice. Being in the latter category, you’ve got a huge advantage :+1:t2:


I would recommend working backwards

what income do you *want to make, that you deem sufficient? then work backwards to see what you would need to charge per window

if you want to make 100k/year, then figure 20-40% for business expense portion if solo, let’s go high at 40%.

100k/40% = 167k gross revenue (100k/.6 - .6 is the 60% balance of the 100%, 40% +60%=100%)


3212/5days = 643

643/6.2hours on the glass= 103.70 per job hour

don’t forget the 85% for vacation, so cal weather, personal, sick, holiday)

643/.85=757/ideal annual average day goal = $122 per job hour

757/62windows = 12.21 per standard window equivalent inside and out

you may be working with too dirty of homes, customers that cant really afford a real company or not charging enough if homes in your area have a lot of complex hillsides, access issues inside and out etc etc (or painted shut windows and storms etc)

if you go low on business expenses at 20% that would be

92 per job hour and 9.50/window would give you that same 100k for personal income (what your income taxes then come out of)


Been thinking more about this.

Screens are by far the most time consuming part of resi. This may be the black hole where your profit is spaghettifying.

If you don’t feel you can charge a premium for the glass, charge it for the screens.