How would you count/bid this window?

I have cleaned this place for years except the exterior windows. They always look bad. The last few times these were cleaned it seems the guy used a pressure washer or hose. Problem is he let the water dry so spotted, dirt drips , and areas that a squeegee was used looks as if a few quick pulls. Mud streaks. Pulls from middle without wiping etc…It would be like a first time for some and I tested with WFP brush in an area and comes clean pretty easy. I was thinking to do a quick wash for the sills and get major dirt off and would like to WFP them. It is a lot of windows and could be a lot of water.
The pic shows a 3 piece section: top, bottom, and center. 40 of them (count as 40 or 120?), 3 door sections. The door is full glass and if you were to make the large 3 section a foot wide, the frame has one L/R, door middle, and a glass at top (7 pieces of glass) Its a tough sale but I can use the benefit they have with me since I clean the place I can do quick touch ups between cleanings. They need a plan and not every 6 months to every year. My only costs would be the use of filter if WFP
I’d appreciate your advice. I do have to compete with the bad bucket bobs and guys that have a pressure washer but no squeegee.

I count each pane, so your 3 piece example would be 3 panes.
So,120 total.

I think smaller ones can be more hassle than big ones, sometimes.

I would be about $320-380 for exterior only. But, I bid commercial work extremely high, because I do not go after it. Residential for me. I would bet most guys on here would be under $200.

John K Wyatt
All Washed Up Window Cleaning

I’m at $1.50-$2 per pane per side for commercial. So I would say roughly $180-$200.

$200.00 or less ?
You forgot to mention the low balling bucket bobs from Craigslist …
They would be all over this for $55.00 !

They are. Last guy used a pressure washer and used a 12" squeegee here and there. If the same guy as the first time, looked really good, he slacked off big time since first wash. They look so bad it ts like “what was the point trying to clean in the first place?” Using that point of low charge and crappy cleaning. I am looking around mid to low 200s. I will need to 1st time clean to get them WFP ready. Need to rinse off walkway area once mud is washed off windows. Plus, detail a few inside where water leaks in. Since I do repair work as well I will offer to re-silicone the areas that leak. This will help me because when it rains hard the water leaks in from the top and gets the floor wet. I would like not to constantly come by to mop up the puddles. I am considering to ask if I can do the lobby inside (8 sections of 3 plus the 3 doors). Labor for caulking, trip fee, etc… around 300 but the next clean will be around 100 to 120. Will only need to do 30 sections of 3 and use WFP. Think I am cutting myself short?

Yeah Jack you would be cutting yourself short don’t discount because you are using WFP. Clean glass is clean glass no matter the process to clean the glass.

Thank you for your input and comments. I agree. I tend to bid lower on many jobs. I need to stop underestimating my work. As I mentioned in other posts, I set a certain standard, do a great job and often go the extra mile to ensure they are pleased. Often the extra effort is not appreciated. The extra effort usually includes cleaning up other’s messes, as would be in this case. They should have held the last guy to a standard and had him correct the deficiencies. You are right. I do not need to pay for his mistakes.
I was on my home from cleaning that place today and thought if they just want a basic clean and not worry about the spots and paint, would I do it? No! I either clean them to the best of my ability the way it needs to be done or not at all. This is my price and this is what I offer to you in return. Not willing to lower the bar to make a few bucks.
I’ll let you know what they say. Again, thanks everyone.

I charge $5.00 per pane in/out for commercial. 60% of that for one side only - so $360.00 for exterior on 120 panes. I don’t really go after commercial, and more than one account said I was high. I asked one company (a new animal hospital with beautiful glass on the corner of a busy intersection) why they called me the answer was that my competition didn’t show up to clean prior to their grand opening. I said to the manager then they were not my competition.

My point being is that they may not take your price, but the proof of your value is on their glass. You have already proven to be a reliable and thorough service provider for them. What is your worth?

I like that

Love it!..they were not my competition.
My point being is that they may not take your price, but the proof of your value is on their glass. You have already proven to be a reliable and thorough service provider for them. What is your worth?
You nailed it.
These folks are so use to paying 50 bucks every year. You pay over 30,000 to redo interior but cannot afford 200-300 for a quality first clean. 145 pieces of glass. half will be okay with simple pre-scrub. Other half need attention because of paint spray and excess spotting from PW the windows over the past year. My best bet is to have a face to face with her on site so she can see what I am talking about. I prefer commercial. I have a funeral home asking to do 2x a month. I can go straight WFP with little pre clean. 32 windows. Not even 30 minutes. Maybe 50 a month, is that high.

32 panes, or windows? It seems $50.00 per month is way too little.

Twice a month at $50.00 is $25.00 per visit. I don’t know, my guess is at that price you will grow weary of servicing that account after a couple of months because you undercharged at jump street.

If you are starting out it is hard to gauge what will be needed 6 months or a year down the road. But here is a thought: You may be able to do this in 30 minutes. But, it is still less than a buck a pane - ouch! If you send an employee to clean it, they may take longer. So, you will be grossing $25.00/hr. The costs associated with labor makes it around $25.00/hr (wages, taxes, workman’s comp, etc). So, the funeral home gets cleaned for nothing. This says nothing of re-investment, taxes, licenses, insurance, your wage, or any other cost associated with the actual entity of your business - only their labor.

At first I charged too little for commercial, now I have a couple of buildings that are underpriced - one is a monthly with 33 panes (in/out & mostly large panes) at $110.00. If I can knock this out in 2.5 hours I am still not happy. I keep hold of this because it is my case study of efficiency and the people are sweet. Every time I get quicker by about fifteen minutes. I try different things - now I am using pads on the interior - eliminating detailing and step ladders - and next will be using wfp with a backpack & jerry cans for the outs, that will help with set up and break-down, and won’t have to run hoses. If I can get this to 1.75 hours, without sacrificing quality, I will be really happy because I know that in time I can send an employee in there and I will still make some profit off their efforts. Maybe they won’t achieve my benchmark, but I will know how to train that efficiency to help them (and my bottom line) along.

I think I would be hard pressed to bid much less than $75.00 (in/out, based on 32 [U]panes[/U]) per visit - even for twice monthly. I am only in my second year, so take that with a grain of salt - others on here have expansive knowledge. I offer this as one that has made certain adjustments within the last few months, though, and am not far from where you are now.

Again, the cost does not equal value. You are a gem - clean, on time, reliable, thorough, gentle with their customers and help, and you do this with NO PROBLEMS. Wow! In the service industry, that is rare - and those with these attributes charge at the top of the scale, with good reason.

I think you are right. My banks pay a lot but they know I will always touch up check on them and keep at least the doors looking good during the month. The little extra has kept me doing it for 3 years. Not many others would do that without charging. Funny, the branch manager has put out to the folks don’t think about touching the windows with windex. I’ll know. Only I will touch the glass.
I also figure in how much water and what it costs me to make it. Small unit and starting WFP. Looking at $90 a refill for 1/4. Might get 400 gal. So $75 makes better sense. I look for long term steady clients. They get me not just nice windows. I’m not ready to knock the chip off my shoulder and start Bucket Bobbin or Pole Bobbing. Could that be the term for WFP Bucket Bobs? Of course not the kitted out pro Bobs, you know the ones with a bucket of mud water, rag, squeegee and scrim doing store fronts for $25 a pop using the same water.
You seem to have your routine down. I use a backpack on dolly. Open trunk take out and ready to go.
Just a little something. I stopped using sprays on my desks. Oils, waxes were not helping with the glass. Folks get stuff on hands, arms and this transferrs to glass. Since I stopped the dusting sprays most of the worse smudges went away. The mixture works well on the desks and it seems to double as a good window cpray for like a hand print. I use a bit of extra strength vinegar, little purified water, denatured alcohol, and cheap $ Store general spray like windex for counters (the windex clear one with vinegar). Glass plus doesn’t work. Leaves no streaks on desks gets rid of smudges with no residue or buffing out. Use it in bathrooms, mirrors and works on my doors as well. Odd, when use a spray like windex and clean rag (huck) might have problems. Use this stuff and a maybe wet/used huck. No streaks. Very odd. I mention this because as you are becoming quicker making changes the same here for cleaning. Just by a simple change like a cleaning spray has reduced my cleaning/dusting time by 45 min. Thought I’d mention it.

Hey stop Knocking me I work hard getting that water dirty…

Keep in mind, its the ones that use the same water on every building. I watched 1 guy. He didn’t change the water. Thought I’d say hello. Was clueless about what type squeegee he was even using. I said “man that water sure is dirty. Where do you get fresh water around here?” He said he doesn’t. Let me tell you windows looked horrible. The lady we had office space from pays $25. All the business in the strip do it knowing the windows do not turn out great but for $25 They don’t seem to care. Maybe he really needs the cash, feel sorry for him. Hey at least he is working. I couldn’t lower my standard like that. Hell , he can take a $1.50 and buy some purified water around the corner. Maybe the mud, sand and grit helps wash off the other sand, mud, and grit. He might be on to something. MFP- Mud fed Pole.

You guys probably could make the dirty work good. For the rest of us…maybe not

Sorry for being so late on this thread, but I have a ?. When you say thAt you use vinegar pure water and windex from the $store, are you mixing all that together in a bottle to clean mirrors? I am looking for a better way to clean mirrors hair salon. Tired of buffing out the streaks.

Pure water and alcohol mix works great for mirrors.

It all started because I tried all sorts of polishes like pledge, orange glo, cabinet spray etc… Most furniture was a laminate and not wood. Banks generate a lot of dust, fingerprints all over. I wanted clean, easy to remove the prints, no residue to gather and capture dust. Wipe rub and done. Anyway while I was using vinegar alcohol mix on some of my problem children doors and it worked well in the bathroom counters, toilets etc… Tried a mix on the desks and no more buffing out the polishes anymore. I use it on mirrors and if a few prints on doors, like all glass doors can use it there as well. I use either 91% rubbing alcohol or denatured alcohol (it is a good window cleaner as well with water) a bit of vinegar (5% or 9%) and a multi-purpose cleaner. I use the windex with vinegar. It needs to have enough alcohol to still evaporate after you wipe. If I mix a typical water bottle it is about 1/3 each. Sometimes adjust a bit as needed. Vinegar helps with water spots in bathrooms, especially above sinks where folks splash mirrors, gets spots off chrome and vinegar/alcohol both have antiseptic properties. I do use a variation to make a spray for glass but it as a little pure water and less cleaner. Sometimes just vinegar, alcohol and pure water. Microfiber s work but a good cotton cloth seems best. Sometimes I see tiny little fibers on glass from microfiber. I also use it when detailing where the solution dried to fast and a simple wipe doesnt get it off. I use to clean a nail salon which had mirrors along a back wall. It works great on mirrors. Used it last night on a 12’ x 4’ conf table that had the roof leak on it. Cleaned up the HD water spot and the acid left a residue. Sprayed on and wiped off with a fluffy microfiber similar to a car detailing cloth but used a white polishing side. I tend to stay away from spray away, and windex foam cleaners. I use liquid glass sprays and modify by adding a bit of acid and alcohol. It only takes a quick spritz and hasn’t left a residue. If it works for you then great. It usually removes the films left from other cleaners. Not that they don’t work but the paper towels and cloths folks use can leave even more of a mess. Even cruddy $$ store window cleaner works if you use the right cloth, light mist and buff it out properly.

On the whole mirror cleaning thing, honestly mirrors are just like any piece of glass the point to remember is that any errors are not going to be hidden in the spectrum of light, they are reflected back at you. This makes mirrors great for learning and developing your squeegee technique. IF you are leaving streaks on mirrors then you are leaving those same streaks on all the glass you clean you just cant see them in the light your in at that time. Just remember that while you may be at the job for an hour or so and only see the windows with the sun from 1 angle the customer will see the windows with the sun at different angles in the sky. What looks good in the shade may not look so good in full sun( if you have streaky mirrors)

I use to practice on a mirror. Still do, especially when trying out a new squeegee or different rubber. Plus you have to know your mirror. Usually new mirrors are ok but an older one loses its backing. Had a complaint before and I showed them it was on the other side of the glass. “We were wondering why it never looked clean.” Our private home cleanings all sorts of stuff on there. All you can do is get it clean as you can. I learned to clean like I was a customer. Folks working in a place see i way, customers another. I add the customer’s view. What do they see when they walk in and look around. When I do the bank windows all the time they think the windows look great but in fact some panes I concentrate on and maintain others a touch up every other month. Maybe its the old “squeaky wheel gets the grease”. I told the one manager that at about 530 when you leave only look at the doors as you leave. The perimeter windows are so marked up (30 years of scratches and defects) the direct setting sun magnifies them and they look horrible. Rest of the day they look awesome. Must be twilight zombie glass.