Lift cost up front

I am bidding on a few large 5 story buildings. Last year i payed the lift cost out of pocket up front and the client reimbursed me included in the window cleaning cost. My question is, how many of you ask for the client to pay for the lift cost up front, then they just have balance owing once the job is complete? I have thought about going this route this year, do any of you have any suggestions?

I don’t have any lift experience but I would figure with the size of these jobs you should be getting a deposit anyway, so make sure the deposit covers the lift rental and then some on top for good measure.

I’m thinking of this too, last year it just sucked to pay out of pocket up front, so im going to incorporate this into my proposal. I always charge the cost of the lift, plus taxes, plus delivery and pick up and an extra 25% on top just for me knowing how to use the thing. If I have that as a deposit, of course everything in a contract, signed and witnessed, then i should be good to go.

Hey Eric another option is setting up an account with the lift rental place. Get them to give you net 30.

We use Ahern and United. Both we have accounts with and pay them 30 to 45 days after our job is completed. We usually have been paid by the hiring company by then.

Robb Hueston
Window Wizards LLC.

I personally keep the whole cost of the lift confidential, and try and talk up with the client just how crazy expensive a piece of equipment to rent it is, and give them one price, cleaning, rental, everything included.

I find I can add more profit by doing it that way. Keep them in the dark, and let them come up with their own math! Seems to work well for me, anyway.

I also don’t have to pay for it for 30 days, once I set up an account with them.

What if the rental takes an additional day (or more?) Are you always able to build in that amount? Obviously, I am unaware of your estimating powers…

I was more or less thinking of just asking for a deposit, rather than “the cost of the lift” as mentioned before I add a bit to the lift rental just for knowing how to use it. I still have my window cleaning charge to top things off which is double the lift rate. Its not really a matter of leaving anyone in the dark, but honestly most building owners or managers, never really care about that anyhow, they just want a price.

[B]Eric:[/B] I guess I would say don’t ask for the deposit based on your price for the lift, keep them in the dark about that stuff. If you really want a deposit, and that’s important to you, then go for it, but don’t tell them exactly how much the lift costs. Make the deposit a percentage of your total price or something, instead.

You could always say “it’s our policy that services in excess of $_______ require a ____ % deposit to begin”

[B]Larry: [/B]I’m up the creek if it takes longer than I said it would. That’s why the bidding process has to be really honest and realistic. So, no, I wouldn’t make them eat the additional cost, but so far so good, it hasn’t happened yet! One price only.

Yes Kevin, i was going to make my “policy” a percentage that would cover the lift cost for the one day. without telling them that off the start, like you said that sort of stuff is personal and really doesn’t need to be shown at all to the client.

Cool. Great idea.

Make the rental company sign an agreement with you that if the unit is not delivered by the estimated time of 9am or so, then the second day is free!

Too often they deliver when they want, and feel like it. Kids driving truck decide, coffee break first (one hour) then deliver.

Might want to add in there, full 100% working condition, guarantee.

Maybe you need to use a new lift company, Ed!

Sounds like you had a bad experience. Mine has been pretty good, so far. Pretty reliable. Machines always work too.

Actually Ed’s story sounds all too familiar with me, last May when i cleaned the windows on 4 big senior apartment buildings, the lift was late, so i called up the rental company, they told me they had to get a telescopic instead of articulating, like i needed. so i still wait, then they call me up said that there is a problem with this lift, oil leak for hydraulics…at this point we are at 2 hrs late. Then they call me up say that they have to go across town to the only other rental place in town to get the lift I wanted in the first place. They ended up being almost 4 hrs late! But i did get to be the first user of a brand new 60ft Articulating lift…i went into a second day, but not because they were late, it was my miss judgment, but i still did ok. They want a quote again this year, so im going to rent it all week, its actually a better deal then for only 2 days. (assuming ill get the contract again!)

Sir ,on any bid concerning equipment costs- it is first by bidding a job as a standard procedure too include all costs up front. If you or the business is unable to meet costs of job operations then two things come into play. If a contractor is using lifts on job site one may inquire as to its use and get said permission to operate it on the job site. Written agreements and insurance issues come into play here. Asking a client to pay for rental equipment is only up to the agreements between you and the your client. If it is agreeable for that client to meet the operations costs and rental of equipment it must be in writing and a set date of delivery from rental agent. Delivery cost are negotiable with the rental company, delivery and job completion times must be set firm before this can happen. Most of the time a credit card and legal licence will do the trick. Know this 80’ lifts are really expensive to rent, if you can meet your costs with a 60-65’ lift and pole it to finish the job, your costs will really go down. Edwash

Edwash>> yes everything goes into a contract written out and signed and witnessed long before the job starts. I’m going to see if I can set up an account with the rental place, if that don’t pan out, then I am for sure going to ask for deposit, say 25% of total cost. This will be part of legal contract. Last year I found a 60ft articulating boom lift to be very sufficient for a 5 story building. I don’t think i’d ever need anything higher than that for this town.