First CCU estimate! What would you bid?

So I am entering my 4th month in this window cleaning thing. I have had relative success getting store fronts, but have done a bunch of under priced residential 2 stories, there’s definitely a learning curve in the window cleaning business but i’m optimistic. I have been scrolling through these forum for some time now and have learned a lot from all of you.

So I got a call from a builder for an estimate on a 3 story home that’s being built and I would like to know what all of you would charge for the job. I started like a lot of you with a shoestring budget, I’m pretty desperate for the work tho & I feel like the builder can give me more work in the future, but I don’t want to underbid the job and feel like a dummy after nor do I want to overbid and lose the contact either. From my understanding CCU seems like a real pain in the butt so I def don’t want to underbid.

So this is a 3 story home with:
11 window panels in the front
15 window panels on the right
27 window panels in the back
10 window panels on the left

Total of 63 window panels + 18 screens to remove & replace.
Exterior work:
-18 window panels on ground level
-45 window panels w/ ladder use on 2nd/3rd floors

Interior work:
-10 window panels with ladder/step ladder work
-53 window panels on ground level

My current pricing structure is $3/panel for exterior regular window washing, $5/panel for inside out and $6/panel for inside out + tracks & screens (1st floor) but these windows seem like they all have a lot of stickers on them & I will be doing this alone. I only have basic window cleaning equipment, I will def have to invest in a 32 foot ladder and a scraper. Hopefully I don’t scratch the windows.There is one broken window also. For a normal clean inside/out + screens I would bid at $440. For CCU I’m thinking to start bidding at $880 to $1070. I will be working alone and think it will be at least a 2 day job. What would you guys start bidding at? Thanks for the input!


Close ups:

Your regular pricing seems a little low to me, but I don’t know your market.
At any rate, charge 2 1/2 to 3 times your regular price for CCU. Be judicial if you use a scraper and wet the glass well with your solution before using a blade. Do not blade dry glass. Stucco and paint on glass will slow you down. Titan Oil Flo will make stucco and paint removal easier. Titan Oil Flo
You will not like doing CCU, hence premium charge!

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If this is your first CCU, you are going to hate yourself by the time you are done. It’s a pretty big job, and a bad time of the year to cut your teeth on CCU.

You are probably going to need some type of vacuum for all that dust and crap in the tracks too.

You’ll also want a scratch waiver AND to inspect EVERY piece of glass to make sure it’s not already damaged. Especially if you don’t know this builder. The window guy gets the blame a lot from these contractors, just read about it on the forums.

From what I have seen, I think more guys that do CCU avoid builders, then work with them. It’s usually not good for the “window guy” because the pay tends to come late and they tend to blame you for something other contractors do.

As far as the price, personally I target a higher daily payday then that, but like Gary said, I have no idea what your market is.

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I like that you doubled your regular clean price. That’s a good start.

The windows have poly on them, that’s a plus, peel off and most likely no major debris or need to scrape.


What would you bid the job at? I am in Alberta Canada.

I say pass…thank the guy profusely for thinking of you and go find a nice big existing house that’s been cleaned in it’s lifetime and charge 50 dollars an hour to clean their semi-dirty windows…much more enjoyable, profitable, and doable. I think the folks are looking for the cheap date instead of paying a company with a crew that will knock it out and pay the help 10 an hour. Do you want to be that man?


-45 window panels w/ ladder use on 2nd/3rd floors

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Honestly, it doesn’t matter what I would bid. You are far enough out of my market that it’s irrelevant. What does matter is what you need/want to make a day/week/hour. A CCU is going to be the hardest work a window cleaner does, and require the most care, attention to detail, and skill.

You should be getting paid well for this type of work. As its much harder than a normal cleaning. Besides all the things you need to bring to the table I already stated, it’s also the type of work with the most risk. Risk of damage. Risk of the LONG wait to get paid (if it all sometimes).


I have no insurance yet, I don’t get that much work yet I just entered the market with just 3 storefront accounts. I just bought a 32’ extension ladder, fiberglass 12’ step ladder, an light 5’ step ladder and the standoffs all for $155. It winter season out here from Nov-March, I cant refuse the job I’m trying to build a reputation, I need the experience and money, i’m not afraid of hard work as long as it pays and I get paid on time. Wow 2300 seems like a price on the high end to me tho :joy: , but i can see it taking me 3 days and will charge accordingly, hopefully they accept. How much time can builders take to pay? I can see myself getting impatient after 15 days so ill ask net15 but even net30 is fine if they make an issue but anytime more than that ill feel like i’m being hassled. I would like to see my self making at least $50 an hour at least that amount can cover labor expenses if I ever feel like I need help.

I can see how people dislike CCU but $1500- 3000 in 2-3 days is still a lot of revenue compared to storefront window canvassing where everybody says No and you just end up wasting gas for nothing sometimes. What do you gonna make $100 bucks a day doing storefronts? $300 in 3 days if your lucky? No thanks id rather jump into CCU and get that paper lol.

Lol, you are going to even entertain a bid on a CCU, and you have no insurance? LMAO! You are about to learn a lesson!

And you think the builder is likely to pay you in 15 or 30 days? O M G…

How much time DID you really spend before you decided a window cleaning business was for you? You watch one of those videos on YouTube that basically said “With 50 bucks, you can make 1K a DAY!”?

You aren’t running a business, you are playing with a hobby. I get the feeling you are going to get a lesson shortly, and you’ll be off to the “next thing” trying to make a buck. That is after the lawsuit settles…


There often is a mistake when a new business owner will assume the insurance if for himself or his equipment…

Its not, it is for the public and the locations you are working on, many commercial building and most building sites will require a copy of your certificate of compliance from your insurance company.


Call it whatever business/hobby it’s just a label but you gotta start somewhere bud, I know what insurance is for. I know I’ll evantually get it, I started on a shoestring budget and am working my way up. Ya ya keep talking smack you don’t put food on my table, I’ll reply to this post 5 years down the road when I take over this whole game LOL

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“Hey Siri, remind me to check back on this thread in five years”


What is interesting with commercial is many times you are not asked for insurance until the job is complete you submit your invoice and your pay Is being processed .

What do you do after your job is completed they ask you for all of your information in order to process your payment and you don’t have insurance?

^^^ This happens all the time. You submit a bill and they say “sure can I get copies of your insurance so we can put this through” If you don’t have them, good luck getting paid. Most builders I have worked for are 30-45 days. Best bet is to pass on this job if you do not have insurance, you are asking for a problem if you don’t.

You owe it to the person you are working for to disclose that you are not insured. My opinion with or without insurance both you and the person you are doing work for has a lot of risk and exposure because of the inexperience factor on CCU. A whole lot could go wrong.


I found this very interesting back in September when I had a job with a net 45 email me telling me my insurance had expired on the 23rd (email was sent on the 10th) informing me that if I did not update my new insurance certificate my payment would be suspended until I would provide it.

This was 5 weeks after the job was completed…

You are a very poor business man. Fair enough, that may seem harsh for you to read that. You can put food on the table doing a multitude of things that don’t require insurance and experience before presenting yourself as insured and experienced. Just because you bought a few ladders and accessories for $155 does not make you worthy of taking on the task of a 3-story CCU. Stick with storefront and residential until you build an understanding of quality and how to deal with things when they go wrong, as they most certainly will.

You came here asking for help or professional opinions and then get all pissy when you didn’t get the consoling answers that your ego wanted. You are not ready for CCU. You are barely ready to call yourself a “window cleaner” since you have no experience and no realization of how to run a business.

I am not try to smack talk to you or hurt your feelings, I am trying to point out that this is a serious business to most everyone here and for you to sashay in like anybody with $155 and a few weeks of single pane store window cleaning can do it is laughable. Sometimes it takes someone to open your eyes to reality. Skip the CCU and get out there and practice on tasks that will teach you the business; ask and learn; view videos on this site and learn; read, comprehend, put into practice.

I offer this not out of malice, but out of intent to help you not fail so badly.


@anon82274079 response was spot on, may seem harsh but was simply direct.

@Gary said same thing but took more time to explain.

Both posts were attempts at being helpful. You choose how to interpret what you read. Keep in mind everyone here is busy and simply by posting shows their willingness to give and take ideas.

I hope you will stay around, use the information here to get you in the right direction. If you choose to leave, self employment likely isn’t the right direction for you.