Too clean?

Recently, my partner and I spent 7 hours cleaning around 40 windows, which was challenging but ultimately satisfying. However, the time it took was far longer than expected. We’re unsure if it’s industry standard to meticulously clean every spot (which I believe is eating up all of our time), such as tree sap, or if that constitutes “window restoration” warranting an additional charge for the customer. Any insights on this matter would be appreciated.

Not sure if I would call that restoration, but it would definitely require an upcharge.
What you need to do is make sure your proposal says
*Removal of hard water stains , oxidation from screens , any type of paint, silicone , cement , or tree sap

Now when you’re there you can show them, and up charge them.

It’s on the proposal


What Majestic said. Also, don’t be afraid to add things to that as time goes on. Just when you think you’ve seen everything, something new will come up.

We had a house with 30 foot custom windows, imported from Europe, facing a lake just last week. Started cleaning the tops and ruined a WFP brush. The roofers got tar all over them. Not our problem, and now its in the verbiage.

P.S. one of the best moves I ever made in this business was to not go for 110% every time. Its just not realistic, you can’t do it in the time allotted and the customer usually doesn’t want to pay extra. Now, that same 40 window house that you described would typically take me 3-4 hours, solo.

How much did you both make together total for those 7 hours? This will tell you if you charged enough.

Was this residential or commercial glass? The level of detail differs between the two.

How did you remove most of the gunk, razors and #0000 steel wool?

What did you charge for 14 hours of work? How far off were you? There’s spots of tree sap, paint overspray, or whatever that is always included by us and then there is “excessive” a highly subjective term for sure. Yes, you can be too meticulous. Some times good enough is just good enough.

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We clean windows in Washington and they’re always really dirty. After getting good with a squeegee my biggest focus was on cleaning dirty windows quickly. After years of searching I find using a magic eraser sheet (generic melamine sponges without chemical) and walnut pads on a techno pad clean up 99% of windows, and I carry a blade almost only for sap. But every customer gets this in their bid:

“Window cleaning, inside and out
This service includes a quick wipe of the bottom of the track, and light dusting of the screens, but does not include sliding glass door screens.
This service does not include paint removal on windows nor does it include removing caulk, plaster, wood stains, or other post construction/renovation debris.
Hard water spots will not come off with cleaning. We do not offer hard water spot removal.
We do not open “Storm” or “Pella” or “Airport” windows. We will only clean the far outside of those type of windows”

Managing expectations is honestly one of the biggest parts, if you pull out a blade charge for it. Some customers focus on the output only, but if that’s the case charge more. If you’re going there to focus on the input, to scrub every window and squeegee it streak free, that’s enough for some people.

As to my original response… just when you think you’ve seen it all lol
What is an airport window?

Imagine a normal window that slides open, but just outside of it is a little space, then another window that also slides open. It’s similar to storm windows, but I had a customer tell me when they built an airport around here they had these installed on their government’s dime because being in the incoming flight path was super noisy. The customers in one neighborhood all called them them that so we stuck with it, they probably have a more official name.

But there are also types that are screwed in in a storm window style. They seemed to only be for windows that didn’t slide open, like a triple paned window where the middle is bigger and only the side 2 slide open. We did a bid for a guy and he was fine with it, his neighbor wanted a bid and we gave him one and explained this and he said okay, only to later send us pics of the inside saying we’ll need tools to get them off. He flipped out and cancelled when we reiterated and said we shouldn’t even offer to do these types of windows if we don’t open them, even though we told him we wouldn’t. So now there’s the wording in there now.

Anytime I run into something like this it goes into the wording of the bids that day, fool me once shame on me, but there is no twice.

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Ah ok, I’ve only seen those once and said “WTF is this mess?”.

It was near a little putt-putt plane airport though. @Narcos that little airport by you, actually.

Funny enough I was there just yesterday. One of my friends details the planes there and I stopped by to chill at his hangar lol

Back in the day I wanted to clean those windows, now not so much.