Was just told I can't use a lift inside

I gave a bid on a building that looks like this:

Bid 19000 after all expenses including hotel and food and equipment, supplies and lift that would total around 3-4,000. I’m doing interior and exterior construction clean up. Was just informed by the cleaning company I’m subcontracting under that I can’t bring a scissor lift inside because it would crack the floor, and that my bid was quite high. 775 panes, also cleaning all sills, 40ft high windows on inside and outside. Am I really far off the mark on my pricing? I’m a solo operation fyi, and I don’t really have the means to use or transport a 40ft ladder, and I wouldn’t have a spotter. Should I just back down out of the project?

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CCU = $3,000 to $4,000. Quite the range there.

If you can’t transport a ladder the job may be out of your reach - pardon the pun.

Charge them for the cost of renting scaffolding, you labor to erect and dismantle scaffolding, and your CCU price (which should be 2 1/2 - 3 times your regular price for CCU).

Big job for a solo guy, but not unheard of.

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Blockquote CCU = $3,000- $4000
@Garry that was the rounded numbers mostly predicated on whether I am renting a lift or not. I am also apparently going to have access to the lifts that the construction company has stationed outside the building (like the one in that first picture), it’s the not knowing about the inside lift rental that makes that price very.

I figured that with the fact that I would be doing CCU, cleaning all the sills, and that it would be 40ft windows that 800 panes (there were some not included in the number I listed because they hadn’t been put in yet and I wasn’t 100% certain they were all windows) and I usually charge $3-4 a pane depending on height and difficulty ect that would easily put the price per pane at $10, maybe even 15. but anyway, he had told me up front that he would not be surprised if my quote was in the 20,000 range, and so I decided to come in a thousand less than that. I now have messaged him and told him that I would do it for 13000 (10,000 in labor, 3000 for operating cost) provided that I don’t have to rent a lift, but I told him that if I can’t use a lift inside I am unable to do the job. This does really suck, I was looking forward to doing this job, it was a great opportunity, I guess I’m just not big enough yet. If I can ask, how much would you be charging for this job?

Ask them if you can use boards and run the lift in it. We use boards from Home Depot that we have cut in half so both sides of the lift can ride on. Boards like u use to building a sides on a barn.

Unless my temp helper was available I probably wouldn’t do it.

Pricing seems fine to me? Although too much work for one guy. And can’t you put plywood down everywhere on the floor to distribute the weight and protect the floor? How long do you have to get this done? Something like that seems like it would take 4-5 guys a full week to do.

I would pass on the job. I am solo and would not try to do that by myself.



Rule of opportunity cost says you’ll lose money on this job if you could’ve acquired and done other more profitable work in the same time.


YES - Back out !


Tell him the price is triple with no lift. If there so concerned about price on a job like this let them get what they got coming to them.

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More work more money.


@ibprofen98 This is what I would do. Find yourself a $300 window cleaning job that takes 3 to 4 hours. Dance in your driveway when you get home before noon.
Then repeat.

Hope this helps!



Walk away from this job. I never sub to cleaners especially a job of this size. You also have to take in to account liability for scratched windows or other damage that might occur. You need to be making at least $1000 per day or it’s not worth it.

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Just thinking about the client type from an outside prospective:

  1. Won’t let you use the proper tools? Check
  2. Complains about price? Check.
  3. Puts you in a stressful spot even before you start the job? Check.
  4. Huge job with increasing variables and hurdles to jump? Check.

Sounds like a pain in the rear client, and for those, you make up for it by charging more. And being as they won’t pay it, in my opinion, it’d be a no go.


@adam.highshine Thanks for the input, although unfortunately I did back out. There were just too many unknown factors, plus there was a very good chance that the job was going to fall over a very important family matter, but I intend to get at least one of these jobs at some point! If we would have settled on a price I would have done it, but even though I have worked for this guy in the past and have a pretty decent relationship with him, they have all been smaller jobs, the biggest was a 5 hour 500 dollar job. The fact that we did not see eye to eye on the price and the lift situation really made this too much for me to handle, and after dropping my price to 13000 for the job (provided that I could use lifts without having to rent them) we still didn’t see eye to eye on the price or the value that I provide. The upside of this guy is that he usually pays me what I ask, the downside is that I think he is really just seeing me as the guy who can handle the windows he can’t (his crew usually does a very subpar job on all the interior low windows) and I feel this will reflect on me and is not how I want to be seen on a bigger job. I am starting to think that I must have misheard him when I thought he told me my quote might be in the 20,000 dollar range, I think he may have said 2,000, which would explain why 19,000 seemed out of the question for him, although I had told him that I would be doing ALL the windows and they wouldn’t have to do any, that way the work would have reflected on me the way I wanted it too, but all of this doesn’t really matter any more, lesson learned, I’ll do better next time XD


$25 a pane sounds fine, if it were me, I wouldn’t do it for less. huge CCU jobs like that are an absolute bear to work with, because of a variety of circumstances outside of your control. ESPECIALLY not knowing when they’ll actually pay. and as a solo if you don’t have a good amount stored up to live on and float your expenses it could end terrible.
@WDW Jeff has a wealth of wisdom, I hold it in high regard. So I’d suggest the same. when you’ve got an employee or 2 and you aren’t dependent on the money from that job keeping you afloat you may be able to reconsider jobs of that size with better capabilities.

Best of luck to you!

IMO If you were to take it, a job of that size would need about 1/2 up front, balance upon completion - or progressive payments paid in 3 or 4 steps.

Find someone in that area were you are go, and see if they could help you with the job.
Talk to the window cleaning community

This could sound crazy but listen -

Sometimes clients have weight sensitive finishes or pipework - and that does suck but -

Did you consider using a WFP on the inside?

If the floor is impermeable and you have two people with wet vacs recovering the water then you could use the bronze wool and plastic scraper attachments for poles.

You could carefully inspect the points where flooring meets window frame and waterproof tape them off. You could pour water on to the floor as a test case to see where it goes to.