Bidding glass restoration sight unseen?

Afternoon all. I’ve been incorporating hard water stain removal as an add-on service to upsell some residential customers, usually once I’m on the job and I notice some minor spotting that can be buffed out by hand with bar keeper’s friend. I seal afterwards with Mr. Hardwater.

My dilemma now is that I just got a call from a potential stain removal client that is 40 minutes away. I don’t really want to drive that far for an estimate, but I also don’t especially want to price the job without giving it a good look-see.

He wants these 12 panes cleaned and the stains polished out (thank you, Google Street view)

Should I just bid like 20-25 a pane to make sure it’s worth the trip, and invest in a polisher w/wheel in case the stains are too tough for simple elbow grease? Or could I really shoot myself in the foot by bidding a restoration job sight unseen?

I’ve also considered driving all the way out there to look and rolling the dice with an extra high bid, OR just explaining that I am willing to bid as long as I get paid for the travel time regardless

Thanks in advance for your help.

When your first starting out in hwsr, go look at the job to see the extent of the staining.

Once you learn what works well for you, then you can quote over the phone. Jmo :wink:


So if I really don’t want to drive 40 minutes for a low-stakes gamble that my bid will be approved, is it reasonable to charge for the bid if I don’t get the job?

I was thinking I’d offer an assessment for $50, and if the job is approved, then deduct that from the job price.

Or is it more professional to just pass on this?

I have offered a consultation service, for my time.

If your not comfortable with hwsr yet, pass.

Other close learning opportunities will come your way.

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I don’t do sight unseen pricing for things like this. Too many variables, if your experienced and have a few go to chemicals/methods that you have found to work for different stages of stains helps though.

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Bid as worst case scenario price and tell him it could be less depending condition.

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No harm in giving a ballpark “estimate” to help the guy decide if he would want to spend the money.

You can say the average price is 25, you have 10 panes, so you’re looking st approximately $250. Obviously if your panes require more work than usual we will charge more but we will always give you an exact quote befor starting any work.

If he’s understanding, get out for a look
If he’s grumbly, don’t go

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Ask for a picture of some of the lower panes. Up close from the outside of the house. The lower panes are what will most likely be the worst, where the sprinkler system will hit it most often. This may not be a perfect way to bid but is better than bidding unseen and will be much faster than the 40 (1 hr 20 mn round trip).

If it’s commercial, you may want to go and visit it.

Thank you gents. I think I’m going to pass this one up. I’m busy enough for now, and there are just too many reasons to turn this one down.