How much should I charge for these condos? (20 year old newbie owner)

Hey everyone I’m a 20 year old business owner, and a few days ago I got a call for a set of condos that’s bigger than anything I have ever done. I have a good amount of questions and would love to learn from all your vast experiences. Below is the backside of the condos mentioned. They only want the exterior cleaned and there are windows and sliding glass in the balconies pictured. Also most of the windows have about 3 small french panes above them. How much would you charge for just the backside pictured? If you need more info please ask as I know its not the best photo. How would you guys go about cleaning these, WFP? Lift? Ladders? Thank you so much for all the help :blush:
If you need any other info please ask.

Wfp lift combo

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They will probably want to see your insurance. Anything over 3 stories and insurance costs go up. Big undertaking tackling a 6 story condominium. Not just the work involved but the equipment involved too. How are you set for insurance and equipment?

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I have insurance up to 2 million and am in talks with lift providers atm.

That is fine, mine is 1Mill but it does not cover over 3rd floor. Look into that.

Ok thank you so much, I didn’t even think of that. What do you charge per pane on this type of project?

I don’t bother with those types of jobs.

Why’s that?

Couple of reasons. I do not have the equipment nor the desire to, in addition to the insurance cost to bump up to what they call high-rise. I focus on high end residential up to 3rd floor.


You might have a chat with your insurance agent before committing to anything. Not sure how it is there, but here they want to know specifics on the heights your working at and the equipment your using to reach em.
I, too, focus on high end residential up to 3rds.
Just my opinion, but to me the money is easier. Less logistics, less prep, just bring your gear each day and roll.
I’m not trying to dog on ya, we all start somewhere, but a new owner without the experience, tackling something like that, gives me…pause.

I hope it all shakes out well for ya.:+1:t3:


I would do a combo of wfp and having access from the inside. I would require that I can go into each condo and clean the outside of the doors by walking out. A lift would be a pain as you would have to put down plywood in the path of the lift so you would need a helper, and the ensuing insurance increase along with whatever other increase you have. Also, it may still damage the landscape as you would likely need a 80 ft lift, which is over 20,000 lbs. Also, I have a custom policy through auto owners insurance that allows me to wfp to any height but not above 2 stories with a ladder/lift. Its about 1,100 a year, which is alot better than the 3k I was quoted. You will also need to see if they will waive you from workman’s comp and just use your personal auto instead of commercial as commercial auto is expensive. Some of this may depend on state laws. If you have to deal with screens I would require maintenance to remove or pass.

For a wfp you will need a Xero Destroyer, Gardiner Extreme, or Gardiner Ultimate, which all will run you 3k plus just for the pole. Anything less and you will be hard pressed to complete the job. There may be other brands, but these are the ones I would trust/pick.

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I agree with pretty much everything you said, except for this part.

You need commercial auto if you’re using a vehicle in your business. If you have a halfway decent agent, they will find you commercial coverage for not much more than a personal policy.

I actually saved money when I switched to a commercial policy, because Traveler’s was still dinging me 4+ years after a couple of speeding tickets. The commercial carrier I switched to only cared about the last 3 years of my driving history.

@Infinity Alex, if you don’t mind sharing, who your carrier is, how much your policy cost and the amount of coverage? The quotes I got were not that nice. I will likely have to get some next year though as I hope to hire now that I’m PW.

I think this may be somewhat state specific as the commercial properties I clean request commercial auto unless your a solo opp, at which point they accept personal. Per state law I am also exempt from workers comp. I think my personal auto covers some work related things, and I haven’t had the $1,500 I was quoted for the amount of coverage I would need.

To the OP, Alex is correct that it would be best to get commercial auto and I should have been more thorough in my post. You may be opening yourself up to risk if you don’t. I have not absolutely had to have it, so I have invested my funds in other areas of growth.

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We’re currently with Union Mutual. I think it’s a local company, not sure if they cover out of state. Previously I had MMG.

I honestly forget how much we’re paying, I think somewhere between 1200-1400/yr for comprehensive coverage on two vehicles (a 2019 Tacoma and a 2013 xB. Finally about to sell the xB, so that will be dropped from coverage very shortly; then hopefully we’ll be down around $800 or so a year)

As far as amount of coverage goes, I think it’s a $1mil liability limit. And like I said, comprehensive coverage, since the Bank holds the note.

You will most likely need a separate personal policy if you have another vehicle for personal use, though.

My wife pays $370/yr or somewhere around that for barebones coverage on her ‘98 Rav4. (Edit: coverage just dropped to $333/yr for her. Shweeeet)

I could be mistaken on this, but I believe some insurance companies will refuse to cover you if they find out you were using your vehicle for business purposes at the time of an accident, and you only had a personal policy. They view it as a breach of contract if you ‘misrepresent’ the use of the vehicle.

Very well said, I talked to the manager of the condo again and she said she couldn’t get any companies to even bid because of the difficulty, so I’m definitely reconsidering, I haven’t ruled it out yet but I appreciate all the advice, especially regarding the insurance.

Well that sounds 100% like a newbie should walk the other direction!

lol :joy: probably, the only reason I’m still considering it is that I can quote something like 20-25k for the project as no one else will do it, and just bundle the cost of needed poles and equipment and figure out the problems as I go. I figured I’ll give a super high quote and if they say no great I’m off the hook and if they say yes it might be worth figuring out the various obstacles. Is this reasonable or am I still being naive?

Depends on your formula for $25,000 and how much equipment rental and purchase will dig into that. Many high rise folks rappel down to clean the windows on condo’s and high rises. Who knows, we may see you on the 6 o’clock news. Be safe.

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I got in contact with the last guy who was doing the job and he said he was able to do it all from the inside, with this knowledge I’ll put a lower bid in I’m thinking 5-10k any thoughts on what would be fair?

Without a window count and walking it, Im guessing I’d be 5-10k, but that is basically a wild guess only working from one picutre. I WOULD NOT do it all from the inside! People put crap in front of windows, and you will have to deal with people alot more than just doing the areas you can walk out too. What happens if some of the windows won’t tilt in? I could be wrong, but I think doing it all from the inside is a bad idea. Also, fair expectation, if the other guy did it from the inside he likely charged a lot less, so a 10k bid may not fly, but I could be wrong on that too as maybe they weren’t happy with him.