I did this builders clean job a couple of weeks ago. I know this builder through a previous company. This was the second job I did for him. The other wasn’t a builders clean. So I sent him an invoice of $540 for double story renovated home. (New windows). He never asked me to do a quote, so I just went ahead to do it.
He fell over backwards and said everyone now wants to be a window cleaner. He said for the hourly rate I’ve earned $65 +. Which is more than his builders, carpenters and chippies etc. He said you would be between $30-$40 an hour. He wants me to send him another invoice and reduce the amount that he thinks is right!
What do I do in situations like this?
I would lower the price to $40/hr and consider it a lesson learned. Never do a job without agreeing on a price prior to starting. I would also agree to lower it, but ask that he agree to pay it in a timeframe that is good for you.
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I learned this the hard way with a “friend” who did janitorial: always always always put it in writing. Give him an estimate and that way you both know what to expect. If he wants you to work weekends, make it clear what your weekend rate is.
$65/hr for ccu is cheap. $30-40 is commercial rates. I’m at $70-100/hr for normal residential cleans and 3x that for ccu. Now if the house is empty AND the construction mess isn’t bad, then maybe I’d do it for my normal residential rate.
Him: "Which is more than his builders, carpenters and chippies etc."
Me: “Yeah, I gave you the friend discount.”
He’s probably paying employee’s hourly, he’s not subcontracting master carpenters for that rate. He’s covering them under his insurance, his workmans comp, etc.
YOU have YOUR business to run. YOU have to pay YOUR insurance, YOUR social security, YOUR workman’s comp, etc. You’re not HIS employee. This is your business, not your hobby.
You could ask him what his job rate is to reno a house. Because if it’s $30-40/hr then I’ve got a kitchen for him to reno!
But since you didn’t have it in writing, you might give him a discount with the understanding that all forward jobs will be in writing and agreed upon before you do them. Or you could point out that it’s the same rate he paid last time and that you’ve got your own insurance, comp, bills, etc that you need to cover.
Around here you see big builders using a set price per square foot of the house for new construction. I’ve seen it as low as 10 cents and as high as 20. In the future ask the builder to set your price on square footage or number of windows. I can bang out a 1600 sq ft ranch new construction in about three hrs. All the builder cares is whether the results are good, he never cares if I am only there for three hrs and my hourly rate stays around $50. Ask for the set price in advance. I schedule a couple of houses for an afternoon and boom it turns into a pretty great day.
… I would split the difference with him and figure what it would be it at $52 / hr. He didn’t ask for a price and you didn’t offer
one so to me it’s an equal or no-fault situation. Or we could say you both f****d up. Even when customers tell me they don’t need
an estimate I give them one because I’ve been in your situation before and don’t like it.
Always give an estimate, if it were something like a CCU I would also have the estimate with scope of work letting them know what’s included and what’s not included. Then if/when someone else dirties the windows after you’ve done the job get info in the scope of work about touch up/final cleans as well.
We all know if you’re not the very last person in there something goes wrong and gets dirty. Like “oh we had to rebuff this floor” well that produces dust and debris that will end up on a window possibly, they can’t expect free touch ups for something like that.
There’s my 2 cents, hope it helps
Pro Window Cleaning
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So that means that you didn’t get a damage waiver signed before you started? Wait till he sees the scratches that the next guy leaves on the freshly cleaned windows. He will blame you.
Always get it in writing and get it upfront. Signed estimate and signed damage waiver and signed terms and conditions, or I don’t start work. Way less headaches for me later. Everybody knows what to expect, so everybody is happy.
How much an hour did you make on the first job you did for him? I don’t understand why you should make anything less than the first job you did for him. He is part to blame for not getting a price from you before you started. doesn’t he want to know how much he is paying for something .then when your done he wants to tell you what he is paying lol ya that don’t fly by me.
His builders carpenters an chippies all work for him they don’t have business expenses. what is a chippie btw ?
Home builders are a joke and the reason why I have only have worked successfully for only two in 17 years. It’s funny because these two builders are actually builders and not over paid salesman who say they build houses.
It’s a good thing you didn’t lower your price and you should have thanked him that he found such good deals on the other contractors so that he could afford you
My dad owns an HVAC company and was telling me about giving a builder a quote for $400 to fix something for him. Took an hour.
Builder said "how much did the parts cost?!"
My dad "about 60 bucks. Why?"
The builder said "how do you justify charging me $340 per hour???"
My dad said “I don’t have to justify anything to you. We agreed on the price. Give me my money.”
I did get a scratch waiver. The builder didn’t come by to sign it (typical)! So I saw the owner and told her the story. Lovely lady and she was ok with it. I pointed out all the scratches.
She signed it. Obviously the money side of things was coming from the builder. Until I gave him the invoice. I don’t think I’ll be dealing with him again. Only if he is understanding and reasonable!