Newbie Needs Some Help

Midwest Greetings, All:

I’m brand new to this site and forum. This is my first post and of course I’m looking for some assistance from the seemingly vast array of experience represented here.

First - I’ve decided to start my own window cleaning business. My wife thinks I’m nuts in light of the economy but I reason that if I can make of go of it now, I should be able to make a go of it when times get better, whenever that might occur.

Second - I’m planning to mark my introduction into the market by offering a flat-rate, limited time, full window cleaning to 4 hand picked subdivisions (totaling about 2,700 homes, including my own (572 homes) in my general vicinity. I’m planning to market the offer with door hangars beginning the first or second week of March. The home in the photo is representative of the average home in all subdivisions targeted. Which brings me to my question: What would you charge for this home? There are 25 windows on this home (2 of which are on the sides but are nearly identical to the window in the middle of the second story in back.

Any constructive suggestions are appreciated.

Finally - Thanks in advance for your help. The contributions to this site have already been a big help and I’ll looking forward to contributing in the near future.

i would charge $5 a pane for the second floor and $3 a pane for the first. im in az not sure of the market out there.

It depends how fast you are! In Orange County, Ca; some companies charge as low as 1.99 per pane (in and out) and some charge as high as 7.50 per pane. It’s really insane. Also, how you market yourself will have a huge impact on the perceived value of your service. Good luck. I have really enjoyed my first year now of full-time work, and its been a big thrill as I’m sure it will be for you!

Welcome Ranger84! Where in the Midwest are you located?


Try this:

Bid by the frame. On the two views, I count 34 frames…see if you can find them. I figure 5 frames to one manhour. Then multiply the number of MH’s by your desired hourly. Always average up too. So, a 34 frame job would be $250-$270 if you charge $40 per hour.

What that includes: I open all windows, clean the track, the frame and the screen. If the window is fixed…its fixed. The frame pricing works out for me generally on a house like this. It takes into consideration the ladder work and the screens and the tracks, and also averages in the windows that are easy and quick. Someone taught me this years ago. It will get you started anyway.

Use caution however when there is a lot of ladder work and a lot of windows that require track cleaning. Remind customers that an estimate is just that and leave yourself some wiggle room. And plan on burning yourself a few times on estimates while you learn. I’ve been at it 14 years and I still blow about one estimate per year.

On a different note, subdivisions are great. When you get your prices down on each model, you can often give estimates on the phone without driving out to look…use caution though…there’s always surprises.

About pricing, don’t go too low. Find out what the other guy’s are charging and charge about the same. If you start too low, you’ll get business, but your clients will think you’re an idiot and they’ll figure they can always get you to keep your prices down. It’s hard to raise them up if you start too low.

Good luck. Don’t quit your day job for a while.

There are guys around here doing these houses for $100; Inside and out. Crazy!

I feel your pain. If you become known for quality you can parlay some great referrals and not have to play the pricing game.

I’d shoot for $255 Interior and Exterior, that should be about 1.5hours of work, maybe less if you husle…BUT I’d WFP the out and be done with the outs in 20mins with setup.

The picture is not showing windows on the side of the house, I know there has to be with that style home.

Matt & Bruce are you two pricing the front of the house as frechies?
I would bet that those are removable muttons on the inside. If they french, I would say $215 -$225 range.

But as everyone said check your local area for competitive prices.

yea, they look like frenchies, that’s why I would do $255.

They’re not. Actually, this is my house. Those are IGU’s with muttons inside. I was thinking $200 to $215.