HELP ! 1st Commercial CCU

Hi there
I’m excited and scared ****less … was contacted today by a guy who did some tint work for us sometime ago, asking if we do commercial, said yes, and he told me that this lady was going to contact me today about something.

5 mins later she calls and ask about what we do, if I’m insured and for how much and blah blah blah. Her company won the biding for the CCU and she wants to sub the windows to me.

Is a 4 story bldg and I’m insured up to 3 st, is there a really short notice since she has only 4 days to finish as per contract. Went to building to see what is this all about and turns out is not bad at all, not mortar, stucco or something of that nature, just dust, a lot, and some mud outside in the lower level, and a few stickers in some windows, just a few, and some of the black goo that seals the IG Units, but not a lot either.

My rough count was 650 “windows”, or what I consider a window price-wise, last time I did CCU was residential and charged like $14/window.

NOW … is gonna be only me, and my wife helping me out a couple of days, she provides the lift for a week, and 80ft.

FD waiver will be signed, she nows that I’m “short-handed” right now, and she’s getting a ton of work from that construction company lately (who knows). Haven’t talked about price and is my first time to face something like this and I would like some pointers or if I’m missing something here …

If there are no time restrictions to work there I’m pretty sure I can do it all in 4 days, will end up with 40lbs less but with some much needed cash.

How to attack with price "? stick to a per window price or lower it based on volume ? what to do contract wise ? sign an agreement saying that I will do xxxx in xxx time for xxx $$?

Sorry to be so vague but is overwhelming and really important at the same time to let pass by.

See pics HERE

Thanks in advance and I’ll be meeting this lady tomorrow (Sunday) morning to discuss details.

I’m not familiar w/ the pricing there in TX but I’d say your’ other CCU price would be a good start for the windows up to the 3rd floor and then add some to it for the extra time of using the lift on the higher windows. If the windows aren’t that bad perhaps a wfp would work. Not much help probably so hopefully others could fine tune it for you.

Thank you Tony, I’d love to buy a nice system and use it here but seems that with such a short notice I won’t have any time to do that. This lady told me she’s on a budget (surprise) and I don’t wanna let this pass, really need the money right now, but I’;; try to stay focused and don’t make a mistake selling myself short.

keep them coming guys, tomorrow I’ll check this again before I leave to the meeting.

A lower price on the basis of volume is like an employer asking you to take a pay cut because they increased your hours.

I do not agree. Volume can adjust price…but there does need to be a bottom.

Is your window price the same if you only clean one?

Lifts require training to some degree…and more for safety. It was an 80’ lift that killed those boys a few weeks ago. (I think)

My point was that discounting on the basis of volume lowers ones hourly rate. Isn’t that the case?

And, this is a “1st Commercial CCU.”

Is one the maximum number of windows available for cleaning in your example?

For a regular customer, I most likely would clean one for free.

One window is too extreme an example to be relevant to the volume-discount pricing debate, yes?

OK, this was REALLY funny.
Met the lady, very nice lady … but she have no idea when it comes to windows.
She will clean the inside, she wanted me to do the outside only.
Now, the fun part … her budget is $4000 … which is less, substantially less of what I was estimating … and to that amount she needs to subtract the lift rental cost (80 footer for a week) and she said she’s paying $2600 for that, which only leaves $1400 for “labor” (my money).

I was polite and told her that is waaaay less and I’ll try to figure something out if possible to help her out, but I’m gonna call her later to tell her that I’m sorry but under this circumstances there’s nothing I can do.

Thank you guys for the replies.

Well…okay, yes.

But, I thought it might drive the point home that, to a degree, volume does help lower the price.

Let’s make sure we are on the same page.

I have a minimum. Let’s just say it is $95. My per window rate (again, just sayin’) is $9. Mr. & Mrs. Funkburger have 7 windows. I resort to my minimum.

Now let’s say the Funkcheese Family has 1000 windows. Do i still charge $9 each?

You may say yes…I say no…we are both right.

Larry thread hijacker :smiley:

No so, in my opinion – didn’t you pose the question, “stick to a per window price or lower it based on volume?”


Sorry to get to this so late. I wish I had posted sooner. However, I think that you are better off not having this job. Two reasons I can see: A.) you are slightly under-insured, and B.) You weren’t going to get what you wanted for pay.

As far as the insurance goes, you can try to get a temporary policy to cover that job only, but they are expensive and would take more than two days.

But just for further jobs like this, I have some advice. First thing I would do is hire a helper to do nothing else than watch as you operate the lift, fetch tools, lunch, etc. This is an inexpensive way to ensure that your time will be utilized as best as possible.

I would also make sure you actually have a contract in place with the contractor that is sub-ing you out. This is the only time I really do contract. You can ask the others here about some builders, GC’s, and other contractors and how they can screw window cleaners.

As far as pricing: I think that there is some validity to a discount for volume. However, I don’t think it fits unless you have a great rapport with the person who hired you. If you know them well, have done many jobs for them, or are really sure that they will pay (quickly), I would consider giving a volume discount.

My jobs are priced based on difficulty. I usually don’t price on panes alone. When I bid jobs like this, I start with a set price for the first level windows. EXample-- $6/pane or $11/pane for CCU. Then I add a difficulty factor to each floor. Sometimes its double for the second, triple for the third, quadruple for the fourth, etc. Sometimes its not.

My bid for this job would be over $5,000. It’s high, but so are those windows. Working a man-lift is dangerous. I’d put at least three people on this job. I’d ask for a draw of 20% up front before I begin.

Hey Bert great advice, thank you for taking the time to do it.
Walked away, told this lady that my “human” side wanted to help her knowing that she will have a really hard time getting this done, by others or by herself, but my “business” side won’t let me help her since this is numbers game and at $1400 we have lots of difference.

it shows that I wasn’t to wrong, and that is good to know.
Again, thanks Bert, Larry, Tony & Phil for chime in.

Good experience and attaboy – sounds as though you absolutely made the right decision.

I think you made a wise choice Carlos! You also gained some insight for the next gig that comes along.:wink: