This job has turned into one huge nightmare. Finally cleaned all the windows, do a walk around and the project manager points out streaks and what not on the hardest windows to access. For whatever reason, the awning windows have some sort of hydrophobic oil or film on them. So they look oily on some areas after cleaning them. The guy starts to nit pick stuff so we go inside and see it was his crew that left streaks all over the insides.
Anyway, before I rant more, now I know why so many of you run from ccu. They suck, I’ve absolutely hated this experience and I’d rather 4-5 smaller jobs that don’t need a lift or other bull crap nonsense. I will totally and happily super overprice the mess out of a future ccu bid. You have all been right. First time doing one like this and I’ve hated it.
Thanks, Steve. I appreciate your positivity I just keep trying to think of what we can learn. I do think we got a lot of valuable experience on this. And besides those windows Anthony mentioned with oily residue or whatever it is, the majority of the glass cleaned up well.
Side note- the cleaning company that hired us had their people doing the first floor today and they were using plastic putty knives to scrape the glass
I’m sorry, I don’t mean to laugh, but I’ve been giggling since I read this. Let it be a learning lesson and just be thankful that it wasn’t a BIG job.
For posterity’s sake:
Expectation: Oh, we can use a lift, it’ll be easy. Nose to glass, no climbing a ladder.
Reality: Lifts suck. They’re slow as crap, and oh, the ground isn’t level, where’s the plywood, and oh, it’s not charged, and oh this sucks.
Expectation: The windows aren’t too bad, so maybe a little scrubbing, should be easy.
Reality: These windows suck!! What the heck is this crap that won’t come off? Who was the monkey splashing junk all over this window? Why are my fingers so greasy? I don’t know if I have enough soap for this job.
Expectation: GC pats you on the back and says "Do the best you can"
Reality: GC is white gloving everything and why didn’t you get that little speck of butyl on that window in the corner that you can’t quite reach with the lift? Why haven’t you gotten all that cement off those bottom windows?
Expectation: I can make money at 2-3x my normal rate
Reality: I should have asked for 10x. No, make that 20. No, screw it, I’m never going to do this again… (but you know you will because the next job looks easy)
Expectation: I use the best razors and have never scratched a window.
Reality: GC’s freaking out because they bought old castle and now every window has swirl marks as if you went completely psycho with a rusty razor for 40 minutes on every pane.
Oh, sure, I’m being hyperbolic. But remember this day the next time you bid a ccu and remember, you can’t ever underbid a ccu. My price is 5x as a start and that’s if I know the contractor and what they want. Otherwise, it’s going to be 10x and I set my head that this is going to take 5x longer than it should.
+1 on the damp microfiber. When those things are damp (not dripping wet) they can scrub like nothing else. It really is amazing. My microfiber has pretty much replaced the white scrubbies for standard jobs.
I’ve been up on that stupid lift thinking about what you said about pricing before we did it lol. It’s almost over, just have wait for his crew to finish their end and we’ll go back to touch stuff up on our end. Using the lift was more stressful than I expected, and we learned we could’ve done most if not all of it with a ladder. We moved faster when we did windows on the ladder we couldn’t use a lift. The guy who contracted us looked kinda embarrassed when we pointed out that most of the stuff he was pointing out came from the inside, the work his crew did.
We have this experience under our belt now. I’ve always been apprehensive about pricing a ccu but now I really know what’s involved. I know to price is 5-10x more plus some next time. And if they gripe about how expensive it is, better them than me.
$2k total, including lift. Underbid it big time,but you gotta eat a job here and there to learn, right?
I learned to bid HIGHER, MUCH HIGHER. We learned to tack on more to the cost of the lift, especially since I had to make the calls, reserve it, drive it etc etc. They say it’ll take one day, tack on another 2-3 buffer days and finish sooner that expected rather than finish later than expected. Learned we need to be more aggressive as to how we word a contract, aka cover our butts more. Not the most exciting experience but now it’s under our belt.
Got a call today that we just need to touch up three windows. They were happy with our work, and even called us asking for the invoice so we get paid. All’s well that ends well…
Oh, and you’ll underbid that one too because that one “is easier than the first one”! Nope.
But the one after that, you’ll start to feel better about knowing exactly what you’re getting into and you’re going to try and overbid it because you hate ccu’s and are determined to finally make money on this one.
Just be glad you don’t have employee’s cursing you.
Today when we went back to redo those three windows, I couldn’t help but notice the first floor windows were super scratched up. The cleaning company that hired us had their people doing those. I had never personally seen the scratches that can result from trying to remove paint with plastic putty knives. So when their manager told Anthony it doesn’t scratch the glass, I didn’t say anything. But, wow, it is some of the worst scratching I’ve seen.
I tried the damp microfiber suggestions we got and those problem windows cleaned up great! I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before…it’s what I use for cleaning up greasy messes in the kitchen Well, live and learn. This job was hard, but we got some really good experience from it.
What I can definitely take away is: I will never ever think a plastic putty knife should be used all over a pane of glass!
Um, yeah, not sure if you read the whole thread, but we realized we made mistakes with the pricing. It’s done now though. So I’d rather not have us go on feeling bad, but learn from the experience instead