Do you need a ladder to start a window cleaning company

Hi, well i already have the equipment needed to start a window cleaning company. It costed me less than 100 dollars. But i was wandering if i needed a ladder, it would be a big investment. Most of my money would be spent on the ladder. Could i clean windows without a ladder using an extension pole. I plan on cleaning windows part time while in college to see if it is something i plan on doing as a career.

I would also like to do storefronts also. Most of the storefronts i see are usually one story, so i think i can get by without a ladder. Would it make more sense for me to just focus on one story homes and businesses for the moment. I mean if the extension pole would work then i will try to do two story homes and businesses.

If you stick to storefronts you could get by without a ladder in most cases. It’s something you don’t want to hold off too long from acquiring. What’s even more vital that is a considerable expense is general liability insurance.

No, but you’ll need one eventually.

Second story poling is def an acquired skill that takes time to master.

I would search Craigslist in the towns near you for a Little Giant (or knock-off brand) ladder. Go for the 20’ one… That’ll be the only ladder you need for a little while.

I would almost make the investment into a cheap water fed pole, rather than a ladder, but you will probably need one in the future. If you want to do residential you can always remove the screens from the inside, clean the exterior with a water fed pole and replace screens. No ladder needed in most cases. While it will be safer you would be trending towards the future, but it will cost more initially. You will also make more per hour, which should justify the purchase.

I am talking about residential homes, or commercial properties, not storefronts.

If you’re going to be doing any second story work, you need a ladder

I have to agree with Larry, you will need one. a little Giant or even a cheap “Cosco” knock off can get you what you need to reach. But, if you can get a WFP?! Get it sooner than later.

And Dan is right… Get liability Insurance ASAP!

Keep inmind some storefronts have hydrolics above the doors where you would need a ladder, as they would be nearly impossible to pole. Also consider signs, neons, and other crap in the way. A 4-6 ft step would be ok for most single story storefronts. As far as resi, ya, you will definitely need some sort of ladder, or wfp.

Thanks for all of the advice. I will consider buying a ladder it shouldn’t be too expensive. I will also look into the water fed poles also.

Yes! You need a ladder. No way around it.

You’ll probably need a few different sizes of stepladders and extension ladders. It’s true that the start-up costs for window cleaning are lower than many other industries, but you’ll absolutely have to buy ladders at some point. You can always start with a 6’ stepladder and a 24’ extension ladder and round out your arsenal as your business and your needs grow. If you see a job that needs a certain ladder, close the deal and go buy one.

Great suggestion.

I started with an 8’ step and a 24’ extension. And then bought 28’ ext, 12’ step, and another 24’ ext on Craigslist as I had cash or as I needed them.

When you are considering buying any tools or equipment, especially equipment you are trusting your life and health on, buy the best quality you can afford. A cheap ladder can cost you an expensive hospital stay

you can get one for less than $200, just got one, you can buy an extension for that too. I think you will need one eventually too, if you decide to stay with it. Good luck!

We use the Werner MT-22 and rent a 32ft ladder for the few times we need something that big. We also have a small 3 step stool that is great for those times when a little more height is needed. Unfortunately you can’t get away completely from ladders in our line of work but by becoming proficient w/ traditional as well as water fed poles you can seriously limit the times you’ll need to be on one.

For those who say a ladder isn’t really needed; how do you clean the indoor 2 story geodesic windows found on many mountain/beach homes? These are the ones where usually the whole side of the house is dedicated to whatever view there is. Floor to ceiling glass going up 2 floors.

If you don’t use ladders, are you using a standard pole inside?

If they don’t use ladders, I guess it’s safe to say they are using standard poles. That’s how I’ve done at various times, as well. Just depends on if I have a helper w/ me or not, the design of the glass, and my mood on a given day.

They could be using one of the indoor WFPs.

Michael, when you use a regular pole indoors and up high, how do you avoid getting any dripage from getting all over? Or do you just mop it up afterwards?

I’m curious as to whether this is a safer way to do things.

I can pole well enough to forgo the ladder; it’s just a safety issue for me. If I can control the dripage inside, then I would prefer to eliminate ladder use as much as possible indoors in the same way that I have done outdoors by using my WFP.

I rather like keeping the highrise circus routine to a minimum these days;)

I use a Ladder for Most High Areas But if Possible I use The Ledger Ledger Guarantee
I have the One that Swivels