Some questions regarding doing residential without WFP

Hey gang, I used to be a member on here years ago but lost my login so I created a new one. For the last 8 years I’ve owned a janitorial company here in MI and have added some commercial and storefront window jobs to my jani route. I’m finally working my way out of the janitorial biz and more into windows but wanted some info regarding my current setup. I currently have ladders and ladder rack for my car which is a 13 Ford Fiesta that I purchased for good gas mileage because I have accounts in cities that span 30 miles. I can fit everything in it for what I currently do but my wonder is for the residential side of things. How realistic is it to plan on doing resi jobs with no WFP? And if I were to invest in a WFP do any of you run a system that would fit in a car? I’ve never actually seen one in person so I have no idea. I’ve read some posts that say that they do a crappy job and others where guys say they’re the cat’s ass. Thanks for any info you can provide.


Here’s my advice; I jumped on the WFP bandwagon several years ago and regretted it. I spent around $1,000 on a basic (but nice Unger) set up. Used the equipment on a few jobs but found myself hating it because its performance was inferior to the good old squeegee. It killed me to scrub and rinse the window and just trust that it was perfectly clean. I’m no expert, but I watched countless videos, read a thousand posts on how to work the thing (it’s not rocket science) and I was totally dissatisfied, went back to my squeegee, and sold my equipment for $300 after it had sat in my garage for 2 years. The only advantage I can see is using it to do a decent job on 3-story windows that you may not be able to reach with a ladder. Other than that, I think WFP is overrated.

Actually, it is rocket science…

Just kidding, kinda.

Three years ago WFP systems and gear were still in their infancy of perfecting the equipment and techniques to get it right consistently.

A lot of us here remember the “scratch your head” days of perfecting ones WFP technique.

Much of what the early birds experienced was by trial and error.

Today, the systems and equipment are light-years ahead of those days, and the amount of shared information is astounding thanks to Chris & Alex’s WCRA platform.

After 7 years of WFP, the ONLY windows I personally feel WFP doesn’t do the job for ME is CCU exterior windows.

You are in Michigan.
There are going to be a lot of times you couldnt wfp
-even if you WANTED to.

So, yes residentials can/will be done without.

Honestly, we rarely use them.
But we’re a bunch of ladder monkeys, so…

The value of a WFP is not ubiquitous. It has a lot to do with the dynamics of your individual business. You would need to justify investing thousands of dollars on the equipment and balance that against your circumstances; customer base, rate/cost of new client acquisition, profit from windows versus your other cleaning jobs, conduciveness to climate, time for training (self and employees), etc. If your return on investment is minimal, I would go without.

I have been on the fence myself SO many times almost pulling the trigger on a WFP but than almost every house I do there is something on a window that I need to get my blade out, scrubby pad, or finger nail to get off that I know I never would have seen with a WFP and it would drive me nuts knowing on every home I do there is going to be a window that isn’t perfect. Maybe I need to move past that customers don’t expect “perfect”, but I was raised in a work environment that nothing less than you best will do and it has been hard for me to get past. Trust me I want nothing more to get off the dam ladders, but it has been a struggle to get over knowing that I could do it better going up them…and no matter what in Minnesota I know I can never go 100% WFP no matter what since we clean when it is below freezing often.

I think if you are just getting rolling in residential there is nothing wrong with going old fashioned, especially since that is the exact method you will need to use to clean the inside of the windows regardless.:smiley:

WFP may be the greatest asset to my tool box. I spent $700 initially and maybe another $300 adding brushes, hoses, and quick connects to make the job easier.

I only use it on residential work, I rarely get on a ladder nowadays.

Mike Radzik
Pro Window Cleaning
Central Massachusetts

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Awesome guys, I really appreciate the info! This helps tremendously. We’re actually accumulating commercial and storefront pretty quickly so it’s hard to say how much resi we will actually get. For the resi we are going to target the more affluent areas around us.

All I can say is, I WFP 8-9 homes out of 10! Yes we get perfect results even on windows that have been neglected for years…

And on those who, Ive used a ladder, next time around they get WFP and its a breeze… Easy money really…

I have a coustomer with a 3,6XX home who cleans his exteriors every 3 months… I can be in and out in 2 hours max…

Mike how did you only spend 700? I will be getting a wfp set up this year and im trying to find the best value of doing this. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

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I don’t like the word perfect ? So what I’ll say is I can get the same results with my WFP as I do with my squeegee.

The guys that are against the Wfp are usually old timers that just can’t believe that they work. Also because it is a little bit if an investment they arnt willing to chance it. Plain an simple there cheap !!! all the companies I worked for still don’t use them .
One of my best friends has been cleaning windows for 30 years I had to practically beg him to get into the wfp game. He says to me that they are for people who don’t know how to use ladders. Lol. “Well dude are you insisting I don’t know how To use ladders because whenever you have a spare 500.00 let me know”. Then he says they don’t work. Really. " I guess your telling me I’m blind, or maybe you think I don’t know what a window should look like when it’s complete." Lol.
Long story short he has two systems 3 poles , an thanks me wherever he gets a chance for being patient with him. Well he is lucky I love him like a brother.
I’ll finish this by saying of your a window cleaner you need a wfp. Learn how to use it first before you say this don’t work. The squeegee didn’t work either when you first held it

And that’s my story an I’m sticking to it

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I’ve got an Unger DI tank, 20’ Unger pole and 10’ extension to the pole(I rarely use the extension) 200’ 5/16 hose from WCR, 100’ of hose for water supply, TDS meter, some quick connects for hoses, 6 FOC brushes, brodex brush (used once and hated it) and an Unger NLite brush that came with the pole that I don’t use.

All for around $1000 total investment. The first job I used it on was an $800 residential job that I finished in 6 hours.

Mike Radzik
Pro Window Cleaning
Central Massachusetts

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Oh and I spent $100/$120 on a resin refill from WCR after 10 months of residential use with my DI tank.

Mike Radzik
Pro Window Cleaning
Central Massachusetts

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If you had to you could just get a conversion kit that goes on the top of an extension pole, some hoes, a $30 pro brush and 1/2 cf tank from WCR and only have a like $300 in it. It would allow you to get started and go from there. I definitely love my WFP don’t use it for everything some guys do. It’s just one more tool in the van. I just like being able to have the right tool for the job. In many cases a WFP is that tool even if it’s just the safer option, it’s worth it.

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Great idea, although I wouldn’t recommend it simply because what if this set up doesn’t do a proper job? This could turn anyone off from using a WFP set up and leave a bad taste in their mouth.

Mike Radzik
Pro Window Cleaning
Central Massachusetts

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I’m stoked on putting my new pole and system to the test this year…

Talking about safety, we are assembling 300 sets of POWER and CONTROL Ergonomic Handles starting next week for all our customers with Reach-iT Poles.

We are looking to supply a set with every new customer and for all our existing customers.

We are not charging for them, but we appreciate a donation back according to their value to you.

The reason is well explained at

Water Fed Poles are potentially injurious with the repetitive motion we use. The handles reduce the use of the vulnerable control muscles when using a Water Fed Pole.

Using a flexible water fed pole increases the workload - and thereby, the risk exponentially.

Reach-iT is the only brand that ONLY sells 100% Carbonfiber, High Modulus Carbonfiber and now Ultra High Modulus Carbonfiber poles.

Our goal is to give you pole rigidity, ensuring your effort is effected at the glass… and using the right ‘power’ muscle groups.

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I only use section ladders and step ladders on residentials, I might be old school, but I just personally feel like its better to get right on the window with a mop and squeegee. Besides, you’ll need section ladders inside the houses for high foyer and living room windows anyway right? I don’t know about fitting them into a fiesta though, since they are 6’ pieces, unless you could open the back seat and run them up through the middle of your car from the trunk.

Are you in the Detroit area or elsewhere in MI?

I’m going into my third year of WFP work and I have nothing bad to say about it. It takes about a year to figure out it’s limitations because there are instances where it simply does not clean as well as traditional methods on certain types of glass. It’s kind of like going through a brushless car wash after you have driven through a mud bog. I use a WFP on 95% of my regular residential customers and I can tell you it is virtually equal to results of traditional methods and many times it is better, like the multiple true divide windows. When you throw in the safety factor and the time savings of a WFP you will find it is well worth the investment.

There is nothing that use to drive me crazy more than things in the way from me setting up my ladders like bushes , trees , rocks .
having a wfp make these things a non factor .
I hate cut-ups now that I have a wfp there tollarable . It has change the way I look at a Job when u first pull up to look at it. Doesn’t change the way I price it, but I’m usually not walking away saying this is going to be a pain in the ass. Unless of course it’s a house with 60 old storm windows that havnt been washed since lLed Zeppelin last tour .

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