Hi Window Cleaning Resource fans,

My name is Francisco, 22 years old, and I’m located in Riverside CA. I just started my business AAASTONISHING UMBRELLA CARE (AAAstonishing Umbrella Care) And I’m new with this whole thing this forum page and window cleaning.

What are you pricing your window cleaning jobs for residential homes? Cause I just cleaned someones outside windows for their two story home and I charged them $57.00 dollars but the customer gave me a $70.00 dollar check. And this morning I seen that someone had a AD on Craigslist and they were talking about $140.00 for outside windows. And $170.00 for outside & inside. At the end of his AD he wrote “Beat That” So that had me thinking am I underpricing myself I’m only charging $3.00 per window? Well sorry to just stop by like this, but if you could help me it would be highly appreciated. THANK YOU

Yes… Use the search you’ll find many threads… Like " the national avg "… The craig’s ad is still ( low baller ) i.e. bucket bob fyi.
Spend some time on here reading. And learning from the knowledge base. There is lots of things you need to know covered. But ask questions as well.

national avg “search” gets you this.


Wow! I checked out the double hung pricing and they charge $10.00 or $11.00 per window. Sounds like a raise to me :wink: since I was only charging $3.00 per window. Thank you goldeneagle!

How long did it take you to do those windows? What was your average hourly rate from that? How much do you need to make per hour to cover costs, taxes, insurance, vehicle upkeep, food, mortgage/rent, utilities, all things life in general? (Figure in that in the beginning you are slower than you will be a year from now.)

Ill bet it took a couple hours or more to do those windows. You are working at about $20 an hour or so. That way below the average. You may not be able to get 10 or 11 a window. You need to find out what your area is getting. Craig’s list is not a good gage of average professional window cleaners. Your price is ok for storefront windows but way under for residential.

I appreciate your guys’ help and openness on this subject, since others refused to talk about pricing. However, it took me approximately 4 or 5 hours. Literally!! So I was working for about $10 an hour. Plus Phinkle you mentioned that Craigslist is is not a good gage of average professional window cleaners, which websites are good for advertising or for potential customers.

Also I just did a job for Honda a Dealership, and I cleaned 12 of their canopies for only $10 dollars each around 10’ by 10’ and an average of 15’ feet hight from the ground up. I only made $120 dollars for nearly 9 hours with two of my cousins and I still had to pay them. The General manager even offered to give me 15 dollars per canopy for the next cleaning.

Ouch. I feel for you. I would say that pretty much anywhere you go in
the country, you won’t find a profitable, legitimate company cleaning
residential double hungs for less than $8 or so, for in and out. As
you’ve seen, most are higher than that (the national average for
responsibid users is posted on the right side of the WCR homepage). My
current pricing runs around $11 for very basic glass only cleaning- if
they want screens, frames, and sills cleaned, I charge $14. And I
charge 60% of full price if they only want outsides cleaned (outside
is often more difficult and time consuming).

Now commercial glass is a different animal. Many here charge
$1.50-$2.50 per pane, per side for ground level (storefront) glass.
Good technique and speed plays a big part in whether you will be
profitable or not. Higher glass will obviously run more.

In the end, you will have to decide what you need to charge in order
to be profitable. It might help to start with what you need to make as
an individual, if you were working for someone else. Lets say you need
to bring home $400/week to make ends meet. Now add a good percentage
to that number, maybe 50% (after all, you should make more as the
business owner). So your salary would be $600/week. That’s what you
pay yourself, even if you just landed a huge paying job and you’re
feeling rich. Don’t take more than your salary. Now you need to figure
in expenses (you’ll be counting your salary as an expense- bear with
me, this should make sense in a minute). So you figure out what you’ll
need to run your business each week- advertising, equipment,
insurance, estimated taxes, fuel, consumables). Some of these won’t be
weekly expenses, so break it down to totals for the year, and divide
by 52 to get your average. So lets say you need to bring in $1000/week
to keep your business running, including paying yourself. Now add on a
healthy profit margin of 15%, so you’ll want to bring in $1150/week. Now
you need to figure out how much you can actually work in order to make
that amount. let’s say you can work 30 hours per week, for 35 weeks out
of the year, and you have some commercial accounts that will get you
through the winter with only 10 hours per week, for the 15 slower weeks.
You end up with an average of 23 hours per week. [B]So you need to bring
in an average of $50 an hour to meet your goals.
From there you can calculate your per window pricing by figuring out how
many windows you can clean in an hour (not under ideal circumstances ;))

Now you’ll need to do the math yourself, and I picked rather low numbers
for simplicity, but you get the picture. In orderto pay yourself a modest
salary, and for the business to be making a healthy profit, you need to
bring in a lot more per hour. And you’ll probably need to bring in even more
if you plan on employing in the future.

You can’t last long with those prices. You are actually costing yourself money and there is no way you will be able to afford insurance, equipment, any basic marketing or much of anything. You can land a job at very low prices but it doesn’t mean you will have a business.

Stop making sales for a day and do some serious reading with a notepad and take notes on the pricing of basic types of windows and services so you can get yourself into a more sustainable model.

Commercial store front glass is the cheapest. Everything goes up from there. You have to make about a dollar a minute or you will be hard pressed to last for any amount of time as a business person. Commercial glass doesn’t demand the same dollar as residential so it doesn’t get the same level of detailed care.

Read the threads on the average prices of residential windows and start charging about those prices. You were shocked by the prices of double hungs but that is pretty standard.

Awning cleaning is a specialty market and should be charged for the time, equipment, chemicals, and knowledge. Your pricing is incredibly cheap. I don’t know what processes or chemicals or tools you are using but awning cleaning and sealing is an expensive service. Part of the reason it is expensive is because when you make a mistake and have to have one replaced or repaired its going to cost YOU a lot of money.

Do more homework before you go out and do more sales, hurting your customers and building yourself into a corner. Starting out with the pricing you are can result in an untimely death of your venture. You cannot sustain your business venture long with your numbers. Your customers will be wondering what happened to you because you wont be able to afford such a cheap service again. Cutting prices cuts quality of products used, and short cuts industry accepted standards.

On an encouraging note: you can make good money doing this. You need to take your time and be studious about it though.

I charge $10 per window inside and out on residential and $18 for detailed work which includes sills and frames and screens my goal is to be any where from $40 to $60 dollars per hour. I even keep that rate mentality in store fronts I have some that take me 20 minutes to do and I charge then $20 to $25. It’s easier to get your price if you go by the time customers don’t know how long it’s going to take so charge according to your pace, and if you taking to long puck up the pace!

Alex gave some really good basic accounting advise. You really need to set up your budget immediately as you are already operating. You have money coming and going and if you don’t have your budgets established you will get yourself into another set of problems. This is a big rock. If you ignore creating a habit of doing your finances regularly (weekly, every other at the least) you will find it difficult at best, to manage the business.

Break it down to what you actually earn here on the awnings.
10¢ (.10) x 100 sq ft (10’ x 10’) = $10.00 x 12 awnings $120.00 LOT of work for very little money! Divided 3 ways that’s .0333 cents per sq. ft.
$1.00 x 100 sq ft = $100 x 12 awnings = $1200.00 A little easier to pay for things with and eat but could still maybe pad that price a bit?

$57.00 for windows should be no more than say 10 or 11 windows - ground floor - one side only. Make it worth your time. Say, residential minimum starts at $100.00 for X amount windows and X:XX amount of time. Break that down for what your hourly rate to run a business costs [B][U]AND[/U][/B] gives you a paycheck.

If you can find yourself a copy of the legendary “$600 an Hour” nook you will probably be dancing on sunshine.

Welcome to the fold :slight_smile:

How things going Chris? Man this weather is crazy! I was power washing in DE in the snow for an account we were having trouble getting to with all the freezing temps at night.

Francisco, you would have a impossible time finding someone to work for you for that price and work nearly as hard as you do. You have to have the mindset that this is a business, and you need to grow it, and even if it does not grow into employees for years, or ever, you price as if it will, or as if it has.

If you can’t grow to have employees you do not REALLY have a business, you have invented a job that you can do, but also have to do, and you can’t be replaced. I do not mean that in a good way, i mean it in a bad way. You can’t possibly be replaced because it is hard work, and people will not work for that price and put forth effort. When you are not watching, they will be slacking. They will steal tools from you, steal customers, and try to be your competition! They will fake get hurt and try to sue you, or go on disability. I do not think you could ever afford disability insurance at those rates.

You have to stand back and look at this is a business, you are a businessman. You are not a guy who washes stuff, and the person who hires you is the boss. No, you are the boss, they hire a company, you just also happen to be the main labor guy. A company needs to make well into the 5 figures revenue to have any chance of survival. Not the first year of course, you can limp by for a while, but you need to see gains.

With out having a ton of numbers from you, lets assume you have zero costs, free apartment, free car etc. I think at the prices you are charging you might have total revenue of less then what you could make delivering pizza. I know you can make 13 per hour at aldi, walmart median floor worker pay is 13, costco is 17. That is with no costs.

You are taking on allot of risks, tons of risks, and you need to be paid for them. Allot of initiative, most people do not have the stones to start a business no matter how small.

You also need to when standing back, see this as an investment, not just a job you bought yourself. As the owner you need to be figure out what a good investment pays, i would say something in the order of 15% on the low end, and 25-30% on the high end. So if you had an employee who did 100k in work, you would for investing your time and labor, you would make probably 25k off him every year.

This is what you need to base your pricing around. The future. Do not be concerned with just being busy, busy does not pay long term, if your not making money. It is fine to give a discount to get a few jobs, but do not give much, if you are doing good work, with good material, and good products, and putting in the time to do a good job, you should not be discounting after you demonstrate your work.

I see lots of people from landscapers, to painters, to pool guys, to masons or whatever trying to be the walmart of their trade. You cant even pay your insurance and have a $9,000 work truck with the prices allot of low ballers charge. You can’t outlast them as their are always new ones. Sam walton MADE MONEY being the cheapest, and its repeatable, basically its fool proof putting cloths and soup cans on a shelf, it is not a trade. Trades people find success with high prices, and loyal customers.

Sorry if that was long.

One profitable thing I have learn from the big dogs on this forum and it took me a while to prefect it is don’t under price yourself and when you do find that magic number for your business and you go out to give a bid…give the customer a stern look in the eye, tell them that you can do this job for x.xx amount and don’t back down. My closing rate went from 50% to 85% after I raised my prices and was willing to walk away. Since that time I have not had one customer talk me down and they schedule on the spot.

If you don’t value your work then your customers will not and will find someone that does.