Inside first or outside first?

For residential, what do you clean first, the insides or the outsides?

Let’s discuss the benefits of both sides.

If possible for me it’s insides.
-double hung windows can leak onto outside bottom piece.
-I don’t want to do any ladder work again if I missed something I couldn’t see. Sometime both sides need to be cleaned to really look at the glass, so I prefer insides first for those reasons. I’m sure there are other variables.

In’s first always! Because nothing worse then popping screens on only to see something on the exterior(while inside) that needs attention:mad:

Inside first, pop screen corner if not cleaning, move on to outside, pull screen and clean track and put the screen back.


depends on the type of window for me. I prefer outs first so I can see what a completed window looks like from the best angle… inside looking out. I hate cleaning the ins first if the outs are filthy because it is hard to see any problems (on the ins). I do not have this problem on the outs as I can see them easily by adjusting my view point.

Double-hung- I start on the ins normally (because of possible leak through)

Inside first, mainly for the same reason chrisview said about double hungs leaking from the inside to the outside bottom pane.

Also, I like to be out of the clients hair as soon as possible. Another thing is that your shoes can get pretty dirty sometimes when doing the outside. I always save the exterior for last if at all possible.

Re: shoes, see:

Re: poll: Insides, for the reasons listed above (DH bleeding; pop screens and clean tracks)

I agree with CFP, the best view is from the inside out, and thats why if at all possible i will begin with the outs first. it is almost impossible to see dirt missed on the inside when your looking in from the outside. I don’t mind if i have to go touch up the outsides here and there afterwards. id rather do that then run back inside a house to touch up. the only way i do the insides first is if its raining, in winter, or if the client requests it.

WFP outside first with boots on
Person inside cleans glass that was WFP outside so they can see better and police any mistakes, cries, leaks etc.
We also tape the tops of custom doors with painter’s tape before WFP transom or glass above the doors. This will seal the top from any water that may lay in the crack waiting to ruin the clean glass when opened. We pull the tape shortly after the glass is cleaned.

Lastly we send a person in and out to look for a final look. I understand this is not always possible because some have to ladder more than others.

What if outside touch-ups require getting a ladder back out?

Hi Craig,

Do you do the insides first when using a WFP? If so do you have to go back inside and clean/wipe the wet/dirty tracks?

Good question Bro! Yes…if I’m running solo i will do just that,otherwise it’s usually 2 guys on a gig 1 in & 1 out so…they work with each other.

another thing worth mentioning…if you look at the glass at a “proper angle” (usually 30 degree’s give or take) you can see just fine from the outside if…detecting stuff left on the glass. You don’t necessarily have to be inside to get a better view.

Also…if you do a bang up job on the In’s or outs to begin with there’s NO need to check for anything…that’s where proper scrubbing of the glass is so vitally important!:wink:

Hi Craig,

So you do the insides first with a WFP?
I might have to try that, I have been doing the outside first, then the inside with a WFP

No Bro…we dont use a WFP on the inside. Traditional methods on the In’s only although there is actually a WFP for interior work,i saw it on one of the UK sites.

It actually squirts pure water from a pole and has a pad (probably a micro type) to buff & polish.

Ha! Read his post again and imagine different grammar.

If i could i would;) but…i can’t so i dont! I should have been alittle more deliberate in explaining…if i do use a WFP it’s after the In’s are done “traditionally” then i go back in after WFP’ing to wipe out any water that may have accumulated in the tracks etc. then re-install screens.

Hope that clarifies things?

Most of the homes in my area, the screens remove from the inside. I remove the screens, then brush and vac the frames and tracks. I take the screens outside and wash them and put them into the racks to dry. I wash the outsides. I change my shoes, go inside and clean the insides and put the screens back

That’s exactly my method. I did, however, get my first drips from the interior onto the exterior glass from a leaky double hung. Kinda frustrating.

When using a WFP I think it’s important to do the outside first so you can watch the drying while doing the insides. Plus, you don’t leave the homeowner with wet windows.

Your thoughts?

I always do the easiest access first. If its a wfp job - I would start with that (easiest access) then move on to the inside. I would always prefer to do the outside first, but I find that doing the side with the easiest access doesn’t hinder me if I’ve missed a spot & have to go back to it. I always take a last walk round anyhow.

Sounds like in the US there are plenty of double hung windows. As for me, I mostly see Casement windows, picture windows and a whole lot of sliders. Followed by double hung, Frenchies, etc.

As for what do I do first, in or outs?

If it’s mostly sliders, I do the insides first. That’s where most of the work is. Pulling out the windows, vacuuming tracks, wiping screens, frames, sills, etc. Then when you go outside you are already 2/3 of the way done.

If it’s mostly casement windows, the it’s a 50/50.

I don’t WFP but that makes sense to me.