Big Mansion Estimate

Went on a big estimate today for one of my commercial clients.

I landed this new commercial client quarterly and she wanted me to go to her house for an estimate.

8k square foot house. Counted approximately 133 windows. Maybe a bit more, maybe a bit less but around 133.

2nd floor she wanted tracks cleaned.
1st floor just inside / outside.

No screen cleaning.

My total price came out to $1,599.38. She asked if I can do better on price I said I can offer a $100 discount so total will be $1,492.75.

I am waiting to hear back from her.

Am I in the range or is my price too high? I know it may be hard for you guys to see what I saw but the windows are mainly double casement windows that crank out and have that little rectangularish window above the double casements.

I don’t have a water fed pole so it would have to be done the good ole’ fashioned way.

Ladder work would be needed for 6 windows that are a bit high up for the inside of the home. But other than that it looks fairly straight forward. We will probably do them by opening the casements and cleaning the outsides from the inside.

If I land this oh boy… I’ll be happy with that payday… but I’ll have to do it which I won’t be that happy about :sweat_smile:

Edit: Last thing I want to do is underbid… but I also don’t want to throw myself outside of consideration.

Your original bid sounds fine. I would probably be a lot higher.

I never discount “just because”. If someone asks if that’s my best price, I say “yep”. Or if I feel I can joke with them a bit, I might so “no! I’d love to charge more.”

Offering a discount without anything in return throws off the power balance of the relationship. It should always be give and take. Otherwise, you are allowing them to dictate the terms of the transaction.


Btw, you figuring sales tax into that price or something? What’s with all the weird dollars and cents? :joy:

All my prices are rounded to the nearest $25 usually, and there’s no sales tax on services in VT.

Yep, without seeing it I can’t say for sure, but you sound low. +1 to everything Alex @Infinity said.

Think of it this way, and you’ll be more comfortable doing this after underbiding more projects that are multi-day, if you bid what you know is fair for your level of work, your goals, and your market, then when they say no you just saved working a ton of hours for less.



@Infinity Nailed it in regards to insuring that you’re receiving something for reducing the price. Did you ask for the sale when you offered the discount. That would have been the right move. If she hesitated you then need to over come her objections on your service and why she should pay the amount you proposed.

This is one of the reasons I tend to bid higher than others in my area. I’m confident in selling myself and my services and can articulate the value I bring.

Also by providing a higher bid if I do want to offer a small discount I’m able to do it - like when I’m working a new area and I’m looking to get a foothold.

Good luck with your bid and let us know if you win it.

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Hard to justify a reduction in price just for the asking. If they want to do it ebery quarter or 6 months then full price first clean and offer $50 or $100 off for timely consecutive cleans. First cleans are always the shakedown job to get the feel for the time and effort. Each clean afterwards will get better.

Yea you sound like a veteran lol, I’m gonna be in business a year when August arrives.

I don’t want to underbid because the last estimate I gave, the lady was like $700 plus the sales tax and she was like “Wow I thought it’d be in the thousands.”

But it is a twice a year service and I’m still relatively new so I can bite it for now… but this one I don’t really want to make the same mistake.

Edit: yes this is with sales tax.

The first price I’d make $1500 revenue. With the discount It’d be $1400 revenue.

Thanks for all the replies guys, I was willing to go $50 or even maybe another $100 lower but… not anymore. This will be my best price. I get it I get it, I don’t, I don’t.

With the freaking income tax and paying the worker and all the expenses blah blah this price is what she has to pay : )


I did a job last October, big ole bugger. Priced it out at $1200 for exterior only. Homeowner said do you do discounts for cash payments? I said I would think about it.
Ended up cleaning the place in sub freezing temps, it was a cold week up here in Montana. It was a brutal job but I got thru it in two days. The lady goes to pay me halfway thru my second day and says how much of a discount so I get. I debated in my mind and said well I can take $100 off and she payed me cash $1100. Good pay day but man, the rest of the day my mindset is frustration and regret at losing out on just $100 when I know my work is worth even more than that. I am curious if I will get repeat service from this home.
It was my first year in biz, and I’ve found sometimes you just learn lessons the hard way. I’ve increased my prices this year, and even had an uncomfortable situation with a client on why my price was $150 more than the previous window guy (who wouldn’t return their phone call lol). I stuck to my price and gave them a value pitch. Booked the job.
Your mindset on a job is so much better when you are booking jobs at a rate that you feel valued!

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Lol, thanks. I still manage to make expensive mistakes every now and again, though. Like frying the starter on my new pressure washer ($262.50), or emptying my pure water tank accidentally while washing some window screens (thankfully it was the first day of a two day project, and I was able to pivot and do interiors instead. Otherwise, it would’ve meant a 1.5 hour round trip to refill the tank).


If you have a consistent way of pricing your jobs then your bids should match the time and effort of the job. By that mean having a “pricing per window” formula. Add in dirty tracks and screens, or adjust that if no screens and the tracks are a simple wipe. Then no matter if you do 15, 25, or 45 windows, your bid will be on the mark. Giving $100 away on a first clean may just bite you by the end of the job. Full price on first clean and $50 or $100 off (depending on size of job) on quarterly or semi annual cleans. Now you have looked over the job and perhaps made some adjustments of how to tackle it next time so you can feel okay about dropping a little incentive. Some of these folks have the mindset that they can just dangle the carrot of a pricey job in front of you and you will fold like a deck of cards. You are in control. I wonder if they pull the same game on the plumber, electrician, and roofer?
Here is a guide.

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You’re in New Jersey, right?

We would probably be a little bit higher than that, but your bid sounds fair to both sides.

The little rectangular window is a transom. If its part of the main window (attached) we usually throw it in for free. If its separate then we charge.


If you bid what your worth and don’t get the job, your irritation will likely be momentary and then it’s on to the next job.

If you underbid or capitulate on what you know your worth, you’ll spend the length of the job kicking yourself and likely the rest of your evening thinking about it. To say nothing of the fact that when you’re working for less than you know you’re worth, your work quality may suffer.
In situations where you’d have normally gone the extra mile, knocked down some cobwebs here or there, or maybe offered advice on this or that; you’ll instead try to make up the lost wages by increasing your speed, eroding your quality.

Every way I’ve looked at it, I can’t go below that number that’s in my bones, every time I do I immediately regret it.

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Yes NJ.

It’s the geometric shapes window that Garry attached. Most of the double casements have those above.

Update: She just texted me "I used to pay 850.00 to do the house…

I want to find out if it’s the same guy that cleaned her commercial property quarterly that I clean now or some other company.

850 :joy:

Walk away, I hate when I have to walk away… first cleans will always cost more, just the nature of the work.

$100 isn’t much to lose with a little discount… anything over that and it’s best to cut the cord before they become a regular, pain in the ass, customer.

At the end of the day its more about how busy your phone/calendar is vs hourly rate, if your still newer in business it might be better to get paid than not to and maybe get a 5 star review, but if phone’s ringing off the hook and your booked out for weeks then stick firm on your price.