Hourly rate -v- per window

Hello all,

Is there anyone else that charges an hourly rate -v- charging per window or per pane for residential.
I live in a pretty large and traffic congested city. So, to do on site estimates are nearly impossible without burning a hole in my pocket for gas. 99% of my estimates are over the phone. The simple solution for me is to charge hourly. So far, my estimates have coinside with the final bill of sale.
There are so many different styles of windows these days, why mess around on site pricing windows when you can just charge a flat rate hourly? I know sometime we can get away with more by charging per pane but the same goes for hourly.
I’m just curious to know your opinion.

I think I remember reading that karlosdaze does hourly. It may have been in a thread about that topic.

Sounds like you are doing alright then.

I use a combination of many things to come up with my price. Type of window and hourly goal to name just two. I never give my customers a per window price or an hourly figure. I tell them my price, not how I arrived at that price.

I also live in a traffic congested area, DC. In fact I think DC ranks second in the US for most traffic. :mad: There’s no such thing as rush hour here… More like rush day. [SIZE=“1”]< Not that funny was it?[/SIZE]

Snap. I rarely count windows though. I look at difficulty & time taken + wfp work usually comes on the second visit. I give breaks to the old or infirm. Never give an hourly figure! I always look at the job first.

You may want to check out All County’s deposit of a minimum of $125 work.

I agree. I use to tell customers that. I’ve learned not to unless they ask.
Thanks for the input.

If you charge hourly, you’ll never get ahead. When I quote my jobs, I quote by the piece, but I also know what I’ll take away hourly. I never make less than $50/hr but sometimes I make as much as $100/hr on WFP work. I could never tell a customer how much I’m going to make per hour on a job or they would think I’m way overpriced.

I go by “per window”… the customer knows exactly what they are getting, if you go hourly they may think your going to “milk” the job for all its worth. If you have a crew do the work and pay a percentage they will get paid the same no matter how long it takes them.

Genarally,the first time I do a job it takes me about 30% longer than the second time and the third time and onwards would be faster again, If I charged by the hour I would be shooting myself in the foot
If im forced to price over the phone, I get a customer estimate of amount of windows and type of windows, then I use zillow or google earth to get a look at the house( not good enough to price window cleaning but does give you a feel for the size and the neighbour hood, zillow also gives you a house price estimate)Then I give a price range say $450-$550 and go from there
If when i get there its grossly under or over bid I renegotiate, if they decide against it which rarely happens as they have set their day around getting the windows cleaned I just go do some floating commercial contarcts

Good points you made Macroomboy. I use zillow too. When you have been in the business long enough you can get a feel for the house just by looking at.
I didn’t mention before, that I use my hourly method with first time customers only. After that, I lock’em into that price for the next visit. If they want just the outside done the next time. I charge 60% of what it would cost to do in & out.
I know generally how many windows I can do per hour. I know what other companies here are charging per piece. It’s not rocket science to figure out an hourly rate that keeps me competitive with my competition. Sometimes I make out big time sometimes I loose out a little.

Hey guys its real easy, estimate per hour (obviously without telling the customer). Have a minimum price your willing to get out of bed for and estimate the job based on how long you fig the job will take. Personally I make $80 an hour on residential and earn a good living here. Mind you also have 2 other businesses too ha ha

I do per pane pricing. If it’s a big job I might not charge as much per pane because of having plenty of work in one place. My wife and I usually make $100/hr together.